Useful Tips

How to get a captain’s diploma and not fall overboard


The sea is an endless romance and unsolved mystery that have beckoned to us for all centuries. Interest in sea voyages was also relevant in the days of primitive tribes who tried to conquer the unexplored expanses of the sea even today, when daily more and more cruises from famous sea companies make themselves known. Magical waves and wind conquer the hearts of passionate discoverers and lovers of the unidentified and drive them in search of the unknown.

Many have a cherished dream - to take the helm on their own, and for many it seems completely impossible. But it is not so difficult. If you really want to, really achieve everything. And in order to stand behind the helm there are several options. You can try sailing or professional hiring at the amateur level.

You can perfectly master the profession of a captain of a charter company, replenish the ranks of crew members of some world famous yacht, become a highly qualified instructor in one of the yacht schools, etc. Usually, those people who grew up on the sea next to yacht clubs are in professional yachting .

But even if you are far from all this, but you have a cherished dream - to take the helm of a yacht, nothing should be an obstacle on your way to your cherished goal. We will share useful information and talk about the accessible path that will lead beginners to the world of yachts. You will be able to get permission to operate a yacht and you can charter a yacht almost anywhere in the world.


Today in each country there are special organizations that monitor the observance of order in inland waters. On the territory of Russia, these are the State Inspectorate for Small Vessels and the Russian Federation of Sailing, which train drivers of ships and issue them special certificates.

To date, there is no single universally accepted system for licensing yacht management.

If we talk about the existence of "international yacht rights", then there are none. The thing is that the variety of ships is so great that for each individual case special skills are needed. Accordingly, there cannot be a single adopted system.

The State Inspectorate for Small Vessels (GIMS) is engaged in certification of boatmasters, registration and registration of small vessels, it is part of the Ministry of Emergencies of Russia. If you are going to or have already bought a small vessel (sailing vessel, boat, jet ski, motor boat), then you need to get a certificate to operate this vessel. To do this, contact the gims.

The certificate will indicate the area in which it is allowed to sail and the type of vessel (if it is sailing, the area of ​​the sails). And obtaining such a certificate is similar to obtaining a license to drive a car - an exam is taken upon presentation of a passport, certificate of training, it is also necessary to pass a medical commission for fitness for swimming.

Double exams - theory and practice, they are handed over in the territorial department of GIMS. In our yacht school you will be able to take full preparation for exams. GIMS certificates are issued in Russian. Therefore, with such rights abroad, it will not be possible to be the captain of a yacht, but there is an opportunity to undergo training under the program of the All-Russian Sailing Federation (VFPS) with the receipt of an internationally recognized certificate.

The main goal of the WFPS is to develop the training of athletes. After all, the sail can even be installed on a windsurf board. Our yacht school is registered in the VFPS registry.

Therefore, even if you do not aspire to become a professional in sailing, after completing training at our yachting school you will receive the qualification “Yacht steering day sailing”. This qualification meets the international - Day Skipper, you will get the chance, in the daytime, no further than twenty nautical miles from the coast, to operate the vessel.

Learning theory lasts about 35 hours, for the convenience of theory, it is possible to learn not only in the classroom, but also remotely. Practical classes are held in Moscow, as well as abroad at sea.

After passing the exams, you can rent a yacht in almost any corner of the world, because we issue an official internationally recognized certificate. Then, if you wish, you will be able to pass exams at the State University of Economics and Management and go to further training programs to become a real professional.

Right without right

In many civilized countries, a captain’s diploma for entering the sea is not formally required at all. It is enough for the owner of the vessel to have insurance similar to our hull insurance. Another thing is that an insurance company, when filling out documents, may require a right. But for the rental of a yacht, which happens much more often, the presence of the rights of a yacht captain is mandatory.

Some countries have their own national maritime rights recognized worldwide. The training program for obtaining such rights is certified by the International Coast Guard Agency (MCA), a special organization that develops rules and ensures maritime safety.

National rights, and even several, exist in Russia. The main organization issuing rights in our country is the State Inspectorate for Small Vessels (GIMS). This is essentially a water traffic police. The rights granted by the gims even look similar to old automobile ones. Even if you are an ordinary fisherman on a small rubber boat, then you need to gims. There are four categories of gims rights, by analogy with automobiles - a boat, a boat, a scooter and a yacht. In addition, you separately discover the region of navigation - inland waterways (rivers, lakes, reservoirs) or the open sea.

In the footsteps of the GIMS, the Ministry of Transport followed, which also received permission to issue its own rights. They are similarly divided into categories and, in theory, should be accepted everywhere, but in practice it happens in different ways.

Not so long ago, the Russian Sailing Federation began to issue sports rights to participate in races. So it turns out that in order to come to the competition on a boat, you need GIMS rights, and in order to participate in competitions, you need Federation rights. However, none of these rights are officially recognized abroad.

