Think this could be the best job in the world but don’t have the necessary experience or qualifications to attend Skipper Academy?
No matter your level of expertise, our partner schools can help you reach your sailing goals and teach you the necessary skills required to attend Skipper Academy.
Whilst we accept a few other internationally recognised sailing qualifications from experienced sailors, we prefer applicants with RYA Yachtmaster qualifications. We encourage those seeking qualifications to choose RYA schemes. Contact us for advice if you have any uncertainties regarding qualifications or schemes.
It is possible to go from zero-to-hero in a short period of time but it will require a significant financial investment in 6+ weeks of intensive sailing and study. Please contact our partner schools below, they will find a suitable program to help you reach your goals. We recommend taking an introductory sailing lesson at your local sailing club before committing so you know what you're getting yourself into.
As a skipper you will be responsible for the safety and wellbeing of up to twelve guests. It is essential that you are both a confident sailor and able to handle a yacht under any weather conditions. It's not always sunshine, ocean breeze, and tan lines – storms can roll in quick, yachts can break, emergencies can happen and you must be prepared. It's not easy starting with no experience. With the right drive and determination, not only can it be done but you're guaranteed to find it an incredibly rewarding journey. Some of our best skippers came from the corporate world, quit their jobs, and have since been sailing the world. It all started with a Yachtmaster fast-track program.
RYA Day Skipper Course and VHF Licence
Build Miles and Experience
RYA Yachtmaster Theory
RYA Yachtmaster Prep Course
RYA Yachtmaster Exam
QD Skipper Academy
If you have any experience sailing keelboats, it isn’t a big leap to the Yachtmaster Coastal. If you have been sailing whilst on a family vacation or completed an introductory sailing course, you may only need a couple more weeks of practice to fine-tune your yacht handling, hone your sail trim, build your miles and learn emergency procedures such as MOB. Please contact our partner schools and they will create a tailored course to help you reach your Yachtmaster. Depending on your level of experience this may take 1-3 weeks and usually requires the Yachtmaster theory module.
Transitioning from dinghies to keelboats is easy for experienced dinghy sailors. Dinghy sailors generally have excellent wind awareness and sail trim. There are some nuances to keelboats, such as the forces and load on the sails, the responsiveness, and all the technical equipment and yacht systems. It can take 2+ weeks of practical and theoretical training to learn the theory, docking manoeuvres, how the yacht handles, and emergency procedures. You will also need to build miles before you are eligible for the Yachtmaster exam. Our partner schools will give you recommendations on training.
Are you a salty sea dog? Could you sail before you could walk? Is Wind your all time favorite movie? Is an official qualification the only thing stopping you from throwing off the bowlines and sailing away from the safety of the harbour? Do you hold the RYA Yachtmaster minimum requirements? All you need is to take your Yachtmaster practical exam. We recommend that even experienced sailors take a Yachtmaster prep course to learn tips and tricks, common mistakes, and RYA methodology in order to be successful. Our partner schools offer prep week and exam combinations. Whilst it is not essential, we highly recommend taking an online Yachtmaster theory course. The most common reason for failing the Yachtmaster exam is lack of theoretical knowledge.
More information on the RYA Yachtmaster
Governing body: Royal Yachting Association
Recommended License: RYA Yachtmaster
Established over 40 years ago, the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School, located in Dublin, runs the full range of RYA Yachtmaster training. The East Coast of Ireland provides a challenging tidal environment and a variety of weather conditions. The school offers a number of structured yachtmaster packages, as well as modular programmes, so there's something to meet everyone's needs. Programmes focus on skills needed by those entering the industry, with additional focus on docking and close quarter manoeuvring, while add-on modules such as RYA powerboat training are available too. There are regular direct flights from Dublin to Zadar and Split in Croatia, and programme finish dates are scheduled with Quarterdeck Academy programme start dates in mind.
Location: South Africa
Royal Yachting Association
Recommended License: RYA Yachtmaster
Sail Due South is the premier yachting academy in South Africa. They specialize in experienced yacht industry training and professional development backed by hundreds of thousands of nautical miles experience. They offer fully comprehensive Yachtmaster fast-track course as well as individual RYA modules. With the Rand’s favorable exchange rate, training in South Africa can be a very affordable option, even if you factor in travel costs.
Location: British Virgin Islands
Governing body: American Sailing Association
Recommended License: ASA – 105/106
Sailing Virgins started their Caribbean based adventure sailing academy with the belief that people under 50 want a sailing experience that is more athletic, more exhilarating and more social than your typical cruising course.
Founder James left a corporate life in 2012, spent a few summers working for The Yacht Week, including roles as an Instructor and Route Manager of Greece in 2015. As an already well qualified Yachtmaster instructor and source of endless wisdom, James played a significant role in inspiring and mentoring our culture as it continues today. James holds senior instructor qualifications with all of the top three global sailing organisations: ASA (Advanced Coastal Skipper and Catamaran Instructor), IYT and RYA (Yachtmaster Instructor).
He's now joined by Jack, Rupert, Rubrio, Hugo and Kirill -a multinational team with a combined total of over 200 weeks of flotilla charters under their keel, as well as thousands of miles of deliveries, private charters, instruction and of course adventures. There's no words to capture just how unique each of these characters are, but rest assured that what they don't know about preparing to be a flotilla skipper and a purveyor of marine adventures, is probably not worth knowing. As you can probably tell, we're proud to have worked with them!
If you're looking for expert introduction to our philosophy and culture, and want to enjoy a wholesome Caribbean adventure while you're at it, then look no further!
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Governing body: Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen)
Recommended License: Deck Officer Class VIII (Fartygsbefäl Klass VIII)
Founded in 2009, this is the largest maritime and safety training centre in Sweden. The four founders previously served in the Swedish Navy together, and always had a big passion for safety and a life at sea. The company is well rooted with more than 2,400 students enrolled last year alone. As the largest training centre and the most modern one in the Nordic region, there are more than 16 STCW modules that are approved by the Swedish Transport Agency. This is a great resource for any domestic licenses, whether it’s for pleasure craft or for commercial purposes.