The Difference Between Sailing Certificates and Resumes

Anyone who has ever tried to charter a sailing vessel is familiar with the concept of a sailing resume. Unfortunately, a lot of sailing schools are not honest with their students about the differences between sailing certificates and resumes. Far too many promise that a certificate is all that’s required to charter a vessel when it’s simply not true. There are virtually no charter companies, especially in North America and Europe, that will allow a vessel to be chartered by someone with no resume.

This article will explain the difference between a sailing certificate and a sailing resume. Note that you may not need either one if you own your own vessel or you have a friend or family member willing to loan you theirs. But note this is not a blanket statement. You really need to check with your local authorities to know for sure. In the U.S., growing numbers of states are starting to require at least basic certification for sailors, whether they own their boats or not.

The Sailing Certification

A sailing certification is a certification issued by a reputable accrediting organization like NauticEd. It testifies that the bearer has completed a certain amount of book work and on-the-water training to demonstrate competency at a specific level. Just as an example, NauticEd offer certification courses for:

  • qualified crew rank
  • skipper small boat rank
  • skipper rank
  • bareboat charter master rank
  • captain rank.

These five certification courses just scratch the surface of what NauticEd offers. The point is this: certifications are earned by taking online and hands-on courses. The accrediting organization documents everything to ensure that there are records verifying the legitimacy and validity of a certification.

The Sailing Resume

A sailing resume is a completely different document. Think of it in terms of a job resume. The document lists all a sailor’s experience for the purposes of satisfying a charter company’s requirements. Without an adequate resume, someone hoping to charter a vessel may be turned away or forced to hire a skipper before sailing.

Building a sailing resume is as simple as documenting all the time spent at sea. Whether that time is spent as a crew member, small boat skipper, etc., the resume adds weight to a sailor’s certifications. Certification demonstrates that a sailor has gone to sailing school to master certain skills. The resume demonstrates that he or she has put what was learned in school into practice out on the water.

Building a Resume While Training

The unfortunate truth about sailing resumes is that they are not hard to fake. That’s why more and more chartering companies are requiring their customers to provide verifiable proof that the information contained in their sailing resumes is legitimate. A good way to satisfy such requirements is to build your resume while simultaneously training.

A sailor training with NauticEd to earn certain certifications will also have access to the company’s online logging system. Every time that sailor takes to the water, he or she logs the time in the system. With certifications in hand, a sailor can then go to a chartering company in Greece, for example, and present both the certificates and sailing resume. The chartering company can login to the NauticEd database and verify that both are legitimate.

It is unfortunate that so many sailing schools do not tell students the truth about sailing certifications and resumes. If you are a sailor hoping to charter a boat, know this: you are going to find it very difficult if you do not have a resume to present along with the required certificates.

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