Terms and conditions of business

I.BOOKING PROVISIONAL: Either verbal or by telephone, will be held for 3 days only. It will not be deemed binding upon the School until confirmed.
a) If completed booking Forms and Deposit/balance is not received within 3 days, the school reserves the right to sell the vacancy to another Student and no liability shall attach itself to the school whatsoever, beyond a refund.
2. FIRM BOOKINGS WiIl be deemed firm once the booking Form is received, completed in full and signed, with one per Student with the minimum Deposit/balance.
3. CONFIRMATION. The School will confirm the booking, in writing, within 5 days of receiving the booking Forms.
4. DEPOSIT. is required if the booking is over 30 days from the date of the course per the enclosed literature.
a) If within 30 days of the date of the course, full fee is required.
b) If within 30 days prior to the course the Student has not paid the balance of the fee, on the 30th day a reminder letter will be sent to the given address. IF 21 days from the date of the course the balance has not been received the School reserves the right to sell the student’s berth.
c) If the School is successful in selling this berth and mitigating its costs, the student will only forfeit the deposit.
d) If the School fails to sell the berth, the Student will be liable for the full fees. If the Student fails to remit the balance due, it is agreed that 3% per month can be added to the outstanding amount, on compound interest rates, from the 28th day, prior to the course until paid.
a) Weekend courses from approximately 2000 hrs Friday until approximately 1600 hrs the Following Sunday.
b)5 Day Certificate Courses, from approximately 2000 hrs Sunday until 1600 hrs the following Friday.
c) 10 Day Course the same as 5 day courses, with a weekend break in the middle.
d) The Foregoing times are, of course, dependent upon the weather conditions and the Instructor’s/Skipper’s decisions and the seaworthiness of the vessel at the time.
6. DELAY/NON ARRIVAL: Subject to the Foregoing the vessel on the weekend course will wait for a late student until 2100 hrs. The yacht setting out on 5 day course will not wait past Monday 0900 hrs.
a) If a student cannot attend their course through illness or commitments elsewhere it is requested that the School is contacted as soon as possible. Every possible attempt will be made to mitigate the student’s costs, to let the berth elsewhere. If successful the student will only forfeit the deposit. If unsuccessful the student will be expected to pay the full fee.
b) Any student who fails to arrive, for any reason whatsoever including illness and has not notified the School, will automatically Forfeit the total monies paid and no liability by doing so shall attach to the School whatsoever.
7. LATE RETURN OF YACHT. For whatever reason beyond the date of the course. The students con stay on board at the company’ s victualling expense or return home if they wish at their own expense. No liability shall extend beyond this.
8. UNDER 18s. Children accepted when sailing with a parent or guardian.
9. INSTRUCTION ON YOUR OWN YACHT. All conditions herein apply, plus the student will be expected to reimburse any travelling or out-of-pocket expenses for the Instructor from the Plymouth base to wherever the vessel is lying, and the return journey.
a) The student’s Yacht will be expected to be equipped to the minimum RYA standards and provide the Instructor with all Victualling whilst on board.
b) If the student’s yacht is over 50 miles from Plymouth and it is not possible for the Instructor to get to the student’s yacht within 2 hours, please allow pro-rata fees.
c) Insurances: The student must notify his Insurance Company that our Instructor will be taking over as Skipper for the duration agreed and that the students insurance is Fully Comprehensive and covers all aspects of normal marine insurance for the area in which the Skipper is expected to sail. With additional days leeway to allow for adverse weather.
10. FOREIGN PORTS. Please take your passport on any course in event of calling into any Foreign country, whether intended or not. A student must seek permission from the Skipper for anything he brings onto the School vessel whilst in a foreign port. He shall indemnify the Top Cat Cruising School, it’s employees and staff, against any actions that may result from breach of this rule.
11. SEA SICKNESS. We carry Stugeron onboard. It is advisable to check with your GP that you can take these. Students with special medical problems shoud also check that their GP considers them safe to sail and advise the School of the condition when booking, and both the Principal and the Skipper when reporting for the course. Bring any personal medication necessary.
12. SKIPPER’S/PRINCIPAL’S DECISIONS. The Principal’s decision is final at all times, on any of the Schools property and the Schools vessels until the Skipper takes over.
a) Skipper’s Decisions: From the moment the Skipper steps aboard the instruction vessel in accordance with marine practice, the Skipper’s decisions are final always.
b) If for any reason whatsoever a student does not accept an order from the Skipper or his designated substitute, whether the student considers it to be reasonable or not, the student shall be considered to be in breach of his Articles of sailing. The Skipper shall take any action or decision he considers fit for the well-being of his vessel and crew. If the student is placed ashore at the nearest port no liability whatsoever shall attach itself to the School and neither shall the student have redress for any expenses or unused portion of the fee. Neither any redress against the Skipper or School as a result of any actions taken by the Skipper.
13. SEA TIME. Every attempt will be made to give pupils maximum sea time. However, if in the Skipper’s opinion weather conditions, safety or any other consideration renders it imprudent, the Skipper’s decision is final.
14. VESSEL CHANGE. If the School changes vessels, due to any vessel becoming unsuitable, for any reason whatsoever, or delay this in no way affects the validity of the booking of the Terms and Conditions stated herein they remain good.
15. SCHOOL CANCELLATION. If, for an reason, the School is unable to fulfil a booking or a vessel becomes unseaworthy for any reason whatsoever, the School will inform the student immediately the knowledge is available. No liability shall attach itself to the School beyond the refund of the full fee paid by the student(s) or unused portions thereof.
16. SCHOOL INSURANCE. The School is insured for Instruction. However, student’s needs vary. The School strongly advises that the student obtain their own insurance for sickness, illness, school fees, illness or accident onboard, or any other reason the student considers prudent for his personal lifestyle or well-being. The student agrees the School Insurance Policies are adequate and the Policy is available, on request, for inspection on board during the course.
17. DISCLAIMER. No liability is accepted for any student’s vehicles while on the course, or student’s possessions in the vehicle, on the pontoons or on the School’s vessels.
a) No liablity is accepted for students whilst on ladders, pontoons or vessels and all students participate in any aspect of any course at their own risk.
I8. BREAKAGES OR DAMAGES. Howsoever caused must be immediately notified to the Skipper or Principal for safety. Students shall be liable for any loss or damage to School equipment, yachts equipment, up to and including the first £250 per item.
19. CERTIFICATES. The School’s standards of instruction are high and certificates will only be issued at the end of a course if, in the opinion of the School’s Instructors and Principal, the student has reached the necessary standard. The School’s Principal and Instructor’s decision shall be final and accepted by all students.
20. DUTIES ON BOARD. All students will be expected to participate in cooking, cleaning the vessel and routine maintenance as required by the Instructor. At the end of the course all the students will be expected to clean the vessel from stem to stern
21. DISPUTE. In the event of a dispute not being settled by mutual agreement, it is agreed that the President of the British Law Society shall elect an Arbitrator whose decision shall be final.
22,. Data Protection Act 1998. The above information including the questions as to your health and ability will be used by us to process your booking for the course and for attending to your safety whilst you are on one of our courses. We shall also include your name and address on our mailing list. If you do not want to receive details of future courses please let us know.

Names and addresses of candidates for RYA courses will be shared with the RYA for the purposes of registering your certificate. Please inform us if you object. The data will not be shared with any third party for marketing or commercial purposes without first obtaining your explicit consent