Changes to the RYA Sail and Motor Practical Courses
The RYA Training courses started in the UK and thus, all RYA sail and motor practical courses run on the coast were tidal. When chartering abroad became popular and people wanted to learn in the sunshine, the RYA started to approve centres abroad where there were no tides. As a result, the RYA issue a non-tidal or tidal certificate of competence.
If your aim was to charter a yacht in the Med with your family, your only need would be the non-tidal endorsement. If you want to work in the industry or sail in tidal waters, you need a tidal certificate.
From the 1st January 2017 changes to the RYA Sail and Motor Practical Courses are being actioned. The RYA is removing the tidal and non-tidal endorsement from the practical motor and sail cruising courses at Day and Coastal Skipper level.
What do the changes to the RYA Sail and Motor Practical Courses mean for you? The area/centre you choose to complete these courses will give you the training to include the concepts of navigation, pilotage, and boat handling in areas with streams, currents, and tides. They will endeavour to deliver this in an area with currents or tidal streams to ensure you get the best practical experience available. If this is not possible, you will receive the teaching about tides in theory as per the syllabus. Whether you complete a course in South Wales with a huge tidal range or in Greece with none, everyone will get the same certificate.
If you have already completed a Day Skipper or Coastal Certificate in non-tidal waters, you will still have to complete the two-day conversion course to gain the certificate without the non-tidal endorsement.
The Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore certificates remain unaffected. You will still need to have completed at least half of your qualifying miles in tidal waters.
If you are looking to charter a yacht, sail or drive your own yacht, you should not be too concerned where you complete your training. If you are considering entering the yachting profession which is competitive, you should do your course in a tidal area . An employer or yacht captain may ask where you did your training and will be more impressed with a decent tidal range because that experience could be useful for the area the boat cruises in. Remember,the sunshine does make appearances in the UK & Netherlands and it shines in the Canary Islands and Gibraltar. To find courses globally please check out our Training School page with its map showing centres and their locations.