Information Evening about RYA sailing courses and qualifications on 10 December 2019

The winter season presents a perfect opportunity for our sailors to do some on-shore learning and invest in improving theoretical knowledge, whether you are completely new to sailing or are working towards a practical qualification. One of the most frequently asked questions at the VISC is “What type of sailing course should I do?”.

Just like with any learning, there is no one-size-fits-all answer as it depends on a range of factors, such as your intererest/ needs, your level of experience,  your residence and sailing possibilities, the financial aspect, etc. But where does one get all the information about courses, certifications and different qualifications available out there? Where can those courses be done? What is the difference between the RYA-approved certifications, and the Austrian and Croatian licenses ? Are there specific prerequisites for any of those? Where are these licenses valid?

To help you decide what type of learning track is best for you, VISC is organising an information evening to talk about different sailing qualifications that can be done by anyone, starting from a complete novice to the advanced RYA-approved Yachtmaster Sailing Scheme. We will talk about the British Royal Yachting Association (RYA)-certified schemes and courses,  and how they relate to the Austrian and other European licenses which can be done by Vienna-based sailors.

Date: 10 December 2019

Time: 18:30

Venue: Piaristengasse 34, 1080, Vienna (Austrian Portuguese Association)

Cost: To cover the costs of the venue, we are asking for a 5 EUR donation per attendee


Our guest speaker is Mr. Franco Del Fabbro. Franco is school principal and chief instructor at the White Wake Sailing School, which started operating in Vienna in 2018 and is a recognised RYA Training Centre. Franco holds an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean certificate commercially endorsed, is a RYA Cruising Instructor, Shorebased Instructor and VHF Instructor and Assessor. He also holds the Austrian FB2 and FB3 licenses. After nearly 30 years spent in the corporate world of food multinationals, he is now pursuing his true passion aiming to pass it to as many people as possible.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA)

The RYA is the British institution that deals with all watersports, from paddle boats to big sailing yachts, from motorboats to windsurfs. With its 150 years of history drawn from the immense British sailing heritage, it is the largest and longest-established organisation to offer training and certification, and has a global reputation for quality. With over 100,000 members. RYA schemes span 2,500 RYA recognised Training Centres in the UK and in 58 countries around the world including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, and USA.

Its qualifications are recognised all over the world and its Yachtmaster Sailing Scheme has long been accepted as a proof of seamanship everywhere and it is often the ‘entry point’ for people who want to build their careers in the maritime world.

The course scheme does not follow a fixed path, so people can join in at any level, provided they have the required knowledge and experience. Here is a list of key RYA practical, theory and specialist courses that we will talk about during the evening:


  • RYA Competent Crew, designed for the absolute beginners, to master the basics of sailing
  • RYA Day Skipper, which allows you to obtain a skipper license and charter your own yacht
  • RYA Yachtmaster Offshore, the ‘seal’ of seamanship and ticket into the professional maritime world
  • RYA Yachtmaster Ocean, teaching sailors how to navigate with sun, moon and stars


  • RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship, a key theory course to learn the basics of navigation.
  • RYA Yachtmaster theory, focused on tides and passage planning, to prepare you for the Yachtmaster Offshore exam


  • RYA VHF/SRC Marine Radio, to get the license to operate a DSC radio.
  • RYA Diesel Engine, to learn the basics of maintenance and troubleshooting of a boat engine
  • RYA Radar course, to learn how to properly use and interpret a radar onboard
  • RYA First Aid course, the basics of first aid for those wishing to sail further offshore

In parallel to the RYA scheme there are also a number of practical courses required for the so-called ‘commercial endorsement’, including the Basic Sea Survival course and the Fire Prevention and Fighting Course.