Originally Posted by Tony Hill
Re the size/power of vessel used for the examination, I think there is room for the RYA to consider the position that if the 'driver's licence' they are examining is for commercial work then the vessel used should be to size and type relative to the licence. In the bus/coach world you don't take a test on a minibus and are then able to drive a 53 seater coach. When fitting out RIBs for coding we find it difficult to code a RIB for 12 + 2 sensibly with equipment and seats for all and fit it in a RIB less than 8.5m LOA.
I also appreciate that many commercial RIB operators act responsibly and vet all who drive for them to ensure they are 'to company standard'.
I appreciate the above is moving from the thread.
I understand your point but remember the qualification allows you to skipper up to 24m. I think we all accept that a 8.5m RIB does not prepare you for a 23.5m hard boat. The qualification is not boat specific and if it was we would end up with a huge list of endorsements that would mean no one could go to work without spending fortunes first.
Much of the qualification however is very generic, in particular IRPCS, Pilotage, Bouyage, passage planning, safety briefing and so on.
This sort of conversation comes up quite regularly on RIBnet, there are a couple of regular contributors who complain that the RYA certificates do not prepare them enough for their specific boat. I sometimes think they fail to see the much bigger picture and realise that there are such a vast difference in boats out there that a training course can not teach you to drive every one and it would not be relevant for everyone. Imagine what you would say if your skippers had to train in 23m jet boats just because they might come across them in the commercial world, when you and them knew full well that they were never going to drive anything like that.
The RYA/MCA exam qualifies you to be a skipper. The individual employer then needs to train you as required on his specific vessel or employee people with experience of that vessel.
I cant to be honest see it working any other way and think therefore the training and the code have got it right on this point.