Croatia is becoming more and more attractive sailing ground, and the number of charterers, charter agencies and yachts available is rapidly growing. In the past years, the skipper has become one of the most wanted occupations, as well as one of the most attractive. It is a job where you have a chance to make good money and different acquaintances, but some forget how strenuous and responsible this job is. It requires physical fitness, patience, vast knowledge (from foreign languages to local history and culture) and “people skills”. Some guests forget that skipper is not a servant, but a guide who takes care of them and the yacht. Being kind, but authoritative is a part of skipper’s skills.
Considering the responsibilities this job carries, a skipper licence was rather easy to obtain, although no charter agency would hire a skipper without any sailing experience. Last year the government came up with new, stricter laws for yachtsmen and boat leaders (skippers) that are in accordance with the laws of European Union. If you are interested in obtaining your skipper’s licence in Croatia, here are some things you should know.
There are three categories of boat leader certificates.
To get a Boat leader certificate A category you needn’t to take a course, and the final exam will cost you 207 kn (some 30 €). With this certificate you are allowed to navigate a boat, which is up to 6 m (19.68 ft) long, it has maximum engine power 8 kW, within Croatian territorial waters and maximally 6 nm from the coast (mainland or islands).
With a Boat leader certificate B category you are allowed to navigate a boat which is 12 m long or has a displacement of 15 gross tonnes. It also allows you to manage a boat 15 m long if it has a displacement of 15 gross tonnes. The law also allows navigating a small yacht (a vessel longer than 12 m, but up to 20 gross tonnes displacement) with maximum 12 persons, within Croatian territorial waters, with this certificate. This exam will cost you 485 kn (65 €), and the course (optional) costs 400-540 kn (55-73 €).
With Boat leader certificate C category you are allowed to navigate any boat or a yacht within Croatian waters, which is up 100 gross tonnes. The course for getting this certificate is mandatory and costs 3,400 kn (460 €), and the exam is 540 kn (73 €).
There are special certificates for yacht leaders. To get them, you need to go through the course and practical training and pass the exam. Getting these certificates also requires having some experience in the business.
Yacht leader certificate A category enables you to navigate a yacht of 100 gross tonnes in international waters. The course that lasts 50 hours and includes practical training costs 4300 kn, and the exam is 1090 kn. Just to take the exam you need to have at least 3 years of experience as Boat leader of C category, a certificate of finished high-school and health certificate. These two certificates, and professional experience as Yacht leader, are also necessary to take the exam for getting the Yacht leader certificate B category. It costs 2,290 kn (311 €), and the course and practical training last 174 hours and cost 17,700 kn (2,409 €). With it, you are allowed to navigate a 500 gross tonnes yacht anywhere in the world.
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