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Flying Fish/UKSA
greg
Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 4:44 PM
Joined: 10/01/2012
Posts: 5


Hi i intend to do a yacht master offshore course. i have no previous experience in yachting. Both the UKSA and Flying fish offer the same course, although flying fish has the option to not pay for accomodation ashore, making it about £2500 cheaper than the UKSA course. I would rather pay the extra money though if it means having far better tutoring and career prospects, while the prospect of saving well over £2k is obviously very enticing too. Does anyone have any knowledge on the flying fish yachtmaster course or UKSA that could help aid my desision?? Many Thanks
Henning
Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 4:54 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


Go get some experience first or you'll be wasting a lot of money.

greg
Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 6:56 PM
Joined: 10/01/2012
Posts: 5


Hi, please could you elaborate slightly on this advice?
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 12:07 AM
Before spending thousands on courses its a good idea to get a season under your belt, it will give you great insight into the industry and will help you decided which career path to go down. I know many captains who are against fast tracks as it simply doesn't give you enough experience.

The has recently been a thread about UKSA that pretty much asked the same question, check it out! But from my experience I find they tell people what they want to hear and not the reality.

Henning
Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 3:13 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


These courses if taken with no experience are like drinking from a firehose. You need some time on a boat just to assure you're comfortable on one. I have met a very few people that are seasick on flat water. Tell you what, you can charter a 40' sail boat in the Caribbean off season for a week for a couple thousand dollars and another $1000 for a captain /private instructor/ island guide, bring your SO or friend and split the cost. With that you can get a good introduction to boats and boat handling that you can understand what you are being told in the YM course. However consider this: There are legal liability implications to having the Yachtmaster ticket. It implies a standard of competence that in reality takes a minimum of a couple years working boats years to build. When you hold that ticket, your errors and omissions are now subject to greater civil scrutiny, and more importantly it opens up the avenue of Criminal liability for them. Never hold a license you aren't competent to hold.

greg
Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 10:25 PM
Joined: 10/01/2012
Posts: 5


OK thanks for the advice. I've lived around the sea and been on boats constantly throughout my life, but never actually learnt to sail one. So am fairly sure i have the capacity maintain a job aboard yachts. i do however take your advice and agree that it may be foolhardy to rush into paying for the course without having done a season, and not gaining the experience first. I actually read the UKSA blog you mentioned wich was useful and i have researched in doing a course there, but i havent heard anything from anyone yet about flying fish, and just wanted to know how reputable they were as a school. I also agree with anon about them just telling you what you want to hear, thats why i am trying to seek advice on this blog from people who arent just after course fee money! Cheers
Quantox
Posted: Friday, January 13, 2012 3:52 PM
Joined: 13/01/2012
Posts: 3


Greg, I took a FlyingFish course a few years back, I can tell you that they are a reputable school and I found the tuition to be excellent. Like you I had a long history around boats before I singend up. The sailing schools tend to to take a kicking form "Older people" within the industry who have no clue what its like to be on one. living and breathing sailing in the so called Fast-track environment worked very well for me. But at the end of the day its down to the individual taking the course to get the most out of it that they can. In your orignal post you said you could save money by not paying for the accommodation. I asume you have some where eles you can stay when your in cowes? I can tell you that I've stayed at both UKSA's and FlyingFish's accommodation, and I found FF's to be better.
greg
Posted: Friday, January 13, 2012 10:03 PM
Joined: 10/01/2012
Posts: 5


Quantox thank you for the advice on the actual post subject i.e. flying fish. This has put my mind at ease, i was leaning towards doing some studying there, but have heard no first hand experience from any one until now. Yeah i figured that there could be that kind of negative view from the old school... generally is the same in all walks of life. I am actually from the IOW originally, so have friends i could stay with in cowes wich will help bring down the cost of the course.... my only issue with that, is that i might not be maximising my learning potential by not being around tutors and fellow pupils as much whilst on land?? any thoughts on that? Cheers
Quantox
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 2:00 PM
Joined: 13/01/2012
Posts: 3


Greg, If you have some where to stay thats great. If its still setup the same at FF the class rooms are 10 meters walk across the courtyard form the houses at points cottages. So your right there when you get up in the morning. I can recall a few nights spent in points cottages studying with other students, and i'm sure we weren't the only group to do that. Hope that helps?
Henning
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 12:15 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


Well, you either have experience or you don't.... If you are already a competent seaman with a thorough mastery of seamanship and all you need to learn is to sail and memorize a set of rules, then yeah, no sweat, that's what these courses are good for. Thing is you need the seamanship background coming in, and there is but one place that seamanship develops and that is at sea. The decision making skills only come from experience. I don't get paid what I do for what I do, I get paid what I do for what I know not to do. That is what the schools cannot teach in a few weeks. I'll reiterate, it is a YachtMASTER ticket and with it comes a greater duty of care you owe regardless your assigned position. You are expected a MASTERY of the subject, not just a familiarity.
Chief
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 2:07 AM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


Oh Henning, come down off your pulpit.

Before you go scaring folks who just want to get some training, how about telling us about all those instances where a yacht license holder has ever been held "responsible" for anything or even held up to "scrutiny" by anyone including the agency that issued the paper.

What legal liability have you seen applied in what case regarding which instance with what boat? Any old cite will do, the way you are talking, there must be hundreds of yachtmasters, dozens at least, rotting in prison for navigational errors or wasting the owner's money.

