The Yachtmaster certification, recognized around the world as a respected symbol of nautical competency, is now available in the U.S.
The Yachtmaster course was previously taught in most other English-speaking countriesthe U.K., Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Canada does not, at present, have the Yachtmaster course.
The two-week-long course, being offered by International Yachtmaster Training of Fort Lauderdale, was developed in this country by longtime merchant sailor and delivery captain Mark Fry, a native of Ireland.
The course includes rigorous training in piloting, celestial navigation, sail-handling, meteorology, offshore safety, and a four-day on-board practical test. The institute makes it clear that a certificate is not guaranteed for every entrant: "A person must show that he or she meets the requirements before we award the certificate," Fry said.
One benefit to having the certificate is that it is recognized by insurers like Lloyds of London, which means that a discount may be offered on insurance rates, according to Fry.