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International Yacht Training course

A course for beginner skippers and sailors with experience. Earn yourself an International Yacht Training Certificate for flotilla or bareboat skipper



If you would like to skipper your own yacht but you’ve never sailed before, this course could be ideal for you. Our five day IYT ‘Flotilla Skipper’ course (for beginners) or ‘Bareboat Skipper’ course (for sailors with a little experience) is perfect when taken in week one of a Stay Sail holiday at our Surf Hotel in Vassiliki, so you can practice your newfound skills in week two. We can take complete novices from ZERO to proficient flotilla skipper in just two weeks. It’s a great foundation for the start of a new lifestyle in yacht sailing!

Our beginners course provides you with the International Yacht Training (IYT) Flotilla Skipper certificate which is an internationally recognised qualification. It comes with a VHF radio license and can be used worldwide for chartering yachts on flotilla.

More experienced sailors can take the IYT Bareboat skippers course which is done in the same 5 days, and comes with a VHF license. To join this course you will need to have done a previous flotilla as first mate/useful crew; or about 150 miles sailing over 5 days.

The Essentials

  • Suits beginners and those with experience
  • 5-day Beginner Skipper’s course
  • No prior sailing experience necessary
  • Qualification: International Flotilla Skipper certificate (for beginners)
  • Qualification: International  Bareboat Skipper certificate (150 miles experience)
  • Also included: your VHF radio license
  • Qualification valid: 5 years. Then documents need renewal (approx  $80)*
  • Take the course at Surf Hotel Beach Club in Vassiliki
  • Price £799pp, reduced to £399pp for Stay Sail guests
  • + £150 for the Bareboat course extension
  • Course runs: July to September (spaces limited)

*Your IYT qualification will need renewal after 5 years, which is a payment of approx $80. Supporting documents (if applic) need to be up-to-date.

How to take the course

You can take this course whilst staying at the Surf Hotel for a reduced price of £399 (instead of £799) if you are a Stay Sail guest. Get qualified while your family relax back at our club enjoying the facilities. Hurry though, spaces are now getting limited for this season.

After completing your course you’ll be itching to get onboard your yacht for week two, to put into practice your new-found skills with our flotilla crew on hand to help you all the way.

About the course

Even if you have no prior experience, then our five-day IYT course teaches you everything you need to know to skipper a yacht on our Flotilla. On completion of the course, you will get an International Yacht Training Flotilla Skippers’ qualification to use worldwide when chartering your next yacht.

If you have some prior experience, (minimum 5 days or 150miles), then you can do the Bareboat Skippers course which runs alongside the Flotilla course, on the same training yacht. Both courses come with a bonus VHF radio license and are valid for 5 years.

The course is designed around those staying at our Surf hotel in Vassiliki and each day you’ll join a group of (maximum) five pupils with a dedicated instructor on our training boat which is moored a 10-minute walk away in the harbour. It’s a great course with lots of practical on-the-water tuition, and ideal when combined with a two week Stay Sail.

By the end of your first weeks, your family will be fully refreshed from a week at our Beach Club and you will be ready and raring to go to sea and skipper your own yacht.

View syllabus

For novice skippers

Even as a beginner with very little sailing experience, our IYT Flotilla Skippers course is suited to you; and we’re confident that we can turn you into a proficient flotilla skipper by the end of it, especially if you are on a two week Stay Sail with us.

During the beginner Flotilla Skippers course, you will learn and develop the skills required to skipper a yacht around the Ionian. After your five days of training, you’ll have a day or so to relax at the Surf hotel before heading off to your yacht for week two on the Ocean Elements Flotilla. When you arrive at the marina, our lead crew will be on hand to train you up on your yacht’s systems and to make sure you are ready, before you set off on your first sail which will be to an easy line-of-sight destination, just a 3-4 hour sail away.

Our crew will give you a full safety briefing and help you passage plan each day. They will also be there to help you cast off each morning and then moor up each night. They will always be a VHF radio call away.

The predominantly calm conditions of the Ionian enable us to take you through this exciting experience with the-minimum-of-fuss.

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. Our course is quite ‘full-on’ (especially for complete beginners) but you will find it very interesting and well within your capabilities. 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.

Our course is best taken as a two week Stay Sail package. That way, we can ensure you learn all the skills required during week one, then practice them skippering your own yacht (with us) in a controlled and relatively easy-sailing environment for week two. You will sail in calm waters without any complicated tides to worry about and navigation and route planning will be made especially easy - because most of the destinations you will be sailing to (following our lead boat if you prefer) are in your line-of-sight.

It’s a super learning curve, life-changing and extremely rewarding; and you’ll come away with your  IYT skipper certificates which are internationally recognised for yacht charter.

View the Syllabus

Private courses

Our Start Yacht Sailing courses are ideal for small groups of friends or families to join. You can book a private course on our training yacht with a dedicated instructor for up to five people.

The course is suitable for anyone aged 16 and over and the group will go at a pace that suits all students. It’s a beautiful place to learn about yachts, you will enjoy the beauty of the Greek islands at the same time and enjoy hot weather and a cooling breeze as you learn.  

If this sounds interesting to you then do speak to our sales team for more info and how to book. Spaces are limited.

How to book

Our Stay Sail holidays with the Start Yacht Sailing course is a complete ‘learn to sail’ yachting holiday and if you’d like to know more then give our team a call.

Remember that you can't book a Stay Sail holiday online as there's a lot to sort out.

Do call us to talk through your requirements or to book on 0844 770 40 70

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