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Old 16.03.2014, 16:03
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Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

Hi there,
does anyone know if anyone offers the Swiss Boat Licence Theory and Practical Course in English please ?
We live in Lugano
Thanks
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Old 18.03.2014, 21:20
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

I'll be at the Expat Expo in Lugano on 30 March if you'd like to come and have a chat
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Old 18.07.2014, 22:09
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

Hi there,

I live in Zurich, do you offer the course here? and if so, what is cost / duration.

Thanks!
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Old 04.08.2014, 12:56
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

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Hi there,

I live in Zurich, do you offer the course here? and if so, what is cost / duration.

Thanks!
Sorry for the belated reply, I've been off sailing and only just saw your post.

The Swiss D-Schein is a slightly tricky animal. You can buy various CDs to learn the theory (most of which include the questions in English too) and the theory exam can be taken in English (in Zurich canton at any rate) - it's a computer-based multiple choice exam lasting 45 minutes with a pass mark of 56 out of 60. The English is "interesting" in places too.

However, the practical exam can't be done in English; in Zurich at least, they insist that the practical exam must be conducted in German. I do offer an interpreting service for the practical exam but that's only possible for the sailing exam where you have to supply your own crew; on the motor exam you have to do everything yourself.

Bear in mind, though, that you only need the Swiss ticket for vessels with over 15 m2 sail area and/or over 6 kW engine power (approx. 8 hp)
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Old 08.08.2014, 14:02
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

Another alternative is to take the license in the UK - it is valid in on all EU lakes and rivers, including Switzerland
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Old 08.08.2014, 14:28
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

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Another alternative is to take the license in the UK - it is valid in on all EU lakes and rivers, including Switzerland
No it's not. To use Swiss waterways, you need to have the Swiss qualification. Only that one is valid. Even International ones (I have the ICC for motor and sailing boats up to 20m, for example) don't count.

And in case you hadn't noticed, Switzerland is not part of the EU.
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Old 08.08.2014, 15:15
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

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No it's not. To use Swiss waterways, you need to have the Swiss qualification.
I can confirm that. I too have an international licence valid everywhere except Switzerland. They will, however, swap licences from neighboring countries.
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Old 08.08.2014, 18:45
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

Just to add a little more detail...

A UK (or other non-neighbouring country) qualification (ICC with CEVNI) is valid here if
a) you are a tourist and not resident in CH and
b) technically for the first 12 months you live here (analagous to the driving licence)
[Having said that, I don't know of any boat rental outlets that will rent out boats without a Swiss ticket]

It is NOT valid if you take it after you became resident in CH - the same goes for any other country's qualification - even the neighbouring country qualifications can only be swapped for a Swiss ticket if you acquired them before you moved to CH or while you were resident in that country for a minimum of 12 months.

It's why I had to do my D-Schein from scratch despite holding a commercial Yachtmaster ticket and instructor ticket.
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Old 17.08.2020, 18:10
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

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Hi there,
does anyone know if anyone offers the Swiss Boat Licence Theory and Practical Course in English please ?
We live in Lugano
Thanks
Boost.

Power Boat. No sailing related. I Don't speak German. Any info appreciated.

Same question. Lake Zugersee (ideally) or Zurichsee.

Will taking "RYA Power Boat Level 2 - Power Boat Handeling" in London allow me to drive a boat in Switzerland?

Will taking category B licence (12 meters boat) in Croatia allow me to drive a boat in Switzerland?

I more less know the answer but looking for 2020 current laws and rules.
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Old 17.08.2020, 19:13
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

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Will taking "RYA Power Boat Level 2 - Power Boat Handeling" in London allow me to drive a boat in Switzerland?

Will taking category B licence (12 meters boat) in Croatia allow me to drive a boat in Switzerland?

I more less know the answer but looking for 2020 current laws and rules.
No, neither of these. nor any other even higher qualification, will be accepted - only the proper Swiss licence will do.

Nothings changed un recent years. Details here https://app-bootstheorie.ch/en/boat-drivers-licenses
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Old 17.08.2020, 20:30
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

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No, neither of these. nor any other even higher qualification, will be accepted - only the proper Swiss licence will do.

Nothings changed un recent years. Details here https://app-bootstheorie.ch/en/boat-drivers-licenses
Thank you for the message and the link Ace1! Much appreciated.
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Old 19.08.2020, 12:57
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

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Boost.

