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Old 14 June 2006, 13:20   #1
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Sailing Centre's

One of our trade customers asked me to do a one day hand over with a 28ft Sports Boat Today. The chap had recently completed a Level 2 at a local "sailing centre".

We left the channel at one of the local ports, the first question was "What are the green buoys for?". I thought something was strange and there may be a possibility the guys got learning difficulties? But no, it turns out the guy had paid 185 for two 3 hour sessions in a 5m rib. The centre had not covered tides, IRPCS, rules of the road, slow manoeuvres, charts, nav, he had never put the boat on a pontoon. He was however good at bowlines (the instructor had spent 1 hour showing him various knots).

How do these guys get RYA recognition???
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Old 14 June 2006, 13:40   #2
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the green buoys are there to keep the red ones company!

out of interest what did you suggest he does (other than go on one of your courses)? will he be complaining to the centre or the RYA? He spent an hour tying knots, and two 3 hour sessions on a rib (during which it would appear he didn't perform any maneouvres!) so what did they do for the rest of the "theory" time?

do the RYA engage people as "mystery shoppers" to validate the quality of the training at their centres - or is it all done as pre-arranged audits etc? in which case you wheel out the best instructors and check the syllabus and manuals properly before the sessions.
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Old 14 June 2006, 14:04   #3
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Originally Posted by Polwart
do the RYA engage people as "mystery shoppers" to validate the quality of the training at their centres
Yes, they do, but they have lots of centres to check, and some get missed/haven't been got around to yet!
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Old 14 June 2006, 14:15   #4
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Originally Posted by Jimbo
Yes, they do, but they have lots of centres to check, and some get missed/haven't been got around to yet!
I realise that. But they will be able to target their shoppers if there is a centre with complaints. I am willing to be a mystery shopper and provide FOC top class customer feedback for anyone wanting it on Advanced or Intermediate courses - if you pay my course fees ; I can also supply one lady wife as mystery shopper for a level 2 course
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Old 14 June 2006, 14:34   #5
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come on then Jono, who was the local centre?? Dish the dirt
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Old 14 June 2006, 15:35   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polwart
out of interest what did you suggest he does
I didnt mention they had done anything wrong and booked him in for another day, whats a few hundred quid when your in a 90'000 boat???

I cant dish the dirt but the instructor worked for me for two days, he was booked to do a own boater level 2 for me. At the end of the second day he reported back to me and said the customer was very happy and he may come back a do a level 2. I'd clearly stated it was a own boat level 2 in the first place. I ended up doing another 2 days free !

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Old 14 June 2006, 18:19   #7
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I can relate to this.

I was introduced to someone the other day who had a safety boat certificate from a well respected UK centre. I took them out for an assesment, as is our club policy, before they were allowed to drive our safety boat.

After, dragging the tube down the pontoon while leaving it, having to have holding off explained to them, and then doing a fair attempt at picking up a mooring bouy, downwind (on a resevoir) i started to ask a few more questions!
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Old 15 June 2006, 03:15   #8
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Unfortunately, these are the sorts of centres that quite a few of use are competing against!
Mystery customer are sometimes used, and random inspections without any prior noticed ARE carried out and all RYA centres are made aware of this.
All centres are inspected up to a maximum of 1 1/2 years after the last. Inspections should include some instruction demonstrations but this is not always possible.
Anyone who has any complaints about training centres, standard of kit, instructors etc MUST contact the RYA head office. Bad centres give ALL centres a bad name!!

Complaints ARE Dealt with and the centre will be contacted.

Trust the relevent people have been informed JONO?
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Old 20 June 2006, 08:10   #9
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Speaking from personal experience I have actually undergone two Level 2 courses at different centres. One was conducted in a Humber 4m with 25hp engine, the other in a Tornado 5m with 40hp. One was in a marina base, so there was plenty of practice at low speed handling, coming alongside pontoon, turning with aid of warps etc. The other was on an exposed seaside slip in a crosswind - far more tricky.

However BOTH Instructors were highly skilled, good deliverers and ensured I (and my son who was 14/15 at the time) could do everything before we moved on to the next item.

Admittedly I had RYA Yachtmaster theory before doing the powerboat course, so not much time was spent on buoyage, rules of road, tides etc. for me, but they were all explained in detail to the boy.

My safety boat assessment was done in the open sea, F5-6, 1.5m swell - I reckon it would be much easier on a reservoir? However given the nature of these courses, it is inevitable that some people will 'pass' on a millpond and only find out about the waves later.

If I had a recommendation it would be for the Safety Boat course to include RYA sailing 1 & 2, as there are a few safetyboaters out there with sore heads from unexpected cracks from the boom. Also new safety boaters should go out with an experienced driver for a couple of trips when moving from inland to sea.

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Old 23 June 2006, 04:43   #10
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Greetings Whitingiom
I follow your points and this is why there is the coastal endorsement on the L2. As for safety boat I personally think it is a good step up from the old L3 ticket but I still think the old L4 was much harder.
That could of been we only did them mid winter in F3 and above in the sea. I understand that these were combined

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