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Old 18 October 2012, 12:38   #1
gtb
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Getting started in the Solent

Hi All

I'm living near Southampton at the moment, and having always fancied the idea of driving a RIB on family day trips, decided that now is as good a time as any to get started. I'm not one of these guys who has got salt water in my veins, so I expect to take it slow and steady to get the required skills.

I've looked around, and see the RYA do the power boat courses, so enrolled for the Power Boat Level 2 (PB2) course to get the basics.

Question is, what is the next step to build up some experience? I wouldn't expect to use a boat enough to buy one (certainly not something I would consider at this stage anyway!) and while there are places that will do bare boat charter based on a PB2 certificate, that looks like quite an expensive option (~400/day).

So how do you get started? Bit of crewing, bit of driving. Join a club? Look out to make friends with boat owners? something else?

Looks like the forum is full of very experienced folk, so will hang out to learn from the chatter. My goal is to be proficient and safe to take the family out about once a month, nothing too crazy.

Ideas and advice most welcome.
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Old 18 October 2012, 13:01   #2
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Hi I've recently done the PB2 and brought a SIB. You should learn enough to get out on the water and to know what to look for when buying also. If in doubt ask on here with links to what your considering on buying and people will give you a decent opinion. Also a lot of folk will offer to meet up and join you on your first trip, which I will be doing next year and taking advantage of the experienced folk and making friends on the way too. Enjoy.
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Old 18 October 2012, 15:22   #3
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We decided, if you are likely to charter one for 10 days a year, it works out cheaper to buy one! That is of course if you look after it properly...
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Old 18 October 2012, 16:24   #4
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get down to a local sailing/yachting club and volunteer to help out on their safety launches! you will gain loads of experience i.e basic handling skills (as well as some high speed stuff if you're lucky! ) Better yet, you wont have to pay for it (might have to pay membership fees, but this probably isn't too much!)
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Old 19 October 2012, 06:22   #5
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Either that or join one of the independent lifeboat stations in the area....

You'll get experience and a greater knowledge.
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Old 19 October 2012, 11:23   #6
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Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. Let me reply to them all in one reply...

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyonestone View Post
Hi I've recently done the PB2 and brought a SIB. You should learn enough to get out on the water and to know what to look for when buying also. If in doubt ask on here with links to what your considering on buying and people will give you a decent opinion. Also a lot of folk will offer to meet up and join you on your first trip, which I will be doing next year and taking advantage of the experienced folk and making friends on the way too. Enjoy.
I've done the PB2 and VHF already, but that only covers two half days on the water. I won't consider buying a boat in the first season until I've got a bit more experience to know its something I'm serious about, and what type of boating I want to do.

Good idea about looking out for, and calling for, folk doing a shared trip via this board.

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Originally Posted by vjmehra View Post
We decided, if you are likely to charter one for 10 days a year, it works out cheaper to buy one! That is of course if you look after it properly...
Wow. Interesting observation. While it is tempting to buy 'the big shiny one', I recon I need to learn quite a bit more before buying a boat - or the scammers will see me coming a mile away :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOKESY56 View Post
get down to a local sailing/yachting club and volunteer to help out on their safety launches! you will gain loads of experience i.e basic handling skills (as well as some high speed stuff if you're lucky! ) Better yet, you wont have to pay for it (might have to pay membership fees, but this probably isn't too much!)
Good idea. If anyone knows clubs looking for volunteer safety crew please let me know.

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Originally Posted by Solent-Salted View Post
Either that or join one of the independent lifeboat stations in the area....

You'll get experience and a greater knowledge.
Independent lifeboat stations?! Sounds interesting.
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Old 19 October 2012, 11:56   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtb View Post
Independent lifeboat stations?! Sounds interesting.
I'm with Solent Rescue on the Western side of the Solent and Southampton water.

You have Hamble Lifeboat as well as Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue around the Central and Portsea in Portsmouth.

If you are close enough, have a chat with your local RNLI unit,

My personal opinion is that volunteers are always welcome and you meet people who spend time on the water and know their area and the risks....

Best way to learn, ask the rescue services.
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