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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. We offer the five day International Flotilla Skipper course (for beginners) and the International Bareboat Skipper course for sailors with experience, (around 200 miles and 10 days at sea).

Both courses are taken on our training yacht in Vassiliki and well suited to candidates staying on a two week Stay Sail holiday at our Surf Hotel in Vassiliki. You can do the course in week one while your family enjoy the facilities of our Beach Club; and put into practice your newfound skills in week two aboard your own yacht.

We can even turn complete novices (with almost no experience) into proficient flotilla skippers in just two weeks. It’s a great foundation for the start of a new lifestyle in yacht sailing! After your five day course, you will have an International Yacht Training Flotilla or Bareboat certificate with VHF radio license which can be used worldwide for chartering yachts.

The Essentials

  • 5-day Beginner Flotilla Skipper course (no prior experience necessary)
  • 5-day Bareboat Skipper course (for those with experience: 200 miles & 10 days at sea)
  • Qualification: International Flotilla Skipper certificate (for beginners)
  • Qualification: International  Bareboat Skipper certificate
  • Also included: your VHF radio license
  • A lifetime qualification. You need to renew the subscription to IYT every 5 years. (approx  $80)*
  • Take the course at Surf Hotel Beach Club in Vassiliki
  • Price £799pp for stay sail guests, reduced to £599pp for early bookers 2020
  • + £150 for the Bareboat course extension
  • Course runs: July to September (spaces limited)
  • Course is run in partnership with Seatrips LTD*, a recognised IYT training centre

How to take the course

You can take the Flotilla Skippers course whilst staying at the Surf Hotel for a reduced price of £599 for early bookers 2020 (normally £799) if you are a Stay Sail guest. For the Bareboat Skippers course, there is a supplement of £150 and it will run alongside the Flotilla Skipper course on the same yacht. 

It’s a great opportunity to get qualified while your family relax back at our club enjoying the facilities. Hurry though, course spaces are limited!

After completing your course you’ll be itching to get onboard your yacht for week two and put into practice your new-found skills. The Ionians offer very calm sailing and is the perfect place to learn to skipper a yacht for the first time.

About the course

We have partnered with IYT Training Centre ‘Seatrips LTD*’ whose chief instructor will be onboard the Ocean Elements training yacht in Vassiliki to deliver the International Flotilla Skipper and Bareboat Skipper course to candidates staying at the Surf Hotel.

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

If you have some prior experience of yachting, (min.10 days and 200 miles, as first mate or active crew), then you can do the Bareboat Skippers course which runs concurrently, and on the same training yacht. Both courses come with the additional benefit of a VHF radio license. It is a lifetime qualification and you will have to renew your subscription to the IYT every 5 years, (approx $80).

The course is designed around your holiday at our Surf hotel in Vassiliki and each day you’ll join a group of (max.) 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 week, 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 International 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 staying on a two week Stay Sail with us.

During the course, you will learn and develop the skills required to skipper a yacht around the Ionian. You will join our training yacht each day in Vassiliki harbour (10 mins walk from our hotel) with your instructor and the other pupils. After five days of very practical, hands-on training, with lots of sailing around the beautiful Ionian islands, you will be itching to put your skills into practice! You’ll have a day or so to relax at the Surf hotel before heading off to Lefkas marina for week two, to skipper your yacht. It is a very rewarding experience, especially when enjoyed with the fine weather of the Ionians.

When you arrive at the marina, our lead crew will be on hand to train you up on your yacht’s systems. You will spend your first night aboard and in the morning, after a full briefing, our team will make sure you are ready to go. 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.

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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