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The RYA Yachtmaster Offshore exam has been successfully completed, fees and photos have been submitted so I assume at some point in the future a nice Certificate of Competence will be mailed to me (to Canada actually). What it won’t have on it (yet) is a Commercial Endorsement which would allow me to work as a “Master of yachts of up to 200gt.

What do I need to do to acquire this endorsement? Two things apparently. First, I need to complete an additional course called STCW 95 (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers 1995). The STCW is required for all crew on larger commercial yachts and it includes instruction in personal safety and social responsibilities, elementary first aid, fire fighting and fire prevention and sea survival. This course is not offered in Grenada but it is being taught in Trinidad, an 18 hour sail south, and also at several points north of here. The second item that I need to do is pass a thorough medical examination. I’m not sure which of the two I am looking forward to least.

Has anyone reading this completed the STCW 95?

Some pics of Carriacou, where we will be hashing later today.

Enjoying a waterfront lunch at the Seawave restaurant.

The fact that I am drinking a Carib while wearing a Carib T-shirt is entirely coincidental.

Beautiful view. I guess that was why the menu was a tiny bit pricey.

We were able to watch this awesome gaff-gigged ketch raise sails to head out of the anchorage.

We zipped over to Sandy Island in our dinghy to check out the snorkeling. Although we don’t have any pics to prove it, the snorkeling was excellent with nice live coral, clear water and plenty of fish.

ZTC anchored just off the beach in Hillsborough. It was nice and calm until about 8:00 PM last night when the wind shifted putting us beam on to the waves.



  1. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    well as for instruction in personal safety and social responsibilities, elementary first aid, fire fighting and fire prevention i think those will be a breeze for you & as for the rest you will do it with not much trouble . those new pics make the place look a chilled out place 🙂

  2. While all of that looks prety, I’m fixin’ (Southernism for “about to”) to take the 11 & 4 yr old to a local nursery to paint pumpkins, then attend a party to cheer on the Crimson Tide… However, it would be immensly more pleasant to do these activities at anchor…. Waaaaaaa!

  3. Both Linda and I completed the STCW BST (Basic Safety Training). I had done fire training before in the Navy, but it was Linda’s first time and she really liked it. For both of us, it was the first time in a survival suit and getting into a liferaft. The CPR/First Aid will be a repeat, and the “personal responsibility” was a yawner of classroom equal opportunity lectures.

    There are a number of other STCW standards, although when most people say STCW they are also referring to the basic safety training. Despite having been navigator and officer of the deck on 40,000 ton ships in the US Navy, evidently I’m not a qualified for anything over 200 tons because I haven’t sat through their classes, and the Navy’s classes weren’t certified, so I’m not a “rating forming part of a navigation watch”. I’m not planning on ever driving anything over 200 tons again, but it still chaps me.

  4. This may seem like a silly question, sorry if it is, but – why are you bothering to go for a commercial endorsement?

    According to many of the things I have read it can/will lead you into all sorts of insurance problems, registration problems, local law problems in each area, US law problems as they try to barge in on everything, and commercially it is hard to make any money.

    I hope I have been given the wrong impression! Also, are you planning on upgrading to an 8 berth boat?


  5. Mike, glad to see you passed – excellent work!! To commercially endorse your MCA Yachtmaster Offshore all you’ll need is a one day sea survival course (equivalent to the RYA one in the UK) and a medical. The STCW courses are intended for those who want to work their way up to even bigger boats or for those looking to work on large superyachts (it’s a requirement for everyone on these, deckhands and stewardesses included!).

    If all you’re planning on is working commercially on ‘small’ yachts (i.e. 40-60ft) you shouldn’t need to go the STCW route.

    • The BVIs require a STCW-95 BST for all boat captains, even the 20′ dive boats. I haven’t seen any ads that didn’t include boat captain in the job description, but it may be the boards I’m cruising are oriented that way. Most of the ads I’ve see for the USVI also require enrollment in a random urinalysis drug screening program.

    • I have heard that too, Mark. My thoughts were that having a higher level of qualifications and training couldn’t hurt.

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