Need your advice regarding RYA training centers

fab

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Hi there,

I am considering taking the RYA fast-track program and the thing is I am
a little confused with regard to the choice of a training center as there
are quite a few in the world that offer this program.

I guess what I am looking for is a center with very knowledgeable instructors,
build my experience on short passages and ideally in tough weather conditions. (I am not looking for some vacation). I am wondering if anyone would have some recommendations and/or feedback regarding some schools.

What I have in mind so far:
- UKSA
- Hamble
- Ondeck
- Allabroad

Thanks in advance,
Fabrice
 

Talulah

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Hi there,

I am considering taking the RYA fast-track program and the thing is I am
a little confused with regard to the choice of a training center as there
are quite a few in the world that offer this program.

I guess what I am looking for is a center with very knowledgeable instructors,
build my experience on short passages and ideally in tough weather conditions. (I am not looking for some vacation). I am wondering if anyone would have some recommendations and/or feedback regarding some schools.

What I have in mind so far:
- UKSA
- Hamble
- Ondeck
- Allabroad

Thanks in advance,
Fabrice

I would also add BOSS to your list.
(British Offshore Sailing School)
I have no connection with them but I often come across them in my travels and only hear positive things about them.
When it's rough the only boat I often come across in those conditions is BOSS.
 

lustyd

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summer is fast approaching so if you want good experience of poor weather you'll need to start pretty soon or wait 6 months :) This is a great approach though - I did 2 out of my 3 courses in winter and learned a lot more than the one in July and then felt more prepared when I went up the Irish sea in March :)
good luck with the course
Dave
 

capnsensible

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I will declare an interest coz I've done a bit of freelance work for them, but I do rate Allabroard.

One of the best, in my experience.

Do send me a PM if you have questions, for the obvious reasons, I can't say too much on here!!
 

jamesjermain

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I would also add BOSS to your list.
(British Offshore Sailing School)
I have no connection with them but I often come across them in my travels and only hear positive things about them.
When it's rough the only boat I often come across in those conditions is BOSS.'

I would also second BOSS, a well run school with very experienced instructors and a long history of training at all levels including offshore and ocean passage making.

UKSA is also well established and particularly experienced with the fast track system. I have no personal knowledge of the others. If you are looking for something a bit more challenging you might want to get outside the Soent, though.
 

Sailfree

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When it's rough the only boat I often come across in those conditions is BOSS.


I think thats because the BOSS boats are well branded. Other scvhool boats are not. We had our first boat a Dufour 36 with Hamble School of Yachting for tuition and charter work. It was never branded HS of Y so no-one would know but when we returned on a Sunday afternoon it often immediately left that Sunday night on DS & YM courses in up to a F8 (stayed in solent for F9!). As a new boat owner it appalled me the weather it went out in!
 

alant

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Hi there,

I am considering taking the RYA fast-track program and the thing is I am
a little confused with regard to the choice of a training center as there
are quite a few in the world that offer this program.

I guess what I am looking for is a center with very knowledgeable instructors,
build my experience on short passages and ideally in tough weather conditions. (I am not looking for some vacation). I am wondering if anyone would have some recommendations and/or feedback regarding some schools.

What I have in mind so far:
- UKSA
- Hamble
- Ondeck
- Allabroad

Thanks in advance,
Fabrice

Depends upon what you want to gain from the course.

Look at UKSA, if you want to learn more than just sailing. They are the only sea school, who have the shorebased infrastructure to cover the other skills you will need, not simply RYA stuff, since they are geared to train people for the superyacht market.

Yes, they have many detractors, but these usually deplore fast track anyway.

Before you decide to spend money, visit them in Cowes - they do open days etc.

Visit the others afterward to compare.
 

douglas_family

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I recently did my yachtamster offshore prep and exam through UKSA anf found it to be a very good experience. I met a few people who had completed fast track courses and thoose who passed were off to work in the industry. The chap who did the prep had just come from doing the clipper race as a skipper and was very good. I didn't hear any complaints about any instructors in the week I spent there. I would go again!
 

Doug_Stormforce

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Quick sales pitch

Lots of schools run a fast track programme. We don’t work with the big numbers of students some schools do, instead we focus on low ratios and a personal approach. I will tell you a few ways we have differentiated our programme and some of the reasons we think it is the best.

Most centers run the usual Competent Crew, Dayskipper, Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster modules, we couple them with a range of keelboat courses that concentrate specifically on sailing skills. On board our 7 and 8m open boats you will develop seamanship, spinnaker and sail handling skills without the many distractions that are on board a larger cruising yacht. On board the smaller keelboats you will spend more of your time helming, trimming sails etc. The result is that when you step back on the board the larger cruising yachts you will have a far better wind awareness and you find the actual sailing maneuvers such as MOB and picking up moorings far easier.

Recognising that there is more to becoming a competent skipper than simply covering the RYA scheme we give all of our candidates a couple of opportunities to “self-sail” and gain genuine skippering experience on board the yachts without our Instructor on board.

In addition to the full portfolio of RYA courses we put our students through various other modules including

12V Electrics
Rigging and deck hardware
Electronic Navigation
Outboard Maintenance
Weather for Yachtsmen

We teach our entire course in house, we do not need to outsource components to other centers. This helps the smoother running of your programme and ensures your learning is effective

Most Yachtmaster Offshore Fast-Track graduates are limited commercially to skippering up to 60 NM from a safe haven. Ours are able to skipper up to 150 NM as we cover the necessary additional First Aid and Diesel training.

