Expect to pay around $2000* to do this course, inclusive of any exam or test fees. Dependent on current exchange rates this is equivalent to around £1,275 or EUROS 1,755.
Where there aren’t that many easily accessed international sailing accreditations formally accepted by governments, there are a number of certificates that are recognised by insurance companies and coastguard agencies as being of an acceptable level to cruise in their waters.
The ASA 104 Bareboat Cruising certificate will allow you to charter a yacht in many of the sailing centres around the world – on Greek, Spanish and French waters for example. Having this certificate will allow you to go on a charter yacht in many places around the globe.
You will be certified as being capable of sailing a yacht of 30-45 feet on a multi day cruise in moderate to heavy weather (winds of up to 30 knots).
The course itself will be afloat with heavy emphasis on theory including navigation, passage planning and emergency procedures, as well as practical skills such as reefing, motoring and sailing in a variety of conditions.
You can take the ASA 104 certificate in any country in the world that is accredited to do so by the American Sailing Association.
You need a minimum of 80 hours sailing experience and ideally the ASA 103 Basic Coastal Cruising certificate (or at least be able to demonstrate the skills to pass that course).
The course duration is typically 3 full days.
Full details of the course can be found on this American Sailing Association webpage.
On completion of the course you will be expected to be able to sail a vessel of up to 45ft in length competently in most weather conditions and on overnight passages.
A Force 7 gale makes for a difficult sailing conditions for almost everyone who goes afloat with things that haven’t been tied down flying around and many people feeling seasick. You must be able to sail the vessel safely in these conditions, sometimes at night. The reward will be that you will be able to take a vessel on longer passages with confidence in your training and abilities, and make it home in conditions that are worth talking about over a beer.
In a way. Marine insurance companies will accept this as good for a bareboat charter in many countries around the world. However it isn’t a formally recognised certificate by many other governments around the world as a professional seamanship qualification would be.
If you’ve a trip in mind, it is advisable to check with the charter company you wish to sail with before you go.
Click here for further information on the course outline, and to see what other skills and knowledge you will learn.