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Old 10 August 2004, 04:02   #11
Paul Glatzel's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Poole
Length: 6m +
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Level 2 - Operating area

The big aspect would be for me - Are we only going to go three miles from launch site?

Have to admit that I think this aspect of your post is 1) a bit misleading 2) I disagree with the implication of it

Firstly, as i read it the statement implies schools operate up to 3 miles from their launch site. Under the MCA ‘coding exemption’ schools can operate up to 3 miles from their Nominated Departure Point (‘NDP’). For example for schools at the top of Southampton Water their NDP is at either end of the Solent – somewhat beyond 3 miles from their ‘launch site’ and they do not need to be coded to do so. In our case for example it is three miles from the chain ferry in Poole. Clearly for many schools their NDP is their Slipway – but by no means in all cases.

Secondly, if I read your observation correctly (apologies if not!) you are suggesting that it is beneficial for a school to run beyond the 3 mile limit on a Level 2 course. Whilst there may be a few centres where this is so the vast majority would be able to operate a Level 2 course extremely well within their operating area. I understand David Hickman’s school in Torbay runs coded so that they can enjoy the benefits of going between Torquay & Brixham (outside the 3 mile NDP limit – David, correct me if I’m wrong re this) and I think that’s a very good idea and of real benefit to clients. But as said this is a very local factor and not the norm. I would strongly agree with the benefits of building in a passage to the Level 2 course but with a bit of imagination in terms of the use of the operating area this is very easy to do within the limit.

I would agree though that running coded boats (cos I’m biased as we do!) does have its benefits and it suits the Intermediate course and to a lesser extent the Advanced course by allowing longer passages.

You also questioned how much Level 2 in the Solent, seems to range from £140 to £300



Paul Glatzel
Powerboat Training UK, Poole & Lymington & Aquasafe Powerboat School, Lymington,
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Old 10 August 2004, 13:57   #12
Country: UK - England
Town: Brixham, Devon
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You are correct Paul. The Rib is Cat 3 MCA Coded (20 miles night or day). Torquay to Brixham is 3.2 miles, so it is just outside the area limit.
Almost every Level 2 course we do the Brixham, Paignton Harbour (depending on tide) and Torquay Harbour/Marina run which I feel really benefits customers rather than being stuck with just 1 harbour to look at for 2 days.
During the Advanced we can go Teignmouth/Exmouth or the other way, Dartmouth/Salcombe.


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Old 11 August 2004, 01:26   #13
Country: UK - Wales
Town: Pwllheli-North Wales
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Sorry if i may have been misleading. That's why i said pick a school that goes more than 3 miles from launch site, not 3 miles from NDP. We also run 3 mca coaded boats, because our channel in Pwllheli is very simple and not very testing. We choose to take students to Portmadog (7miles away) where students can learn alot from the channel.

I am saying "pick a school with a good operating area".

I'm sorry if you disagree with this, but we have had several people come on a level 2 that have allready been on a level 2 at another school and simply did the course but didnt come away with any confidence, because they have not been driving the boat anywhere apart from up and down 1 harbour at 4 knots. I belive sending somone away with confidence and the scope to take a boat furter down the coast is a big part of a level 2.

A school 7 miles down the coast from me has 2 x 4m ribs with 50hp's on, two very young inexperianced instructors, they use a beach hut for a classroom, their operating area does not have one pontoon or lateral mark within it and then you get Schools like our selves and other professional set ups like Pauls Glatzels and David Hickmans, with MCA coded boats/good operating area, experianced instructors, top quality waterside classrooms.

To summerise - go off reccomendation, ask questions when phoning centres and dont go off price.
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Old 11 August 2004, 13:54   #14
Country: UK - England
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Many thanks for all of you advise its been most helpfull

