How to become a skipper (in good standing) and work on boats


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We have been waiting for it for a long time, and it has finally arrived. Here is the decree explaining how the exam to become a“Recreational Officer Class II” will be conducted. This new figure, designed for Italy and Italian-flagged boats (including charter boats), is the result of work by Confindustria nautica on a reform that has been awaited for 15 years, of which this was the last bureaucratic step.

How to become a skipper in 2024

The procedure for becoming a skipper has been made significantly more streamlined with the introduction of the title of“Recreational Officer Class II. ” What does it entail? With this title, one can be qualified to command pleasure craft flying the Italian flag with a maximum tonnage of up to 200GT. We also talk about rental units. Once obtained, the title is valid for 10 years.

“Simplified” title

With a VAT number and this title you can work as a skipper both for companies and on your own. You will not need, therefore, to be registered in the seafarer’s records or to have a seaman’s booklet. At the same time,mandatory 36-month boarding, swimming and rowing tests, and the complex coursework of seafarers’ courses will also not be required.

Patente Nautica 2022, ora prenderla è più “semplice”. E cambia il quiz

What is needed for the skipper exam

To enter the Recreational Officer Class II theoretical-practical examination, it is necessary to have completed or have current:

  • personal safety course(OSR) for offshore sailing,organized at institutions, bodies or companies recognized as suitable by the Administration such as the Italian Sailing Federation, World Sailing or the most representative national trade associations.
  • basic firefighting courses
  • BLS first aid course (according to the regulations and programs established by the Ministry of Health)
  • GMDSS: GMDSS Short Range radio operator certificate

Experienced seafarers or those who have worked for more than 10 years with charter companies may be exempted from the practical or theoretical test, according to the terms of the decree.

Recreational Officer Class II (how it’s done)

The examination takes place at the maritime compartment offices, according to a schedule at least every six months. The examination tests consist of:

  • theoretical examination, interview with the candidate, aimed at ascertaining knowledge of the program
  • Practical test in maritime waters on a naval unit not less than 15 meters in length

Topics and questions on the exam to become a skipper

The decree also contains an annex with the examination schedule. Many elements are reminiscent of both topics covered in OSR courses and those for obtaining the
boating license

  1. Shiptheory :Elements of ship theory and stability. Evolutionary effects of the propeller and rudder.
  2. Engines Elements of operation of motor propulsion systems. Knowledge of auxiliary machinery. Operating irregularities and failures. Calculation of range in relation to engine power and remaining fuel quantity.
  3. Boating Safety Safety regulations, with special reference to safety equipment, life-saving equipment, and the use of fire extinguishers. First aid medicine box. Types of security visits and their periodicity. Fire prevention. Measures to be taken in the event of a casualty (fire, collision, grounding, failure of steering gear, spillage of polluting liquids, man overboard). Measures to be taken for the safety of persons on board in the event of a casualty or abandonment of the unit. Precautions to be taken when sailing in adverse weather conditions. Assistance and rescue: rescue signs and their meaning. Proper use of on-board radio equipment, with emphasis on assistance and rescue. Radiotelephone communications and related procedures. International Signal Code.
  4. Maneuvering and Conduct Precautions when entering and leaving ports, while navigating near the coast or bodies of water, where other boating activities take place. Allowable speeds. Maneuvers of mooring, unmooring, anchoring and man overboard recovery.
  5. Colreg and maritime signaling Regulations to prevent boarding at sea. Light beacons and daylight signals of ships at anchor, maritime signals and traffic regulations in inland waters. List of beacons and fog signals.
  6. Meteorology Elements of meteorology. General circulation of the atmosphere. Elements that characterize weather conditions: pressure, temperature, humidity. Cloud formation and their characteristics. Warm front and cold front. Winds, currents, and tides. Beaufort and Douglas scales. Meteorological instruments and their use. Weather bulletins for maritime navigation. Local weather forecast.
  7. Cartographic and electronic navigation Geographic coordinates. Nautical charts. Mercator projection and other types of projection. Orientation and compass rose. Earth’s magnetism, magnetic poles and geographic poles, magnetic declination, magnetic compasses. Table of residual edge deviations. Distinction between rhumb line and orthodromic navigation. Estimated navigation: time, space and speed. Coastal navigation. Instruments for measuring ship speed. Vessel point positioning, including through the use of electronic tools. Bow and course; effect of wind and current on the motion of the vessel (drift and drift). Nautical publications: pilot book, list of lighthouses and fog signals, coastal navigation radios.
  8. Boating and environmental regulations Powers, duties, and responsibilities of the master. Documents to be kept on board pleasure craft for private use and pleasure craft for hire. Design categories of CE-marked recreational craft and associated navigational limits. Regulation of bathing activities, water skiing, sport fishing and underwater fishing. Shipboard waste delivery and spillage into the sea. Elements of the regulation of marine protected areas. Laws and regulations governing recreational boating, recreational boating code, regulations implementing the recreational boating code, and other regulatory sources applicable to recreational boating, with special reference to: powers of the Maritime and Inland Navigation Authority; ordinances of local maritime and inland navigation authorities; regulations governing the commercial use of recreational units; and penalty regulations for recreational boating.

The practical exam to become a skipper

Even practical test, except for the size of the boat (which cannot be smaller than 15 meters), is very reminiscent of that for the boat license. In fact, in addition to knowing how to drive the naval unit in the various gaits (for at least half a mile), the candidate will also be required to have the maneuvering and responsiveness skills necessary for man overboard recovery, mooring and anchoring the unit.

The candidate must also demonstrate competence in the proper use of safety equipment, life-saving and fire-fighting equipment. At the same time, the ability to implement the necessary preparations for adverse weather conditions to take preventive measures to safeguard human life at sea will be tested.



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