September 25, 2013

Yacht School I: STCW + RIB

Numero Uno question I get asked when strangers find out what I do: 

How did you get a job like that? Did you have to go to school?

Well my friends, I did. I fought fires, I practiced CPR, I swam into a life raft. 

Despite my usual glib-ness about yacht life, safety is a huge factor. Boats burn to the water line in minutes, storms happen, and people fall overboard. Yacht crew are a relatively small group people charged with the responsibility of the guests, other crew members and the boat itself - everyone on a crew list needs to be informed and able to perform in emergency situations.

This is a must have to work in the yachting industry. It’s a 5 day course and costs around $900 US. It’s a really fun and informative week, you learn lots about the industry, safety and firefighting.

International Crew Training - STCW 95 from ICT Fort Lauderdale on Vimeo.


RIB is a Rigid Inflatable Boat... aka dinghy. Every yacht has (at least) one, and this course will give you the license to drive one. Note I said license, not necessarily skill. This is a quick, 2 day course that will teach you the basics of driving a simple tender. We didn’t really get enough time to be confident drivers, but.... it’s a rubber boat.

Where to go?

We took all of our courses at ICT in Ft Lauderdale. They were great there - friendly and helpful, especially going in a newbies. MPT is the other big school in town, and while we don’t have any personal experience there - we’ve heard good things as well. What ever school you choose, just make sure that its recognized by MCA, USCG and/or PYA.


  1. What an education! Good on you both to have done the training! Love, Mama

  2. Oh man. The firefighting was the best part!! I had so much fun in my STCW. I did mine at MPT and can vouch for it being a great school for that course (it's heavily commercial-focused though, so I did my stew course over at ICT). This post made me miss Ft. Lauderdale even though I was only there two months haha!

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  4. I love it. License but not necessarily skill. That is a lot for the course, but looks really interesting and useful beyond just this particular job. These posts are so incredibly informative.

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