Some may object: they say, they gave me a yacht for the rights of gims in Croatia. Indeed, merchants who are eager for money may hand you a yacht under the above rights, but they will not warn you that insurance under your rights will not work. And if you take into account that any, even the simplest insurance case costs thousands of euros of losses, your vacation can be at least irrevocably damaged, and at the maximum you will get a round sum.

The catch is all in the same MCA. Not a single Russian training program has passed certification in this organization. GIMS apparently doesn’t really need this, since its main contingent is fishermen and boat owners. Ministry of Transport - too. For the fourth year, the Sailing Federation is going to send the program for approval to the MCA, but things are still there. That is why for those who want to manage a yacht around the world, schools that issue international rights have appeared in Russia. Ironically, these documents, of course, are not valid in Russia.

Over the barriers

In addition to national schools, there are two international schools that have passed certification programs in the MCA and have opened branches in different countries of the world. One of them is the British Royal Yacht Association (Royal Yacht Assosiation or RYA for short), and the other is the Canadian-American School of International Yacht Training (IYT). The debate about the quality of education in these two schools is ongoing.

At first glance, it seems that RYA is preferable. The requirements for the educational process, equipment and location of the classroom, as well as the practice venue at RYA are much stricter. All this led to the fact that there are no RYA schools in Russia. There are those who provide intermediary services for sending students abroad. For Russians, this is not very convenient. Firstly, more expensively, secondly, it takes more time, thirdly, it requires a good knowledge of the language, as according to RYA standards, teaching is conducted in English. It turns out until you learn the language - you will not become a captain. And to understand completely unfamiliar material in another language is a rather complicated matter.

With information about RYA in Russia should be careful. I will give only one fact. A very entrepreneurial entity registered the Russian Yachting Association in our country. In English, it sounds like the Russian Yachting Association. It is not difficult to notice that in the abbreviation the British and Russian associations are written the same way - RYA. Then it’s the small business: a logo similar to English, a color printer, a laminator - and yacht rights are ready.

As an alternative to RYA, IYT branches appeared in Russia. And in this case, too, everything went according to the usual scenario for our country. The first IYT school opened in 2004 by agreement with the Turkish Jim Hekov School. For a long time, while the demand for yachting in Russia remained insignificant, there were only four or five schools throughout the country. But in the past five years, their number has grown exponentially. Many captains, as well as those who decided to exchange boring office workdays for an adventurous life on a yacht, decided to become teachers. For example: in Spain, where the king is the main yachtsman of the whole country, IYT schools are only fifteen, and in Russia, where, as you know, skiing and judo hockey are more highly regarded, there are thirty-seven of them! This is the maximum rate of IYT affiliates in all countries.

With the increase in the number of schools, the quality of education began to fall catastrophically. Many schools generally offer a one-week course and immediately grant the rights of a captain. As recently as a week ago, I graduated from one of these schools. He not only could not control the yacht, but did not even know the basic principles of sailing. Nevertheless, he had a captain’s diploma in his pocket.

In my opinion, in Russia it is not so important under what brand the training takes place - it is important who teaches and what goals it sets. On one side of the scale, business efficiency and the number of diplomas issued, on the other - the quality of training. Moreover, the real price of everything is human life. No more, no less.

A big difference

How to deal with so many schools and separate the grain from the chaff? First of all, do not chase the cheapness. A couple of years ago, several schools were closed for trade in diplomas, now they again entered the market. Secondly, to evaluate the school according to its reputation, year of education and teaching staff. Ultimately, it depends on how thoroughly you master the material, and therefore - will be able to guarantee the safety of the crew. Of course, competition in the market forces schools to lower prices and reduce the number of hours of theory. But schools that think about the quality of education, and therefore about their reputation, rarely go on about the market. The price of mistakes at sea is great. Talk to those who have already become a captain, look at sites, forums.

In reality, five to seven schools in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi can be distinguished from the whole variety, which for ten years or more have graduated well-trained yacht captains: Moscow Yacht School, Oleg Goncharenko School, Russian Yacht Center, 60 North Fedor Druzhinin, Center of the Law of the Sea, Association of Skippers Alexei Panasenko. Here you are guaranteed to get a good education.

The training course is divided into sub-courses: boat construction, navigation, meteorology, travel planning, legal aspects of yachting, boat acceptance and delivery, radio communication, rescue and safety at sea, first aid. As a rule, worthy schools have additional courses - marine English, racing yachting, medical care.

Another feature of a good school is the level of service for cadets, especially when they first go to sea. For example, the organization of joint fleets, where new captains, together with teachers, go to sea for the first time. Graduates do not feel left to their own devices and get used to standing on the bridge gradually, with minimal stress. In the future, such a school helps graduates to rent yachts, provides free advice on choosing a route and a rest time, and organizes additional training courses.

Of course, no one is safe from mistakes. Few people from the first time are able to master all the subtleties of marine crafts. But education in a good school will help faster and easier to make the right decision in a difficult situation at sea. And they sometimes happen.