Accredited RYA Courses
RYA courses are run by our small team of Instructors. Tom is the Principal and Chief Instructor of the school overseeing the quality of delivery, ensuring you have a unforgettable experience with us.
Many of the UK’s sailing schools are based in the main yachting hubs of the Clyde and the South and West Coasts of England. Sailing from our base in Badachro on the Minch we have access to some of the most beautiful and remote waters in the British Isles. We also have great flexibility afforded by the sailing area to respond to conditions and syllabus requirements.
Sailing on the inside (to the East) of Skye and south towards the Sound of Sleat, we have access to sheltered waters with stunning backdrops where we can introduce those taking their first steps as crew or those who are taking charge of a boat for the first time as Day Skippers. These areas offer accessible harbours with pontoons and mooring buoys, beautiful anchorages, lots of navigation marks and tidal streams: all essential things when running courses.
Sailing on the Minch itself we can range as far North as Stornoway on Lewis, Kinlochbervie on the mainland and as far South as South Harris, and the Small Isles (Muck, Rum and Canna). These allow for longer passages and more complex pilotage and navigation suitable for those who are looking to advance their skills on our Coastal Skipper or Coastal/Yachtmaster Offshore preparation courses. They also provide a great cruising ground for mile builder/experience builder courses.
When you mix these attributes with the geography, wildlife and history you have an opportunity to experience your RYA sailing course in one of the most exciting training backdrops in the UK.
Get in touch to find out more about our courses:
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International Certificate of Competence (ICC)
International Certificate of Competence (ICC)
Although RYA certification is recognised in many countries the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) is required by most European countries (excluding the UK) as evidence of a basic level of competence. The RYA are the UK’s authorised issuing authority. There is actually no internationally agreed competence certificate, although the ICC is widely recognised, member UNECE states are not obliged to accept the ICC. It is therefore an individuals responsibility to ensure they are aware of the requirements of the state/country to be visited. The ICC cannot be issued by the RYA to nationals of UNECE Member countries unless they are British Nationals or Residents of the UK. The RYA website has full and current list of UNECE countries whose citizens are not able to apply for an ICC issued by the RYA, this can be found here.
Should you wish to utilise the inland waterways of Europe you will be expected to hold an ICC but with the addition of the CEVNI test. This test focuses on the particular rules and signs that govern movement of vessels on Europe’s inland waterways.
If you hold an RYA Day Skipper Completion Certificate, sail or power (or above) or a Powerboat level 2 certificate you are automatically eligible to apply to the RYA for an ICC certificate (Powerboat level 2 certificate holders only qualify to skipper power vessels up to 10m).
If you do not hold either of the above certificates you will need to carry out a test of basic boat handling, navigation ability and knowledge of the Collision Regulations to gain the ICC.
The certificate is available to a person who fulfils the following eligibility criteria:
- has reached the age of 16;
- is physically and mentally fit to operate a pleasure craft, and in particular, has sufficient powers of vision and hearing;
- presents one of the specified UK certificates or has successfully passed an examination to prove the necessary competence for pleasure craft operation; and
- who demonstrates their nationality or residency to show that their nationality does not preclude them from being issued with an ICC by the RYA.
Should you wish to undertake the ICC test please contact us to discuss this further. The test can be taken over two days with the first day being dedicated to training and the second to the exam. Alternatively if you feel that you have the pre-requisite theoretical knowledge and can demonstrate the practical tasks required by the exam syllabus you can book a one day exam.
We do not have specific dates within our programme dedicated to ICC courses however we will try and fit ICC courses or Days in to fit your requirements.
We all have to start somewhere. The Start Yachting Course provides a short introduction for novices to sail cruising. At the end of the course you will have the knowledge to enable you to be safe on board and understand the basics of sailing and being a crew member.
The Competent Crew Course provides a progression from Start Yachting, although can also be undertaken by those with no or little experience. At the end of the course you will have an understanding of the role of crew on a yacht and have practical experience of all the jobs expected for you to become a safe, proactive and valuable member of the crew.
Skippering a yacht is a significant responsibility. The course will help you develop skills and knowledge that will enable you to take a vessel to sea confidently and safely, ensuring the welfare of your crew and vessel on short passages in daylight hours.
These trips are aimed at those wishing to gain mileage in order to sit the Coastal or Offshore Yachtmaster exam but who do not have the prerequisite miles to do so. They are also relevant to those just wishing to experience passage making on the beautiful West Coast of Scotland. The trips will also involve informal tuition on any area of the RYA syllabus that participants may wish to focus.
Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore Preparation and Exam
There is no formal syllabus for this course, but the five days of preparation will focus on areas that candidates identify through self-assessment. The final two days will be spent with the examiner on board putting candidates through their paces.
The exam will include an assessment of your skippering skills, boat handling, general seamanship, navigation, safety awareness and knowledge of the IRPCS (collision regulations), meteorology and signals. You will be set tasks to demonstrate your ability and may also be asked questions on any part of the syllabus for all practical and shorebased courses up to Yachtmaster™ Coastal level.
The difference between the Coastal and Offshore Exam is in the complexity of tasks and situations candidates will be asked to perform.
This course is for those with good knowledge of sailing and navigation (often gained through the RYA Coastal / Yachtmaster theory course) who wish to develop their skills and experience to undertake coastal passages during the day and night.
If you are interested in RYA theory qualifications, we work with Coast and Cairn. Details are available from their website.
Our Training Ethos
We aim to offer a personalised experience; we are not a volume driven sailing establishment but one that puts you, your learning aspirations and needs first.
We ensure you have a fantastic experience in a fun, safe, supportive and relaxed training environment where our staff will strive to ensure your objectives are fully met.
What our customers say
“The 5 days that I spent with Tom was honestly one of the best sailing/learning experiences I have had. It has renewed my confidence and love for sailing and I look forward to doing more courses and spending more time on La Girafe III.“
“I was made to feel very welcome right from the start. I would thoroughly recommend doing your Day Skipper with these guys, I not only really enjoyed the experience, I came ashore at the end desperate to book my next trip.”
“The sailing was a real treat, including learning the key skills. As well as the great coastal scenery, there was also the various wildlife including lots of dolphins tracking the yacht, encountering other vessels (including a Royal Navy nuclear submarine).”