Sailing the seas and dropping anchor in the most beautiful places of the world is a great way of life full of adventure and enjoyment. However in order to fulfill this dream one must have the necessary license that will allow you to rent a boat and enjoy your vacation to the fullest. Although we do provide you with a skipper if you do not have the necessary license, the boat always feels cozier when you know everyone onboard. If you are interested about the license requirements for piloting vessels in the European waters, you will find some information below.

Sailing conditions in Spain

“The titles covered by this order enabled exclusively yachts and sea scooters/watercrafts used exclusively for leisure activities”. In Spain being 18 years old or 16 with a parental authorization is also necessary in order to pass a sailing exam

If you want to get a sailing license in Spain you also need: a medical check-up, pass the test/written exam, radio communication practices, safety practice, a minimum of sailing hours depending on the title you want to get and of course, the official practical navigation exam.

INTERNATIONAL LICENSES: Most of the International Sailing Licenses in the EU and other countries are valid in Spain but it also depends on the boat lenght. Please check your sailing title before renting a boat in Spain without Skipper.


Formentera, Spain.

Here we explain the different licenses and conditions in Spain and its islands:

Skipper for Basic Navigation: The minimum age is 16 years. Valid for Sailing boats up to 8m length, Motorboats up to 7,5m length and water scooters. The navigation distance from the coast can be maximum 5 miles. Basic safety practices: 12h or practical exam.

Yacht Skipper: The minimum age is 16 years. Valid for sailing boats up to 12m length and water scooters. The maximum sailing distance is 12 miles. Basic safety practice : 16h or practical exam.

Yacht Captain: the minimum age is 18 years. Valid for boats up to 20m length and water scooters. Maximum sailing distance is: 60 miles. Basic safety practices: 24h or practical exam.

Yacht Captain : Minimum age is 18 years. Yacht length and navigation distance are unlimited. Valid also for water scooters. Basic safety practices: 48h or official practical examination.

Vista del puerto de Bayona (Pontevedra).

The port of Bayona, Galicia, Spain.

Sailing conditions Croatia

Charter Preparation Tips:

It is essential that you take your original skippers license or certificate with you in the event that the Port Authorities ask you to present it to them. If you do not have an official sailing license, by law the team at base will not be able to allow you to charter without an officially certified skipper onboard.

ICC (International Certificate of Competence), International – Prerequisites: RYA “Day Skipper Course” or similar/equivalent certification from any recognized sailing association or complete the ICC Assessment form to prove competence from previous experience.

IPC (International Proficiency Certificate), America – Prerequisites: ASA 104 or US Sailing “Bareboat Cruising Course”.

Sailing conditions in Greece

The latest requirements regarding the bareboat charter in Greece include:

  • International certificate of competence (ICC)

This document has the main power in the country and is 100% recognizable anywhere in Greece. We highly recommend you to get this paper before you start your bareboat charter in Greece because it’s a total guarantee of your professionalism. Having this certificate, it’ll minimize the time you spend in a port or harbour.

If you possess a national equivalent to ICC (or foreign licenses such as American ASA 104 certificate), it’s advisable to convert it to ICC even though some of them are still valid in many ports.

  • RYA official sailing certificates are also widely recognised.
pictorial harbors of small greek islands - Skiathos

pictorial harbors of small greek islands – Skiathos

Required expertise for the bareboat charter:

– RYA practical day skipper (U.K.) is a minimum level to be able to navigate.

– Non-tidal RYA practical day skipper certificate is also valid.

– US Sailing bareboat cruising

– ASA bareboat chartering 104 (intermediate level)

apella beach kárpathos (1)

Beach at Karpathos, Greek islands

Sailing Conditions in France, Italy and its Islands


What Sailing Licenses do I need in Europe for sailing boats?The International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft, or ICC (International Certificate of Competence), is accepted as evidence of competence in most EU countries/sailing areas to be able to sail in International waters.


Sailing categories:

All permits that have been issued prior to 1.01.2008 are valid in France but are not longer issued. We recommend you to check your sailing license but standarts stay the same. An applicant must be at least 16 years of age and provide the examination centre with a medical certificate. A theory and practical test must be passed before the permit is issued.

  • La Carte Mer: for boats with a motor engine from 6CV to 50CV. A daytime permit is allowed for sailing within a 9 Km range of the coast, (awarded after taking a theory course and practical lessons, and passing a test).
  • Le Permis Mer Côtier: for boats with a motor engine of 50CV and more. The permit allows night sailing, but within a limited range from the coast.
  • Le Permis Mer Hauturier: This is gained through a full boating course at a boat school, and licenses one for all forms of boating
  • The Recreational Permit (Permis Plaisance)


To be able to rent a boat without skipper in Italy and its islands (Sardinia and Sicily) it is necessary to have an official sailing license from your country but in general terms, the skipper is required to have:

The ICC or the International RYA (Day Skipper Course) or a similar certificate that can be checked at the sailing association (should be valid like the ICC)

The IPC  (International Proficiency Certificate) is also valid to sail in Italy without skipper (bareboat charter)

The American ASA 104 or US “Bareboat Cruising Course” (or above) are valid too.

If you are a EU citizen and you already have a sailing license from your country, you can sail in Italy without problems with:

– “Sportbootführerschein See“ or above from Germany.

-“Algemeen Stuurbrevet”/ “Brevet de conduite général” from Belgium.

-“Le permis plaisance” from France.

Sailing in Sicily II

Sicily, a sailing paradise.

If you are interested to know all the advantages of renting a yacht and making your next vacation an unforgettable experience, take a look at our advice section.