Sailing levels explained

Sailing requirements

Important Information

Destinations to suit your level

Each of our destinations is grouped by experience level so you can find the right sailing ground for your skills and qualifications. Level 1 destinations have the easiest and safest waters and are perfect for beginners. Level 3 destinations are the most challenging, so you’ll need to make sure that at least one member of your crew has the sailing experience needed to have fun and stay safe.

Please note: sailing levels are for guidance only, and all destinations are variable.

Belize

To sail in Belize without a skipper, you must apply for a temporary Certificate of Competency. This is issued by the Belizean Port Authorities, and is required for all bareboat charters. Please contact your pre-departure support agent for further information.

Sailing Requirements 

Certain regions in the Mediterranean and the Seychelles require formal certifications to sail a yacht. Please find your desired destination below to learn more about the certifications required.

Croatia

Croatia Sailing Requirements

To sail in this destination you’ll need a sailing licence. The requirement is (at min.) an ICC, RYA Day Skipper qualification or above, plus a VHF licence. Original license/certificate must be presented upon check-in at the base.

Skipper is required to have a VHF Radio Operator's Licence

A list of officially accepted licences is available at the Croatian Ministry of Maritime Affairs. Please check the list of officially accepted licenses before contacting the base with any queries as the list is updated every few months. This list is organised by country and details the accepted competence levels for experience, boat size and distance-from-shore-sailing for the various certificates accepted. please contact your Holiday Planner if you need additional information.

Croatia – Sailing Requirements

To charter in Croatia, there must be at least one certified skipper over 18 years old. The skipper should be competent at handling a yacht in close quarters, anchoring and mooring in varying conditions and be able to use navigation and pilotage skills to plan the day’s sailing and know your position at any time. As a yacht skipper, you are required to have an official sailing license or a certificate issued by a government of state approved organisation as detailed below.

Skipper is required to have one (1) of the following:

*RYA Day Skipper Course

*ICC (International Certificate of Competence), International

*IPC (International Proficiency Certificate), America

*Prerequisites: ASA 104 or US Sailing “Bareboat Cruising Course”

*NauticEd SLC (International Sailing License and Credentials), International

+ PLUS VHF Licence

OR

*UK – MCA Master (Yacht less than 500 gt), RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Certificate or above

*USA – US Sailing “Basic Keelboat”, ASA “103 Basic Coastal Cruising” or above

*Germany – “Sportbootführerschein See“ or above

*Belgium – Algemeen Stuurbrevet/ Brevet de conduite général

*France – LE PERMIS PLAISANCE

Charter Preparation Tips

It is essential that you take your original skippers license or certificate with you in the event that the Port Authorities ask you to present it to them. If you do not have an official sailing licence, by law the team at base will not be able to allow you to charter without an officially certified skipper onboard.

What if I do not have a licence?

If you do not hold a recognised sailing licence, we will assist you in finding an accredited program.

In Croatia, Sunsail Agana RYA Sailing School runs RYA Day Skipper and RYA Competent Crew courses. Completion of the RYA Day Skipper Course will also guarantee you the ICC on application without any further courses or exams.

Please contact one of our Holiday Planners to learn more!

Greece

Greece Sailing Requirements

To sail in this destination you’ll need one of the following certifications: ICC. Original license/certificate must be presented upon check in at the base.

To charter a yacht in Greece, there must be at least one certified skipper and one experienced crew member, both over 18 years old. The skipper should be competent at handling a yacht in close quarters, anchoring and mooring in varying conditions and be able to use navigation and pilotage skills to plan the day’s sailing and know your position at any time. The Skipper should be accompanied by at least one crew member (First Mate) of “Competent Crew” level or a similar/equivalent certification from any recognized sailing association.* As a yacht skipper, you are required to have a sailing license or a certificate from a recognized sailing association AND/OR an ICC or IPC as detailed below:

Skipper is required to have one (1) of the following:

• ICC (International Certificate of Competence), International • IPC (International Proficiency Certificate), America

*Prerequisites: ASA 104 or US Sailing “Bareboat Cruising Course”