Power Boat. No sailing related. I Don't speak German. Any info appreciated.

Same question. Lake Zugersee (ideally) or Zurichsee.

Will taking "RYA Power Boat Level 2 - Power Boat Handeling" in London allow me to drive a boat in Switzerland?

Will taking category B licence (12 meters boat) in Croatia allow me to drive a boat in Switzerland?

I more less know the answer but looking for 2020 current laws and rules.
As already mentioned, NO. Even though the ICC and other qualification means you can sail and drive a powerboat in the open sea, on the closed lake you can't use it.

I tried to convert my ICC here but was rejected, so will do the tests here, starting with power boating and have my theory test on 8th of Sept.

I did my RYA powerboat 2 a couple of weeks ago on the solent: https://www.boatability.co.uk/ and would recommend them.

Also did a morning of Ski boat driving lessons.

Main aim of doing the UK courses is for the experience and to be safe. Will also do some additional training here.

For the 'Theory in English', do you specifically need to request this?
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Old 19.08.2020, 14:39
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

As the others have said, no, foreign qualifications are no good to you as a resident.


I can recommend someone in Rappersil/Jona who can teach you in English, but you'll need to take the exam in German. The chap I have in mind might also be able to teach you the German for what you'll need to know in the exam.



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For the 'Theory in English', do you specifically need to request this?

If it's in Zurich (at the Schiffahrtskontrolle in Oberrieden), no - you can choose your language (DE, FR, IT, EN) at the start of the computer-based exam and switch between them on each question. It would be good if you understood one of the other languages, though, as the translations aren't always accurate or clear. I got a question wrong because the EN translation was very unclear.

Last edited by eng_ch; 19.08.2020 at 16:33.
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Old 19.08.2020, 15:02
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

There seems a lot of dangerous half knowledge around. I actually looked this up a few weeks ago as I had that discussion with a Swiss friend: Swiss laws have changed a bit. In the past did they simply not accept any foreign license. That’s not the case anymore. I only checked it for my German “SBF” and yes, that’s totally valid in CH waters. You obviously need to have the corresponding license for rivers and lakes, not the ICC for coastal waters. If I move to CH do I need to convert it within 12 months in the exact same way you convert your car license as well.
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Old 19.08.2020, 16:22
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

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There seems a lot of dangerous half knowledge around. I actually looked this up a few weeks ago as I had that discussion with a Swiss friend: Swiss laws have changed a bit. In the past did they simply not accept any foreign license. That’s not the case anymore. I only checked it for my German “SBF” and yes, that’s totally valid in CH waters. You obviously need to have the corresponding license for rivers and lakes, not the ICC for coastal waters. If I move to CH do I need to convert it within 12 months in the exact same way you convert your car license as well.
It's been a while, but my understanding is that you can swap boat licences from surrounding countries, but not the UK
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Old 19.08.2020, 17:06
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

Quote:
There seems a lot of dangerous half knowledge around. I actually looked this up a few weeks ago as I had that discussion with a Swiss friend: Swiss laws have changed a bit. In the past did they simply not accept any foreign license. That’s not the case anymore. I only checked it for my German “SBF” and yes, that’s totally valid in CH waters. You obviously need to have the corresponding license for rivers and lakes, not the ICC for coastal waters. If I move to CH do I need to convert it within 12 months in the exact same way you convert your car license as well.

In order to use a vessel (sail over 15m2 sail area, motor over 6 kW engine - lower limits apply for Bodensee) on the Swiss lakes:



You can USE a non-Swiss qualification in Switzerland if:
  • you are not resident in Switzerland OR
  • within the first 12 months of moving to Switzerland
  • AND you have used it to obtain an ICC with CEVNI endorsement for inland waterways


You can SWAP a non-Swiss qualification:
  • that you obtained before moving to Switzerland OR
  • that you obtained while living outside Switzerland for more than 12 months
  • AND that has been issued by one of the surrounding countries (if for sail, you may still have to take the practical exam - I believe if your qualification was issued by France or Austria, but check with the Schifffahrtskontrolle in your canton)
  • AND within 12 months of moving to Switzerland (like a car driving licence)


You must TAKE a Swiss qualification if:
  • you have not taken any qualifications before moving to Switzerland
  • a qualification you took before moving to Switzerland or while out of the country for more than 12 months was issued by a country other than the surrounding countries, regardless of the level of qualification
  • you take qualifications outside Switzerland while you are resident in Switzerland (e.g. on holiday in the Med), regardless of the level of qualification
  • if you have not swapped a French, German, Austrian or Italian qualification within the first 12 months of moving to Switzerland
  • after your first 12 months living in Switzerland if your qualification is issued by any other country (if you have been using it under the umbrella of an ICC with CEVNI)


There may be a bit of overlap in the last section above.

