International Sailing License and Credentials (SLC)

Island Sailing is authorized to license students with SLC, the only legal American credentials that's accepted in the Mediterranean and internationally.  The SLC is the American alternative to the ICC (International Certificate of Competence), which we also offer with our RYA partners.

Jump to: Requirements | SLC Courses | Questions | FAQs

Overview:  the International Sailing License and Credentials (SLC) is a recreational sailing license valid for all yacht charter companies worldwide including Europe. To gain an SLC, the candidate must hold a national government boating license, pass a suite of theoretical knowledge courses and tests appropriate for bareboat chartering, log sufficient sailing experience, and demonstrate sailing skills according to internationally established sailing standards.

Why the SLC? Quite frankly, there are too many organizations "selling" certifications. This endangers the holder of those certifications, their friends, their family, close by boaters, and charter-boat vessels. This practice raises insurance rates for the responsible sailors, soaks up search and rescue resources, and gives false confidence to poorly trained and inexperienced more

NauticEd takes a stand for quality and ensures its students are confident and competent. Thus, the SLC. It is a verification of the Sailing License and Credentials of a worthy sailor.

This means that the holder of an SLC has:

  • a valid national government boating endorsed license
  • sufficient documented on-the-water sailing experience; on a properly sized vessel
  • recent documented on-the-water sailing experience
  • been assessed to the ICC standard for on-the-water sailing competence
  • completed and passed at least 40 hours of theory study including Coastal and Electronic Navigation
  • completed a 100-question test on all aspects of skippering, sailing, bareboat chartering, and navigation
  • authentic credentials; all data is secured and verified online through this portal

Finally, the SLC exceeds any other international required standard for bareboat chartering. You should extend any bareboat chartering courtesy possible to the holder.

By Whose Authority? NauticEd is the only government and US Coast Guard recognized sailing body in the more

Thus, as a government recognized sailing body, once NauticEd deems a student has met the licensing and credential requirements above, NauticEd issues the SLC. This SLC serves as a valid Sailing License accepted internationally.


Getting your International Sailing License and Credentials SLC or ICC International Certificate of CompetenceaNational Government License:  The SLC is only issued to individuals who already hold a National Government Boating License. Examples of such national licenses include a national coast guard license, an ICC, an RYA Day Skipper, a USA NASBLA Boater License, or a Canadian PCOC License. read more

The front of the SLC card indicates which government license they hold. You can view and verify this government license by entering the card holder's SLC number in the box above.

Holding a government license means the holder already meets the technical legal requirement that many hosting countries require.

Documented and Recent Experience: An SLC holder must have logged a minimum of 50 days of sailing, 25 of which must be as master of the vessel. The SLC card shows the vessel size endorsement. This size is calculated as the greater of either: 10 feet (3 m) greater than the largest size of vessel the holder has sailed as master of the vessel at least 5 times. Additionally, when issued or re-issued, the holder must have sailed at least 10 times within the past two years.

Practical Competence to Internationally Recognized Standards: Gaining an SLC requires an on-the-water assessment of the candidates sailing skills and knowledge. The requirements for passing the SLC assessment exceeds the requirements for the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) as well as the American National Standards. This assessment must be completed by an SLC qualified instructor who verifies the student's competence for international bareboat charter worthiness including navigation. 

International Sailing Theory Education and Testing: An SLC holder has completed a minimum of 40 hours of international sailing theory education and testing - namely, the NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master Bundle of courses.


SLC Training and Assessment options

We teach a full range of courses that include Bareboat + SLC (or the RYA Day Skipper + ICC equivalent) - you learn everything you need to know.

If you have the experience and skills, then consider a 1-day practical assessment.

Bareboat + SLC Courses:

San Juan Cruise & Learn (Bareboat)

learn sailing while cruising in the san juan islands
Explore a world-class sailing destination while sailing and training with veteran instructors. The San Juan Cruise & Learn is a premier course.
Earn your Bareboat, International SLC, Skipper or Crew certification.
more info»

Bareboat Course · Bareboat Charter Master Certification

bareboat chartering class. Learn to bareboat charter, coastal navigation and sail around the world.
Sail and charter large sailboats in exotic locations.
The Bareboat course teaches you a complete understanding of vessel systems, trip planning, and large boat handling so you can fully enjoy your charter adventure.
more info»

Need Help? Contact Island SailingAssessment Scheduling or questions?

Please contact us to arrange an SLC assessment or with any questions. If considering a charter overseas, then we're happy to guide you through what licensing may (or may not) be needed.

Contact us using the form, or contact Chris Black directly at


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the “Government Required License” part of the SLC?

When a country (such and Croatia or Greece etc.) has a license requirement, you must be able to legally sail in your own country in order to legally sail in their country. This is called reciprocity – much like airline pilots and commercial shipping captains only hold a license in their own country not every country in the world. In the United States, in order to legally sail in every state and territory, you must hold a state boaters license/card. Thus, to properly satisfy this part of the license you must obtain: for the USA, a state boaters license/card (free at – if your state is not listed you can do any state); For  Canada – a PCOC. Or for any other country, it is your local license that allows you to go boating (some countries have no requirement).

Can I see an example SLC?

SLC card, frontSimply go to NauticEd's SLC page – On that page enter the example student Joe Sailor’s ID number “63302191” and Joe Sailor’s secret logbook code – “mycode”.

