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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear all,

Assuming on is an adult and knows how to sail and knows all the rules and reg, but doesn't have an actual International Certificate of Competence such as Yachtmaster, does it matter when sailing around the world on your own boat?

Has anyone encountered a situation when arriving in a new port/ or country, the authorities demanded to see additionally to passport, ships papers and so forth a Yachtmaster or similar competence certificate?

Any insight hugely appreciated!
JP
 

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Most countries require a certificate of competence in line with the requirements of the vessel’s flag state’s regulations. However I've had to show my certificate in various countries, such as Germany and Croatia, even though a certificate is not required in my country. Although we might have been able to convince the authorities that we did not need a certificate, having it sure helped. So you might consider it just a helping hand. Besides that, you always learn something when sailing, so taking the certificate is not a waste of time if you do it to learn :cool:
 

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In the States, no government license (read: Coast Guard operator's or captain's license) is required unless you're carrying passengers of freight for hire (meaning you're making money for the trip). So you can sail wherever you like if you're just carrying you and a crew, and they're not paying for the trip beyond just sharing expenses.

There are private certificates from private organizations, like ASA, USSA, or from England, the RYA. But they're just that, private, not public. Charter operators and insurance companies may like them, but they're not mandatory as far as I know.

But I recall the words, "sailing round the world" in your question. For that you need much experience. The private certificates can be evidence of that, but these certs are the creature of the last two decades or so. I'd think some long-distance sailors have the experience, but no card or license to show, nor is one required.

If I'm wrong on this, I'd welcome being educated by those who know better.
 

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Some countries require proof of basic competence. The UNEC introduced a section 40 ICC which could be issued by one country certifying that the holder met basic standards of training and thus could be exempted from another nation's requirements.
The level is basically day skipper.
The difficulty is that essentially only a small number of countries have adopted this - primarily in Europe and the med. Others have not but still require it. Some require it for coastal and some only for internal waterways. A special certificate may be required for the latter eg the French canals if another qualification is used other than the ICC.
I suspect that a charterer in the med would probably accept another certificate, as would the authorities for an individual given that most countries do not issue ICCs.
As stated these are often privately administered. I have heard of a NZ yachtmaster ocean certificate which was internationally based not being accepted for a UK charter where the newer RYA certificate was required. That may have been just a shortsighted charter company bureaucrat rather than a legal thing.
In short it is a mess. You are probably best off to have whatever training and certification you can receive in your own country, because it is of value in its own right. This will likely suffice but individual places may vary. You can then do any internal waterways certificate you require on the spot. I don't think it is a major provided you know the regulations and can learn them and do the test in your language.
 

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I kind of doubt that if you arrive intact in the Azores after having left Bermuda, Bahamas, or Caribbean, that they're going to demand some certificate of competence. You've already demonstrated competence by crossing an ocean and getting there.

That said, I think the advice above is good, you might as well get whatever certificates (public or private) you qualify for. Can't hurt, might possibly help.
 

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In the States, no government license (read: Coast Guard operator's or captain's license) is required unless you're carrying passengers of freight for hire (meaning you're making money for the trip). So you can sail wherever you like if you're just carrying you and a crew, and they're not paying for the trip beyond just sharing expenses.
Not quite true... here in Maryland to operate a vessel you must have passed a State Safety course IF you were born AFTER July 1st, 1972.
Maryland Boating Safety Course and Exam - Official Boating License and Boater Safety Course

I am sure some other states have similar laws.
 

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It is a good idea to pursue some form of certification if for no other reason than to educate yourself. Any course that is based on or roughly the equivalent of an RYA course will be good for your knowledge bank.

But I know of no country that will turn you away because you can't present them with a certificate of competence (assuming as stated in another post, that you're not doing it form reward).
 

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The other consideration is that some countries require proof of insurance (which not all cruisers have because it restricts movements and is appallingly expensive). Some, like Italy, require Italian insurance, I believe, an awkward and deterring regulation. Having an internationally recognized and roughly equivalent certification, however, like the U.S. OUPV or the RYA Yachtmaster/Oceanmaster, can lower one's premiums because the insurance companies recognize them as establishing some sort of baseline in the way that showing a logbook with sea hours listed can't (you could have all your sea hours on a Baltic ferry run in the summer, for instance, or have them rounding the Horn, and they aren't exactly equivalent).

So for this reason, they are an investment of sorts.
 

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Code Européen des Voies de la Navigation Intérieure

For the European inland waterways, you need an additional endorsement to your International Certificate of Competency (ICC). So if you intend to go inland here, you need something to endorse. :D
You also need to pass a simple test to get the endorsement.
http://www.unece.org/trans/doc/finaldocs/sc3/ECE-TRANS-SC3-115r3e.pdf
All those regulations are not my cup of tea, but they are enforced :hothead
 

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... a logical conclusion
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For the European inland waterways, you need an additional endorsement to your International Certificate of Competency (ICC). So if you intend to go inland here, you need something to endorse. :D
You also need to pass a simple test to get the endorsement.
http://www.unece.org/trans/doc/finaldocs/sc3/ECE-TRANS-SC3-115r3e.pdf
All those regulations are not my cup of tea, but they are enforced :hothead
Yup, I sure remember the CEVNI when I had my canal boat in France. Had to sit the exams in French back then; they've probably changed that now that the Code is available in English.
 

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Most countries require a certificate of competence in line with the requirements of the vessel's flag state's regulations. However I've had to show my certificate in various countries, such as Germany and Croatia, even though a certificate is not required in my country.
I've been in quite a number of maritime countries and no one has yet to ask of a certificate or license. Europe seems to be the only place that's making an issue of certification. I agree w/ Omatako that if you have the opportunity to take a certification course, by all means do so. That said, my guess is that on the 'milk run' route around the world you are not likely to encounter anyone who's going to ask to see your ticket.
 

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For the past dozen years or so Connecticut has issued (required) a Safe Boater Certificate to operate a vessel under power. 100' sailing vessel with no engine? No problem. 8' dinghy with an outboard? Have it on you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey guys, thanks a lot for all the info. I found that the best way to go is to get an ICC, which is easilly obtainable.

I agree with all that getting a proper RYA Yachtmaster (or Ocean Yachtmaster as I have) is the key to better sailing. I have sailed on the East Coast of the US only a bit so far and am shocked at the limited knowledge and seamanship of people here who have large boats and not much experience. In England where I live (Isle of Wight) people seem to have more "basic" knowledge. I may be wrong of course and I should not put my judgement early on a few outings.

But whatever you do, getting a proper sailing course is key. It makes you a better sailor.

The one Issue I am facing now is the US Reg vs. Documentation. As a foreigner that is an issue. Reg seems to work fine everywhere except in the Pacific where the French islands seem to have problems. Having a French passport I may get around the problem by "talking my way through it" but it is a risk. Anyone encountered any problems so far?

JP
 
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