I don't think much has changed since I wrote the articles linked below, but it's always worth double-checking with the Schifffahrtskontrolle in your canton.


Blog post: Is my qualification valid for...?


Article: Getting on the Water in Switzerland
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Old 19.08.2020, 17:50
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

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As the others have said, no, foreign qualifications are no good to you as a resident.


I can recommend someone in Rappersil/Jona who can teach you in English, but you'll need to take the exam in German. The chap I have in mind might also be able to teach you the German for what you'll need to know in the exam.






If it's in Zurich (at the Schiffahrtskontrolle in Oberrieden), no - you can choose your language (DE, FR, IT, EN) at the start of the computer-based exam and switch between them on each question. It would be good if you understood one of the other languages, though, as the translations aren't always accurate or clear. I got a question wrong because the EN translation was very unclear.
Great, thanks for the reply. I plan to start revising for the exam next week, sounds like I should do this in English and German (ca. B1 knowledge).

Any pointers on best methods to prepare for the theory exam? I was recommended an app: Bootspruefung24.ch

For the practical, looking at using https://sail.ch/ starting with powerboat this year.

Cheers N.
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Old 20.08.2020, 09:10
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

I'm in the process of doing exactly what you are doing.

I did the motor boat exam last year and am waiting for a date for the sailing exam.

I'm an ex RYA advanced powerboat instructor and Sailing Senior instructor and the Swiss Powerboat exam messed with my head. Some things in the practical I personally find ridiculous and my point was proved a few weeks afterwards when helping to rescue a sailing boat and the Swiss trained guy driving the safety boat nearly drove over my friend.

I'm a bit less worried about the sailing (but we'll see what happens) I think there are less idiosyncrasies between learning to sail elsewhere and here in Switzerland, but there are a couple of minor things that I would do differently normally.

Definitely learn the practical the way they want it here in Switzerland and don't use your experience. An example from my power boat practical exam was after the man overboard the guy asked me what I would do now. My answer was get him in the boat. The examiner said what if you can't (I've spent 15 years driving rescue boats in various environments and with all the extra warp on a boat I have a number of ways I'd get someone in if I really needed to) I started to tell him I'd get some warp and rig up a sling or a pulley system to get him in the boat and I was told this was wrong... I need to call the emergency services!!!

So just learn how they want it and do it their way for the exam.
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Old 20.08.2020, 10:16
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

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I'm in the process of doing exactly what you are doing.

I did the motor boat exam last year and am waiting for a date for the sailing exam.

I'm a bit less worried about the sailing (but we'll see what happens) ...

Definitely learn the practical the way they want it here in Switzerland and don't use your experience. ...

So just learn how they want it and do it their way for the exam.

This. A thousand times this. As a commercial Yachtmaster and Cruising Instructor, I took 4 hours' private instruction before the exam to learn the boat and exactly how they want to see all the drills done. (In fairness, the examiner seemed a bit sheepish about having to ask me to do various knots etc). Likewise, there are odd rules on the lakes for motor boats (they're not that odd if you think about it), but if, for example, you don't know that you have to go out from the shore at 90° for 150m before you can change direction and try to go straight from the Seepolizei harbour in Oberrieden to the marina next door by just nipping round the corner close to shore, it's an automatic fail. And my instructor got a flea in her ear from the examiner when we arrived at Oberrieden for letting me put fenders out before mooring up (that's what they're for FFS).
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Old 26.08.2020, 00:27
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Re: Swiss Boat Licence Course in English ?

Update: I applied for a boat licence in Strassenverkehrsamt Zug
I received Bewilligung by mail. (Permit to take the exam in another canton)
With this document now I apply to take the theory exam in English in Zurich.
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