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Old 24.04.2015, 22:32
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Yatch international driving license

I got a bit now into driving a Yatch but I need a license. I checked the Yatch driving school prices here in Zurich lake and it is quite high ... expectably so. I was then researching and it seems I can take an online course and later practice/exam in Spain for a small fraction of the price and apparently it is a driving license valid internationally.

Has anyone done so? would those permits work here in Switzerland as well?

Any hints or relevant advice?
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Old 28.05.2015, 12:08
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Re: Yatch international driving license

I have got the Inshore Skipper license from International Sailing School Association http://issa-schools.org/
Had no chance to try it in Switzerland yet (and don't know whether it is valid here or not, but it should be, as per my believe). For sure licence works in the countries listed http://issa-schools.org/members/

There are also other international schools:
- http://www.rya.org.uk/
- http://www.iytworld.com/

Cheers
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Old 28.05.2015, 12:14
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Re: Yatch international driving license

I did mine through RYA many years ago, and recently did the radio operators one as well. They have affiliated schools in southern Germany which are much cheaper than Switzerland - check their site www.rya.org.uk - although I did it in London as I was there on business anyway.

But - it depends what you want. For Lake Zurich you need a specific license, there's an old thread covering this:

Boat Captain's Licence (Getting/Converting)

For e.g. chartering on the Med, any internationally recognised license is fine.
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Old 28.05.2015, 12:28
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Re: Yatch international driving license

What's a yatch?
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Old 28.05.2015, 12:44
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Re: Yatch international driving license

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What's a yatch?
It's a status symbol. Just like a gold wacht.

Last edited by Gordon Comstock; 28.05.2015 at 12:45. Reason: forgot the quote
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Old 28.05.2015, 12:47
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Re: Yatch international driving license

It's what you say when you see the yacht mooring fees for Lake Zurich
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Old 28.05.2015, 14:04
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Re: Yatch international driving license

Which route you take will depend on your longer-term plans. If you are planning to stay in Switzerland for a long time or permanently, then it's worth doing the local D-Schein (which is also valid on the Bodensee) if you want to sail anything with more than 15 m2 sail area. If you are only here for a couple of years or so, then I'd think twice about bothering with the D-Schein and focus on sailing yachts outside Switzerland.

In terms of international licences, the only ticket that is technically "international" is the ICC (International Certificate of Competence), which is valid in any country that is a signatory to resolution 40 of the UNECE, more info here:

http://www.rya.org.uk/infoadvice/boa...Pages/icc.aspx

It can also be endorsed for inland waterways with an extra online CEVNI test. Depending on your nationality, most national governing bodies will issue an ICC on request if you hold or complete a minimum level of their own qualifications (Day Skipper in the case of the RYA). The ICC can also be taken as a stand-alone course/qualification.

If you are looking to charter in the Med, for instance, then I would advise you to look at a qualification of ICC level or above from a national governing body (the RYA's qualifications are probably the most widely recognised in the world, regardless of ICC).

Quote:
For e.g. chartering on the Med, any internationally recognised license is fine.
... depending on the charter company, so check before you book!

When doing your research and choosing your course, do check with the issuing body whether you can join their scheme at any level (as is possible with the RYA) or whether you need to start from the bottom and do all the qualifications in sequence regardless of prior experience.

Unfortunately, with a few exceptions that don't seem to apply to you, the Swiss system is basically incompatible with any other country's system. In other words, if you live here and do a foreign ticket, it's not valid on Swiss waterways; even with a commercially-endorsed Yachtmaster ticket and instructor qualifications, I had to the D-Schein from scratch here. Likewise the Swiss D-Schein is not valid on the sea, you would have to progress to the Swiss Hochseeschein (formerly known as the B-Schein) which is the Swiss qualification that confers an ICC, and there are other ICC-level qualifications from other governing bodies with far less onerous requirements.

However it's not all bad news; as I mentioned, a licence is required in Switzerland to sail boats with more than 15 m2 sail area (official measurement, not manufacturer's spec). The corollary is that if you have 15 m2 or less, no licence is required. That's why, Sail YSL, we use dinghies for our work in Switzerland.

It's a bit of a minefield, as you can see!

Last edited by eng_ch; 28.05.2015 at 14:19.
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Old 28.05.2015, 14:14
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Re: Yatch international driving license

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But - it depends what you want. For Lake Zurich you need a specific license, there's an old thread covering this:

Boat Captain's Licence (Getting/Converting)
Unfortunately the information on that thread is now long out-of-date. The authorities here tightened up their regulations massively about 5 years ago and now the only foreign licences that can be simply swapped for a Swiss D-Schein (in the same way as driving licences) are French, Austrian, German and Italian. Even then you may still have to take the practical exam for sailing.

I wrote an article on this a couple of years ago:

http://sail-ysl.ch/wp-content/upload...43_sailing.pdf

This, of course, applies if you are a Swiss resident. Visitors/tourists can still use their ICC with CEVNI endorsement and I believe you are also OK with your home country's licence within the first 12 months of being here.

HTH
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Old 28.05.2015, 15:42
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Re: Yatch international driving license

I find the strictness of the Swiss system utterly ridiculous. It takes less effort (and less expense) to acquire an ICC on tidal waters in the UK than to get a lame motor boating license on the lakes here with puny water hazards. Not only that, but (as it was mentioned before) the Swiss licenses don't really transfer to anything internationally acknowledged unless you go to ridiculous lengths.

I was looking into sorting out a license here, but after realizing that I can just get a 2 week holiday on the Isle of Wight and get a tidal certificate along with a radio license and proper navigation course thrown in too, for the same amount of money and effort as a lame boating license that is more or less only applicable to Switzerland, I just gave up. Daft buggers lost my business, although they probably don't care because there are enough muppets who want to idle on the Zurich lake with their silly boat doing nothing but looking smug. The fact that almost all the sailboats hurry back into harbor at the merest breath of wind just makes the entire thing more of a farce.
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Old 28.05.2015, 16:25
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Re: Yatch international driving license

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Daft buggers lost my business, although they probably don't care because there are enough muppets who want to idle on the Zurich lake with their silly boat doing nothing but looking smug. The fact that almost all the sailboats hurry back into harbor at the merest breath of wind just makes the entire thing more of a farce.
I had it from the horse's mouth that it's basically all down to money and politics. If it were down to the Schiffahrtskontrolle, they'd recognise licences perfectly willingly, they know exactly what a Yachtmaster ticket entails - and it's a far higher level than the Hochseeschein. But the powers-that-be dictate these things. I gather the reason for the tightening up of mutual recognition was down to that weasel word "mutual". The Swiss decided they weren't going to recognise tickets from nations that didn't recognise their tickets in return.

FWIW whilst the regulations regarding the storm lights haven't changed (slow = start making your way home, fast = get off the water now, do not pass go, do not collect 200), the criteria for their use changed last year. Under the old system they used to be switched on when a storm was expected within the next 2-3 hours (or thereabouts) (slow) or within the next hour-ish (fast). As of spring 2014 that has now changed to a more logical slow = winds of 25-33 kt expected, fast = winds of over 33 kt expected. It seems to have led to a much more accurate reflection of what's going to happen, making the system more reliable. Interestingly, although only two speeds of flash are advertised (slow = 40/min, fast = 90/min), going my observations there is in fact a third speed that seems to be at 120/min. Whenever I've seen that, it's usually really meant it.
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