Learn To Sail with Seafarer Training

RYA Training in the Ionian


f you are looking to take an RYA training course, the sheltered waters of the Ionian is a perfect location, as the inland sea is protected by the islands of Lefkas and Kefalonia.

Our School, Seafarer Training, is located on the sheltered east side of the island, ideally situated to head either south to the islands of Kefalonia, Ithaca and beyond or north towards Paxos and Corfu. If you are taking either the Competent Crew or Day Skipper course, our tuition yachts generally head south, with protected waters and plenty of harbours and bays for mooring and pilotage. If you are looking to go beyond Day Skipper, either Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster Preperation, then the waters to the north of Lefkas offer open seas, longer passages and busier waters around Corfu.


f you value your privacy we could also charter your own boat for private tuition whilst working towards an Royal Yachting Association (RYA) accredited qualification. You’ll stay on board a dedicated training yacht not shared with other students, with an RYA instructor at your side to guide and instruct, as you cruise around the Ionian Sea. Depending on your previous experience, you’ll fly home with a Start Yachting, Competent Crew or Day Skipper feather firmly in your nautical cap.


f you are looking to charter a yacht, either as part of a flotilla or on a bareboat basis, then the RYA Day Skipper practical course is the right choice. This will give you all the practical skills to charter in the coastal areas of the Mediterranean. The RYA Day Skipper certificate also enables you to obtain the internationally recognised International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

Safety Information

Seafarer Training and the other partner RYA sailing schools we recommend are fully recognised by the Royal Yachting Association. Tuition yachts are regularly inspected and comply with RYA / MCA guidelines and Codes of Practice for Sail Training Yachts. All instructors for both RYA and Non RYA courses advertised are RYA qualified commercially endorsed yachtmasters and cruising instructors as a minimum.

You can be reassured that safety procedures and equipment are regularly monitored and inspected to comply with both the British RYA and Greek maritime authority regulations.

At Seafarer we ensure that all our recommended courses are both safe and enjoyable offering a high standard of tuition and comfort.

We ensure that:

  • You are under the supervision of an RYA qualified instructor whilst at sea.
  • All our RYA instructors hold the requisite first aid certificates and are fluent in English (all courses delivered in English, as per RYA regulations).
  • Safety equipment on our tuition yachts complies with both local and British regulations.
  • All yachts have DSC VHF radios, handheld VHF radios and mobile phones.
  • Slimline inflatable life jackets, harnesses and crotch straps are provided for each person aboard, with extra spares carried.
  • For your comfort, all yachts are equipped with Bimini sun tops (sun shade), hot water with deck shower, electric fridge, fully equipped galley and radio / CD player.
  • Accommodation on board is in double / twin / single cabins or saloon berth. Sheets, pillow cases, pillows, blankets / duvets and towels are all provided.
  • Instructor / student ratio is maintained at a maximum of 5 students per instructor, in line with RYA codes of practice.

Frequently asked questions

Why should I learn in Greece?

Firstly, as your course is run over a longer period than you generally find in the UK, there is more time for the syllabus, but also for the skills you need for sailing in the Mediterranean. Secondly, you can enjoy a holiday alongside our flotilla, taking advantage of all the social aspects of our holidays. Thirdly, unlike the Solent, you can be virtually guaranteed some sunshine and warm, clear waters to swim in!

What's included in my course?

Your course on one of our tuition yachts includes the following:

  • Instruction from RYA qualified instructors
  • Provisioning for breakfast & light lunch
  • All mooring fees and local port taxes
  • Diesel, water & gas
  • Participation in flotilla activities
  • End cleaning
  • Bed linen
  • Course completion certificate (if successful!)
  • Automatic discount when booking your next Seafarer holiday

What experience do I need?

The RYA Sail Cruising scheme is designed to appeal to all, and learning in the warm waters of the Ionian is a prefect way to combine a holiday with achieving your sailing qualifications. Recommended pre-course requirements are detailed in the course section below.

Which course is right for me?

