RYA OR SAS

RYA VS SAS

SHOULD YOU GET A SAS SKIPPER’S TICKET OR AN RYA SKIPPER'S TICKET, OR BOTH?

To sail a recreational sailing vessel >9m in SA – or a SA registered recreational sailing vessel >9m anywhere in the world - you need a Certificate of Competence recognised by SAMSA. An RYA or IYT Certificate of Competence is not recognised by SAMSA. (We have raised the possibility of some form of reciprocity agreement with the RYA but they were not interested.)

If you want to operate a commercial sailing vessel in South Africa, you will need a SAMSA commercial certificate of competence with a sailing endorsement. To get a SAMSA commercial certificate of competence with a sailing vessel endorsement you generally need to start with the appropriate SAS certificate of competence for a recreational vessel.

If you want a career overseas as a skipper of a superyacht, you need to consider the RYA or IYT route. The RYA and IYT qualifications are entry points into the MCA Master of Yachts qualifications which go up to 3000 GT. But if you are a South African, you should do your SAS certificate at the same time. That will allow you to sail in SA or be delivery skipper on a SA flagged vessel. The additional qualifications also look good on your CV, and most candidates say that preparing for both examinations gave them a far broader perspective and a better grounding. Schools which are accredited by both SAS and the RYA will prepare you for joint SAS/RYA examinations.