New National Legislation, a plus for sailing

by Chris Kameen on July 1, 2013

logo-rya-ya1st July 2013 is an importnat day in Australian Maritime History, it is the day when we have one set of rules to govern commercial boats in Australia. Up until today we have had the ludicrous situation whereby the regulations in every state were different, which meant that somebody with sailing qualifications from NSW might bot be able to work on a sailing boat in WA, or a boat working in Sydney during the summer that moved to the Whitsundays during the winter had to be also registered in Queensland. What I find incredible is that there was ever an argument against having one set of rules and that it has taken so long to get across the line.

A lot of people have put in a tremendous amount of effort on behalf of the sailing industry which due to over regulation (in my opinion) is a fraction of the size it could be. This effort has largely fallen upon Yachting Australia and a few key people within the organisation who recognised how important it is to have commercial sailing qualifications. In a few States there were work around solutions that allowed sailors with RYA Yachtmaster qualifications to get restricted Coxswain or Master V qualifications, however these weren’t transportable across State Boundaries. There is still some way to go to get the qualifications fully embedded but the ball is well and truly rolling now. The new standards can be found at the following links:

AMSA website:

Sailing Exemptions:

In a nutshell what this means is that there is now a sailing qualification to operate sailing boats that fits the industry requirement. No longer will we have the ludicrous situation whereby somebody who has never been assessed on their competence at sailing has to be in charge of a commercial sailing boat. It might still happen but an operator can at least now employ someone with the correct skills and qualifications.

Sydney Sailing School is accredited to teach the RYA YA Theory courses that ultimately any sailor wishing to be examined for their RYA YA Yachtmaster will be practically assessed on. We also accredited to assess for the commercial endorsement – an on-line course Professional Practices and Responsibilities course which is run on the RYA Interactive Platform.

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