Most adults start their yachting with an RYA Competent Crew course which is an ideal introduction to yachting over the course of a week. Day Skipper courses are ideal for those with crewing experience but if in doubt, call us and we will be happy to discuss the options available to you. If you choose the Day Skipper or Coastal Skipper course, you will be assessed on your first day of tuition to determine whether your experience, both practical and theoretical, is at the required stage to proceed with your chosen course. If the instructor deems that you require more experience, then they will advise on the best route for your week of tuition.

Should I take a tidal or non-tidal course?

As of January 2017, there is no non-tidal endorsement to the Day Skipper or Coastal Skipper qualification, and all training centres are obliged to teach the tidal elements of the courses, irrespective of whether they are conducted in tidal waters or not. Everyone receives the same Day Skipper certificate, and we try, wherever possible, to practically demonstrate tidal elements of the syllabus alongside the theory during your course.

Do I need a visa for my trip to Greece?

No, for British citizens, a tourist visa is not required.

Will I have to pay mooring fees?

No, all the running costs of the yacht are included in your course price.

What wind conditions can I expect?

Generally the prevailing wind is from the North / North West and the strength ranges from force 2 to force 5. Stronger sailing breezes can generally be expected in the afternoons, between 2 and 5pm. Due to the mountainous nature of the islands, you can usually count on some great local winds – your instructor will know where to be at the right time!

How much cash should I take with me?

Obviously this will depend on what your plans are, but generally you can expect to pay around 15 euros per person for an evening meal. Although most places take card, it is good practice to have enough cash with you to cover any bill. Cash points are available on many of the islands – your instructor knows exactly where and when you can get more and they will keep you updated as your holiday progresses. Travellers cheques are no longer readily accepted, and of course the Euros is the currency used in Greece.

Where in the UK can I fly from?

You can fly directly to Preveza Airport from London Gatwick, Birmingham or Manchester. For more regional choices, you can fly into Corfu, although it will take much longer to reach our base than from Preveza.

How far is the base from the airport?

Preveza airport is ideally located for our base, and the transfer (which we are happy to arrange for you) takes no more than 40 minutes, always by air conditioned cars, mini buses or coaches.

Learn to Sail Course certificates

Our Tuition Yachts

Our main fully coded RYA Training Yacht in the Ionian is the Bavaria 44 “Agios Nikolaos”. With two double guest cabins and one twin guest cabin, the yacht is never overcrowded. With an ample cockpit, twin wheel steering and spacious saloon, there is room for everyone to spread out and relax. The yacht is fully equipped with TV & DVD player, music system with cockpit speakers, deck shower, hot water and all the safety equipment required to make your course safe, secure and relaxing.

Yacht Inventory

Sailing Inventory

  • Furling genoa
  • In-mast furling mainsail
  • Storm jib
  • Self-tailing winches
  • Spinnaker pole
  • Running rigging for pole triangulation

Safety Equipment

  • Greek regulation life jackets
  • Slim line inflatable life jackets
  • Fixed DSC VHF radio + handheld VHF radio
  • Emergency VHF aerial
  • Jack Stays
  • Life Raft
  • 2 x Lifebuoy (with lights), Danbuoy and throwing line
  • Emergency tiller
  • Gas detector in saloon
  • Smoke detectors in each cabin

Exterior Equipment

  • Twin Wheel steering
  • Bimini sun top
  • Sprayhood
  • Wind, speed & depth instruments
  • Electric windlass, bow anchor and chain
  • Mooring warps, spare warps, long line (50m)
  • Kedge anchor & chain
  • Dinghy and outboard engine
  • Cockpit cushions
  • Cockpit speakers
  • Cockpit shower
  • Brush and boat hook

Navigation Equipment

  • GPS Chartplotter
  • Local area charts
  • Pilot book / Cruising guide, logbook
  • List of lights
  • Dividers, plotter, hand bearing compass
  • Binoculars
  • Pencils, rubber, sharpener, notepad

Domestic Equipment

  • Plates, side plates, bowls and cutlery
  • Saucepans, frying pans, cooking utensils
  • Tea towels, kitchen roll, washing up liquid, bin bags
  • Glasses, mugs, cafatiere, corkscrew

Additional yachts: We can also offer tuition on our Bavaria 39 (3 cabins, 2 heads), Bavaria 37 (3 cabins, 1 head).

