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Old 21 February 2012, 03:46   #1
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Boat safety

We've owned our SIB since 2009, and have used it on the canal, on rivers, and lakes.

However we've never done any training, and I think we should. We are going to Cornwall in the Summer and the house we are staying in is on an estuary (St Mawes)

So if we go out on the boat we will be in tidal waters etc.

I've searched online but cannot find anybody doing basic boat handling etc near to me in Stockport. There was a course based at Marple canal but they've retired and stopped doing it.

The thing is, I'm guessing it would be easy to get into serious trouble in the sea. We always wear life jackets unless on the canal, but (for instance) if the SIB capsized in the sea, and we were in the water, boat upside down....what's the procedure then?
How far from the shore is it safe to go in a SIB? Should we carry flares? etc

Is there anybody near to Stockport, Cheshire that can offer a basic one/two day course in small boat safety/handling?

I think we should take a training course of some sort before venturing on to coastal waters.
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Old 21 February 2012, 04:25   #2
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There is a search tool somewhere on the RYA website. You are looking for either Powerboat 1 (1 day) or Powerboat 2. Then I would check that they will either do some training in tiller steered boats or let you bring yours along as otherwise you may find yourself in a big boat all day. Broadly speaking there are 3 types of schools:

1. Sailing clubs. Possibly the cheapest. Likely to be run by people who are really sailors rather than powerboaters and with a focus on very local short trip, boat handling around dinghies etc.

2. Outdoor centres. Usually council run so may be sensibly priced. Should be able to run a decent course, but from what I have seen likely to be large numbers of people (with appropriate ratio of boats and instructors). That does mean potential exposure to a wider range of craft and different teaching styles / personalities.

3. "Sailing" school. Actually for a PB2 likely to be a "powerboat school" (but some do sail as well). Probably slightly more expensive but will usually be taught be someone who really understands leisure powerboating. In theory teaches the same syllabus and standards as 1&2 but likely to be smaller no of participants so a good instructor should tailor the course more around your specific needs and interests.


In terms of capsizing a SIB this is bad news. In theory it is possible to reright it but it won't routinely be taught on a PB2 course. The procedure is STAY WITH THE BOAT (much easier to find than a head bobbing up an down in the water). If possible get everyone on top of the upturned hull and out the water (so they are warmer). Mayday call by VHF, fire flares, 999 on mobile (or any other distress method you have - although burning barrels of tar on a sib deck is not recommended!). Even if you did manage to reright the boat it is likely you would have problems restarting the engine after being upside down in the sea.

How far you go depends on lots of things. E.g. people have been very long distances in SIBs but doesn't mean you should, or that your boat is ideal for it. I would be inclined to stay in sight of land, and then the choppiness will determine how far I actually venture. I would want a decent handheld VHF with me and a mobile phone in a water proof bag. A GPS is not essential but if you are venturing far it might be worth considering as it removes an extra element of stress/complication. The official answer would be you should carry at least a couple of flares. They are not cheap, a PITA to get rid of and only last about 5 years. Willk has a thread on all the kit he carries on his sib if you search for it.
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Old 21 February 2012, 04:26   #3
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The basic course is "RYA Level 2 Powerboat" and I thinbk you would find it very worthwhile. You will do it on a bigger boat than yours, but the majority of the content will still be applicable (and the rest will stand you in good stead when you inevitably move on to a bigger RIB ). I'm sure someone will be able to recommend a training centre near you.

As for capsizing your SIB, it's really very unlikely unless you are being determinedly over ambitious. There are methods for righting a SIB or small RIB, but you would be better off putting your efforts into learning enough to make sure you don't get into that situation!
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Old 21 February 2012, 04:30   #4
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Here are a couple of old threads about re-righting a capsize if you want to read more:

s.i.b capsize and re right
Capsize!
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Old 21 February 2012, 04:43   #5
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Hi Ligthning - you are to be commended in considering getting training prior to your planned trip this Summer .

As you say there is always the possibility of getting into trouble and I would highly recommend that you and your crew consider attending a RYA Powerboat Level 2 course - no need to do Level 1 beforehand. The following link will give you more details

Level 2 | Powerboat | Courses | Learning | Courses & Training | RYA

The next link may help you find a centre close to you or other Ribnetters may be able to recommend a Centre from "local knowledge".

Find A Training Centre | Learning | Courses & Training | RYA

I would also recommend that you talk to a RNLI Sea Safety Advisor who will be only be too glad to chat to you and give you free and impartial advise in respect to any questions that you may have concerning safety. This link will help you organise a free SEA Check where ever you live.

Book a SEA check



Also for those going out to sea, the RNLI's top sea safety tips are:
  1. Wear a lifejacket
  2. Get relevant training
  3. Carry a means of calling for help
  4. Check engine and fuel
  5. Tell others where you are going
  6. Check weather and tides.
If you require any other information do not hestitate to PM me.

Always remember:
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Old 21 February 2012, 04:49   #6
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Hi there, there are a number of places very near you that do powerboating courses:-
Debdale, Gorton, Manchester
Trafford (sale) waterpark ,just off the m60
Hollingworth lake, Rochdale

Jake
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Old 21 February 2012, 04:57   #7
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Me again,

one more thing.

We take the SIB down to Cornwall every year now and to be honest we have the flares torches etc, but the 1 thing I wouldn't be without is my handheld VHF. If you don't have 1 then I strongly advise getting 1 and do the course.

It's not fail safe but its definately worth it.

The other thing I'd say is when your down there before setting off get some advice off the locals, ie Harbourmaster, fishermen or coastguard.

It's free and invaluable

Jake
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Old 21 February 2012, 05:02   #8
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In addition to the PB2 course I would suggest that you take a small anchor (we use a Danforth), a couple of metres of chain and 30m+ of 6mm rope (have a look at the charted depths where you intend to sail and then add about 10m - you are not anchoring overnight hopefully!) to your supplies. If you do get in trouble, then it's usually better to stay in one position than to drift out to sea/ onto rocks etc.
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Old 21 February 2012, 05:13   #9
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The comments above say it all really, to sum up though anyone going on the sea in charge of a boat without prior training would be daft not to do PB2 and the VHF course and of course carry a working VHF radio.

You will probably find as soon as you get out on the sea that the shore looks a long way away after a very short time even though you are only 1/2 mile out, no need to go further. And the other thing you will find is anything other than a flat sea is a PITA and tiring and uncomfortable in the average 3m(ish) SIB. If you want to keep the family on your side stick to fine, warm days, calm water and short trips at least to start. Blow everyone's confidence and you won't get it back...

As well as the VHF I would as a minimum carry the basic items in other topics (anchor, bailer, tools, spark plugs etc) and would not be without a local chart, GPS and mobile phone.
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Old 21 February 2012, 06:07   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jake 4589 View Post
Hi there, there are a number of places very near you that do powerboating courses:-
Debdale, Gorton, Manchester
Trafford (sale) waterpark ,just off the m60
Hollingworth lake, Rochdale
I would really recommend travelling to a coastal training centre and not doing your powerboat course on a lake - you would miss out on a lot of useful experience that way.
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