You will then see Joe’s downloadable long form PDF in multiple languages and you will also be able to download the SLC pocket size card.

How Long Will it Take?

The Knowledge Course materials will take approximately 40 hours to complete. This can be done faster if you are already knowledgeable. You can at any time during the course, jump to the test.

Bareboat courses are typically 3 to 5 days, and Island Sailing's bareboat courses include SLC practical assessment.

If you're already experienced and trained, the you can just be assessed by a qualified instructor. A one-day assessment will take … one day. Once all the conditions are met, the license is issued immediately in real-time and ready for immediate download.

How long is the SLC Valid?

The SLC is valid for 3 years and is easily renewable. To renew, log 10 sailings in the past 2 years or 5 in the past year and retake and pass the free SLC exam. The renew cost is $45 for an additional 3 years.

Is this the same as the ICC?

The SLC is not the ICC (the United Nations created the International Certificate of Competence), but for all intent and purposes, it works just as well. While Island Sailing can facilitate you getting the ICC through our alliance with the esteemed UK Royal Yachting Association (RYA), it can be unpractical for most North Americans because there are only 3 schools in North America (2 schools in Canada (Halifax and Toronto) and one in the USA (Pensacola)). Thus, for most people, the SLC is much more accessible since there are many schools able to perform the required 1-day assessment of sailing skills.

Where is my SLC stored?

Once issued, the SLC is available to you 24/7 in your cloud-based NauticEd account. The software will issue the License immediately upon completing all the requirements.

What if I already have sailing knowledge and/or sailing certifications?

We respect your existing knowledge and thus we don’t condescendingly make your start at the start and make you do basic training if you are already experienced and skillful. Rather, you can jump in at any level and just pass the all the online exams and do the on-the-water assessment without training. Many schools offer, what we call, a rust-removal day prior to the assessment day. This ensures you can pass the assessment requirements. e.g. Can you Mediterranean moor in a crosswind? Can you dock and leave the dock using spring lines? Can you sail up to a mooring ball and stop?  Give a tide range, can you calculate the depth at a certain time of the day?

If you are rusty, we recommend a rust removal day ( Additionally both of these days, rust removal and assessment, will count towards your recent 5-day requirement above).

What Schools can perform the SLC one-day on-the-water assessment?

Island Sailing is SLC approved for both courses and assessments!

What am I tested on in the one-day on-the-water Assessment?

When you sign-in or sign-up,  as a free student, under “curriculum”, you will see the OTW practical assessment for the SLC. It is not to be taken lightly. You had better be strong on sailing, maneuvering to the dock and in the marina, anchoring, mooring, safety, rules, lights and sounds, navigation marks, IALA-A and IALA-B, Navigation plotting and tides as some examples. Don’t worry all the theory work is covered in the required Bareboat Charter Master bundle of courses online.

How do I present my SLC to the Yacht Charter Company and/or Port Authorities?

Direct the Yacht Charter Company to the official SLC page ( and give them your unique SLC #ID which is embossed on your SLC document along with your secret logbook code. When they enter these into the SLC page, you SLC license is presented to them. Your logbook code is a code you make up and enter under your profile. This process gives you privacy with the ability to share your information only to those you desire. And/or you can print out your SLC and take with you.

By whose Authority is the SLC issued?

NauticEd is the only government recognized and US Coast Guard recognized sailing body in the USA.

This international proclamation document shows that the authority NASBLA is the sole agency in charge of issuing boating licenses in the USA.

This official verification letter shows that NASBLA recognizes and awards NauticEd as meeting the American National Standards for sailing training and assessment.

This NASBLA verified course approval website lists the USA sailing bodies (including NauticEd) who conform to the US Coast Guard approved American National Standard.

Thus, as a government recognized sailing body, once NauticEd deems a student has met the licensing and credential requirements above, NauticEd issues the SLC. This SLC serves as a valid Sailing License accepted internationally.

Do yacht charter companies accept the SLC?

Here is a snapshot from the Moorings website showing that the SLC is one of the Licenses accepted along with the ICC.


Mooring Greece sailing requirements

I am not an American Citizen. Can I still get the SLC?

Yes. The SLC is an international sailing license. It demonstrates that you can legally sail in your own country AND that you hold the credentials for a knowledgeable and experienced sailor that has been assessed to international standards. In the USA, to legally sail in every state and territory, you must hold a state boater license card. The SLC validates this. Canadians must hold a PCOC (Pleasure Craft Operators Certificate) in order to gain an SLC. For other countries, ensure you upload the legal document that allows you to operate in your country.

What about the VHF requirements?

When you pass the Bareboat Charter course, a VHF endorsement stamp is added to your NauticEd certificate. The SLC license also shows a VHF cleared stamp.

Grrrr! Why do I need a license?

Times change and unfortunately the answer is the same answer as  – why do you need to pay taxes? You just do!

Fortunately, NauticEd has made the process simple and have achieved the proper country sign-offs for you. Yet we have also made it responsible. We will not issue a license to just anyone. Rather, we’d prefer to say you don’t qualify if you are not fully competent. We are not a credit card certification factory like some associations and we refuse to go down that road. You simply must have the proper amount of experience and skills and knowledge for us to put our credibility on the line.

Why does a resume trump a certification?

See our blog post here:

What if I don’t have enough experience as the SLC requires?

We have a simple answer and even better solution detailed in this blog:


Getting your International Sailing License and Credentials SLC or ICC International Certificate of Competencea