For those looking for private tuition, we have a selection of yachts available, including 2016 model yachts and larger yachts for bigger boat experience.


The Seafarer Training sea school is located on the east coast of Lefkas island. The island is connected to the mainland by a causeway providing a quick and easy transfer from the airport in Preveza.

Alternatively you may wish to fly to Athens which offers greater flexibility of carriers and arrival times. From Athens a coach, costing approximately 35 euros, will take you directly to Lefkas in 5.5 hours.

Reliable sunshine in the Ionian is virtually guaranteed during the season between early May and late October, with temperatures ranging from the low 20s in early and late season up to the high 30s in July and August. Sailing conditions are generally moderate with winds typically force 2-4. More challenging sailing is available further south.

Sunday morning charter flights from London Gatwick to Preveza airport with afternoon return. Regional charter flights from Manchester and Birmingham are also available. Flight Time is approximately 3 hours.

The transfer time from Preveza airport to our base takes approximately 45 minutes. We would be happy to arrange this for you if required.

Course Information

Sailing is a social sport and an RYA sailing course can be an ideal holiday and way to make new friends. Our RYA instructors have all been chosen for their sociable approach as well as their expertise to make the time you spend with us as much fun as it is a learning experience. Our 6 day tuition courses operate alongside both our ionian flotillas and give students the opportunity to enjoy mixed company evening meals with like-minded sailors.

The non-tidal waters of the Ionian are ideal area to start yachting and learn to sail for both novice and advanced students alike, offering not only sheltered waters but, a good selection of lights, buoys , and situations that will enhance your learning experience as you progress through the RYA sail training programme. The winds tend to be light in the mornings and give plenty of opportunity to practice boat handling skills. By mid-afternoon the wind builds providing excellent sailing. There are plenty of locations where we can find stronger gusts to safely demonstrate more demanding sailing skills..

Our sea school ethos has always been to put safety first and we hope to empower each of our students by offering simple and patient instruction, in order that they may gain confidence in their own ability as they learn how to sail and to take their first steps as skipper or to undertake longer offshore coastal passages.

Whilst The RYA training programme can be joined at any level from competent crew to Yachtmaster, we welcome family groups and our 6 day courses have a good balance of tuition and plenty of fun time. Children have a chance to meet other kids and enjoy the social aspects of our flotilla groups. Our flotilla groups organise a full variety of events including welcome parties, beach parties, dinghy races and organised trips ashore to keep everyone entertained.

We often combine our RYA Competent Crew and Day Skipper courses on the same tuition yacht, so that students might learn from each other. The maximum student/instructor ratio is 5:1. Our coastal skipper courses are ideal for those who already have the recommended minimum pre-course experience.

Students are accommodated in shared cabins with options for sole occupancy also available. We supply fresh bedding, pillows and towels. All Marina fees and fuel costs are included. Tea & coffee, bottled drinking water, provisioning for continental breakfast, light lunches and snacks are supplied whilst aboard. We recommend that students eat ashore in the evening in one of the many excellent tavernas, often meeting with our flotilla groups in the Ionian islands.

On arrival at our base you will be greeted by our instructors and shown to your yacht where you will be given a basic safety brief and free to relax for the night or mix with other clients. Our courses start on the Monday morning and run for 6 days until mid afternoon the following Saturday. We organise a farewell dinner with flotilla groups in Lefkas on the Saturday night which is always good fun. Transfers and flights usually take place on Sunday morning and clients are welcome to stay on board until then.

If you want to find out whether you might love sailing then this is the course for you! You do not need any previous sailing experience and is an excellent introduction to the RYA training scheme. The course is great for those who are looking to learn a little whilst enjoying their holiday, or for younger children in your party who want to get involved in the sailing.

The course provides an opportunity to be involved in handling the boat under sail and power and can be completed at a leisurely pace whilst others are completing their competent crew or day skipper courses.

Experience and skills gained on the course can then count towards your RYA Competent Crew course if you decide that sailing is for you! Once you have completed the course your Instructor will sign your logbook to enable you to keep a record of your sea miles and syllabus completed. On successful completion of your RYA Start Yachting Course you will also receive a Start Yachting RYA certificate.

