Being a skipper in Italy in good standing. The simplified title is now law

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Archive photo – Jerome Kelagopian | Beneteau

Reform of the title of 2nd Class Recreational Navigation Officer becomes law, which is now formally published in the Official Gazette. This significant step, previously anticipated in
our November 2023 article
devoted to a career as a professional skipper, represents a momentous turning point in the industry. This greatly increases the job opportunities as a skipper in Italy, both for charter companies and for those who intend to work on their own with a VAT number.

How to become a skipper in 2024

The reform, enshrined in Decree Dec. 13, 2023, no. 227, concerns Recreational Vocational Qualifications for personnel embarked on recreational boats and vessels intended for chartering and on vessels exclusively chartered for tourism purposes.


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The new (which is national) simplified title of“Recreational Navigation Officer 2nd Class” (non-STCW) qualifies the holder to command vessels of up to 200 GT, whether sailing in the Mediterranean or in the internal waters of Italian-flagged units.

How much is the title of Recreational Navigation Officer 2nd Class worth

The title is valid for 10 years and does not require registration with Seafarers.

How to become a Recreational Navigation Officer

The guidelines for attaining this title include the following requirements:

  • I am at least 18 years old
  • to meet the psychophysical requirements for a B boat license, in addition to possessing a high school diploma.
  • Successful completion of a theoretical and practical examination is also required, along with possession of the Short Range Operator Certificate (SRC), basic fire-fighting courses, basic first aid “First Aid,” and a personal safety course for offshore navigation

The exam will be held at the harbor master’s offices, with content similar to the boating license exams, with some simplifications. The ministerial decree with the program will soon be issued by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

Where can I go with the title 2nd class officer (recreational)

It is crucial to note that this title is exclusively domestic and does not comply with the international STCW convention, making it not usable abroad.

NB: The title qualifies for navigation both in the Mediterranean and in inland waters, on units flying the Italian flag.

What changes now

This first step is important because it opens the door to greater professionalization in the industry, allowing anyone with the necessary skills to become a professional skipper. Charter companies can now hire skippers with the title of Recreational Navigation Officer 2nd Class, expanding opportunities for skippered chartering and overcoming the limitation to“skippeless chartering” of boats.

Full press note from Confindustria Nautica here.

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