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Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Power)
Tylerj280
Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 3:24 AM
Joined: 26/03/2012
Posts: 5


Hi everyone I'm 21 years old and interested in a career in yachting. I've been doing some research regarding fast track programs to the MCA RYA Yachtmaster Offshore (Power) Certification with Commercial endorsement and I'm thinking of doing it at the Allaboard Sailing Academy in Gibraltar (Allabroad | Allabroad Sailing Academy). The only boating experience I have is power boats in the 20ft range, so I figure the fast track course would be a great stepping stone. I would appreciate any thoughts, opinions, and advice that you may have on doing this. Also what would the job opportunities be like after finishing this course? (I'm not expecting to finish the course and immediately get a job as a skipper) I will be taking a 2 week STCW course at the beginning of May here in Canada.
Henning
Posted: Thursday, March 29, 2012 10:15 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064


Don't spend the money until you have a year in. When you hold the license you are held to a higher standard of care and liability than if you don't, including criminal implications added to an ordinary mistake/accident go bad. The ticket say's you are qualified to command, you have to answer if you are or not. Until you can answer the question "yes", there is no sense in having the rating. Besides, if you have a job often times the boat will pay your upgrades and continuing education.
Tylerj280
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 12:54 AM
Joined: 26/03/2012
Posts: 5


Henning thats a good point and it makes a lot of sense, but a lot of the jobs I'm seeing posted for deckhands require the yachtmasters certification. Ive seen on here and other sites where people with very basic qualifications are offering to work for free or very very little because they can't find jobs. Clearly lots of people are just looking for temp work while they are on breaks from school and theres more of them then there is job. Ill be looking for something permanent, is there still jobs out there?
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 1:47 PM
As mentioned in so many posts\blogs the tickets mean nothing if you don t have the experience to go with it. I would never employ a zero to hero yachtmaster as they have tried to take a shortcut on their training. Go get some experience first on boats do deliveries, start racing as crew through your local yacht club there are plenty of ways to get into this industry if your are truly keen about it and want to make a career not just a summer job.
Chief
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 5:32 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 342


"When you hold the license you are held to a higher standard of care and liability than if you don't, including criminal implications added to an ordinary mistake/accident go bad."

 

That might sound good in a Walter Mitty fantasy but I challenge you to find a single example of an MCA yacht license holder being held responsible for anything that has ever happened to or onboard a yacht.

 

It is truly a fantasy to think that criminal charges have ever been filed against a yacht crewmember for even willful negligence much less simple incompetence or an "ordinary mistake/accident."


Azzag
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 8:30 PM
Joined: 05/02/2009
Posts: 9


Personally I would never again hire a green deckhand who has done a fast track course. I have done it more than once and every time I have found that that the attitude, level and depth of knowledge is not there. If I am taking on a newbie then I want someone who is keen and interested in what I teach them, honest about what they don't know and not come back with "when I was in school they taught us this" type comments.
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 9:40 PM
Hey, I think that slow and steady wins the race, what i mean by that is take the time to get your qualifications, don't rush, start with a day skipper course and theory then move up as and when your ready. I have my Coastal Skipper and have been working as a Deckhand for the last year, I have learnt so much in my first year and hope to keep learning for many years to come, being female it took me a while as i only had my CS not my YM but I was patient and the perfect job came along for me. The right job is out there and I know a lot of people who would hire green crew if they have the right attitude and willing to learn. I plan to take my YM this winter. Take your time be patient and positive! Good Luck
Francois
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 9:59 PM
Joined: 31/01/2011
Posts: 2


I have to agree with all of you and my next question to this subject follows. How is a RYA Coarse with a MCA approved commercial endorsement different to a MCA coarse? If you would like to futher your career in yachting is this a rout you can take?
Captain Brian
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 10:06 PM
Joined: 20/06/2008
Posts: 5


Here r a few things u need to know first, it's not a cheap class! Second MAKE SHURE U KNOW THE RULES OF THE ROAD FIRST BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE!!!!! Go on www.utube.com get a RYA training book and chart #3 Search for Duncan Wells doing this ahead will HELP A "H---" of a lot if u want to learn course to steer or EP what ever prep for it. Books can be Purchased from RYA web site if u r in the UK or Bluewater Books and charts in Ft. Lauderdale on line as well! Lastly yes it gives u a leg up make certain u can drive dock a vessel. It's a complicated course for a rookie so look into an know your "Ship" (can't use the t) Study study study KNOW RULES OF ROAD BEFORE U ANYTHING ELSE ! Good luck!!
toymaker
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 10:39 PM
Joined: 22/04/2011
Posts: 2