Quantox
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 8:53 AM
Joined: 13/01/2012
Posts: 3


Henning, I second Chief request to hear some examples? This is not the place for you to sound off about the level of knowledge gained by taking the Yachtmaster exams. If you feel that some people with that ticket are not comptent (an I would tend to agree with that) then shouldn't you lobby the MCA/RYA to make the Examination Harder? Not sacre monger people who are trying to educate them selves? I also believe you will find that unless you have the RYA Yachtmaster "Commercially Endorsed" it is an amateur qualification. So what extra liability is there for an amateur qualification? Greg is asking questions of people who have been to the two schools in the title. If you have been to either school i'm sure Greg would welcome your opinion on them.
Henning
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 2:08 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


Well, I plugged 'yacht captain manslaughter and this was the first hit: http://www.professionalmariner.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=420C4D38DC9C4E3A903315CDDC65AD72&nm=Archives&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=28E14E09FBC641A39C9CC76F85B20052
Chief
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 2:47 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


Nice try Henning but not quite up to the standard you demand.

The captain of that boat was a USCG commercially licensed mariner operating under the authority of his license selling services to the general public. He did not make a mistake, he chose to commit a crime by violating a legal prohibition even after being advised of the existence of that prohibition. Bad choice of cites, old boy.

That is a looooooong way from a young person working as a deckhand or even mate on a yacht.

Keep looking though, at least it will keep you busy elsewhere and maybe eliminate more silly scare-mongering sky falling posts that really don't teach anyone anything.

junior
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 2:59 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Jeez...whats going on here ??? The OP simply wants to get his yachtmasters. In Europe you need to have a license to operate motorized small craft. The Yachtmasters is versitile and the way to go. Its obvious that if the OP wants to operate something bigger, like the Costa Concordia , he will need the proper seatime, experience and piles of paper for safe operation. To the OP. the Yachtmasters is easy to aquire. Id Choose the cheap school, study your lessons, take it seriuosly and go for it.
greg
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 10:35 PM
Joined: 10/01/2012
Posts: 5


well the debate has been entertaining reading! but thanks to those of you who gave me the advice i was requiring, it has helped me to make a desision. i just wanted to do the qualifications to enhance my chances of getting work, and then hopefully further my career as and when i gain more experience. i was not expecting to do a yachtmaster and then take on a role of captain. henning talks about gaining experience befor you go into the industry, well this seems to be the best available option to me to gain that experience! thanks for the advice though, i intend to work very hard to make the most of my investment!
AL at Flying Fish
Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2012 4:50 PM
Joined: 21/01/2012
Posts: 1


I hope you don't mind a comment from Flying Fish. Passing the RYA Yachtmaster exam on a small sailing yacht is a bit like passing your automobile driving licence. You don't pass unless you can demonstrate that you are 100% safe in command of your vessel and crew. And you should know that the YM examiner is independent of the training school, just like the driving examiner. Like new car drivers, newly qualified Yachtmasters need to gain confidence through experience - but unlike new car drivers they are not penalised with high insurance premiums. The insurance industry recognises that new Yachtmasters have an excellent safety record and present no greater risk than the old salts who like to criticise them. Oh, finally, have you considered how airline pilots and brain surgeons are trained? They don't hang about airports and hospitals picking up casual experience. They are trained on professional, intensive, full-time vocational courses. That's enough from me .....
junior
Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2012 6:36 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


To pass the Yachtmasters test you must convince the examiner that you are a serious person. Serious crew are what is needed on yachts. Ive never had a yachtmaster as crew who was lame.
MJ-2012
Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 11:41 AM
Joined: 16/04/2012
Posts: 1


Hi Greg, I think I'm in a similar position as you. Have you made your decision yet? Regards, MJ To the Panel, In a nutshell, I'm trying to enter the yachting world to start a new life with nothing except a dream and self-confidence that I can do it. After doing some research I know I need to have both an actual qualification and experience at sea. I just struggle to decide on which route to begin on. Any advice? thanks, MJ
TopTrumps
Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 2:32 PM
Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts: 18


I´d like to add to this discussion. 8 years ago i myself completed a ´´fast track´´ yachtmaster at the UKSA. Out of our group of 20 people, only 8 were doing the course for industry purposes, ie to get us our first job. I believe that this has changed now, and that the schools are very much selling the Superyacht Career. I actually had no intention of joining the Superyachts it just happened after 2 years of working the north sea as a delivery captain. A job i could not have gained without my Yachtmaster. Anyway, out of the 8 of us who ended up working on yachts we are now all either Skippers of plus 30metre yachts, or Chief Engineers or Chief Mates. We all invested a lot of money into a career which we had not started, which i believe shows that we were all very keen to show that we are career minded from the offset. Generally a student from a ´fast track´´ course does not view the industry as sort of Summer Season ( comparison to a ski season) but as a life career choice. I feel that our group of Graduates, as UKSA liked to call us, may not have had the industry experience but our actual sailing and seamanship experience was at a much higher level than the new deckhands with no tickets or experience who were dockwalking at that time. As a master myself i look at the ´´fast track´´ students as highly employable as i know for a fact that they have covered over 2500 miles at sea in a fairly short amount of time meaning 2/3 weeks at sea 24hrs a day every 2/3 weeks (this was the routine on my course, may have changed now). Also the fast´track courses are not weather dependant, many sea miles were covered in conditions which a superyacht crew would shudder at thinking of going to sea in. Does this not build an understanding of the sea and seamanship, how many large yacht crew members have sailed across the channel in a force 8 with a trysail? How many have actually been to sea in plus 2 metre waves? How many have actually dealt with tidal conditions? This means a lot more to me than employing a deckhand who has come off a 50+ metre, who may have thousands and thousands of miles and Actual days at sea, but of those apart from driving a tender there will have been no navigational watches etc. etc. etc. These crewmembers are then elligable to take their yachtmaster exams. This i think is the point that needs addressing.
 
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