Pre-course Requirements: None

Recommended minimum age: 8

Course Syllabus:
  • The yacht – Basic knowledge of sea terms, parts of a boat, her rigging and sails
  • Ropework – Ability to tie four different knots, as well as securing a rope to a cleat and use of winches and jamming cleats.
  • Underway – Experience sailing a yacht on all points of sail and steer a yacht under sail and power.
  • Rules of the road – Keeping an efficient look out at sea.
  • Meteorology – Know where and when to obtain a weather forecast.
  • Man overboard recovery – Understand the action to be taken to recover a man overboard.
  • Clothing and equipment – Understand and comply with the rules for the wearing of safety harnesses, lifejackets and personal buoyancy aids.
  • Emergency equipment and precautions – Awareness of hazards on board a yacht and know the actions to be taken in the event of an emergency.

The completion certificate is included in the cost of your course.

This course is ideal for beginners to learn the basics and for those who would like to become active crew members rather than just passengers. By the end of this 6 day course you will not only be competent but a confident member of the yacht crew and be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day routines associated with the vessel.

During our Competent Crew course you will spend 6 days aboard the yacht visiting many of the harbours and anchorages of the Ionian and have the opportunity to complete a longer passage and to experience some night sailing. We often meet up with our flotilla groups and share evening meals.

Safety is paramount in all RYA courses and you will learn how to operate flares, life jackets, safety harnesses, life-rafts and how to assist the recovery of a man overboard. At the end you will be awarded the RYA Competent Crew Certificate and be an asset to any crew you join.

Pre-course Requirements: None

Recommended minimum age: 12

Course Syllabus:

  • Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat, her rigging and sails – sufficient knowledge to understand orders given concerning the sailing and day-to-day running of the boat.
  • Sail handling – Bending on, setting, reefing and handling of sails. Use of sheets and halyards and their associated winches.
  • Ropework – Handling ropes, including coiling, stowing, securing to cleats and single and double bollards. Ability to tie the following eight knots and to know their correct use: figure-of-eight, clove hitch, bowline, round turn and two half hitches, single and double sheet bend, reef knot.
  • Fire precautions and fighting – Awareness of the hazards of fire and the precautions necessary to prevent fire. Knowledge of the action to be taken in the event of fire.
  • Personal safety equipment – Understands and complies with rules for the wearing of safety harnesses, life jackets and personal buoyancy aids.
  • Man overboard – Understands the actions to be taken to recover a man overboard.
  • Emergency equipment – Can operate distress flares and knows when they should be used. Understands how to launch and board a life raft
  • Manners and customs – Understands accepted practice with regard to: use of burgees and ensigns, prevention of unnecessary noise or disturbance in harbour including courtesies to other craft berthed. Aware of the responsibilities of yacht skippers to protect the environment.
  • Rules of the road – Is able to keep an efficient lookout at sea.
  • Dinghies – Understands and complies with the loading rules. Is able to handle a dinghy under oars.
  • Meteorology – Awareness of forecasting services and knowledge of the Beaufort Scale.
  • Helmsmanship and sailing – Understands the basic principles of sailing and can steer and trim sails on all points of sailing. Can steer a compass course, under sail and power
  • General duties – Has carried out general duties satisfactorily on decks and below decks in connection with the daily routine of the vessel.

The completion certificate is included in the cost of your course.

Skippering a yacht for the first time can be an intimidating yet exhilarating experience. The RYA Day Skipper Practical Course is designed to teach you how to take charge of a yacht safely and confidently. A skipper does much more than navigate. They are also responsible for the complete safety and well being of the yacht and crew. These responsibilities include weather forecasting, victualling, engine maintenance, sail selection and handling, passage planning, watch keeping, navigation and pilotage.

This course gives you the chance to take charge and skipper the boat on short passages, under instruction, with plenty of advice and support from our instructors. Time is spent demonstrating and practicing basic seamanship with emphasis on boat handling skills. We explore the practical solutions to navigation and build confidence during pilotage exercises.

