How to Make a Career Out Of Sailing: Premium Qualifications from the RYA

Posted on September 27, 2013 by Lee under Day Skipper, Powerboat Courses, RYA, Sailing, Sailing Training Courses 2 Comments

Although sailing is one of the most supreme leisure activities of our time, it also offers ample opportunities for turning your love of life on the water in to a potential career.

There are training options for a range of skillsets – so pick the right course and you’ll position you well for your ideal sailing job.

The Gold Standard: A Qualification from the RYA

As you’d expect, the Royal Yachting Association is the organisation to turn to if you’re in search of professional qualifications to open doors to a career on the waves. They offer a wide range of courses that equip you to go forward and turn your hobby in to a professional career path.

RYA qualifications are recognised worldwide, and they’re widely acknowledged as a leading training organisation in the world of sailing – that’s why we wholeheartedly recommend them.

So… What Jobs Can I do?

Here’s a selection of some of the better jobs in the business:

Superyacht captain. Transporting well-monied guests to locations far and wide,  and sailing the open seas at the helm of a powerful luxury boat will be your duties as a superyacht captain.  The role is demanding and requires elite sailing proficiency, but the rewards are well worth it. Throw in a fantastic salary, and you might just be looking at your ideal job. 

Crew Member Onboard a Yacht. If you don’t fancy the responsibilities of the skipper yet would still love to earn a decent salary travelling the world, then consider a crew position. Possible roles include deck hands, cooks or engineers, and a basic qualification from the RYA can get give you the edge you need to get hired.

Want to take it up a notch? Why not consider becoming a superyacht crew member!

Sailing InstructorSailing Instructor. If you have a passion for both sailing and teaching, then a career as a sailing instructor could be your dream job.  Of course, you’ll need to be highly proficient in both disciplines, and it may take you years to attain the requisite skill levels – but if you do, you’ll be set for one of the most rewarding careers in the business.

Watersports Manager.  Fancy organising the activities at an inland sailing site or beach resort? It’s a pretty exciting job, and when you’re up to speed on the use of powerboats and jetskis, you’ll be all set to take on a management role and help the thrillseekers get their kicks on the water.

The Qualifications

The Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper Courses

These are the foundational courses that give you vital experience in captaining a ship.  If you’re new to sailing and that’s your goal, you’ve got a long road ahead of you, but these courses are what you need to shave months off your learning curve.  You’ll learn all the basics of navigation, plotting a course, boat handling skills and safety at sea.

The Competent Crew Course

This is the one to go for if you fancy yourself as an invaluable asset onboard an ocean-going chartered boat.  The course drills you thoroughly in all the general skills required as a crew member on board a large yacht.

The RYA Yachtmaster Course

This is the grand-daddy of RYA qualifications, and it’s the very minimum you’ll need to be able to progress towards the advanced sailing careers such as sailing instructor or yacht captain. It’s not a course, but rather an exam – and a very difficult one at that.  Pass it though and you’ll have proof that you’re one of the best-qualified captains trained in the UK.

RYA Powerboat Courses

There are a couple of different types of RYA powerboat courses, and they’ll add a crucial string to your bow if you’re interested in operating motorboats in a watersports role or perhaps as a tender operator, transporting passengers to and from a luxury yacht.

Do any of the courses above take your fancy?  If so, take a look at our range of training dates and locations in the UK to see when and where you can gain those vital skills. It might be the first step towards a fulfilling career on the open seas.


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