Well Austria is not exactly the place to start with a search to find what I need of certification to sail (No ocean here ) , but was surprised to find courses in Austria for “Boat Skipper Category B”.
Found a course in Graz that was based on self-study and handed out material, and where they arranged everything within the actual exam in Croatia.
Laguna Nautika – Link
Paid for the course over the internet and received material via email.
Also received all the information I needed about what and where and when. Very good!
After a week of self-study, it was time for a 1-day course day in Graz, and for the following day a trip to Croatia – Sisak / Zagreb – to take an exam at the local public office for MINISTRY OF MARITIME AFFAIRS, TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE OF REPUBLIC OF CROATIA.
The course day included a knowledgeable instructor who went through most things and where we could ask about everything (In German)
The following day Traveled down to Sisak in Croatia by car where we were all greeted by a nice guide who arranged everything for us.
The exam itself was a relatively short affair, where there were 5-6 people sitting around a table who asked me questions about the syllabus.
Then I went to an office where they issued boat driver’s licenses on the spot and where I could go home with the card in my pocket.
Also have to say that I received an optional international licence , and a VHF radio licence.
My perception of the course and certification is a bit mixed.
At first there was no practical training, only theoretical.
And I mean this “Boat Skipper Category B” really does not give you enough ground to safely handle a boat of this size alone.
But it’s a good start.
“NB! 30 GT is a bit strange way to define a size, but it applies to” interior volume of the boat “
Gross tonnage (GT) is a measurement of ship volume. The gross tonnage is a function of the molded volume of all enclosed spaces of the ship. “
Now I have been explained that one is more concerned with the length of the boat than a GT.
For class B, a maximum of 15m applies.
Boat leader license category B
After successful completion of the course the trainees will be competent to operate up to 12 Nm from coast and islands:
Passenger boats up to 3 Nm from coast and islands
Cargo and fishing boats
All types of pleasure boats
Maximum of 15m
Pleasure Yachts up to 30 GT
Charter Yachts up to 30 GT without professional crew
Then I started the work to find my next step , and was browsing internet for several weeks.
There are MANY sailing schools in Croatia, and just by using the internet not quite easy to find the right one (for me)
I ended up at the “Adriatic Sailing Academy” after reading all kind of comments found on internet where I was received very kindly and professionally by email and phone.
They have classes for “Boat Skipper Category C” as well as many classes based on ASA “American Sailing Association” Link
ASA has a good reputation all over the word and exams are widely recognized.
NB! This school is one of wherry few that is fully certified from ASA “American Sailing Association” in Europe
NB! They also offer combination courses where you can take 2 or 3 courses at the same time – as I did.
Also note that Adriatic Sailing Academy also offers many other ASA based classes!
And here I was greeted by really attentive staff who also arranged accommodations for me and everything else I needed.
The instructor Fabio – is probably one of the best instructors I have ever had – incredibly knowledgeable – totally calm – and really good at building confidence – both during the practical and theoretical part.
The practical part was performed on a Bavaria 44, with all the necessary equipment – and contained all the parts you necessarily come across during your sailing.
Incredibly nice courses where I have only praise
There was a practical and written exam after each course – 100 questions where you had to have more than 80% correct. Yes, a lot of reading was needed to be able to remember all the new words and expressions you become familiar with.
For me it was / is also a challenge that this course was held in English in its entirety – and since English is not my main language – it was a bit of a panic for me to be able to remember everything.
But it went all well and all 3 courses passed, with the allocation of the public ASA logbook with the necessary signatures.
After these courses, I feel that I am finally beginning to understand more about handling boats and sailboats – have learned many necessary words and expressions you will later come in contact with.
In its entirety, I really recommend these courses if you really mean anything by learning to be on the water, and in a safe way – for yourself – for others and for the environment.
Then I started on the journey for my “Boat Skipper Category C”
I took this course at the same place and with the same instructor
Here was a practical exam performed by the harbor master on the same Bavaria 44 I used during the course.
Not quite sure why, but I was incredibly nervous during that exam, and probably made the worst docking I had during the entire course. But I did not make the big mistakes and got the signature.
Also be aware that for this “Category C” you also need to take a medical test performed by a dedicated and approved doctor’s office in Croatia. It took several hours, with many forms of testing, but everything was arranged by the Adriatic Sailing Academy for me.
Then I had to return a few days later to take the theoretical exam. Here I was greeted by Fabio and others from the company – who all did a good job in letting me stay calm and relaxed.
The exam was held by examiners from the harbor master’s office, and which consisted of several elements from the textbooks and syllabus and a little bit of navigation. This exam was held in a wonderful and insightful way, and ended with a warm and friendly handshake – and congratulations on passing the exam.
Papers and plastic cards are mailed to me.
Now I really feel like things are starting to fall into place and starts to understand whats all about
After successful completion of the course the trainees will be competent to handle and manage:
All types of boats (Less than 15m)
All types of yachts up to 18 meters on International Waters
Basic knowledge of motor repairs and maintenance
Maritime law, meteorology and first aid
Boat maneuvers collision avoidance
Maritime radio communication service
Safety at Sea
My experiences with my training at Adriatic Sailing Academy is that I would like to fully recommend this company/school for your training and courses – as I’m not able to see how it all could have been done better in any way, not to forget that Sanja and Fabio are totally dedicated in their work in letting you have the best possibilities to have a great time and to achieve your goals
“Yachtmaster B 500 GT” – Now in my Pocket
Ok, now the date is set to 17′ October – B 500 GT in English
Really looking forward to this – Its a loot to read and also several days out having all the practise, and some days with Radar simulators , and other tools for safety and navigation.
And I made it – Yachtmaster B 500 GT : (unrestricted by the yacht purpose and navigation area)
Again a zillion Thank You to Adriatic Sailing Academy , that did this possible for me, by arranging everything for me (Thank you Sanja) and for perfect Training from Fabio
The B Class Commander (yachts up to 500 GT) will be able to command yachts up to 500 GT for all purposes and in all navigation areas. Breeding validity: 5 (five) years
The Brevet may be renewed after 5 years for the same period if the holder has at least twelve months of sailing as a Yacht Commander up to 500 GT and meets the prescribed health conditions, in particular visibility and hearing.