Students live aboard for the duration of the course in single occupancy or shared cabins and visit many different harbours and anchorages to practice pilotage techniques. We have a flotilla operating in the area and often join them in the evenings and excellent way to make new friends and share sailing experiences. You will complete at least 4 night hours sailing to experience night pilotage and identify lights.

Students who have successfully completed the Day Skipper course are awarded the RYA Day Skipper Completion certificate. In addition they can apply to the RYA for the International Certificate of Competence (ICC), which is an internationally recognised qualification and ideal for future Flotilla holidays or progression to ‘bareboat’ yacht charter.

Pre-course Requirements: 5 days at sea, 100 miles, 4 night hours. Navigation to Day Skipper Shorebased standard and basic sailing ability.

Minimum age: 16

Course Syllabus:

  • Preparation for sea – Is able to prepare a yacht for sea, including engine checks, selection of sails, securing and stowage of gear on deck and below.
  • Deck work – Can reef, shake out reefs and change sails to suit prevailing conditions. Can prepare an anchor, mooring warps and take charge on deck when mooring alongside, coming to a buoy, anchoring, weighing anchor and slipping from a buoy or an alongside berth.
  • Navigation – Taking and plotting visual fixes – Use of electronic navigation equipment for position fixing – Use of waypoints – Working up DR and EP – Estimating tidal heights and tidal streams – Working out course to steer to allow for tidal stream, leeway and drift – Knowledge of IALA bouyage – Maintenance of navigational records – Use of echo sounder and lead lines
  • Pilotage – Can prepare and execute pilotage plan for entry into, or departure from, harbour – Understands the use of leading and clearing lines – Use of transits and soundings as aids to pilotage.
  • Meteorology – Knows sources of forecast information – Can interpret shipping forecasts and use a barometer as a forecasting aid
  • Rules of the road – Has a working knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
  • Maintenance and repair work – Understands and is able to carry out routine maintenance tasks – Knows the properties and uses of common synthetic fibre ropes.
  • Engines – Knows how to change fuel and water filters, pump impeller and to bleed the fuel system.
  • Victualling – Understands how to victual a yacht.
  • Emergency situations – Is able to take correct action as skipper for recovery of man overboard – Understands distress flares and how to use a life raft – Can operate a radiotelephone in an emergency and send a distress message – Understands how to secure a tow – Understands rescue procedures including helicopter rescue.
  • Yacht handling under power – Can bring a boat safely to and from an alongside berth, mooring buoy and anchor under various conditions of wind and tide.
  • Yacht handling under sail – Can bring a boat safely to and from a mooring buoy and anchor under various conditions of wind and tide – Can steer and trim sails effectively on all points of sailing.
  • Passage making – Can plan and make a coastal passage, taking account of relevant navigational hazards and limitations imposed by the type of boat and the strength of the crew.

The completion certificate is included in the cost of your course.

Please note that from 1st January 2017 the above syllabus will be combined with the existing tidal syllabus to offer a combined tidal syllabi in accordance with changes to the RYA sail cruising scheme. For those students who take a course with us from 1st January 2017 onwards, your certificate will no longer be marked with a tidal / non-tidal option.

Skippering a yacht on coastal and offshore passages demands strong navigation, seamanship and leadership skills. The RYA Coastal Skipper Practical course prepares those with previous skippering experience to undertake longer voyages.

During the RYA Coastal Skipper course your instructor will guide you through navigation, both offshore and in limited visibility, weather forecasting and passage planning, watch keeping and preparation for sea. You will put this all into practice as each student plans and executes passages taking complete command of the yacht. Coastal skippers must be good boat handlers and you will receive plenty of practice mooring the yacht and longer coastal passages with plenty of night sailing.

At the successful completion of the RYA Coastal Skipper course you will be awarded the RYA Coastal Skipper Course Completion Certificate and will be able to skipper on coastal passages safely and confidently by day or night.

Our coastal skipper course gives the chance to complete longer passages from our base to destinations such as Corfu and Zante.

Pre-course Requirements: 15 days, 2 days as skipper, 300 miles, 8 night hours. Navigation to Coastal Skipper shorebased standard. Sailing to Day Skipper standard.

