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Yachting Qualifications

To hire a yacht anywhere abroad, either on bareboat or flotilla, with us or another operator then you will need some prior experience and a basic qualification to prove your skills. Fortunately, we’re able to help you achieve a skippers qualification - whether you’re an experienced sailor with no ‘piece of paper’ to prove your skills or a newbie to yacht sailing with zero yachting experience! You can either take your ICC assessment with us, or a complete beginner skippers ’Start Yacht Sailing’ course.

If you’re not interested in training and you’d rather have a skipper do it all for you - while you relax and cruise around the beautiful Ionian islands - then we can arrange that too. More on Skippered Charter.


Take our ‘Start Yacht Sailing’ course

A complete introduction to yachting course suitable for beginners and run from our Surf Hotel. We’ll teach you all you need to know to be able to skipper your own yacht around the Ionian.

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Take your ICC assessment with us

If you have sailing experience but no formal qualifications, then take your ICC with us on a Stay Sail Holiday.

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Take an ICC Preparation course

To prepare you for your ICC, we offer a one-day prep course to take the day before your ICC.

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Qualifications required

In order to charter a boat in Greece, or anywhere in the Med’ we’ll need to know that you can sail a yacht. At least two of you will need to be over 18 years old and have sailed before. And one of you will need a piece of paper to prove your qualification.

As far as the paperwork is concerned, then you’ll need to have a certificate in one of the following; and then you’re good to go:


Accepted qualifications:

  • An International Certificate of Competence (ICC), (ICC), or equivalent qualification. The ICC assessment can be can be done as a half-day session in the UK (prior to departure) at your local RYA Training centre, or whilst on holiday with us at Surf Hotel in Vassiliki, by special arrangement. It is equivalent to a Day Skipper and suits those with sailing experience but no formal qualifications that want to hire boats abroad. The certificate is valid for 5 years and can be used in most countries to charter yachts.
  • Ocean Elements Start Yacht Sailing course which comes with a Cruising Level 2 certificate. You can take this 4-day course with us, in week one of a Stay Sail holiday. Experienced sailors can take it as a 2-day accelerated course if availability allows.
  • RYA Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper, Cruising Level 2 or Keelboat Level 2 qualification.
  • Any other skipper certificate issued by a national body or yachting

If you don't have any qualifications:

If you can already sail and are at Day Skipper standard, you can take the half day ICC assessment with our chief instructor in Vassiliki, (or at a UK based RYA training centre). You can also do a 1-day ICC Prep course before the assessment. View the ICC syllabus.

If you don’t have much experience in sailing, then one of our Stay Sail holidays might be your best option. In week one you can take our complete beginner skipper’s Start Yacht Sailing course to achieve your Cruising Level 2 certificate which will qualify you to skipper your own yacht on our flotilla in week two.


Our Start Yacht Sailing course is the perfect pre-flotilla training course and will prepare you (as a novice sailor) to skipper your own yacht in week two on an Ocean Elements Flotilla

If you don’t wish to join an Ocean Elements Start Yacht Sailing course, then as a general guide, skippers and co-skippers should have plenty of yacht experience at handling a yacht in close quarters, anchoring and mooring in a variety of conditions whilst being able to use navigation and pilotage skills to plan the day’s sailing and know their position at any time.


If you’re already qualified then bring original copies of certificates with you so that the yacht base staff can check them. In the absence of such documentation or qualifications, then co-skippers may be asked to sign a self-declaration for the Port Authority stating his or her sailing experience.

In all instances, the Yacht Supplier reserves the right to insist a charterer hires a professional skipper if their sailing skills are not judged to be sufficiently adequate by yacht base staff. Ocean Elements cannot be responsible for expenses incurred by you, or any liability, should a person in authority, (flotilla skipper, yacht base or port authorities), deem it necessary to provide a professional skipper for safety reasons to assist you in sailing/motoring the chartered vessel during your holiday.

The Yacht Supplier reserves the right to insist the Charterer hires a professional skipper if their sailing skills are not judged to be sufficiently adequate by members of the Yacht-base staff.

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