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Old 10-14-2015, 02:02 PM   #99
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Here's the skinny on training with RYA:

Day skipper Shorebased Theory $595 (online, 40 hrs)
Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore Theory $595 (online, 40 hrs)
RYA Ocean Yachtmaster Theory $670 (online)
Books required for the above: $80.00

Day Skipper or Coastal Skipper Practical $1440 (5 days)

At this point I can easily apply for an ICC.

Ocean Yachtmaster requires experience as a skipper so I'll need to go sailing up the coast for a few months, which will be really hard to take. :-)
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:35 PM   #100
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That is really hard to do...But just keep telling yourself that someone has to do it...So you will make the sacrifice.
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Old 10-15-2015, 03:10 AM   #101
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In addition to the RYA training notes above, I should point out that Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper (both tidal and non-tidal) qualifications are pointless if your aim is to travel the world. One of the prerequisites for the Yachtmaster Ocean exam is holding a Yachtmaster Offshore certificate.

So that's the one to go for first.
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:19 AM   #102
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Just took a long look at the only RYA online course website, the one all the Australian sailing schools use. This included running through their Free Trial pages and sampling the sort of information presented.

I was particularly amused by a comment in Student Feedback which stated, "... as a former educational psychologist specialising in instructional methodology and learning, your input and course design are second to none" since I found the course data poorly written (factual errors, typos, undefined abbreviations, etc) and at the same time ploddingly repetitive. I guess that confirms my understanding of psychologists, and I can only assume that the principal of said school, who is an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor, Master 5 commercial skipper and qualified diesel and radar instructor is a far better sailor than he is an educator.

Now considering whether I should just buy the RYA books and teach myself. At the very least I've decided the Day Skipper Shorebased Course is a waste of time, it's all about boat lights and day shapes evidently so I've saved myself $595 right there.
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:26 AM   #103
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I think that you'll find that everything in the day skipper theory is also covered in the Yachtmaster theory, including lights and buoys and shapes. Yes you're correct that Yachtmaster Offshore (what I have) is a pre-requisite for Yachtmaster Ocean. There used to be a condition where you had to have held Offshore for 2 years before you were allowed to sit the Ocean exam but they may have changed that. I know the miles required are different -- 2500 for one and 5000 for the other.

The coastal skipper theory exam is indeed exactly the same as the yachtmaster offshore theory exam. The only difference is that the pass mark for coastal skipper is 80%, the pass mark for yachtmaster is 100%.

I don't believe that coastal skipper is entirely useless, it gives you enough theory and understanding to get in and out of port. Everything else is experience. You're not going to learn anything in a classroom that is going to help you when things go tits-up out at sea, you have to learn it at sea. Coastal skipper is sufficient for ICC and most people sailing about the world have only that.

If you have yachtmaster offshore + STCW95 that's sufficient to find work on charter yachts or as a delivery skipper. Yachtmaster ocean is just bells and whistles.
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:11 AM   #104
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Yeah, seems we agree on that. I'm not sure I'd bother with the STCW95 since having to repeat training every few years seems to be an enormous waste of money to me. So far the only non-permanent certificate will be First Aid (which I'm doing on Saturday) and it's only one day every three years.

Being able to do deliveries would be nice but I suspect there are many more experienced out there who would be far more willing to risk their necks in a half-prepared vessel for less money.

My ultimate goal isn't to earn a living at this, it's to just get out there and enjoy myself, which is something I think I deserve at this stage of life.

Next on the list will be the Qld Boat Licence so I can legally operate yachts with an engine over 6hp. That also gets endorsed onto the ICC if you have it so it's not a wasted effort. I'll do that next week, there's a training school not 500 metres from here. I'll probably also order all the required books from the RYA site this weekend.

Nice to be making some firm steps in the direction of freedom.
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:33 AM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delatbabel View Post
Yachtmaster ocean is just bells and whistles.
Had to make this additional comment:

Bells, gongs and whistles are also covered in the Day Skipper Theory course. Yachmaster Ocean covers astronavigation and weather. Seems you have a good handle on using weather charts and gribs, and why anyone would want to take a noonsight in this day and age is anyone's guess. But then like you, I'm a computer nerd.

The usual reason given is, "What if your electronics fail?" What, two computers and the whole charging system? I can see that happening in a rollover maybe, but I'm pretty sure you'd also end up with soggy charts in that case. :-)

Besides, you always know what ocean you're in, and it can't be too hard to find someplace to land as long as the drinking water doesn't run out first.
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Old 10-17-2015, 06:55 AM   #106
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I ordered the RYA Nav Handbook (G6) and Nav Exercises (G7) on Friday night, to get a jump on the training. They should arrive in a week or so from the UK.

