You Are About to Sail On a Yacht For the First Time
However, before we leave let us consider how we should return to our berth.
So, now we have an idea how to return the time has arrived for your first trip on a yacht but the yacht cannot go anywhere until it has safely left the berth. You probably will not be assigned to line handling at first, but you will need to know the procedures. A yacht is secured to the berth to meet certain requirements, a) it should not drift forward, b) it should not drift backwards (astern), c) it should not move laterally away from the berth, d) the rising and falling tide needs to be considered.
To meet these requirements it is normal to use four lines of security:-
1) A Bow Line between the yacht´s bow and a bollard, on the berth, that is located ahead of the bow
2) A Stern Line between the yacht´s stern and a bollard, on the berth, that is located behind the stern
3) A Fore Spring between the yacht’s bow and a bollard mid-point down the length of the yacht.
4) A Back Spring between the yacht’s stern and a bollard mid-point down the length of the yacht.
The Skipper will have started the yacht’s engine and have given the order to remove the Fore and Back Springs. Once this is done the Skipper will give the order to “single up” the Bow and Stern Lines. This means that the lines can be released swiftly from the responsible crewman’s position on board when the order is given by the Skipper. Once the Bow and Stern Lines are singled up the Skipper will make a decision which line he wants released. This decision will on a number of factors and will be mainly dependent on the orientation of the yacht, location of other yachts and berths, the wind direction and strength, the tide direction and strength.
Once the yacht begins to move special attention must be made by all the crew to protect the yacht from coming into collision with other yachts, anchors, cables and berths as it moves away from its berth. To ensure this three or four crew members must carry “fenders” to place them between any points at which there is a danger of collision.
Within a short time the yacht is clear of the marina and into the main channel. The yacht will be still in danger if the engine should fail whilst not in clear water and, if the engine fails and the sails cannot provide the power, there may be an immediate need to drop the anchor. To lower the anchor whilst the yacht has way on it (motion) can cause much damage and harm. Therefore, any lowering of the anchor has to be done in close coordination between the Skipper and the Bowman (Chief Officer).
Assuming all goes well leaving the port the yacht is soon able to raise its sails, wind permitting, and it is now time for you to get involved and learn how to get the fastest speed from the yacht using the power of the wind to its best advantage.
Within time you will be seeking someone to examine you to confirm, or otherwise, your competency to be a commander, a captain. Then you are free to charter your own yacht in any part of the world.
The major international certifying organisations are the “Royal Yacht Association” (RYA), the “American Sailing Association”(ASA) and the “Canadian Yachting Association” (CYA). You shall need to make an early decision under which code you wish to be examined. It is widely believed that the RYA is the most significant of the three associations in respect to the standards observed.
RYA Competent Crew=ASA103=CYA Basic Cruising Standard
RYA Day Skipper=ASA104=CYA Intermediate Cruising Standard
RYA Coastal Skipper=ASA106=CYA Advanced Cruising Standard
RYA Yachtmaster=ASA108=CYA Offshore Cruising Standard
RYA Yachtmaster has 3 levels – Coastal, Offshore and Ocean. All Yachtmaster levels can be commercially endorsed: Coastal – 20nm from a safe haven, Offshore 150 nm from a safe haven, and Ocean is unlimited. Commercial endorsement for Offshore and Ocean is to 200gt and is recognized in over 20 countries