Who hasn’t been on a beach and looked out at the anchored boats and thought that they would love the freedom, peace and tranquillity that they bring?
For many, though, the idea of entering the seafaring world is a step into unknown waters.
It is, however, possible to get a sailing licence in only a few days and chartering a large boat doesn’t necessarily have to cost more than a night in a hotel. Particularly here, in the Balearics, which are regarded as being amongst the best sailing spots in Europe, it is certainly worth being able to safely steer a boat.
It is not without good reason that numerous renowned regattas are held here, such as the Copa del Rey, and that it is also the birthplace of many sailing sport stars. Well-equipped harbours, 300 days of sunshine a year, and a continuous strong wind (without the rough seas) combined with beautiful bays along the coast creates a boating and sailing heaven.
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Similar to road travel, there is also a wide choice of licences to choose from to travel by sea, which vary according to the type of boat you have and the waters you are sailing in. On Mallorca, though, it is possible to do almost any type of boating licence including the test. Depending on the type of licence, courses can range from a few days to a week or longer. The ports of Palma, Port Adriano, Santa Ponsa, Puerto Portals and Cala d’Or all offer English sailing schools.
All boating licences involve a practical and theory training and test. The theory test involves quite a bit of studying and you have to be able to answer many questions on various seafaring topics. In addition to the lessons in the classroom you will also be taken onto the boat for the practical part.
The Royal Yacht Association has a particular order in which you have to complete your courses and certificates. To start with you have to decide whether you want to learn how to sail or if a motorboat licence is all you want to do. Courses begin with the ‘Start Yachting’ or ‘Start Motor Cruising’ courses which are designed for absolute beginners and where you can learn the basics of boat steering and seamanship. The ‘Day Skipper’ course allows you to hire your own sailing or motor boat in Spain.
To acquire sufficient skill to also be able to safely steer bigger boats, you should at least aim for the ‘Coastal Skipper’ course which enables you to charter boats up to 24 metres long in Spanish waters up to 20 sea miles from the coast. Once you have acquired the ‘Coastal Skipper’ certificate you can also do the ‘International Certificate of Competence (ICC)’ which is a type of international boating certificate which is accepted in many countries as proof of sufficient ability in sailing a boat.
Alongside the boating licence, the captain also has to have a radio certificate if there is radio equipment on board, which is almost always the case with yachts with berths. Here you can choose between the Short Range Certificate (SRC) which is sufficient for the Mediterranean. However, if you are planning on crossing the Atlantic you should do the Long Range Certificate (LRC).
Basically, before you charter a boat, you should always check with the charter company which certificates they require so that you are not caught out unexpectedly.
More Activities on Mallorca
You’ll never run out of things to do on Mallorca! Here we give you ideas for everything from cultural and outdoor activities to sports and water fun.