Nautical qualifications: Interview with Carlos Bosch and Wolfpeter Stockfleth.

Today we are gonna  interview two important references of the navigation teaching world in Spain. They are going to explain to us how is the nautical qualifications system structured.

Date: 5th of September, 2013.

In our spirit to bring greater awareness to all those who start navigating, whatever their level of experience is, we opened a new category in our regular weekly guide to deal with issues related to maritime training.

We started with an interview with Carlos Bosch, from skippers Association. It is one of the oldest navigation schools in Barcelona.Also the one with more sailors. Our other guest is Wolfpeter Stockfleth, known to all that we move through this world of navigation as Peter. He is an Astronomy professor, sailor and nautical writer of two books that we particularly recommend:

«25 Problems Resolved of Coastal Navigation» Ed. Juventud.
«Problems Resolved: Astronomical Calculation»

Question Part – Nautical Qualifications

Carlos, ¿what kind of time is sailing living in our country?

The titles are still needed to navigate. Logically, the crisis has affected this sector too, and there are statistics. Boats leave less to sail, or they do with the engine off, but we continue because we are needed.

Peter, ¿do nautical schools in Spain make navigators or only serve to pass exams?

Usually I form those boaters who come to the school to get a degree.  I’ll answer very briefly: «the navigator becomes what it is by navigating on the sea».

Carlos, ¿Is there a balance between theoretical training and practice?

What is clear is that the sea always examine you. But there are a some minimum things that are necessary to be learned in the classroom. In the same way, when you get to port, someone should have previously explained to you what must you do.

Peter:  … and not ending up as a case I know, between two boats in which a skate finished on the top of each other because neither knew how to maneuver at the entrance to a port.

Carlos, ¿Are we up to the countries of our environment?

Undoubtedly in our country there are many good sailors, due to having many kilometers of coastline. But we can not ignore that there are «weekenders». Normally, in winter the sailor level is high, and in August decreases.

Carlos and Peter. A friend told me that living on a boat is the most expensive way to live like a poor person. It is often said that sailing is very elitist. ¿What argument would you give to someone who wants to start navigating?

Carlos: I think it depends on the approach. If you want a «megayacht» of your property, obviously it is expensive and complicated, but if you want to just navigate, it’s easy. From our own Association, we provide an opportunity for all those who want to do so by contacting them with patterns and shipowners who can browse at zero cost. Or rather said, working in a ship owing tasks.

Peter: You can contact the Sailing Federation of your community. Or any club or association, and you’ll find there all the available supply. Today, there are even older boats that look for people who can spend time during their free time doing the maintenance of the boat. In return, they can learn to navigate.Of course there is also the option of boat rental, which ultimately is the cheapest and most convenient option.

Carlos, briefly, ¿what kind of nautical qualifications exist in our country?

At a sporting level, we have 3 in which can be accessed directly:

– Titulín. Federal license. POWERS: Sailing of  boats up to 6 meters in length and a maximum power of 40 KW motor. Only in daylight sailings and bounded by the Maritime Authority areas.

nautical qualifications map– GNP (Pattern Basic Navigation) POWERS: Sailing boats up to 8 meters in length. If they are sail boats, up to 7.5 meters. If they are motor boats, with power adequate to the same engine, always that the boat is not more than 5 miles away, in any direction, from a shelter. They may also sail jetskis.

– PER (Pattern pleasure craft)

I always recommend to do the three, so the school gets more money… but if it is a «friend»,I  will tell you directly to access the PER. If you really need a title only to manage a small boat, and you know that you will never need anything more.. Or you need to have that title in particular fastly… It does make sense to get those other two degrees, but in other cases the PER is the most appropriate qualifications. The powers of the PER are handling vessels up to 12 meters and navigating at a distance of up to 12 miles offshore.

Trough PER we can get two more degrees:

– Yacht master to handle vessels over 12 meters in length. And up to 60 miles offshore. This will allow us to make the leap to the Balearic Islands from the Iberian Peninsula.

– Yacht Captain. For unlimited navigation and unlimited length, always within the navigation of non-professional recreational sector.

Peter, ¿Are there differences within the different autonomous communities? We have seen how in some places, where tests are done traditionally, students from other communities come. ¿Wouldn’t it be good to unify the criteria?

There is a unique and valid group of topics for all communities agenda. What may variate is the approach to the review. Besides to these, they are changing.

Carlos: What does change is the frequency in holding them. In Catalonia, for example, we have a very high frequency of exams, which explains that many people from other communities take the test in Barcelona. This is sort of trying to face what dates can be exploited for anyone who wants to be examined quickly.

Carlos,  In general terms, ¿what passing-test rate is there in your school?

It is very high. We can say that with a minimum of dedication, everyone can access at least to the PER.

Carlos, ¿If a student comes now and asks you how much time you need to invest in studying to pull out its first test, what will you say?

If you come to class regularly you will not have any problems. Teachers usually know who will pass before the test …

Carlos and Peter, finally I’d like each of you to explain some anecdote of those that a sailor never forgets. But not being cold and sleepy in a guard or navigating a storm. I mean those who serve to love this hobby and can serve to encourage all those who are reading us, started in this exciting discipline that is enjoying the sea sailing.

Carlos: There are many. And certainly, those for example when you go sailing with full moon and a view over the bow can never be forgotten. But even the toughest experiences also become good. I remember once coming into port after several days of hard sailing. A couple of new crew were talking about not to step on the deck of a boat ever again. After the bad shot, they were signed up for the next exit and that was just another memory of those who have a marine behind him.

Peter: I would like to add that it gives me a real chagrin sometimes see that there are many ports and kilometers of coast in our country and really so few ships sailing. I think this should be a motivation for anyone to start. We have a very good climate, many kilometers of coastline and many ports and marinas to enjoy it.

This has been all from Nautic Ocean. We hope you have
otten something about nautical qualifications and how are they structured.

¡Thank you very much and good navigation!

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