The Short Range Certificate (SRC) is something every sailor thinking about chartering a boat and sailing must have. This course is an absolute minimum, as using the radio on a boat is essential. As our dream is to sail away (perhaps around the world) in our own boat in 3 years time, in February Marcin and I flew to Poland to take part in one of the trainings.
Radio on a boat is absolutely vital safety equipment and at least one crew member must be a holder of the SRC certificate in order to charter a boat. Apart from that you need a qualified Yacht Skipper to be able to sail away. Usually skippers have the SRC, otherwise the charter of a boat would be rather tricky.
The owner of a Sailing School we started our sailing experience with – Kliper – Slawek was very accommodating. For us, planning our holidays, is very difficult. I work in a lovely place, with fantastic people, and if I need a day off suddenly, if that is possible, my work colleagues are very flexible. Marcin on the other hand must plan his holidays in advance and getting an additional day off is sometimes not possible.
We came up with a February date few months earlier and Slawek organized a training to suits our needs. Before we went on a course, he provided us with an online version of the course and we could go through it in our own time. I would recommend getting an online access, if you are thinking about doing SRC. Although during the course you are provided with all the necessary information to be able to pass your exam, learning online before would give you an opportunity to prepare yourself and learn few bits and pieces which are essential during the exam.
We have used radio simulators and could talk to each other during the training. It was a great experience! I must admit I was very nervous, but I managed to say my Mayday alert, with a hope I will not have to say it in a real life ever again.
The online course will give you an access to a range of topics, and you can learn about marine radio, how does it work, how to use it, GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System), distress calling, urgency and safety calling, rules and licensing. You will be able as well record your own calls and compare with the model answers.
It took us about 8 hours each to go through the whole course, but we were well prepared and save the time in Poland. At the end we were given books, which we will use in a future for sure! And refreshing your memory is always needed anyway 🙂
If you need more information about the SRC, please visit RYA.