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International Flotilla Skipper

This is a five day course aimed at training students and sufficiently developing their skills and knowledge to become a Flotilla Skipper on a sailing yacht.

If you would like to skipper your own yacht but you’ve never sailed before, this course could be ideal for you. After completion, you will achieve an International Yacht Training (IYT) Flotilla Skipper certificate with VHF radio license which is a lifetime qualification for chartering yachts, worldwide on flotilla. So there’ll be no future issues with proving your yacht qualifications for charter - and proof of qualification is becoming more necessary, especially in the Med’ these days.

It’s a comprehensive syllabus and extremely rewarding. You’ll not only come away with an international yacht qualification endorsed by the MCA (Maritime Coastguard Agency) but some new sailing friends and unforgettable memories of learning to sail in sunshine and warm weather.

At a Glance

  • Beginner Flotilla Skipper course (18+) 
  • Take the Flotilla Skipper qualification in just 5 days (with us) with no prior sailing experience to prepare you for charter  No other course allows this
  • A recognised qualification for worldwide charter
  • Lifetime qualification. Renew subscription to IYT every 5 yrs, $80
  • Includes VHF radio license
  • We teach a ‘continual assessment’ method with no nasty examination at the end
  • Take the course on a Beach Club holiday or liveaboard the yacht
  • Private hire of tuition yachts and family courses available


The skills you will learn

Learning to sail a yacht for the first time (let alone skippering one) is an exciting and life-changing experience. You will find our course very interesting and well within your capabilities if you are resourceful and keen to learn. You will learn lots of useful skills like how to sail a boat on all points, passage planning with basic navigation, safety, meteorology and boat handling to include mooring and anchoring techniques.

Course Requirements

The recommended entry level requirements for the Flotilla Skipper course is the IYT International Crew Course. However, we can take pupils with no prior yacht experience* because we have designed our course to fast-track you through the Crew syllabus and ensure you develop the skills required to skipper a yacht on flotilla charter in just five days.

*We ask that pupils read through our E-Learning package before arrival. Allow 1-2 hours each day for a week beforehand.

Certificate Limitations

  • 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

The “depth of knowledge” required for the theory portion of the IYT Flotilla Skipper course, is the same as required for the IYT Bareboat Skipper course. The Flotilla qualification is a great stepping stone to safely acquiring the 200 miles and 10 days at sea to progress to the “International Bareboat Skipper” qualification.

Recommended with a Stay Sail

We recommend you take our Flotilla Skipper course as part of a two week Stay Sail to our Beach Club in Vassiliki so that we can train you in week one (while your family enjoy the Beach Club) and then look after you on our flotilla in week two when you take your first steps in skippering your own yacht. 

Our expert lead crew will be on hand to help you practice your newfound skills afterwards we’ll send you home a proficient flotilla skipper.


What’s the course like?

You will have five days of very practical hands-on training with a dedicated instructor as you sail around the beautiful Ionian islands. The Ionian’s make learning enjoyable in sunshine and warm weather (May to October) when the conditions are predominantly calm and very predictable. And don’t worry, there’s always a lunchtime anchorage and a chance for a swim.

The learning curve is fast and extremely rewarding as you share the sailing and switch roles with the other pupils on board. You will learn a lot, and examination is by ‘continual assessment’ rather than loaded into one big and stressful assessment at the end. We have a 100% pass rate on our Flotilla Skipper courses and aim to keep it that way.

If you are on our flotilla for week two, we’ll transfer you to the marina where our lead crew will take over. All our new skippers are very excited to be in charge of their own yacht on the Ocean Elements flotilla for the first time, (you can see it in them when the push off the dock!), and we love helping people learn new life-changing skills.

Expect 4 to 5 (max) pupils on a training yacht. All courses: Crew, Flotilla & Bareboat Skipper can be taught together on our training yacht, which works very well.

What’s our Flotilla like? Week two...

Most of our skippers get qualified in week one of a Stay Sail (while their family relax at the Beach Club) and then skipper the yacht with their family for week two on our flotilla. 

After your first week [of training], you will have a day or so to relax at the Beach Club before we transfer you to the marina (30 mins) where our lead crew will meet you and move you onto your yacht. They will train you up on your yacht’s systems so you can spend your first night aboard familiarising yourself with the controls. In the morning, after a full briefing our team will make sure you are ready to go and help you depart the marina. Your first sail will be to an easy line-of-sight destination, just 3-4 hours sail away and our crew will be at every destination before you, to help you moor up. They will always be just a VHF radio call away and the predominantly calm conditions of the Ionian will enable us to take you through this exciting experience with the-minimum-of-fuss.


Private Charter and Liveaboard

The course is also available to take whilst living aboard the yacht for one week. You may book as a solo traveller (solo cabin supplement) or share with your partner. Our training yacht has 3 double cabins. 

You may also charter the training yacht with our instructor, privately for your group or family. All our courses - International Crew, Flotilla Skipper and Bareboat Skipper - can be taught together on our training yacht, which works very well. Crew courses are for ages 14+, Skipper from 16+

Please call our expert sales team for prices, offers and more details.

Will I definitely pass?

At Ocean Elements we love introducing new people to sailing and yachting. It’s our mission to ensure that every one of our pupils - be they total newcomers to sailing or more experienced - pass the course in a week so they get to skipper their own yacht for the first time, in week two.

 Passing the course is within everyone’s capabilities so long as you are willing to listen and learn. We have not had to fail anyone yet, and nor do we intend to. If skippers need a little extra coaching on certain topics, then that can be covered in extra time, (by special arrangement).

The continual assessment nature of our course makes it easier on pupils; and even the end-of-course exam (approx 20 minutes of set questions) is made easier by the fact that if you get it wrong, it will not necessarily fail you but go out to the group for open discussion. The emphasis is on learning. Not failing.

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