Minimum age: 17

Course Syllabus:

  • Passage planning – Can plan a coastal passage including a consideration of the capability of the yacht, navigation, victualling, weather, ports of refuge, tidal heights and tidal streams, publications required and strategy – Knows Customs procedures.
  • Preparation for sea – Is aware of safety equipment required for offshore passages – Can prepare a yacht for sea including stowage, safety briefing, watch keeping, delegating responsibilities and equipment and engine checks
  • Pilotage – Can prepare a pilotage plan, with consideration of soundings, transits, clearing bearings, buoyage, port or harbour regulations and tidal considerations – Can pilot a yacht by day and night
  • Passage making and ability as skipper – Can take charge of a yacht and direct the crew – Can organise the navigation, deckwork and domestic duties of a yacht on passage – Is aware of the significance of meteorological trends – Is aware of crew welfare on passage – Can use electronic navigational equipment for planning and undertaking a passage, including the use of waypoints and routes
  • Yacht handling under power – Can control the yacht effectively in a confined space under power – All berthing and unberthing situations in various conditions of wind and tide.
  • Yacht handling under sail – Can use the sails to control the yacht in a confined space – Anchoring and mooring in various conditions of wind and tide – Can sail efficiently on all points of sail.
  • Adverse weather conditions – Preparation for heavy weather and yacht handling in strong winds – Navigation and general conduct in restricted visibility.
  • Emergency situations – Recovery of man overboard under power and sail – Understands action to be taken when abandoning to the life raft and during helicopter and lifeboat rescue.

The completion certificate is included in the cost of your course.

Please note that from 1st January 2017 the above syllabus will be combined with the existing tidal syllabus to offer a combined tidal syllabi in accordance with changes to the RYA sail cruising scheme. For those students who take a course with us from 1st January 2017 onwards, your certificate will no longer be marked with a tidal / non-tidal option.

We have two different pre-flotilla courses on offer, depending on your level of experience. These courses are designed for those with previous experience (yacht owners, experienced dinghy sailors, etc.) who either have a recognised skippers certificate but are out of practice or alternatively have the knowledge and confidence to formalise these courses with an ICC assessment at the end of the course. Please note that these courses do not in themselves grant you the appropriate documentation to skipper a yacht in Greece.

2 Day Pre Flotilla Course

Our two day course is designed as a refresher course for those who would be able to partake in a flotilla holiday with confidence upon successful completion of the course. The course is usually run on board a flotilla yacht that has been chartered by you for your flotilla holiday. You would then spend the first three days on the water with an instructor covering the areas of skippering and boat handling required to ensure that you can complete your flotilla holiday in confidence.

Course Syllabus:

  • The Yacht – Familiarisation with your charter yacht, including engine and sail controls.
  • Power handling – Basic boat handling under power, including anchoring, use of shore lines and “Mediterranean” style stern-to mooring.
  • Sail Handling – Basic sail trimming, reefing and sail controls.
  • Navigation – Simple position fixing, line of sight navigation and GPS familiarisation.
  • Safety – Basic safety procedures when moored and under way.
  • Communications – Operation of your VHF radio. Radio etiquette and local customs.
  • Client Specific – Any other area of knowledge where you need training (subject to time and operating limitations).

5 Day Pre Flotilla Course

Our five day pre flotilla course is designed specifically to take you from having little or no skippering experience to the level required to safely and competently enjoy a flotilla holiday on board your own chartered yacht. Where possible the course will follow the flotilla route, with the advantage that you and your party will be able to enjoy and participate in the social aspects of the flotilla, including punch parties and group meals on several evenings during a flotilla week.

Course Syllabus:

  • The Yacht – Parts of a boat, her rigging and sails.
  • Ropework – Understanding of the rigging. Practical knowledge of commonly used knots.
  • Sail handling – Basic sail trimming and sailing on all points of sail. Understanding of reefing controls and when to reef.
  • Power Handling – Basic boat handling under power, including anchoring, use of shore lines and “Mediterranean” style stern-to mooring.
  • Navigation – Simple position fixing, line of sight navigation and GPS familiarisation. Chart reading and chart symbol identification.
  • Safety – Basic safety procedures when moored and under way. Including First Aid, use of flares, fire precautions and man overboard recovery.
  • Communications – Operation of your VHF radio. Radio etiquette and local customs.
  • Meteorology – Awareness of forecasting services and knowledge of the Beaufort Scale.