*Upon completion of the ASA 104 OR US Sailing Bareboat Cruising *minimum requirement, sailors must apply for the IPC Certificate to charter in European/Mediterranean Waters prior to arrival

>How to apply for the IPC if you have ASA 104 Certification

>How to apply for the IPC if you have US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification

• NauticEd SLC (International Sailing License and Credentials), International

OR

• UK – ICC (International Certificate of Competence), International

• USA – US Sailing “Bareboat Cruising Course”, ASA “104 Bareboat Cruising Course” or above

• Germany – “Sportbootführerschein See“ or above

• Belgium – Algemeen Stuurbrevet/ Brevet de conduite général

• France – LE PERMIS PLAISANCE

Charter Preparation Tips

A copy of all sailing certificates must be sent to the base and received at least 2 weeks before the start of the charter. It is also required that skippers take their original copies of certificates with them, as they will be asked to present them with their boat paper to the port authorities on arrival.

What if I do not have a licence?

If you do not hold a recognised sailing licence, we will assist you in finding an accredited program. Please contact one of our Holiday Planners to learn more!

*If the First Mate does NOT have a sailing licence, they must fill out a sailing resume/CV to confirm that they have the necessary skills to sail in Greece aboard a charter vessel. They must also fill out a Declaration of Honour to provide a legal declaration to the Greek Port Authorities that said crew member is competent to crew aboard a chartered yacht.

Please contact one of our Holiday Planners to learn more!

Italy

Italy Sailing Requirements

To sail in this destination you’ll need one of the following certifications: RYA Day Skipper or ICC. Original license/certificate must be submitted in advance and presented upon check in at the base.

To charter in Italy, there must be at least one certified skipper over 18 years old. The skipper should be competent at handling a yacht in close quarters, anchoring and mooring in varying conditions and be able to use navigation and pilotage skills to plan the day’s sailing and know your position at any time. As a yacht skipper, you are required to have an official sailing license or a certificate issued by the government of state approved organisation as detailed below:

Skipper is required to have one (1) of the following:

Skippers Must Have a Sailing Licence Approved in their Country of Origin:

  • ICC (International Certificate of Competence), International
  • Prerequisites: RYA “Day Skipper Course” or complete the ICC Assessment form to prove competence from previous experience.
  • IPC (International Proficiency Certificate), America
  • Prerequisites: ASA 104 or US Sailing “Bareboat Cruising Course”
  • NauticEd SLC (International Sailing License and Credentials), International

OR

  • UK – RYA Day Skipper practical (with our without photo)
  • USA – US Sailing “Bareboat Cruising Course”, ASA “104 Bareboat Cruising Course” or above
  • Germany – “Sportbootführerschein See“ or above
  • Belgium – Algemeen Stuurbrevet/ Brevet de conduite général
  • France – LE PERMIS PLAISANCE
European Citizens

If a Sailing Licence is not compulsory in their country of origin they must have a Declaration from the country’s authority stating that a sailing license is not required and this declaration must be on the skipper’s name. However we would recommend that European citizens have one of the above certificates which are recognised in Italy.

Charter Preparation Tips

All sailing certificates must be sent to the base and received at least 2 weeks before the start of the charter. It is essential that you take your original skippers licence or certificate with you in the event that the Port Authorities ask you to present it to them. If you do not have an official sailing licence, by law the team at base will not be able to allow you to charter without an officially certified skipper onboard.

What if I do not have a licence?

If you do not hold a recognised sailing licence, we will assist you in finding an accredited program.

Please contact one of our Holiday Planners to learn more!

Seychelles

Seychelles Sailing Requirements

To sail in this destination you’ll need one of the following certifications: ICC or RYA Day Skipper. Original licence/certification must be submitted in advance of travel & presented upon check in at the base.