I agree with the common ground of the answers you have received so far - Stay away from any kind of "fast track" especially if it somehow awards you a certificate without having to put in the real seatime. Your experience ultimately means more than the piece of paper you hold. If you are somehow able to acquire that certificate by those fast-track means, it only reduces the credibility of that certificate no matter if it's an MCA RYA YM or an MCA IYT MOY. The offshore (RYA) or Limited (IYT) certificates typically require in the neighborhood of 3-4000 logged miles. The candidate honestly shouldn't attempt to gain the certificate unless a significant amount of these miles were actually at the helm of a proper sized commercial (or similar) vessel, involving several crossings of 60 miles+ as well as overnight and multi-days on-board - not weekends on "dad's" 20ft ski boat. If you feel you need to acquire some sort of "Yachtmaster", at least do the coastal version and STCW'95, get a job on a yacht, then when you're ready and logged some appropriate seatime, pursue earning the MCA RYA YM Offshore/MCA IYT MOY Limited certification.
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 11:08 PM
"I would never employ someone who has done a Fast Track Course as a Deckhand" I think most of you are missing the point! Provided you have been to a reputable Training Centre, I think you do leave prepared as well as anyone else. You will learn a great deal. Contrary to opinion on here, you do need to complete the Sea miles. You do need to complete the Skippered Passages and you also need to have been deemed Competant to have passed the Practicle exam. I fail to see how driving a deckbrush for a season makes you a more competant sailor? I doubt very much if the average Skipper will ever take an interest in you and let you put down the Chamois Leaher, while he teaches you the finer points of Close Quarter Boat Handling and Man Overboard Drills! Enough said
Tylerj280
Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2012 7:22 AM
Joined: 26/03/2012
Posts: 5


I have to agree with anonymous I think most people are missing the point of the fast track course. The course is in no way fast or meant to make it easier and cut the miles and time needed by law to get the license, it takes 3 to 4 months to complete and throughout the course you gain all the required miles amount of skippered passages and a multitude of other skills. The examiners are not affiliated with the school they are completely separate and appointed of the RYA or MCA. Now I also understand where Azzag is coming from with people that have taken this course thinking they know everything. Even if these types didn't take the course I'm sure you would have problems with them anyways. It doesn't matter what you learnt in the course, you always do things the way the captain wants them done unless it places the vessel, crew, passengers or anyone else in danger or it is illegal. Who are you going to trust more with the tender the guy with just STCW and Power Boat 2 or the one that has a 200GT Master limited (Power) that had to pass a 8-12 hour practical examination?
Mike
Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2012 9:49 AM
Joined: 15/11/2010
Posts: 37


So basically you want the ticket, and want to get hired for having the ticket, yet dont want to put in the time to earn it?! No. . Get out there like others, prove you are worth hiring, get a job, and work and figure out if you really want to do this for a living. Its not a "laid back easy life" like it looks like. .
Ian Seward
Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2012 10:57 AM
Joined: 22/10/2011
Posts: 1


I have been a large commercial yacht captain for many years and hold a masters unlimited licence. I am also an examiner of yacht masters. I have started to see a trend in a lot of candidates who come from large yachts and present themselves for their exam. They have many many miles of sea time but all on large luxury yachts where we all know they have not really taken too much of an active part in the operation and safe navigation. What a large percentage of them lack is experience and time in charge. Now I a not for or against the fast track system but bear in mind that in my experience as an examiner the majority of fast track candidates do have the miles of experience as well as having been left in command on a yacht/boat. Most schools factor in weeks in the course where the candidate take a yacht away on their own with no instructor present, to complete the prerequisite miles and gain experience as a skipper. I can say that many of tehe fast track candidates are good. What young and ambitious deckhands need to realise is that just because the yacht master is a pre-requisite for OOW it should not be looked at as just another weeks course. They should start at day skipper and gain valuable experience, read the syllabus, do the theory, get some more miles, keep working on the deck, quiz the chief mate or the captain, learn the rules, and only when they are ready go for the exam. If they are not up to it they will fail. The yacht master is not designed for large yachts, you cannot gain all of the experience for the YM exam purely from working on a large yacht. And don't be too quick to knock the fast track scheme. Or any other part of the Yacht Master scheme. Or the IYT scheme, or for that matter the MCA Scheme. Knock the examiners who are not doing their job properly, and putting people out there who are not up to the standard.
junior
Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2012 6:28 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


As you know Ian, to be a valuable crew member ...deckhand, stewardess...whatever, a young person needs a yachtmaster ticket. The introductory ticket like the yachtmasters proves keen interest by its holder, but its not a license to run yachts...The yachtmasters allows a crew to operate the tender without a chaperon If a crew seeking employment on the yachts cant drive a tender , they are useless and should not be on the water. To the original poster , Your yachtmasters will be what allows you to out compete the Retail store summer blow ins when competing for your first job. ...Super fast track your ticket at the cheapest facility you can find... then get a deck job and gain seatime , knowledge. The yachtmaster ticket is rules of the road, basic chart work and navigation, safety, communications..... Very simple. Go for it, then get to work. Plenty of work out here for keen young seaman.
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2012 7:58 PM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