We can offer this certification as part of our practical courses from Day Skipper onwards, or it can be achieved as a stand alone training and assessment on your own vessel. If you require an ICC valid for use on inland waters, you must learn the CEVNI code and sit the CEVNI test.

If you take a stand alone assessment, you can do this during your flotilla holiday onboard your flotilla yacht or our training yacht. If you wish to take the course as part of another course (for example a pre-flotilla course) or training program then we can organise this for you.

Course Syllabus:

All Candidates:

    • Regulations – 1. Knows responsibility for keeping a proper lookout 2. Can determine a ‘safe speed’ 3. Can recognise a potential collision situation 4. Can identify ‘give way’ vessel in a collision situation 5. Knows what action to take as ‘give way’ and ‘stand on’ vessel 6. Knows responsibilities of a small vessel in a narrow channel 7. Can recognise manoeuvring signals (1,2,3 & 5 short blasts) 8. Can make and recognise visual distress signals.
    • Safety – . Is able to use and instruct crew on the use of: Lifejackets Distress flares Fire extinguishers ‘Kill cord’ (if fitted) 2. Can prepare a boat for use and take sensible precautions before setting out, including: Engine checks – Check fuel for range/duration of trip – Obtain weather forecast – Avoid overloading boat.

Inland Only:

    • Regulations – Understands CEVNI (European Inland Waterways Regulations).

Additionally, For Coastal Waters Candidates:

    • Regulations – 1. Knows rules relating to Traffic Separation Schemes 2. Knows requirements for navigation lights and shapes to be displayed by own vessel 3. Can recognise the following from the lights: Power driven, sailing vessel, vessel at anchor, tug and tow, fishing vessel, dredger 4. Knows sound signal to be made by vessels as in Q3.
    • Pilotage – 1. Can recognise, by day and night, and understand significance of buoys of the IALA system _ 2. Knows sources of information on: local regulations, port entry and departure signals, VTS and Port Operations Radio 3. Can plan a harbour entry/departure, taking account of possible presence of large vessels and avoiding navigational hazards.
    • Navigation – (Chart & Plotting Instruments required) 1. Can interpret a navigational chart, understand significance of charted depths and drying heights and can identify charted hazards 2. Can plot position by cross bearings and by Lat/Long 3. Can determine magnetic course to steer, making allowances for leeway and tidal stream 4. Can use a tide table to find times and heights of high and low water at a standard port 5. Can determine direction and rate of tidal stream from a tidal stream atlas or tidal diamonds on a chart 6. Understands basic use of GPS.

Practical Assessment:

  • Start – Give safety briefing including use of safety equipment – Has listened to weather forecasts – Pre start engine checks – Start engine – Check cooling – Knows fuel range.
  • Depart from Pontoon – Understands use of springs to depart from lee wall/pontoon – Communicate with crew – Position fenders correctly.
  • 360? Turn in Confined Space
  • Securing to a Buoy – Communicate effectively with crew – Prepare warp – Choose correct angle of approach – Control speed of approach – Secure boat effectively – Depart from the mooring safely.
  • Man Overboard – Observe MOB or instruct crew to do so – Demonstrate correct direction and speed of approach – Make suitable contact with MOB.
  • High Speed Manoeuvres (if appropriate) – Use kill-cord if appropriate – Choose suitable area – Show awareness of other water users – Warn crew before each manoeuvre – Look around before S and U turns – Control speed on U turns.
  • Handling Under Sail (if appropriate) – Sail triangular course with one leg to windward – Choose suitable area for hoisting/lowering sails – Use sails suitable for prevailing conditions – Show awareness of wind direction – Trim sails correctly on each point of sailing – Warn crew before manoeuvres – Look round before tacking and gybing – Control sails during tacking and gybing.
  • Coming Alongside Windward Pontoon – Communicate effectively with crew – Show awareness of other water users – Prepare warps/fenders – Choose correct angle of approach – Control speed of approach – Stop boat in place required and secure to pontoon – Stop engine.

