International Flotilla Skipper

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IYT – International Flotilla Skipper Course

This is a five day course aimed at increasing a student’s knowledge sufficiently to be a watchkeeper or a flotilla skipper.

Joining a “flotilla” is a fun and exciting way to learn how to confidentally skipper a charter yacht for the very first time. A group of boats sail together (flotilla) along a set route, with a “lead boat”  in charge, overseeing the safety of all the boats where all the boats are withing range of a VHF radio call if required.

Before departing in the morning, a route is planned for the day with a set destination for the evenings so that all the boats can anchor or tie up to a mooring buoy (before dark) for the night. Generally speaking, flotillas are restricted to passages close to shore , in fair weather and in good visibility.  They are usually followed in the evenings by a beach bar-b-que or dinner together in a social atmosphere where students can swap stories and learn from each other. It is a great way to make new friends and build your confidence, while still enjoying the freedom of being in command of your own vessel with your family and friends.

The recommended entry level requirements for the IYT International Flotilla Skipper course, are the IYT International Crew Course>> and the IYT Marine Communications VHF/SRC radio operator’s course>>.

Those who have obtained the International Flotilla Skipper qualification, can automatically obtain the “International Certificate of Competency” (ICC), provided the student meets the requirements as laid down by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (Resolution 40).

Certificate Limitations

  • Command of a vessel up to a maximum length of 78 ft /24 metres as part of a flotilla
  • In coastal waters up to 20 miles offshore
  • In daylight hours and in fair conditions with moderate wind and sea conditions

The “depth of knowledge” required for the theory portion of the international flotilla skipper course, is the same as required for the international bareboat skipper course, however,  the international flotilla skipper qualification is a great |”stepping stone” to safely acquiring the 200 miles and 10 days at sea as required to progress to the IYT “International Bareboat Skipper” qualification.


Day 0: Olhão

Check in after 17:00. Safety briefing and information about the course. Dinner ashore.


Day 1: Ria Formosa Sailing

Sail in the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve and get familiar with the sailing ground and the boat. Anchor in Culatra island and lunch aboard. In the afternoon there will be time to practice boat handling under motor and sail.


Day 2 & 3: 30 miles passage

Passage to Vila Real or Albufeira - according to weather forecast. Chart work and navigation. Pilotage plan leaving Ria Formosa Lagoon and entering in the Guadiana or Albufeira - Lunch underway. In the end of the day some review of IALA systems and rules of the road. Short passage to Vilamoura or Guerreiros do Rio - River Guadiana. This will be more technical and you'll have the chance to practice MOB drill, tacking and gybing.


Day 4: Sail back

At this stage we'll be doing whatever need to be done to complete the syllabus. Normally we leave the last two days for more technical aspects of boat handling: docking and maneuvering in confined space.


Day 5: Olhão

This is the last day so the day for a review of the course and repeat what you think that needs to be repeated.


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