Saturday, 18 April 2009

Sailing licences in Spain

Licences in Spain seem to be a grey area, the EU appears to offer little in the way of support leaving many in a no win situation. To make matters worse, you get a different answer from each official you speak to and even that can change depending on what day of the week it is!
Basically under Spanish Law, all boats over 2.5m must be registered and someone onboard must hold the relevent licence as detailed below.

ICC power or sail - valid for craft upto 24m
Titulin - suitable for craft under 6m and less than 50hp engine not more than 3 nm from the coast
PER - boats upto 12m and 12 nm from the coast
Patron de Yate - boats upto 20m and not more than 60 nm from the coast
Capitan de Yate - boats upto 20m and unlimited mileage

With SSR registered the authorities seem to be happy with an International Certificate of Competence (ICC) or Yachtmaster, basically any licence with a picture and stamp from the Royal Yachting Association on it. They will not accept the standard Day or Coastal Skipper attendance certificates, the good news is that if you hold one of these you automatically qualify for an ICC.
Acquiring an ICC is straightforward and most RYA sea schools can help, for more information check out
Owning a Spanish registered boat is slightly more complicated, the authorities expect you to hold their sailing qualifications, which can only be taken in Spanish making it unachievable for most of us and I speak good Spanish!. The easiest solution is to approach the local Capitania and get them to issue a letter stating that the holders licence complies to a certain level i.e. PER or above and that the Maritime authorities are prepared to accept this as a means of proving compliance.

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