qualifications and Training

Anyone can come on our Learn to Sail Holidays, and can either chose to just have an Activity Yachting course completion holiday, or to go for more formal Crew or Skipper certification. There are no prior requirements for the course completion holiday, but you will need to complete on line eLearning courses, in advance, to be eligible for certification. People going for the different levels can all be together on the same yacht, making these perfect for groups and families of mixed abilities and different holiday preferences.

For any course involving formal certification, the training that we offer follows the syllabus laid down by International Yacht Training (IYT) IYT LOGO for their recreational sailing programme's. The IYT recreational syllabus is a modular system which offers a very flexible approach, and courses have wide international recognition. Beginners can easily be trained to an International Crew level in a week, while those with prior experience can get to a Flotilla or Bareboat Skipper standard, with ICC assessments available for anyone eligible. Any of these skipper certificates allow you to charter and skipper yachts on your own in the future.

There are on line eLearning theory courses available for each level and these need to be completed in advance. This allows us to concentrate on the practical training during the holiday, with everyone working to the level that is appropriate for them. Practical progress is by ongoing assessment, and at some stage there will be a multiple choice written test for the theory which will be based on the eLearning for that level. Everybody going for certification will have to complete this.

All previous experience and knowledge, however obtained, will be relevant and the basic eLearning theory courses are all free to complete. This means anyone unsure of their level can start doing them to see where they are at. There are then additional costs either for the issuing of certificates after the training, or for certain more advanced parts of some eLearning courses.

This flexible approach ensures that all training we provide, follows internationally recognised standards and and that we can issue appropriate, recognised certification.  Equally it is essential that we do not forget that most people choosing to do their training with us are also looking for a holiday, and that often in any group or family not everybody will eventually want to become a skipper. 

Please see below for further guidance and details on the options available.

IYT Certificates Flow Chart


Activity Yachting Learn to Sail

This is our traditional Learn to Sail holiday which we have been operating for over 20 years. You spend a week on a yacht with an instructor and you sail with the flotilla. During the week you receive training to the same level as the International Crew Certificate, but there is no written test to do and no certification is issued.

This is the default option that anyone who has not completed one of the other eLearning courses prior to the holiday ends up doing.

This option is perfect for anyone that

  • just wants to try sailing for the first time
  • has no interest in certification, or does not want to spend time doing eLearning before the holiday

It is ideal for families or groups that are on a yacht where perhaps one or two people are looking to train to a skipper level but the others just want a fun holiday.

An Activity Yachting course completion certificate can be issued to anyone that wants one including junior ones for those under 14 years of age.

The IYT International Crew Certificate

IYT Log Book

All participents (min 14 years old) will be issued with an IYT Log Book, the, "International Boating & Sailing Passport", which details the full syllabus of the Recreational Training Programme, and is also a Log where you can record the details of the sailing and training that you do.

The International Crew covers from Modules 1 to 6, and at the end of the training, a Gold Seal and School Stamp is added to Module 6 as evidence of course completion.

Modules are both theoretical and practical, but at this level the theoretical elements will be covered as we go along during the practical week, and any necessary study materials will be provided on the training yacht.

Over the week, a complete beginner will cover

  • living on board a sailing yacht, and on board safety
  • sailing and yachting terminology
  • how to tie knots and handle ropes correctly,
  • the points of sail, and general wind and weather awareness
  • how to steer a yacht under sail and power,
  • handling the sails, mooring and anchoring,
  • basic navigation,
  • any other aspects relevant to gaining an International Crew Certificate.

At the end of the week you will be a useful crew member on any small yacht, and ready to start basic skipper training should you want to.


The IYT VHF-SRC course

The IYT Marine Communications course (Very High Frequency – Short Range Certificate) issued under the recognition of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, who operate one worlds largest Ship registries. It is intended for all marine environments and follows International standards.

The course provides radio communication training for recreational boating. Students will learn the correct use of the on board VHF radio, how to send a distress message correctly and learn about how EPIRBs, SARTs, AIS and DSC-enabled radios, are used effectively in marine communications.

Possession of a VHF operators licence is often a legal requirement when you charter a yacht, although this may not always be enforced, and possession of a VHF licence is now required by IYT for anybody hoping to get a Skipper certificate.

IYT offer a free eLearning course which anyone can do to in advance, so that everybody can get proper training. Anyone wanting to get the certificate should then complete an on line assessment which costs 95US$and then you must do an additional practical and written assessment at an IYT Training establishment.

In our case we can do this on the Yacht during a normal training holiday when you will be using the VHF on a daily basis.

All IYT certificates must be renewed every 5 years to ensure that contact details and photos are up to date, and this is done directly with IYT.

To do any IYT training you must

  • register as a Student which is free of charge and which you can do here
  • you can find the VHF eLearning here


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