If you are considering chartering a boat for personal use in Croatia, it is important to gather all the necessary information about these exams on time in order to obtain permission to command a boat or a yacht.
How to prepare for the boat commander exam in Croatia and where, when, how (much money and time) is needed to achieve that goal? If you are considering chartering a boat for personal use, it is important to gather all the necessary information about these exams on time in order to be able to obtain permission to command a boat or a yacht. Below is a general 'roadmap' on how to sail the Adriatic and make the max out of a unique adventure in Croatia. We trust you will find it useful. You can also ask questions and make suggestions via e-mail, at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you need additional information or would like to post a comment.
One of the first conditions you must fulfill in order to operate a boat for personal use in Croatia is to be 18 years of age. To be eligible to sit for an exam for a category 'A' boat you must be at least 15 years of age. CItizens who are 16 years old can take the exam for the category 'B' boat. Adults, on the other hand, skip this barrier automatically- they can navigate any vessel registered in the register of ships. Commanders of boats that belong to category 'B' can command a boat and a yacht of up to 30 GT (gross tons) if used for personal purposes and if a boat is rented in charter. Category 'A' boats have a 7 m bed and are driven by sails or a motor that has the propulsion power of 15 kW, while commanders of the category 'B' boat, who are younger than 18 have limited engine power (of 18 kW). The sailing area in Croatia usually spans 6 nautical miles from the coast and from the island coast (which is a total of 12 Nm). If you decide to take the exam, you can enroll and prepare to take the boat commander exam, either in a sailing club, marina or at the seat of the harbor authorities, in Zagreb, or, for example, Split. This course takes an average of five days to complete, and the exams are taken on Thursdays at 4.30 p.m. at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure in Zagreb (the address is Prisavlje 14).
Documents you need to take with you to the exam include:
1. The completed request form to access the exam plus a stamp (40.00 kunas)
2. Two recent photographs (size 2.5 x3, 5 cm)
3. Applicants for category 'A' should bring a copy of their ID card (both sides) / foreign nationals should attach a photocopy of passport
4. Applicants for the boat commander exam, category B, bring a copy of their ID card (both sides) / foreign nationals submit copies of their passports if they have a copy of a certificate of having passed the first aid state exam. A copy of a valid driver's license for road motor vehicles is valid. If you don't have these documents than you should take this exam.
5. Applicants who take the supplementary exam maritime radiotelephony (CSR exam), and have passed the boat commander exam valid for category 'B', are obliged to have it. For this test they should pass the aforementioned exams and have a copy of their ID card (both sides) and an old copy of the Certificate of qualification for the skipper or a copy of the certificate for the diploma exam 'Sailor motorist'.
The costs of fees and taxes (regulated by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Minister) vary, and on average (depending on which club you choose) are as follows:
- For skipper exam 'A' category: from approx. 400.00 HRK- 500.00 HRK
- For exam skipper 'B' category: from approx. 670.00 HRK- 800.00 HRK
- Supplementary exam: approx. 280.00 HRK- ca. 300.00 HRK
Many clubs offer a course free of charge if you are a member of the club. Courses for foreigners, who pay a higher fee, are held in English. If you fail to pass the exam the first time, it is necessary to re-sit it at the Ministry (this will cost you approx. 500 HRK, for category B).
A professional skipper must pass the exam for the C category skipper. The skipper exchange program category C is carried out strictly according to the program prescribed by the Ministry and lasts for three days, i.e., 25 hours. With this permit you can manage the ship of up to 30 gross tons (for commercial purposes), regardless of the area of navigation and the type of vessel. Many skippers have passed the exam for yachtsman of A and B categories (from 100 to 500 gross tons). Skippers who are working professionally as a crew aboard a yacht must have a seaman's book, which laids out the fundamental safety rules of the vessel. Some additional tests are needed to get a seaman's book. For most skippers attending courses basic knowledge of sailing is not a prerequisite, and students receive an internationally recognized license issued by the Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure. Marine education can last for up to 12 weeks (e.g., 4 weeks in October and then again in March or May), which includes a practical and a theoretical part. Courses are designed exclusively for adults, but they are required to provide proof that they have passed the first aid exam, bring 2 photos, a log book (which costs approx. 150 HRK) and a medical examination in occupational medicine. Visas are not required for EU citizens. In class, students gain specific knowledge on how to maneuver a ship (binding of a ship, determining the course, approaching the dock, anchoring, knots, etc.), navigation skills (working on a map, determining the rate, all day and all-night sailing, meteorology), skipper skills (responsibility, trimming the sails, shortening the sail, knots, nighttime navigation, sailing and general plan preparation, the spinnaker, the basics of sailing regatta, sailing regatta training), solving of mechanical problems (engine control and solving basic problems with sails, assembly) and basic safety (safety control/ training, rescuing people at sea). One of the initial bases is Split.
Certificate of qualification for the yacht commander (category A) is acquired by individuals who have at least 12 months of experience in navigation service on a commercial vessel or public vessel, or at least three years of training for the category C skipper. In addition, one must be at least 18 years of age, must have attended a secondary education facility for three years, meets the prescribed medical conditions, especially in terms of vision and hearing, has completed a special training (commander of the yacht category A must go on a course that lasts for 50 hours) and have passed the exam according to program. The commander of the category B yacht must take a course that lasts for 174 teaching hours. Certificate of qualification for a commander of the category A yacht (of up to 100 GT), and a certificate of qualification for the Yacht Master Category B (of up to 500 GT) is received when you meet the required medical conditions, especially in terms of vision and hearing, and have a valid certificate of qualification for the master of the 3000 GT ship or higher/ for the chief mate on a ship of 3000 GT or higher/ for the master of the 3000 GT/ for the chief mate on board the 3000 GT/ officers of a navigational watch on a ship of 500 GT or more.
All these and other licenses are issued by the Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure and are valid everywhere in the world given that Croatia is a member of the European Maritime Council and has a long tradition of being a maritime country.