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FAQ’s: International Yacht Training (IYT) VHF Course

How much will the International Yacht Training VHF course cost including exam fees?

This course will cost up to USD $405* depending on where and when you do it.

* Equivalent to approx. £260, and 355 EUROS

What will you get out of the course?

This is an internationally recognised VHF and DSC radio operator’s qualification. VHF is still the most important form of communication between vessels and port. It is still the quickest way to summon help in an emergency, as long as you are in line of sight of another vessel or the shore.

What are your limits on passing the course?

Having a VHF license should be seriously considered by anyone going to sea for a protracted journey, but in itself is an adjunct to many other sailing qualifications. Many sailing qualifications cannot be completed without having this certificate.

Is it theory based or practical?

This is mostly theory, though you will learn how to use a number of VHF sets and have to do practice calls as part of the course.

Can you take the course in any country?

Yes! You can take the IYT VHF course anywhere in the world that runs the IYT scheme. The International Yacht Training scheme is not geographically based (such as the RYA or ASA), and as such is recognised in many countries around the world.

What level of experience is required before you begin?

None, though it helps to want to do this as part of your leisure or commercial sailing career.

How long does it take to complete?

This is a one day course, take a day off work!

What does the IYT VHF radio course involve?

  • You will learn the laws and protocols of using a VHF radio at sea and ashore. These are internationally recognised conventions, and you can be disciplined for misuse of VHF.
  • You will look at the Phonetic Alphabet, as well as the language and jargon used on VHF. For instance, swearing is strictly forbidden on the network everywhere in the world.
  • You will cover basic radio theory to include insights such as the weather and atmospheric conditions impacting the range of your call. 
  • You will also cover internationally recognised protocols for summoning help, to include MAYDAY and Pan Pan Medico. 
  • Finally, the course will look at the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and how to operate them in an emergency. 
  • You will be examined on these in a practical test and a theory exam.

How do I progress after completing the course?

Many IYT qualifications – from the IYT Bareboat Skipper and up – require you to have a VHF qualification. This will enable you to sit those qualifications and progress your leisure or commercial sailing career.

Does it give you international accreditation?

Yes – the VHF qualification is recognised in more countries than have leisure sailing schemes!

Where can I learn more about the IYT VHF radio course?

Have a look around the IYT World website to find out more about what this course entails.

You can take a look at the full syllabus here (click the Course Outline tab).

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