Yacht training is commonly offered through several different venues, including boating clubs and nautical training institutes. Programs come in many varieties. Some are aimed at helping new yacht owners learn how to operate their boats, while others are designed to train boating engineers and captains in how to operate yachts for profit. Most yacht training programs for individuals are information-only, while the majority of those geared to professionals end in some sort of certification or completion credentials.
If you are a yacht owner looking to receive training on how to operate and care for your ship, an individually oriented yacht training course is probably best. Your yacht club or boathouse may offer these sorts of courses, but if not, they will likely be able to point you towards different boat training programs in your area. Experienced yachters sometimes offer training on a consultancy basis, and many community boating associations run regular courses on boat safety and sailing basics.
Training programs vary somewhat in format and scope. Most of the time they are taught in groups. Participants will learn together about basic yacht terminology, as well as the essentials of navigation, understanding yacht controls, and routine maintenance. More advanced courses deal with wind speed, storm preparedness, and sailing without modern navigational techniques. Some yacht clubs and boating centers also offer courses geared towards children, or to the spouses of avid yachters so that boating can be more of a family affair.
It is sometimes also possible to get one-on-one yacht training on board your vessel. This kind of training is usually offered by yacht experts or sailing masters and is typically billed at an hourly rate. Sessions can be as in-depth or as basic as you want, and the curriculum is usually designed around your questions.
Many of the world’s largest yachts operate commercially or are owned by individuals wealthy enough to employ full-time yacht staff. The yacht training required for these staff members is usually a lot different than that offered to individuals. Professional-oriented programs are often much more structured, and many lead to professional certifications in most instances. Yacht owners typically want evidence of a potential employee’s credentials and formal schooling before hiring him to live aboard the craft.
Professional-oriented yacht training programs are usually offered through independent companies or nautical schools that specialize in preparing people for careers on boats. These courses are often offered in academic classrooms as well as on board ships and usually involve a lot of hands-on and demonstrative work. Different courses are usually available for those wishing to become captains, deck hands, medics, safety officers, and more.
Virtually any yacht position has a corresponding training and certification course. Certification agencies — which are usually government bodies — usually maintain lists of all accredited yacht training courses that are offered in a given area. Contacting your local certification board is one of the best ways to locate training courses that may be available to you.