IFS Certificate

International Flotilla Skipper

Our International Flotilla Skipper course (IFS) is an intensive 8 day course teaching experienced sailors the skills to become a skipper, a professional and a leader.

This is not a beginners' course. You must have sailing experience and a navigational sailing license. A background in racing dinghies, keelboat cruising or similar is ideal.

During the course you will practise all from single handed moorings to circle rafts and technical yacht knowledge.

You will visit and learn about the main ports in Croatia and prepare you for your first charter. You will get to know the skippers and hosts you will be working together with in the summer.

This is a training course, recognised in the charter sailing industry throughout the world. The course end with a pass/fail exam. Usual pass rate is 85% based on sailing skills, yacht manoeuvring, team work and guest communication.   Everyone who pass are invited to work for QD as a skipper in the summer.

Is this course for you?

  • Are you an experienced and confident sailor?
  • Are you at least 20 years old?
  • Someone who’s not afraid to step up and take the wheel?
  • Are you enthusiastic and social?
  • Most of all, are you up for an adventure?

If yes, then don’t hesitate to join our team for the summer season!

Apply here

What you can expect from us

  • One-on-one mentoring and tuition from our expert instructors
  • Shore based and practical lessons to teach you how to maintain the standard of professionalism that Quarterdeck expects of its skippers
  • Course materials and tools to prepare you for work on the water
  • Crew management training
  • Advanced sailing and docking manoeuvres
  • Local tours and fun teambuilding activities
  • A great week of sailing and learning with like-minded people in stunning Croatia

What we expect from you

  • Minimum age: 20-years-old
  • You are fluent in English
  • Valid sailing License, VHF License & First Aid certificate
  • Sailing experience: You are a sailor and can comfortably sail a yacht with experienced crew. Experience from either from dinghy racing, keel boat cruising/racing or similar level.
  • Social skills: You are the leader of the yacht and must be ready to step up to this role and guide your guests through a week of living on a yacht.
  • Attitude: You want to live on a yacht, meeting new friends from all over the world and being part of an international team of skippers and hosts.
  • Availability: To get the most weeks of work you need to be available in our peak period 4th July - 22nd August.

If you do not have the required experience or certification please check out the Training and Partner Schools page. Our partner schools will help you gain the experience and licenses required to attend the IFS course.


The course is 8 days long starting from Split, Croatia. Each yacht has a dedicated instructor and you will share with up to 3 hosts that will be your guests for the week. (see Host Academy)

Day 1: Theory on land, what it means to be a professional skipper

Day 2: Check in procedures of the yacht. Technical inspection and how to set yourself up for success with your newly arrived guests.

Day 3-6: Practical training on the water. Docking, anchoring, formation rafts mixed in with team work, harbour knowledge and practical skipper tips and tricks.

Day 7: Exam and evaluation. You get to show your skills to our instructors. You will be tested on manoeuvring, communication and professionalism.

Day 8: Check out of yacht, end of the course. Delivery of exam results.


At the end of the course, the instructors will ask themselves the following question: “Would I feel comfortable sending you out on charter with my friends or family?”. This decision will be based on 4 aspects and will determine whether you pass or fail.

  1. Safety and risk awareness - Instructors will evaluate your safety consciousness throughout the week. As a skipper you must have the safety of your guests as the first priority and fully understand the risks while sailing.
  2. Yacht manoeuvring - Can you handle a yacht with novice guests? Can you park or anchor the yacht safely in any condition with little or no help from your crew.
  3. Communication ability - Will you be able to deliver clear and concise instructions to your crew? Are you able to break down complicated sailing related tasks into simple clear instructions? Can you deliver a crew briefing that covers the important safety basics while keeping the crew engaged?
  4. Attitude and personality - Will the guests enjoy your company on board and will you add value to their vacation? Will you be the person who take their holiday from good to amazing?


Applications are now open.

Week 15 8-16 April (Early course) OPEN
Week 17 22-30 April (Early course) OPEN
Week 18 29 April - 7 May (Early course) OPEN
Week 20 13-21 May OPEN
Week 21 20-28 May OPEN

Course Cost: For 2022 we have reduced the course cost significantly to €495 which you will make back within two weeks of work. During the first three weeks working you will be on a probationary period and will receive the base rate only. See payment scheme for details.

Early Course: When issuing work assignments, we aim to have all bookings staffed 4 weeks prior to their start date. Therefore successful students on earlier academy courses will be assigned to start working earlier in the season than students of later courses.

Applications open