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Old 10 March 2011, 13:47   #1
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Powerboat instructors assistant

Hi all
When I did my powerboat instructors course I am fairly sure that I was told that a powerboat instructor could use an experienced but unqualified assistant instructor so that six candidates could be trained in two ribs with an instructor (one the assistant) in each.
However I can't find any mention of this in my latest instructors handbook and a search on the RYA website drew a blank.
Can anyone advise please.
(The potential assistant has PB2 and is a senior dinghy instructor).
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Old 10 March 2011, 15:54   #2
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You cant replace an Instructor with an "experienced assistant" unless he wants to attend a short 3-day course first!

There is however a recommendation (but not a requirement) that you use an assistant to help you run the Safety boat Course across two powerboats with up to 6 students.
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Old 10 March 2011, 16:01   #3
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That'll be where I became confused then as I did a safety boat course (to be able to teach it) last summer.
Thanks for that, my possible assistant could easily qualify as a powerboat instructor as he has years of experience but is usually working offshore.
Guess we'll wait until the WYA have a cheap/free course on offer and put him through then.
Thanks again.
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Old 10 March 2011, 18:55   #4
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There is a line in the guidlines for inspection (http://www.rya.org.uk/sitecollection...ce%20notes.pdf) on page 9 under the table of instructor ratios at the top which says -
Quote:
Instructors may be assisted by unqualified helpers* who are competent and experienced. They should be supervised by an instructor or SI and deployed in roles appropriate to their skills and awareness.
An assistant instructor counts as qualified in the ratios, but should work under the direction or supervision of an instructor or SI.
As part of the centre‟s instructor training programme, all helpers should be encouraged to gain RYA instructor qualifications. It may be appropriate for the SI to train or assess experienced helpers as assistant instructors with a short training programme covering basic teaching principles and the centre procedures.
*Not PWs
This would indicate that you could use assistants on powerboat courses as it only specifically excludes PW's. The aim of this however is aimed more at dinghy and windsurf tuition where you could use experienced sailors to help with tuition by jumping into dinghies to help build students confidence etc. Particularly usefull in clubs who may only have a handful of instructors but have lots of competent sailors who are only too willing to volunteer some time to help with training but don't want to commit the time or money to doing a full instructor course or don't want the responsibility that comes with being fully qualified.

I would check first with RYA training what their view is in what this paragraph means.

The question you have to ask is who decides if they are competent and experienced enough to be let free with a powerfull rib with three students on board, especially if there is an accident and you have to stand in a corronors court and defend your decision as centre principal to use that person rather than a qualified instructor. At least in a dinghy there's less that can go wrong or can go wrong as quickly, in theory anyway!

If some body has done the instructor course they have had their skills and experience checked out before the course on the skills assessment and have then had their teaching ability checked out by two trainers on the instructor course so have been seen by two, maybe 3, trainers to decide if they are competent and expereinced enough to be in a boat entertaining students.

Not that I want to discredit the willing 'competent and experienced' helper, (as somebody who is full time CI at a sailing club and also does a lot of work at other clubs and commercial centres at beginner and instructor training level) we use a lot of these people but we always train them to be assistant instructors first so they have some sort of basic recognised training.

Having willing volunteers helping in dinghies is a lot different to having them help teach in powerboats which are by their very nature potentialy dangerous machines which are easily capable of throwing somebody overboard and inflicting serious injury if not used properly by the person at the helm which is why I think you'd find it difficult to justify not having people in charge of that boat with recognised qualifications.

Thinking about it from the students point of view who has paid the money to come on the course and be taught by a suitably experienced and competent instructor I'd be happy for somebody who was an expereinced sailor but unqualified to jump in a dinghy with me for a short time just to help me get the basics such as putting my hands and feet in the right place when tacking for instance while a qualified instructor runs the whole course but if I'd shelled out a load of cash for a powerboat course I'd expect to spend my time being taught by a qualified and experienced powerboat enthusiast rather than a dinghy instructor (could be exereinced in powerboats, but not necesarliy competent from personal experience) who is helping out to keep the instructor numbers up and cost down.


Also as posted previously, would your insurance company allow you to let students out in the boat with out a qualified instructor on board? Could it be seen a charter rather than tuition if theres not instructor on board in which case you may need a coded boat?

In a nutshell - call the RYA and ask them exactly what that paragraph in the guidance notes means, and then let us know what they say!
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Old 10 March 2011, 19:17   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamster View Post
There is a line in the guidlines for inspection (http://www.rya.org.uk/sitecollection...ce%20notes.pdf) on page 9 which under the table of instructor ratios at the top which says -


This would indicate that you could use assistants on powerboat courses as it only specifically excludes PW's. The aim of this however is aimed more at dinghy and windsurf tuition where you could use experienced sailors to help with tuition by jumping into dinghies to help build students confidence etc. Particularly usefull in clubs who may only have a handful of instructors but have lots of competent sailor who are willing to volunteer some time to help with training but don't want to commit the time or money to doing a full instructor course or don't want the responsibility that comes with being fully qualified.

I would check first with RYA training what their view is in what this paragraph means.

The question you have to ask is who decides if they are competent and experienced enough to be let free with a powerfull rib with three students on board, especially if there is an accident and you have to stand in a corronors court and defend your decision and centre principal to use that person rather than a qualified instructor. At least in a dinghy there's less that can go wrong or can go wrong as quickly, in theory anyway!

If some body has done the instructor course they have had their skills and experience checked out before the coure on the skills assessment and have then had their teaching ability checked out by two trainers on the instructor course so have been seen by two, maybe 3, trainers to decide if they are competent and expereinced enough to be in a boat entertaining students.

Not that I want to discredit the willing 'competent and experienced' helper, as somebody who is full time CI at a sailing club we use a lot of these people but we always train them to be assistant instructors first so they have some sort of basic recognised training.
Having willing volunteers helping in dinghies is a lot different to having them help teach in powerboats are in themselves potentialy dangerous machines which are easily capable of throwing somebody overboard and inflicting serious injury if not used properly by the person at the helm which is why I think you'd find it difficult to justify not having people in charge of that boat with recognised qualifications.
Also as posted previously, would your insurance company allow you to let students out in the boat with out a qualified instructor on board? Could it be seen a charter rather than tuition if theres not instructor on boars in which case you may need a coded boat?

In a nutshell - call the RYA and ask them exactly what that paragraph in the guidance notes means.
Graham

What it actually says is- Instructors can be assisted by unqualified helpers (but not on PW courses). It does not say that un-qualified helpers can be part of the teaching ratio. It goes on to say that Assistant Instructors are part of the ratio. As you know the Assistant Instructor is a qualification in the dinghy and windsurf schemes. There is no such thing as an RYA Assistant Powerboat Instructor. Don't confuse an RYA Assistant Instructor who has done a training course with an unqualified helper.

Unqualified helpers do not replace Instructors they help with things like launching dinghies and so on.
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Old 11 March 2011, 14:30   #6
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Just to add my 2 p worth the teaching ratios for Advanced and Intermediate have been now reduced to 3 to 1 safety boat stays the same
PWC 6 to 1 requires two skis and a safety boat

Six Powerboat Students will need 2 boats two Instructors .
Assistants are as Doug said .
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Old 11 March 2011, 14:35   #7
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Originally Posted by tim griffin View Post
........
PWC 6 to 1 requires two skis and a safety boat.....
Tim
Three, not two
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Old 11 March 2011, 14:46   #8
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Sorry meant three age and time of day getting to me .

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