What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht?

Knowing What Qualifications You Need to Charter a Yacht is an Essential Part of Planning a Bareboat Yacht Charter

What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht?

What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht?

When we preparing charters, for certain, our most frequently asked questions is What qualifications do I need to charter a yacht?

In many of the 48 countries, we arrange a charter in, you do not need any kind of formal qualification to charter a yacht. You will however still need to provide some evidence that you can sail and formal certification will help.

In essence, you will need to persuade the operator (and your crew!) that you can handle the boat safely. Generally, this can be interpreted as satisfying the owner’s insurers. As a result, the burden does vary from operator to operator. We do find that common sense prevails most of the time.

What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht?

1. Experience and Qualifications

So, if you have the experience and a qualification, then it’s likely you are going to be able to charter a yacht. The best option if you are looking for a yacht charter or flotilla, is to just ask. This is because, at the end of all the analysis, the answer to what qualifications do I need to charter a yacht, actually lies with each operator – they always have the final decision.

2. Our Promise

We have never had a client refused at check-in, we can ensure it does not happen to you. So, whether you are just curious, planning for the future, or looking to charter soon, it is really important to avoid any disappointment. We have created this simple article to help you understand what you are likely to need.

Check to See If You Have the Experience or Qualification to Charter a Yacht

As we have pointed out, policies vary across countries and even operators in the same reason, so it makes sense to check. Whether you are a SailChecker customer or not, we will happily review your qualifications and experience.

Let us know your experience

This article is given as a guide and we hope to improve on the information using your comments and suggestions. In case you’re not sure or thinking about a new charter destination, we aim to give you a positive idea to answer the question, what qualifications do I need to charter a yacht?

3. What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht?

Recognised Qualifications

National Governing Bodies. The RYA is still the most globally recognised qualifications franchise. Other national frameworks such as the American Sailing Association (ASA) are all generally accepted worldwide.

International Certificate of Competency (ICC). In certain European countries, it is, in theory at least, mandatory to hold an International Certificate of Competency (ICC) if you want to bareboat charter a yacht. We discuss the relevance of that qualification here.

Exceptions to ICC. There are notable exceptions, in Northern Europe and Scandinavia the ICC is generally not required; that said it is still best to check with the individual charter company before you book. For any SailChecker reliant on a resume of sailing, we will always check this out for you and advise you accordingly.

The ICC is Resolution 40 passed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). In essence, the ICC is designed to provide the documentary assurance, from one country to another, that the holder meets the levels of competence laid down in the Resolution.

4. ICC Accepted Countries

The following countries have adopted Resolution 40 and officially accept the ICC as proof of boating competence within their territory:

  • Austria
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

5. Countries Requiring Additional Proof

The following have again not officially adopted Resolution 40 but usually require some other proof of boating competence before allowing a bareboat charter:

  • Greece
  • Moldova
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Russian Federation
  • Serbia
  • Sweden
  • Ukraine
  • United States

6. Not Adopted but Accepted

The following have not officially adopted Resolution 40 but do accept ICC’s for use in their territorial waters:

  • France
  • Italy
  • Poland

7. What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht - Inland Waterways

Inland waterways generally require an ICC with CEVNI (Code European Des Voies De Navigation Interieure (Revision 2)) inland endorsement. You will normally need to pass an examination to get an INLAND endorsement on an IYT International Certificate of Competence to operate a boat on European waterways. We always recommend researching the regulations contained in the European Code for Inland Waterways yourself and take the CEVNI examination and/or attend a suitable course.

8. What Qualifications Do I Need to Charter a Yacht in Croatia

One of the most tricky places to charter is Croatia. You can download an exhaustive list of all accepted qualifications in Croatia below. They have just updated in 2020 for new accepted qualifications.

Check it out click here to download the authorised list of qualifications require in Croatia.


Do you have any experiences with sailing qualifications? Let us know your tips and experiences in the comments below.

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