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Old 12-04-2005
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miyagi is on a distinguished road

I have been sailing for many years on a variety of boats from Opti to my Aloha 27 and crewed on a few bigger boats, even a little offshore experience. I took a intermediate bareboat skipper course recently for fun and to confirm for myself that I am on the right track. I am apparently.

I intend to take some more courses to increase my knowledge and experience etc but there seems to be a few different "Qualifications", Coast Guard captain licenses, ASA offshore course, US Sailing, Yachtmaster training etc etc.

My goal is to be a competent skipper to take myself and my next boat cruising. If I could even make some money skippering for someone else or delivering etc that would be a bonus.....

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Old 12-04-2005
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Irwin32 is on a distinguished road

If you are going to ask money to be a skipper for someone else you will need a Coast Guard license, which, from what I understand, is much harder to get than the other certifications you mention. I have an ASA, which has been helpful when chartering in the US, but outside nobody seems to care.

For your own personal cruising I would go with ASA, US sailing, or Power Squadron courses. There is no teacher like short cruises and gradually expanding your horizons. Joining a yacht club with a cruising program is a great way to sail with others who have the experience and you will learn a lot that way.

You have a lot of experience already and are probably better qualified than you realize.
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Old 12-05-2005
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nolatom will become famous soon enough

Regarding the Coast Guard license, technically you don''t need one for deliveries even if you do get paid (though most delivery skippers have one). It''s the carriage of passengers or freight for hire that requires a license.

The license exam isn''t all that hard if you''ve been sailing awhile, you can study from a class or book, or even read sample questions on line. What is hard is getting and documenting the underway time, it''s about 2 years of 8-hour minimum days if I recall correctly.

So what you need, in addition to a bareboat charter certification or something equivalent, is LOTS of skippering time on the water in all conditions with a variety of boats. Grab every chance to sail you can, and keep a log in case you decide to get a license.

Best of luck and good sailing.
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