Unbelievable 180 degree u-turn from junior who has always, always ridiculed people with paper qualifications in favour of 'real sailors' who learn their trade on their hands and knees, etc, etc. Now junior is advocating one to get the cheapest, fastest 'ticket' then go get the experience. A complete contradiction to all your past sermons junior. What next? encouraging rufty-tufty-salty sailors to quit and becme gin palace janitors?....
junior
Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2012 8:53 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Gee Spanner....When a sailor is born, he is issued a birth certificate plus a Yachtmasters so that he may get on with life. As you know, a young sailor can chalk up a hundred thousand miles before his stinkpot colleague learns which side of the boat to pee pee off. Even though this basic Yachtmaster piece a paper may take 30 or 40 years for a "Man Of Stink" to achieve, its a birth right for sailors and means little.. Wheel Time and sea miles , not time watching videos in the gin palace mess while cultivating hemorrhoids and sea school boy scout badges , means everything on a sailing resume. Paper is just paper.
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Sunday, April 1, 2012 9:03 PM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


Junior, unlike you 'rufty-tufty-salty-sea dog' types motor yacht crew do not need to pee over the side. We have sophisticated sewage and grey water treatment systems and comfortable air conditioned crew accommodations. And, did you notice the title of this post? Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Power) POWER, junior, POWER. I have yet to read any comments from motor yacht crew denegrading sailors in the same manner as you habitually put down motor yachts and their crew. You do this at every possible opportunity ie; every post and every topic.
Tylerj280
Posted: Monday, April 2, 2012 7:36 PM
Joined: 26/03/2012
Posts: 5


Ian thanks for the reply, some good info. Junior according to the MCA regulations a YM cert that has been commercially endorsed is a license to run yachts upto 200GT or be the OOW on yachts upto 500GT. Im not expecting to finish this course and get a job as a captain, sure it would be nice but its just not going to happen, maybe ill get lucky and get a mates position and start working towards the Master 500GT.
Anonymous
Posted: Monday, April 2, 2012 8:12 PM
Well said Rusty Wrench. People ask questions on here to get advice and answers from those with experience, not to get put down. [Comment edited by moderator]

Rusty Wrench
Posted: Monday, April 2, 2012 8:28 PM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


Well said anonymous.
kapt_mark
Posted: Monday, April 2, 2012 9:29 PM
Joined: 30/06/2008
Posts: 85


there is almost always a yacht master discussion taking place on this website.  Perhaps an 'L' plate system should be in place based on sea time and experience before you become a fully fledged licensed Master? The current 5 passages over 60nm and 2700 is a bench mark and could represent the 'provisonally licensed master' like the car system, able to drive with someone holding a license (with accompanying seatime) over 5 years for the first year or two (of actual seatime)?

Linda @ Aigua Sea School
Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 1:25 PM
Joined: 03/06/2011
Posts: 9


There are pros and cons of the Fast Track process and a lot of boils down to the school you choose to train with. I run an RYA trainin centre in Palma de Mallorca and do not believe that any Yachtmaster fastracks should take place in the Mediterranean or areas that are not truly tidal. First of all, I would suggest training on the Solent in the UK ... now that's proper tidal! Choose a school that will provide training on many different yachts, re: size and power and ensure there is plenty of 'students left-alone' mileage to be gained. Also ensure they can offer you different instructors as you need to learn from as many different people as you can. As a school principal I despair when students walk in asking for a yachtmaster exam claiming they have thousands of sea miles ... yeah? When did you last park the boat? Anchor the yacht? Navigate blind? Take command during heavy weather? At least when you're training on the smaller yachts provided in the fast track courses you will DO that, actually YOU doing it. I dont agree with the current industry thinking that the YM is a deckhand qualification, it was never meant to be, but at least when a candidate comes forward from a Fast track programme they have actually taken command of a yacht, taken responsibility and that is missing from a lot of candidates who rack up sea miles with a polishing cloth in hand! If you do decide on this plan of action choose wisely and I strongly suggest the Solent. Good luck.
kapt_mark
Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 10:06 PM
Joined: 30/06/2008
Posts: 85


Well, I hope you dont offer said course because if you do, you just shot yourself in the foot dont you think?

Tylerj280
Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 11:41 PM
Joined: 26/03/2012
Posts: 5


Linda, can you recommend a good school to check out? I don't want to do the sail course, even tho it opens more doors my main focus of M/Ys so id like to have all my sea time on one of those. Afterwards I may look into getting some sail training but not immediately.
valter
Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 1:01 AM
Joined: 21/05/2008
Posts: 11


Tyler: http://www.mendezmarine.co.uk/about_us.htm

Linda: If in good part of RYA exams half of your questions were asked, there would be a serious shortage of crew in the industry! Plus, crew agencies would need to start asking for real experience instead of papers. Something that some astute yacht Owners and management companies have already started to do.

 
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