Last year we replaced our Fast-Track Programme with the Flexi-Track Programme. The differences are that we bespoke the exact programme around you, allowing you to skip modules you have done before or don’t need, instead you can focus on the areas most relevant to you. We can also allow time off if you have other family commitments and we flex the start dates to suit you.

We don’t offer specific open days but most students come down to the centre to meet us 1:1 and discuss what they are after, it’s a chance for us to show you around and answer all of your questions.
 

fab

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Thanks everyone for your comments and I am also going to check the other suggested schools. I will come back to you guys if I have any other questions.
cheers,
Fabrice
 

alant

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Lots of schools run a fast track programme. We don’t work with the big numbers of students some schools do, instead we focus on low ratios and a personal approach. I will tell you a few ways we have differentiated our programme and some of the reasons we think it is the best.

Most centers run the usual Competent Crew, Dayskipper, Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster modules, we couple them with a range of keelboat courses that concentrate specifically on sailing skills. On board our 7 and 8m open boats you will develop seamanship, spinnaker and sail handling skills without the many distractions that are on board a larger cruising yacht. On board the smaller keelboats you will spend more of your time helming, trimming sails etc. The result is that when you step back on the board the larger cruising yachts you will have a far better wind awareness and you find the actual sailing maneuvers such as MOB and picking up moorings far easier.

Recognising that there is more to becoming a competent skipper than simply covering the RYA scheme we give all of our candidates a couple of opportunities to “self-sail” and gain genuine skippering experience on board the yachts without our Instructor on board.

In addition to the full portfolio of RYA courses we put our students through various other modules including

12V Electrics
Rigging and deck hardware
Electronic Navigation
Outboard Maintenance
Weather for Yachtsmen

We teach our entire course in house, we do not need to outsource components to other centers. This helps the smoother running of your programme and ensures your learning is effective

Most Yachtmaster Offshore Fast-Track graduates are limited commercially to skippering up to 60 NM from a safe haven. Ours are able to skipper up to 150 NM as we cover the necessary additional First Aid and Diesel training.

Last year we replaced our Fast-Track Programme with the Flexi-Track Programme. The differences are that we bespoke the exact programme around you, allowing you to skip modules you have done before or don’t need, instead you can focus on the areas most relevant to you. We can also allow time off if you have other family commitments and we flex the start dates to suit you.

We don’t offer specific open days but most students come down to the centre to meet us 1:1 and discuss what they are after, it’s a chance for us to show you around and answer all of your questions.


"Most Yachtmaster Offshore Fast-Track graduates are limited commercially to skippering up to 60 NM from a safe haven. Ours are able to skipper up to 150 NM as we cover the necessary additional First Aid and Diesel training."

How/why are they limited if YM Offshore?
 

Doug_Stormforce

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How/why are they limited if YM Offshore?


Alan I should probably clarify

To operate in Cat 1 waters (i.e. beyond 60nm from a safe haven and up to 150nm) there are a few extra manning/qualification requirements, namely that crew (and skipper) should hold ENG1 medical (as opposed to ML5), that someone on board should be qualified to RYA Diesel (for sail) or MCA AEC (for motor) and that someone on board should hold the STCW'95 Proficency in Medical First Aid and Care Aboard Ship.

So in effect a Commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Offshore can skipper up to 150NM if he holds the ENG1 but as you well know on small craft it would be rather odd for the skipper to then have to hire someone else to meet the First Aid and diesel requirements so that he can operate within the law. It makes far more sense for the skipper to hold these qualifications himself so that he can get on with work without restriction.

Going back to my post, the point I was making was that some Fast Track Courses recommend the ML5 medical to their students as it is easier to pass and more accessible, a number do not certify any diesel training and very few include the Proficiency in Medical First Aid. Instead they do either the RYA one day First Aid Course or the STCW'95 Elementary First Aid, both of which are good for up to 60NM.
 
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alant

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Alan I should probably clarify

To operate in Cat 1 waters (i.e. beyond 60nm from a safe haven and up to 150nm) there are a few extra manning/qualification requirements, namely that crew (and skipper) should hold ENG1 medical (as opposed to ML5), that someone on board should be qualified to RYA Diesel (for sail) or MCA AEC (for motor) and that someone on board should hold the STCW'95 Proficency in Medical First Aid and Care Aboard Ship.

So in effect a Commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Offshore can skipper up to 150NM if he holds the ENG1 but as you well know on small craft it would be rather odd for the skipper to then have to hire someone else to meet the First Aid and diesel requirements so that he can operate within the law. It makes far more sense for the skipper to hold these qualifications himself so that he can get on with work without restriction.

Going back to my post, the point I was making was that some Fast Track Courses recommend the ML5 medical to their students as it is easier to pass and more accessible, a number do not certify any diesel training and very few include the Proficiency in Medical First Aid. Instead they do either the RYA one day First Aid Course or the STCW'95 Elementary First Aid, both of which are good for up to 60NM.

OK Doug, understand your comment.

UKSA, mentioned earlier, as far as I know also offer these qualifications on their Fast Track courses & have done for many years.

I mention this, because they (& you) are amongst the few that do offer a complete Fast Track. Many in the past have claimed they do, but fall very short of that achievement.
 
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