ICC – so you want to charter a boat in Europe, eh?

Yes, I want to be on that boat….

So you want to spend a nice week or two in a beautiful location bobbing around on a bareboat charter. No problem, pick your dates and pay your money.  If you are planning a trip t the Virgin Islands, no problem, just let them know you own a 34′ keelboat and supply them with your sailing resume, Bob’s your uncle, you’ve got a reservation.  Not so fast in Europe, the beautiful cruising grounds of Croatia, Greece, France, and Italy require some pesky certification. An ICC to be exact. The International Certificate of Competency is required for most charter companies and its a bit hard to get one in Canada.  It is available at It will cost $960 plus 19 hours of classes. Oh, check out the prerequisites below!
Now the VHF isn’t that big a deal and I did take the CPSC Boating 4 – Near Shore Marine Navigation Level 1 (Formerly – Seamanship) so I should be able to squeeze in under the equivalent experience or certification clause.

International Certificate of Competence (ICC) – Theory & Practical 16 hours): $695

Includes all material and the IYT processing fee (ICC Certificate) 
This 16hr course has both a theoretical and practical portion. There will be approximately 13hrs spent in class on theory, and 3hrs on the afloat test. The International Certificate of Competence gives verification of competence for boaters using coastal waters in numerous countries across Europe. We are offering this course through International Yacht Training Worldwide.

This course is not meant for the novice boater. You must hold the Sail Canada Intermediate Cruising Standard, Coastal Navigation, and VHF-DSC Radio License or equivalent in experience or certification.

11A May 26 (Sat & Sun. 9am–5pm) 11B June 23 (Sat & Sun. 9am–5pm) 11C July 28 (Sat & Sun. 9am–5pm)

International Certificate of Competency (ICC) – Practical Test (3 hours): $265

This is a challenge of the afloat test portion of the ICC for either Sail or Power. The candidate must hold the Sail Canada Intermediate Cruising Standard plus the Sail Canada Coastal Navigation Standard or equivalent.

  • United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Inland Transport Committee Working Party on Inland Water Transport Resolution 40
  • RYA
  • Sail Canada
  • Sail Ontario
  • Power Sail Squadrons
  • Harbour Front

You might want to read this before you get started on anything, the RYA ICC Handbook

Now if that isn’t a kick in the privates, I just found this:

In the past, if you were chartering in Europe, an International Certificate of Competency (ICC) may have been sufficient proof of your ability to safely operate a boat.

However, it has recently been brought to our attention that a number of  European charter companies and insurance companies will not accept an ICC as sufficient proof to command a yacht for a one week bareboat charter (power or sail). These companies are insisting that the charterer should  hold an IYT International Flotilla Skipper or IYT International Bareboat Skipper, power or sail  (or equivalent qualification that is on their “approved” list).

Camper rentals in europe

Germany is the cheapest

ideamerge – two months June 12- August 18 = $10,000
McRent Family Standard: Sunlight T64

Camper expenses and experience:
“a van in excess of 6 meters as you lose the ability to squeeze into a regular parking spaces”
Globebus i1 is 6 meters exactly.

45 days, = 8659.70

Co high season
Pure Motorhomes 133 45 5985
McRent – Munich 138 45 6210
Peak July to mid September 138
Shoulder May – June 115 60 6900
Off April 95


mini – trailers

happy_camperI love mini campers. The idea of a summer road trip in the US with a little box on the back to sleep and eat in while we boot down the Pacific coast.

The Happier Camper is cool, but at $15,000 USD, (especially as the CDN dollar is at an 11 year low)  makes this a bit pricey.

I like this Castle mini camper renovation – err, I think it is more a from scratch build – but looks like it would be much easier on the pocket book. Something I would love to do but time and space are limited.

Another option would be to rent something cool out west, like a funky VW westfalia van from

or one of these bad boy offroad teardrop trailers from


Outside has a great article.


Approved – let the planning begin.

As an educator we have a great option available to us, Prepaid Leave Plan (PLP) commonly called a “four over five”.  I can defer a quarter of my salary for four years and then take the fifth year off and receive three quarters of my salary with my job is there waiting for me upon return. I just got approval so the count down begins!

2019/2020 is our year!

Rene Schwietzke / Via Flickr: rene-germany
Rene Schwietzke / Via Flickr: rene-germany

Teachers can do this too which is a good thing as Alison is a primary teacher, I don’t think she would be amused if the girls and I sailed off for a year.

These posts will be about my research and our slowly solidifying plans for that year.  When given the choice of what to do for a year, well two summers and a year to be exact,  it gets a bit daunting, the choices seem a bit endless. One goal is to sail down to the Bahamas and back via the

Inter Coastal Waterway (ICW), spend time in Europe (German Christmas markets) and explore the planet with our children who will be age 10 and 8 that year.