Use the link table to the right to view answers to frequently asked questions about the SailQuest program.
What should I bring to the SailQuest 10 Day Sailing Course?
Most students wear shorts and a crew or t-shirt while aboard the boat. Hats, sunscreen, non-marking soft soled boat shoes or barefooted, swim wear etc. are options. A light rain jacket can come in handy if it rains or to keep you warm during the night sailing portions of the course.
It is also recommended to have a pair of sailing gloves, available here at Ocean Marina for about 1,000baht.
All other course materials are supplied. You are welcome to bring along any other personal gear you may require but it is recommended that you try to keep items brought aboard the training boat to a comfortable minimum.
How do I get to SailQuest Sailing School
The SailQuest Sailing School is based on the eastern seaboard of Thailand, 2 hours south east of Bangkok and about 10 minutes south of Pattaya City at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club, approximately 1 kilometer past the Ambassador City Hotel, our local landmark.SailQuest Sailing School facility is located directly across from the entrance to OceanMarina Hotel.
If you are arriving at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport the easiest way to get to Ocean Marina is to take a taxi from the airport. After clearing airport customs, take a left through the doors and follow signs to the “Taxi Stand” and taxi counter. You will pay 1,500baht, up to 3 passengers, at the taxi counter for the 1.5-2 hour drive. Occasionally the driver may not be familiar with Ocean Marina. In that case, mention that we are about 1 kilometer south of the Ambassador Hotel, Thailand’s largest hotel, and they will find us with no problem.
There is also a bus and mini-van service that will save you some money, but does not operate 24 hours a day. See details here: www.airportpattayabus.com You will also need to get from the Pattaya bus stop to your hotel by hiring a local taxi.
Let us know if you have any troble finding us or need assistance with transportation.
No sailing experience? No problem...
The SailQuest IYT Crew/Skipper course is an entry level sailing program. Although some of our students do have some previous experience, many are complete beginners. We always start at the beginning and work our way thru a huge amount of relative information and sailing skills.
The SailQuest 5/10 day IYT Crew/Skipper course will be a great program for you to join to increase your sailing knowledge and skills, gain internationally recognized certificates and get you on track to achieve your sailing goals.
I already have sailing and boating experience.
It is great if you already have some sailing experience, this will come in handy during our IYT Crew/Skipper course. However, we always recommend that all students (even students who have previous boating experience) complete the full 10 Day IYT Crew/Skipper program as we provide a carefully structured course that builds on itself as we go along.
Completing the entire course is the best way to cover any gaps you may have in your sailing experience/knowledge, brush up on your sailing & boat handling skills and to prepare for the IYT exams at the end of the course as required for the IYT Bareboat Skipper, ICC and other available certificates.
According to IYT Worldwide, the pre-requisite for the IYT Bareboat Skipper course is the IYT International Crew course.
However, if you are already comfortable with your level of experience and have a decent understanding of sailing & sail handling (tacking, gibing, reefing, MOB, sailing theory, etc.), yacht systems (electrical, plumbing, engine, steering, etc.), the International Collision Regulations (rules 1-18, nav light recognition, distress signals, etc.), anchoring, knot tying and other subjects we cover during the IYT Crew course and you prefer to attend only the 5 Day IYT Skipper course that is OK with us.
You can see available 5 day IYT Skipper course dates as the last 5 days of any of our scheduled 10 day courses.
Our classes are full with 6 students. So far this year we are averaging about 4 or 5 students per class. You may imagine that a smaller group is better and while it may have some merits, we find that groups of 5 or 6 work really well as students can learn from each other and assist each other in getting thru the course material.
In any case, we always deliver a fantastic sailing course and look forward to sailing with you soon!
You can order both sail & powerboat certificates at the end of our 10 day IYT Crew/Skipper course
We run our training course aboard our Jeanneau 43DS, an X-99 sport sailing yacht and our cruising catamaran, a Prout Escale 39, all students will train on all 3 yachts during each 10 day course. While none of these yachts are considered to be a power boat, you will learn the same types of systems aboard you will find on most power modern yachts and you will get experience in driving and docking a variety of yachts.
