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License Progression

Discussion in 'Licensing & Education' started by EdLee, Apr 18, 2012.

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  1. EdLee

    EdLee New Member

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    Advance thanks if anybody can help along with this.

    I understand that most license owners of higher categories are using them for commercial purpose. Eg; chartered yachts. My personal research seemed to point that owners operating larger yachts are in a limbo compared to commercial yacht captains.

    Many have asked why I wanted a Yachtmaster license when a powerboat is sufficient for me to move around in a small craft. Well, there's always the insurance hurdle and I desire to travel longer and in a larger yacht for my own trips. My enquiry never fails to invoke a great debate on RYA vs IYT so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    At any point my understanding is incorrect, please advise me and I will be highly appreciative. I am in the planning stage of acquiring my UK licenses because the leisure boat license in my country is, well - crap! (Crap so bad that not even insurance companies recognizes it outside the local territory)



    1. I was told by some schools that for all my levels for Yachtmaster, I need to have a licensed captain onboard my vessel to supervise my voyage. Some schools (in Thai mostly) offered to assign a RYA-certified captain solely for those voyage for a 'small fee' instead of employing one full-time.

    I read in RYA syllabus, nowhere it stated any such requirement. Is the above true?



    2. Are the Yachtmaster license already commercial license in their own rights? Some told me yes, some told me no. RYA says I need a separate CeC together with my license, some schools told me it is already included in the license. Now, I'm confused with UK licensing.



    3. Different schools have given different routes and again, they are confusing me. What would be a good progression path?

    a. RYA Powerboat
    b. Yachtmaster Coastal
    c. Yachtmaster Offshore
    d. Yachtmaster Ocean
    e. Master 200GT Limited
    f. Master 200GT Unlimited / OOW 500GT

    Have I miss any in the above progression?



    4. It also seems to me that anything beyond Master 200GT is extremely difficult. What if I am an owner and wishes to operate my own vessel above 200GT or above 500GT in years to come?

    Based on my understanding from RYA's information, the subsequent licensing after 200GT Unlimited requires extensive periods of at-sea time and/or aboard a certain size of yacht. Sometimes, not in command but as Chief Mate maybe. Yet if I have my own full-time job, I can't possibly be working onboard a yacht like professional yacht crew do. Is this some kind of bummer for me?

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    Advice will be nice. I am merely a soul wishing to bring my own (larger) vessel around that's all. I am happy with my land-based career. I have no intention of being a commercial charter captain. But I ain't doing that yet without the right knowledge and skills required.

    Much thanks!
  2. triggerfish23

    triggerfish23 Member

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    Ed,

    I don't have much info for you regarding the yachmaster licenses because I am a lowly USCG license holder, but heres a thought you may want to consider. (I base this on the thought that you are looking to own operate your own yacht that is 100' +. Is that correct?)

    Most insurance companies (in my experience)are going to require at least 3 people aboard any time the vessel is underway. Why not hire an adequate captain to gain the sea service your insurance requires? Obviously you would want to discuss the requirements your insurance company has prior to putting forth the effort, but it may be a way to avoid the costly (financially and time) yachtmaster license.

    I know several captains who have gone aboard with the understanding that they are there to help train or sign off the owner. If you do that, I would recommend that you be very clear with it up front. Most of us don't like the, "I'm the owner and I'm going to drive" line out of the blue. As you probably know, we carry the liability.

    In addition, it sounds like you have a work schedule and having the extra person aboard to help take care of your equipment will be invaluable. Especially if you are planning on cruising out of your normal area and away from service providers you know/trust.

    It's kind of a lot of thoughts, but it seems like you might have a better (less expensive, less time consuming, simpler) option than getting a license yourself. I don't think any of us captains feel threatened by your acquisition a license. You have a job that provide financial security to buy a yacht, we have jobs that allow us to drive other people's yachts...not afford our own.