For your information

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Inland Water Committee Resolution 40 (hereafter called Resolution 40) International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft (known in the UK as the International Certificate of Competence (ICC)) is documentary assurance from one government to another that the holder meets the levels of competence laid down in Resolution 40. It is NOT a qualification. The resolution states that the ICC may be issued by a government to its nationals and residents who are bound for the waters of foreign countries on vessels registered by that government, on condition that it accepts the requirements and conditions set out in Resolution 40. This means that a UK ICC allows UK Citizens and bonafide UK residents in UK registered pleasure craft (up to 24m in length) to visit the waters of foreign states that participate in Resolution 40, without the need to comply with those states’ Cabotage laws, particularly their national certification requirements which in many cases are compulsory. The UK is one of only a few countries which have fully accepted Resolution 40. Many countries have not adopted Resolution 40, some still apply Resolution 14 which Resolution 40 was intended to replace. Others only apply Resolution 40 in part or with caveats attached. In reality, however, the ICC is more widely accepted as proof of the holder’s competence. Spain, Greece and Portugal for example, have not adopted Resolution 40 but are still likely to ask visitors for an ICC. Some states may accept UK (RYA) ICC as an alternative to their national qualification on their nationally flagged vessels, but this should NEVER be assumed. The onus is on ICC holders to determine its acceptability by foreign states. The ICC was never intended to be an alternative to individual national qualification requirements. The advice to anyone planning to charter abroad is to obtain from the charter company (preferably in writing) details of the certification they require, what cruising area this is acceptable for and that this certification will also meet the requirements of the relevant authorities in the area concerned. The RYA is working towards wider acceptance of Resolution 40 and conformity in its application. Once Resolution 40 is universally adopted, the ICC may then become more like an international driving licence in application for visitors.

Seafarer Training - 2019 Prices - Courses start every Sunday

 Courses - Per PersonCourses - Per Yacht
Courses AvailableStart Yachting, Competent Crew, Day Skipper, ICC, Coastal SkipperStart Yachting, Competent Crew, Day Skipper, ICC, Coastal Skipper
Tuition basisTuition Yacht (per berth)Private Tuition
2nd February to 30th March 2019*£695£995
7th April to 26th May 2019£695£995
27th May to 28th September 2019£795£995
29th September to 27th October 2019£695£995
Duration6 (7 nights on board)6 (7 nights on board)
*Courses start from Athens on a Saturday

Extra & Discounts

  • A 50% supplement applies for single cabin occupancy on the training boat.
  • An en-suite cabin is available on our Bavaria 39 tuition yachts, at a £50 supplement per person per week.
  • A £50 discount applies to saloon berth bookings on our Bavaria 39 tuition yacht.
  • A 10% multiple course discount applies when 2 or more courses are booked for an individual at the same time.
  • For prices of mile-builder, experience yachting and all shore-based theory courses please call for details.
  • Guide price for flights to Preveza and transfers to / from Lefkas, from £295pp For flights to Preveza please call for details.
  • Extras: Instructor’s food, accommodation (if not on student’s yacht) and return travel if he/she not dropped at base, payable at location at cost.
  • Private tuition charges apply to when clients charter a suitably equiped tuition yacht exclusively for their party and we provide an instructor on board for the duration of the course.
  • ICC Assessment (3-4 hours) £100 per person

What’s Included on a tuition yacht course

  • Instruction from RYA qualified instructors
  • Provisioning for breakfast & light lunch
  • All mooring fees and local port taxes
  • Diesel, water & gas
  • Participation in flotilla activities
  • End cleaning
  • Bed linen
  • Course completion certificate (if successful!)
  • Automatic discount when booking your next Seafarer holiday

Meet the Team

George Nounesis

George Nounesis

RYA Cruising Instructor

John Connolly

John Connolly

YMI, Chief Instructor

Rebecca Law

Rebecca Law

Cruising Instructor

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