To charter in Seychelles, there must be at least one certified skipper over 18 years old. The skipper should be competent at handling a yacht in close quarters, anchoring and mooring in varying conditions and be able to use navigation and pilotage skills to plan the day’s sailing and know your position at any time. As a yacht skipper, you are required to have an official sailing licence or a certificate issued by a government of state approved organisation as detailed below:

Skipper is required to have one (1) of the following:

• ICC (International Certificate of Competence), International

*Prerequisites: RYA “Day Skipper Course” or complete the ICC Assessment form to prove competence from previous experience.

• IPC (International Proficiency Certificate), America Prerequisites: ASA 104 or US Sailing “Bareboat Cruising Course”

• NauticEd SLC (International Sailing License and Credentials), International

OR

• UK – MCA Master (Yacht less than 500 gt), RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Certificate or above

• USA – US Sailing “Basic Keelboat”, ASA “103 Basic Coastal Cruising” or above

• Germany – “Sportbootführerschein See“ or above

• Belgium – Algemeen Stuurbrevet/ Brevet de conduite général

• France – LE PERMIS PLAISANCE

Skipper is required to have a VHF Radio Operator’s License, please contact your Holiday Planning specialist if you need additional information.

If a Sailing Licence is not compulsory in their country of origin they must have a Declaration from the country’s authority stating that a sailing licence is not required and this declaration must be in the skipper’s name. However, we would recommend that European citizens have one of the above certificates which are recognised.

Charter Preparation Tips

All sailing certificates must be sent to the base and received at least 2 weeks before the start of the charter. It is essential that you take your original skippers licence or certificate with you in the event that the Port Authorities ask you to present it to them. If you do not have an official sailing licence, by law the team at base will not be able to allow you to charter without an officially certified skipper onboard.

What if I do not have a licence?

If you do not hold a recognised sailing licence, we will assist you in finding an accredited program. Please contact one of our Holiday Planners to learn more!

Please contact one of our Holiday Planners to learn more!

Bahamas

Bahamas Sailing Requirements

To charter a sailing yacht in the Bahamas, there must be at least one certified skipper over 18 years old. The skipper should be competent at handling a yacht in close quarters, navigating in shallow waters, anchoring, and mooring in varying conditions. The skipper must be able to use navigation and piloting skills to plan the day’s sailing and know your position at any time.

Skipper is required to have one (1) of the following:

As a yacht skipper, you are required to hold an official sailing license or certificate as detailed below. Skippers Must Have A Sailing License Approved in their Country of Origin:

  • IPC (International Proficiency Certificate), America
  • Prerequisites: ASA 104 or US Sailing “Bareboat Cruising Course”
  • NauticEd SLC (international Sailing License and Credentials), International
  • ICC (International Certificate of Competence), International

OR

  • USA – US Sailing, “Bareboat Cruising Course”, ASA, “104- Bareboat Cruising Course” or above
  • US Coast Guard License

The skipper is responsible for confirming that the specifications of his or her license are consistent with the required competency in commanding a yacht of the size/type he or she will be chartering, as well as navigating waters comparable to those he or she will be visiting.

Charter Preparation Tips

A copy of all certificates must be uploaded to checklist and brought with you as they may be requested by the Port Authority.

What if I do not have a license?

If you do not hold a recognized sailing license, we will assist you in finding an accredited program.

Please contact one of our Vacation Planners to learn more!

No experience

Even if you’ve never sailed before we have a range of options to get you started.

*Destination has formal requirements. 

Experience Level Required

Level 1Five days or 100 miles as skipper on an equivalent size yacht.Greece, Lefkas*
Greece, Corfu*
Croatia, Agana*
British Virgin Islands
Australia, Whitsundays
Croatia, Dubrovnik*
Level 210 days or 200 miles as skipper on an equivalent size yacht Italy*
St. Martin 
Antigua
Abacos, Bahamas
French Polynesia
Thailand
Tonga
Greece, Athens*
Level 320 days or 400 miles as skipper on an equivalent
size yacht RYA
Day Skipper with experience to a higher level*RYA
Coastal SkipperICC with experience to a higher level*
UK, Portsmouth
Belize*
St. Lucia
Grenada 
Seychelles*

Complete Resume/ CV

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