What's the Difference?
As our Learn to Sail program transition to the Royal Yachting Association from our previous IYT affiliation, you'll be seeing plenty of changes on our website and through our social media. But for those who like a good essay... here is everything you need to know, all in one place!
For our students who have completed IYT certification with us already (or who hold certification from other organizations), don't worry! You can easily enter the RYA program with your existing certification and we will help you make a smooth transition into this standard of sail training. If you have any concerns at all, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss how we can help you. You will notice in the course information below that there are now online theory courses as well as practical on-the-water courses available. This is the single biggest difference between IYT and RYA. Under IYT we had to somehow provide you with a basic standard of both knowledge and practical skills all crammed into a single course, which meant you had less time to hone each skill or grasp each piece of information.With separate theory and practical courses under the RYA, you can pursue the type of training and information that best suits your goals, and our instructors can now dive deeper with you into each skill or knowledge set. We do strongly recommend taking the relevant theory course before the practical course as the two of course go hand in hand, but it is not mandatory at any level. Here are the most important differences coming to our program under the RYA (underlined text links to updated information on our website):
Start Sailing4 days, day sailing onlyProvides an introduction to yacht sailing for dinghy sailors, brand new sailors or those wanting to brush up on their trimming or helming skills. 100% hands-on, on-the-water training with no written exam or theory knowledge required. This is equivalent to our previous IYT Competent Crew course.
Competent Crew3 days, live-aboardIntroduces newer sailors to the cruising lifestyle, seamanship, basic navigation, some night sailing and other essential skills for cruising the beautiful BC coast. We recommend taking the online theory course 'Essentials of Navigation & Seamanship' prior to embarking on this new RYA Competent Crew course. More on that below. This RYA Competent Crew course is the ideal stepping stone between our previous IYT Competent Crew course and the RYA Day Skipper course.
Day Skipper &the International Certificate of Competency5 days, live-aboardThis RYA Day Skipper course curriculum is almost identical to the IYT program, but now includes some night sailing and offers a more prestigious certificate at the end. We do strongly recommend that students take the Day Skipper Theory course prior to diving into the practical course. More on that below. To receive the ICC, successful Day Skipper students now need to submit an application along with proof of their Day Skipper certification to the RYA, no further testing required.
Yachtmaster CoastalThis program is similar to the IYT course, however a RYA Yachtmaster Coastal certificate can be commercially endorsed and is taken far more seriously around the world. This opens the door for those considering professional sailing in some capacity. We strongly recommend that students take the Yachtmaster Theory course prior to this practical program and 3rd party exam, as the rate of success is low amongst students without that prior theory knowledge. More on the theory course below.Yachtmaster OffshoreWe now offer the top level of Yachtmaster training short of the Ocean ticket for which there is no course! Yachtmaster Offshore is an incredibly valuable certification as it provides all the skills necessary to safely skipper a yacht up to 150 miles from a safe haven- well within the boundaries that most sailors stick to. It can also be commercially endorsed, becoming a gateway to professional sailing. As with the Coastal program, we very strongly recommend students take the Yachtmaster Theory course prior to the practical training.
Excellent Online Training Available
We are now able to provide students with access to one of the best nautical theory training programs available. Students can take three levels of high quality online training to complement their practical training with us: Essentials of Navigation & Seamanship, Day Skipper Theory, Yachtmaster Theory. These online training courses will be supported by a dedicated roster of highly experienced RYA theory instructors (external to Sea to Sky Sailing) available to answer questions promptly and help you progress through each level. Check out course details here.
Sailing Resources Available
As a RYA training centre, we can now provide students with some superb educational resources including paper and e-books. The library of materials from the RYA covers just about every sailing topic you can imagine, from material specific to RYA courses to general knowledge on sailing, rope work, seamanship, offshore sailing, racing, sail trim, astronavigation, etc. If you're interested in backing up your practical training with some light (or heavy!) reading, contact us for details on what resources we can now provide.