Bareboat captain syllabus...

  • Take command of the crew
  • Understand the weather
  • Plan your passage
  • Understand seamanship
  • Captain the yacht

Overview - International Bareboat Captain Certificate-IYT Modules 14-17

The skipper course focuses on seamanship skills, tides and currents, wind and weather, waves and storms and assuming responsibility for a yacht and her crew. This is a certificate of excellence for those who wish to take command of their own yacht confidently and safely or for those who wish to safely charter a yacht for their family holiday. Candidates are required to have logged a total of 200 nautical miles and 10 days at sea before the final exam composed of both a theory and a practical on board evaluation which must be successfully completed before the Bareboat Captain Certificate is issued. While some IYT courses may have the same syllabus headings, it is important to note that with all courses, the “depth of knowledge” increases as one progresses through the various modules.

The goal of the IYT Captain course is:

Be responsible for command of a vessel up to a maximum length of 50 ft /15 meters (either auxiliary powered sailing vessels or a power vessels - per certificate endorsement) and its crew in coastal waters up to a distance of 20 miles offshore in mainly light to moderate conditions during daylight hours.


Candidates are required to have logged a total of 200 nautical miles and 10 days at sea and should have completed the IYT International Watchkeeper/Basic Flotilla Skipper Certificate or show evidence of successful completion of prior similar training courses provided by an accepted and accredited body.

What will I learn?

This course assumes that you know how a sailing yacht works already and have experience of being a watchkeeper on a sailing vessel for some period of time by day and night. This course covers all the subjects that will enable you to be a responsible Captain in command of a yacht crew by day. During the five days you will learn....

  • The responsibilities of the captain of a sailing yacht
  • How to plan a passage and plot a safe course and instruct his crew member on the passage hazards and undertake such a passage by day or night
  • A good knowledge of weather issues and tides and their effects on the passage planned
  • A complete knowledge on the Collision Regulation rules associated with collision avoidance for sailing vessels and vessels likely to be encountered during the planned passage
  • The commands and responses expected to be given to the crew

Bareboat Syllabus


  • Importance of taking command of the crew and watchkeepers
  • Introduce Watchkeepers, brief your crew and answer questions
  • Ensure they are rested and fit for duty
  • Ensure they have adequate food and sleep
  • Be prepared to call the Captain if in doubt

Taking over the vessel - check out

  • Hull and rig checks
  • Machinery and systems checks
  • Instrument checks
  • Safety equipment checks
  • Spare tools and equipment
  • Fuel and water - capacity and state
  • Provisions - Menus - galley equipment
  • Course plan lodged with responsible person


  • Sources of weather information
  • Personal observation
  • Fog
  • Anabatic and Katabatic winds
  • Cause of weather patterns
  • Cloud types
  • Global weather and winds
  • Weather patterns associated with pressure and fontal systems
  • Storm development and storm avoidance
  • Safe sectors of hurricanes and getting to them
  • Synoptic chart
  • Ocean currents
  • Fetch and wave action

Basic Rules of the Road

  • Study Rules 4-19
  • Collision avoidance, lights, shapes and sounds afloat
  • Identification of collision targets
  • Actions required by stand on and give way vessels

Passage Planning

  • Pilots and almanacs
  • Plotting courses and position
  • Consideration of tides - Tide Tables, Currents, rip tides, tidal gates
  • Electronic aids to navigation - GPS - chartplotter
  • Chartwork


  • Course consideration of hazards, tidal gates, daylight hours etc
  • Waypoints located and plotted
  • Bearings calculated for each waypoint including allowance for variation
  • Distance between way points
  • Time to reach each waypoint at estimated average speed
  • Total journey time
  • Expected tidal currents during the passage
  • Expected wind during the passage
  • Calculate probable impact of current and wind direction on proposed course and journey time
  • Estimated position plotting

Anchors and anchoring

  • Types of anchors and their benefits
  • Chain and warp
  • Scope
  • Fouling
  • Tripping line
  • Setting the anchor
  • Lying to two anchors

Man overboard

  • Sailing procedure for MOB

Additional practical

On the practical section each student will take the role of Captain for one or more passages from leaving a dock or mooring to arriving at a marina or anchorage. The course includes a night passage. Students will be required to take the role of captain during this training and demonstrate the emergency heave to, MOB retrieval, Collision Regulations and collision avoidance.

New course Structure for 2017

As of January 2017 the IYT course structure no longer includes the Watchkeeper course. Instead, the Crew and Bareboat Skipper courses have been expanded to include this content.

Ko Kham Resort, off Ko Mak
Ko Kham Resort, "I just did not want leave", said Dave Fosset, UK.
Hitting the beach at Ko Pai Pattaya
Hard to believe that this beach is just a few hours away by yacht from Pattaya
Ko Chang Ao Salakpet
Big sky, from our base at Ko Chang, taken by Royal Siam View Photographer.
Ko Mak resort
Ko Mak Resort Bungalow, sometimes its nice to stay ashore, sent by "French John".
Ko Mak, things to do
Ko Mak Resort Restaurant, excellent fresh seafood, sent by "French John".
Ko Chang Flotilla
Sent to us by Jason, taken off Ko Mak during 2006 flotilla. "It makes those G&T's taste so much better".