    Sorry I couldn't give any advice or info on the yachmaster questions, but I though it was worth commenting. Please let me know if you would like clarification on any of my suggestions. Good luck, Trig.
  3. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    EdLee, Elsewhere on here you posted about your Coastguard experience chasing Pirates, does this not give you some sort of qualification to run a boat or were you just staring down the barrel of a 30mm cannon?
  4. EdLee

    EdLee New Member

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    That's a correct assumption. Not now but perhaps in the future.

    There is definitely a team of crew and judging by the goal I've set for myself, the team will comprise of between 10 to 12 crews across deck, engine and interior. I apologize if I gave the impression that I meant managing a 150 footer single-handed. That would be insane.

    Somebody else suggested this to me and I thank you for offering the same solution. It affirms that this method could be a workable one. No harm having another experienced captain around to sign me off and I can learn something from him through the process. It would be invaluable.

    There are two type of owners in general. One who can afford to own a yacht and care about little else other than to let others get the nitty-gritty stuffs done while enjoying the pampering. There is a second type of owners (very much like small cruiser owners) who enjoys dirtying our hands and managing it ourselves. I guess I just happen to belong to the second category.

    Do not apologize because you did raise some valid points which will add to my basket of thoughts and planning.

    Thank you Trig. Your comments are very much appreciated.

    Ed
  5. EdLee

    EdLee New Member

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    Indeed, I was on helms, I did radar watch, I was also the chief radio officer onboard. The really unfortunate thing was that the validations were of an internal sort and not recognized on a commercial aspect. For me to convert it to the commercial aspect, it required me to fork out my own cash, disrupt my work then for 3 years to go through a maritime course. Neither of those were an sound option for me back then.

    When I said commercial aspect, I meant just like many others on container ships and oil tankers.

    Considering that I have left the force for an extended period of time, I have lost records of my sea-time and I figured the best approach is to start fresh from the ground rather than relying on sweet memories of the past. I don't want to mess around with my crew lives. Ultimately at the end of the days, all of us have families to go back to. So I better get myself properly trained.

    Lastly, given that my country's maritime authority is as good as having zero development plans in terms of policies and industry push, I decided to give up pursuing any more local 'licenses' and now looking towards UK's RYA or IYT. I know very well I may have to register my yacht under a red flag and with a local ownership of a foreign yacht, I will be in a legal limbo like many other yacht owners here where I am. But that's another issue so I shall not spread it here.

    Cheers!
  6. triggerfish23

    triggerfish23 Member

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    Ed,

    I'm glad you thought my advice was valid. You sound like you're one of the great owners to work with. It's always refreshing to find an owner that wants to be involved, while still being reasonable.

    Based on the little bit of history I know of you, it looks like a captain may learn a few things from you too. I hope you are able to find a solution that works perfectly for your situation.

    Happy cruising,

    Trig
  7. EdLee

    EdLee New Member

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    Thanks Trig.

    Interestingly, my unprofessional research pointed out to me that many First/Chief Mate also hold the corresponding Master license but they are employed as Chief Mate alongside a much more experienced Master. I can see the justification for this, such that should the Master be downed for whatever reasons, the First Mate can easily step up to take command of the ship. Pretty much like how a XO takes over from the CO of a military ship.

    I don't think this works for me since it doesn't make a lot of sense to have a First Mate signing off for a Master-to-be (even though the First Mate is a qualified Master) unless he is officially crewed as the Captain of the vessel? Is my understanding correct or wrong? Or is there more to it?
  8. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    There are far more mate's positions than master's so of course there are many holders of master's licenses sailing as mate ... this is the way of the world. Very few ship operators outside yachting will hire anyone directly into a master's position. They hire them as chief mate and observe how they work before giving them a ship.

    If you get "signed off" by someone who holds a master's license you are getting signed off by a master. There is a difference between the level of license held and the position in which a person is employed.

    If you are trying to obtain a sign off while onboard a vessel that has both a master and a mate on the crew then of course it should be the master who signs your testimonial or whatever, if he won't but the mate will then there is something funny going on.
  9. EdLee

    EdLee New Member

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    Thank you Marmot for that bit of clarification. Certainly clears up who I should seek ultimately.

    Thank you once again.