The majority of the info we cover during our 10 day course, such as navigation & passage planning, the international collision regulations, yacht systems, safety, anchoring and more will apply to any type of vessel you take to sea, whether mono-hull, multihull, sail or power. The inboard Yanmar diesel engines, the electrical and other mechanical systems, anchoring/docking gear, etc. are similar to those found aboard most modern power yachts.
Many of our students do go on to sail, charter and buy monohulls & multihulls both sail & power. It will be fairly easy to apply the lessons, skills and experience you gain during our well rounded training program to any yacht, sail or power, in the future. All of our students can apply for IYT certificates for sail, power or both at the conclusion of our training course.
Do I need a visa to visit Thailand?
Most nationalities are issued a 30 day visa stamp on entry in to the country. This can be extended by visiting the local immigration office or making a “visa run” to the Cambodia border.
If you are planning a longer stay in Thailand, more than 60 days, you should consider applying for a 60 day tourist visa at a Thai Consulate office in your area. If you need additional info, please contact us.
What is the SailQuest payment, cancellation and refund policy?
After selecting course or events dates, SailQuest requires a 25% deposit to confirm your booking and reserve your place for your selected dates.
Unless other arrangements have been made, total payment is due on the first day of class or before departure for other SailQuest sailing events and can be paid by cash in our office or online using a credit card and/or Paypal. Contact us for other payment options.
We understand that your schedule can change. If you have booked course or event dates and need to cancel your booking, we can hold your payment and you can re-schedule to more convenient dates as your schedule allows. Or we can issue a full refund of your booking deposit or full payment, minus any bank transfer fees.
In the event you do need to re-schedule your dates or cancel a booking, please give as much notice as possible so we can fill the vacancy.
Should a student "no show" or decide to not continue with the training program or event, for any reason, SailQuest reserves the right to award a refund, either all, part or none of the payment received, on an individual basis.
Please contact us if you have any issues or questions.
Can Kids and Young Adults Attend the IYT Crew/Skipper course?
The SailQuest IYT Crew/Skipper course is certainly an adult level training program. According to IYT Worldwide, the IYT Crew course is for ages 16+, the IYT Bareboat Skipper course is 18+, however we have been able to issue certificates to students of 14 years and up.
Basically, we are happy to enroll young adults of 14 years old and above who wish to attend the program on their own. It has worked out well in the past when younger students join with a friend to keep them engaged. Please note that SailQuest does not provide any supervision of students (regardless of age) outside of the hours when the courses are in session.
For younger kids, there may be some course material which will be a challenge, like the International Collision Regulations and some of the navigation/passage planning exercises. There are also physical demands, like starting an outboard engine, docking, grinding a loaded winch on 40+ foot yachts, etc. that may be impossible…
However, if your younger kids are interested in learning to sail, they will definitely learn a lot in the program even if some material may go over their heads. In this case, it is required that parents or a guardian also attend the program.
Keep in mind that a yacht at sea can be a challenging environment. All attendee’s should be able to look after themselves as far as getting around the training yachts, follow instructions and be aware of the risks involved.
Very young kids who require constant supervision will be a liability and possibly interfere with the course delivery and other students “learn to sail” experience.
SailQuest course cost is per student, regardless of age.
Please contact us if you have any other questions.
Best time of year?
We are very fortunate here at our location in the Gulf of Thailand to get steady and consistent winds year-round. The southwest monsoon fills in from April to October, bringing occasional rain showers or stronger squalls later in the season - excellent sailing experience, and is replaced with northerlies from November thru March, consistent winds all day, dropping out in the evenings.
While it is not impossible to get a very light or fluky wind day, we average over 300 good sailing days per year. Additionally, our relatively protected top-of-the-Gulf location means we very rarely get wave heights above 1.5 meters, keeping things comfortable aboard the training yachts so we can focus on the lessons of the day.
In all fairness, December to February and May to September would be good choices, but we run successful courses year round. I recommend you join the first available course dates you can fit into your schedule. You will have a great experience with SailQuest every time!
Where do SailQuest students come from?SailQuest students come from all around the world. Men and women of all ages, Young adults to old-timers, join our program in pursuit of their sailing goals. Although from diverse walks of life, our students share a love for the sea and a dream of sailing. It is common for classmates to keep in touch with each other and sail together in the future.
