Flotilla Skipper

International Watchkeeper / Flotilla Skipper (Power or Sail)

This is a five day course aimed at increasing a student's knowledge sufficiently to be a watchkeeper or a flotilla skipper. Recommended entry level requirements are International Crew course and the VHF radio operator's course.

This certificate covers:

  • command of a vessel up to a maximum length of 78 ft /24 metres as part of a flotilla
  • in coastal waters up to 20 miles offshore
  • in daylight hours and in fair conditions with moderate wind and sea conditions
  • being an active crew member and leader of a watch (same distance and limitations as above)
  • It is the level of competence that someone needs either when acting as watchkeeping crew on a yacht or when being skipper on a vessel as part of a flotilla charter, ie in the Mediterranean or West Indies where the flotilla is guided, there are restrictions in terms of cruising area and distance from the base and the vessel group has to be safely moored in a marina or anchored before dark.

Course outline:

  • Responsibilities of a watchkeeper / flotilla skipper
  • Man overboard procedures
  • Charts and chartwork
  • The magnetic compass
  • Buoyage
  • Taking over a vessel and vessel checkout
  • Engine, tools, spares, safety equipment
  • Crew safety briefing
  • Galley and provisioning
  • Powerboat handling skills
  • Sailboat handling skills
  • Basic first aid
  • Collision regulations
  • Customs matters and legal requirements
  • Preparing a short passage
  • Anchoring
  • Dingy handling under power


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