Just got back from the First Aid Course. Evidently it's three courses in one, including CPR which needs to be revised annually. They always find a way of getting your money. I'm pretty sure that as long as I begin training before the first year expires there should be no trouble, it would be unlikely they'd recheck that.

Also picked up this little beauty for $100.00 on the way home; one Lofrans Royal hand windlass. It needs an overhaul and the proper handle but the price was right.
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Old 10-17-2015, 03:25 PM   #107
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I keep a hand held GPS and VHF ready just in case of a lightning strike or similar catastrophe. I keep them in the microwave, otherwise known as a Faraday Cage.

There remains, however, a compelling reason for keeping a sextant on board. There is no better way to observe a solar eclipse than through the sighting scope after pulling all the filters across the mirror. And, it is nice to go back to the 1980s occasionally. I like to prove the accuracy of the GPS by shooting the odd noon-sight. 10 miles is a good result.

The sextant is fun and effective for pilotage. Triangulating one's position from fixed objects ashore using the sextant in a horizontal plane is one of those see-how-clever-I-am nautical pastimes that can be used to amuse the non- nauticians in a group. It can also be similar in intent to telling a neophyte to 'go practice tying some knots'.
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:59 AM   #108
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What is it that makes us yearn for the past? I'm reading Moitessier's "The Long Way" right now, his account of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe solo round-the-world race, and he rejects instruments entirely in favour of traditional methods learned while sailing junks as a youth in Vietnam.

It's all valid as long as it works.

I'll be reading Robin Knox-Johnston's account after this. Fascinating stuff, it makes me wish I were involved personally. These guys serve as my inspiration, as the leading lights showing me the way on.
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Old 10-20-2015, 02:45 AM   #109
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Halfway through Knox-Johnston's book and finding him a fairly boring read in comparison to Moitessier. In fact I got distracted enough to read "Among the Multihulls (parts 1 & 2)" by Jim Brown first. Loving this Kindle reader!

The local Lofrans winch dealer has been found and I ordered a new handle, barnacle stripper and maintenance kit today for $227.35 so will have that fixed and installed soon.
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:10 AM   #110
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Today I won a small victory against Optus. After rechanging my prepaid modem and finding that I had received 15Gb credit instead of the promised 22Gb I squawked to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. It took a bit of doing and I had to present a fairly convincing argument, but in essence they were using deceptive practices and are now aware that it's obvious to the keen observer.

Anyhow, apart from wasting 15 minutes talking to some company flunky in the complaints department it was relatively painless, and I hope they make their procedures a bit more transparent and honest in future. Fat chance, of course.
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:47 AM   #111
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Anyone have a recommendation for 10" Android tablets with GPS suitable for a secondary OpenCPN installation? I'm looking at the Samsung Galaxy T3 or one of the generic Chinese machines right now, main criterion should be low power so a dual core ARM chip would suffice. They all seem to start around $100 which is a bit steep when you can get a Lenovo T60 laptop for less.
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:01 AM   #112
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Wow, that was exciting.

I've hardly seen any rain in the two months I've been aboard here in Brisbane. About an hour ago the sky flashed and I heard a distant roll of thunder, but was engrossed in R. L. Stevenson's "Treasure Island" so took little notice. About 15 minutes ago it came down in buckets. I looked out and to my horror realized it was the highest tide I'd ever seen here, the exact wrong time to have a storm blow through. I gazed at nearby yachts leaning hard into the wind, then swinging wildly at anchor in circles, sure that at least one of them would break free and careen down the river toward the Gateway Bridge.

The leaks needed to be contained so I strategically placed a couple of buckets to catch the worst of them. Then I placed the lower board in its slot to reduce the flow from the cockpit, which was filling with the rain coming in sideways. About this time I realized the one of my heavy timber oars, which were still in the dinghy, was being blown out the transom endwise by the -approximately - 90km/h winds. I couldn't get the board out again so I jumped over it and caught the end of the oar when all but two inches had already gone over and was floating in the water. The rowlock was still hanging on as well.

Talk about a drenching! In less than 30 seconds my t-shirt and underpants were saturated. Thankfully I didn't have my trousers on, so I'll be able to wear them later while the rest of my clothes dry out.

That was as close as I've ever seen to a cyclone. No wonder people who come through them are dumbstruck with shock. Apparently all the local yachts are still here, and it blew out in very short order, with a rainbow and a peep of sunshine through the clouds to top it all off.
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