SailQuest students get the coaching and guidance they need to become confident sailors, crew members, captains or owners and gain a practical understanding of yacht operation and management.
There is also a great social side to the SailQuest Sailing School program as students and instructors share the friendship of sailors & shipmates as they “learn the ropes” together
We have a lot of couples attend our courses and besides learning a lot about sailing, etc. you will both have a great time as you begin to share a sailing dream and learn to work as a team aboard a yacht. Sometimes, one of you may be more interested in the subject of sailing, cruising, etc. but after you get started, chances are that you will be surprised at your companion’s aptitude and interest in the program.
The first 5 days of our full 10 Day program, the IYT Crew course, is an entry level course and the student will receive the IYT International Crew certificate. The second 5 days, the IYT Skipper course, can get a bit more technical, with a day of classroom navigation and we can lose some non-English speakers here, or those with a lesser interest.
In any case, some people just have less of an interest but want to give our sailing courses a chance. If you fall into this situation we suggest that you both join the course at our couple’s rate and we can adjust the cost as we go along like this:
- “Couple’s Rate” is 2-10Day IYT Crew/Skipper courses = 110,000THB
- 10 Day IYT Crew/Skipper course & 5 Day IYT Crew course + 5 Day IYT Skipper “ride along” = 100,000THB
- 10 Day IYT Crew/Skipper course & 10 Day “ride along” = 90,000THB
International Yacht Training (IYT) vs. Royal Yachting Association (RYA) certificates
SailQuest is an International Yacht Training (IYT) partner school. IYT and RYA basically offer the same qualifications, both globally recognized by some governments, and all charter and insurance companies. Both IYT and RYA recognize each other’s certificates, for example, if you had an RYA Crew cert. you would be able to enter an IYT program at the next level up and vice versa. IYT and RYA both offer professional and recreational level certs, but IYT professional has a higher ceiling, offering up to 3,000gt Captain and Engineering certs.
In any case, if your goal is to learn to handle a yacht on your own and attend an excellent sailing program, SailQuest will be a good choice. With the IYT certificates we offer, and available upgrades, you will learn a lot and gain all the recreational sailing qualifications you will need to sail and charter world-wide.
What's the deal with yachting certificates, anyway?
Many new (and old) sailors have questions about yachting certificates. It does seem to be a confusing issue! The IYT Bareboat Skipper is for up to 25 miles offshore during daylight hours. It is possible to order upgraded certificates at the conclusion of the 10 day IYT Crew/Skipper course. The IYT Yacht Master Coastal is up to 60 miles offshore and day/night approved. The ICC Coastal/Inland certificate is similar. You can get any of those for sail, power or both and up to 24 meter vessels. Add in the IYT VHF Radio Operator certificate and you will be qualified to charter a yacht, pretty much anywhere in the world. And you will have certificates that will get you better insurance rates if you are planning to insure a yacht of your own.
Unless you are looking for a career in yachting and pursuing commercial grade, professional qualifications, there is usually no need for more advanced recreational yachting certificates since most charter operators do not allow night sailing and rarely have cruising areas where charterers will be required to sail more than 20-25 miles offshore.
In addition, many countries will require you to have some type of license or certificate to operate a locally registered yacht in that countries waters. Every country is different and you have to check each countries requirements individually. You have to keep your yacht “legal” for the country where the boat is registered. For example, if you have a Thai registered yacht, the law says the captain must have a Thai Captains license, and it is no problem to get one. Some other countries have similar policies. Some countries recognize both IYT & ICC certificates for recreational yachting, some do not. The ICC is required to sail and charter in all EU countries.
As far as world cruising on your own yacht is concerned, there is NO international yachting license required, and none will be asked for as you travel from country to country (except in the EU where the ICC is required). You only need valid yacht registration documents, passports, and port clearance documents from your last port and any other documentation as requested at your port of entry.
SailQuest students learn all about certificates and many other aspects of world cruising, yacht ownership, international travel, and much more. I am positive the SailQuest program will really move you forward as a sailor. We cover a huge amount of info, about sailing, yes, but also a lot more.
Contact Us, Please!
For more information on SailQuest certificates, courses or special events, monthly class and event schedules, pricing and payment options, travel arrangements or just to say “hello”, we are standing by to provide you with any information you need.
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