Why a sailing resume trumps a sailing certification

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A Sailing Resume beats a Sailing Certification

rockpaperscissorsIt’s obvious when you think about it. It’s like Rock Paper Scissors.

Show up to a charter company with a sailing certification and it’s like showing up to a job interview with a degree. You’re going to get an entry level job which is akin to being authorized to charter a dinghy.

Every Charter company asks you every time for a resume. Show up to a job interview with a fully documented resume showing all the experience you have and you’re going to get an upper level management job – akin to getting a 40 foot charter boat ready for you to skipper yourself.

This is why many people are disappointed when they go get a BareBoat Sailing Certification from a random sailing association only to find out that it’s not worth what they thought it was – sure it contributes but it’s about time the sailing associations stopped lying to their own customers. A Bareboat Sailing Certification on its own WILL NOT NOT NOT allow you to charter a boat. Here is proof – the number for Sunsail USA is 877-651-9651. Call them and ask them if they will charter you a boat whereby you will not give them a resume but just a certificate. They will politely request a resume.

You must have a resume in order to charter a boat. You can fill one out on paper – or you can use NauticEd’s free cloud-based resume builder. Either way is fine.


Some countries require a sailing license. This is different from a sailing certification. Most countries in Europe, as well as the Seychelles, require you to have a sailing license. There are two readily available and accepted sailing licenses: the International Certificate of Competence – the ICC created by United Nations, and the NauticEd SLC.

The ICC is not hard to get, although there are only a few locations in North America. To gain an ICC you must visit an RYA Practical Training Center for practical training/sign-off.  In the USA, visit Yachting Education in Pensacola, Florida. In Canada click here. Elsewhere find an RYA local training Center here. However, the school will do a fairly high-intensity grilling on theory as well as practical so you should be fully versed in understanding navigation, tides, lights, IALA-A and IALA-B, navigation rules, ATONS, as well as practical aspects like Mediterranean mooring, springing on and off a dock, and MOB.

The SLC is readily available at many locations in the USA and Canada and is thus recommended for North Americans – and other countries as we grow our network of qualified assessors. The SLC can be issued to any citizen of any country, however, check to see if there is an available assessor that is geographically accessible to you.

Note: for North Americans,  be aware of unscrupulous associations saying that their IPC is aka the ICC. It is not. You can not get an ICC from an American-based company that uses American training systems. It must come through a country that is a signatory to the United Nations Resolution 40. The USA and Canada did not sign the resolution and thus the best way for North Americans to get the ICC is to go through the English RYA system. Fortunately, NauticEd has stepped up to provide a pathway to gain the ICC via the RYA.

International Certificate of CompetenceSo if you’re going to Europe, all Charter companies will require an adequate resume AND an ICC or SLC. Also note that the RYA Day Skipper certificate is sometimes* acceptable as a “license” but again, an adequate resume is also required.

*Sometimes – meaning some countries don’t like the word “Day” because a weeklong charter extends through nights (despite being at anchor). So you’re better off converting the RYA Day Skipper to an ICC. It is just a paperwork task.

So what is an Adequate resume? It’s one where you have believable documented experience as Master of a sailboat within close approximate length to the one you are chartering. When we interviewed charter companies worldwide to see what they would accept and what they thought would be average safe experience, their answers were the precursor to our ranking system.

For Bareboat Charter, you should document at least 50 days of sailing. 25 at least as master of the vessel and 25 at least on a sailboat larger than 28 ft (8.4 m).

Additionally, you should document theory knowledge. What they wanted to see was knowledge around anchoring, navigation, docking and maneuvering, general sailing and knowledge of bareboating and what to expect.  These represent the courses we also require for our Bareboat Charter Master Rank.

Charter companies take notice of documented instructor time but they don’t require it. Certainly, it makes them feel more comfortable but charter companies know that some sailing associations issue a bareboat charter certificate in a weekend to people who have limited experience. And so a bareboat charter certificate is not trusted. Back to the resume!

Something else that we did to help charter companies increase their confidence about chartering to a NauticEd student was to implement an Authenticated entry ability into our logbook system. When you go sailing with someone, you click in your logbook that you went out with them. They are sent an email that asks if this was real. If they say yes then it authenticates your entry AND authenticates their entry if they are a student. The NauticEd Resume then shows the amount of time on the water with the % of Authentication.

When you add up the above conversation, you’ll now understand why we built this Resume system as we did. We set out in 2007 with tools such as the internet with burgeoning eLearning technology and the ability for students to login to the cloud and permanently store real-life experience data. It’s what a modern education system should look like.

So how do you gain the experience then. We have the answers.

Start a NauticEd FREE cloud based sailing resume now. Just set up a free account and start loading up your experience into your resume. Then go to your profile tab and create a logbook code. Give this logbook code to your yacht charter company when you want them to view your sailing resume. They simply visit our webpage, you can go there now and view yours or view the example student we have set up there.

Whilst you are entering your experience make sure you add CrewMates to Authenticate your time. If you ever get instructor training, make sure you give to your instructor your logbook code. They will login and verify your practical competence which shows in your resume.

We hope you “get it”. Like a job resume,  your sailing resume is a living breathing document that should be kept up to date. But it also tells a story about you and your competence. If you were a charter company, who would you charter a boat to?  A certificate holder who gained that certificate from a sailing association with low standards on quality enforcement, or a student with a fully documented sailing resume?

On top of all that – our team has a lot of experience in Yacht Charter and we can organize a yacht charter for you. Chances are we’ve sailed in every location you want to go. We can fill you in on the best places and charter companies. We don’t charge a fee for this service.

Sign in or sign up now and fill out your sailing logbook.

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My vision for NauticEd is to provide the highest quality sailing and boating education available - and deliver competence wherever sailors live and go.
Grant Headifen
Last updated on August 31st, 2023