Kind Regards

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Old 11 August 2004, 14:52   #15
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Town: Newport IoW
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interesting reading from everyone here, have to agree with the passage plan
i know Don one of Paul Glatzels instructors is a big fan, as i hope any decent training school would be , we have to remember that the RYA level2 will get a client his/hers ICC . hopefully schools teach to the theory level of the ICC exam which is more than required for the level two, operating areas is a tough one and have to agree with the guys who operate ouside of the Solent
they have no choice but to have coded boats as thier operating areas would be somewhat tame and you would not be able to put the theory into practice,
we are blessed in the Solent as we have every mark in the book and so much to see ie commercial shipping , military shipping , so many yachts motor cruisers , powerboats ribs and plenty of opportunity to put COL REGS into prctice, schools in the Solent are lucky in that we can take in 5/6 different harbour/port entrances in one day for the intermediate and also for the advanced .The question is talk to the schools
as others have suggested then probe about what sort of navigation marks will they see no good doing it in a estuary with two navigation marks you need variety , re the boats what size are they what equipment do they carry ie GPS sounder vhf it should be on the boats any school that does not have it on thier boats disregard them, do they have a size you intend to buy ,i am not a great fan of shools who use small ribs for level2
prefer 6m upwards as ICC power will soon be up to 10 metres (not 24metres as before) so learning on a bigger boat will be of greater benifit as for price
what are you expecting to pay Paul is right on the pricing can be as low as and as high as he quoted, dont go to a school that does weekends only and only level 2 go for a school that offers a full range of powerboat related courses and operates 7 days a week year round you will find thier instructors will be more informative and up to date than those who run courses to buy beer tokens or pay for the upkeep of thier boat hope you find the right school
and enjoy your entry into powerboating
cheers tim
Tim Griffin
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Old 20 August 2004, 15:55   #16
Country: UK - England
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Level 2 Refresher

Wife and I have just done a Level 2 refresher with David Robson from Yarmouth out in the Solent. We did Level 2 on a river some six months ago. It was great to redo the slow speed exercises (in a relatively short space of time) and then focus much more time on high speed, navigation, planning, GPS etc than we had done on our first course which was entirely on the Medina river.

IMHO, as a lowly user, Level 2 should ideally include planning and executing a simple sea passage using buoys and then GPS in the open sea in hopefully reasonable conditions. I feel far more confident now than I did six months ago.

Every novice ribber should also be encouraged then to go on a large RIB with an experienced helmsman in a Force 5 /6 and learn that when the helm says he is going to turn the boat round so "we can assess the situation while staying dry", that is the just the moment to expect to be drenched (and other home truths)!!! Many thanks to Richard B for the lessons! We both really enjoyed the time but that run from Yarmouth to Lymington was quite an experience!


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Old 21 August 2004, 10:41   #17
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Picking the right Powerboat School for you

Hi Paul,

Nicely put summary of the kind of advice that we would also give out over here.

I would agree and endorse all of your coments and suggestions.

Best wishes,

Lough Ree Powerboat School

Originally Posted by Paul Glatzel

Always keen to throw my twopennyworth in on such subjects!

There are many good schools to choose from and a few that are less good, so my advice would be to make sure that you contact a few and see what you ‘feel’ about each. A big factor in your assessment should be what you are actually trying to achieve by attaining the qualification. If you simply ‘need’ the Level 2 then you might be drawn to a school that is exceptionally cheap, the school would teach you to the ‘correct’ level but you may not get as much from the course & Instructors as you could with a different school.

Speak to a few schools, see how they interact with you, you will very quickly get a good feel for the outfit and whether they suit your needs.

Other factors you might consider in your assessment:

• Is Powerboating a small part of their business or their particular specialisation?: Personally I would prefer to be trained for someone for whom powerboating is their particular expertise or passion rather than by a multi-disciplined Instructor who only runs a few such courses per annum
• How have they developed and evolved their courses, how much time is spent on the water: The recommendation is for 80-90% of the time on the water and to cover as many of the subjects on the water in a practical way as possible. (You'd be surprised that many outfits have riveting (not!) powerpoint slides covering every hull type known to man whilst others cover that session in a few minutes whilst wandering around a marina - such differences in approach make a big difference) - the reccomendations & suggestions in the 2004 Logbook & Guidance Notes for Instructors will probably have made a difference to how they approach the course.
• How experienced are their Instructors?: Achieving the standard for Level 2 is one thing, the knowledge that passes down from an experienced Instructor can make a very big difference to a course.
• Can they offer the full range of courses?: This may make a difference in terms of your future ambitions
• How do they present themselves in terms of literature and websites etc?: It is comparatively easy to create a website that creates a façade, that said how a business presents itself is very indicative of their overall approach
• What boats do they use and how well 'specced' are they, are any of them 'coded'?
• Do you get to try more than one boat?
• Are there plenty of others on the course to learn from?: In some situations a one to one course is preferable, I would suggest though that at Level 2 you can learn as much from watching the others helming as you do by doing it yourself. In a one to one situation you don’t always get the chance to ‘step back’
• Can you go onto to take your Advanced, Instructors or shorebased courses with them?
• Do they sound like you will enjoy being with them for the duration of your course?
• Do they run a good number of courses each year or does it appear rather occasional?
• Are they able to help you on other aspects of boating like which items of safety gear to buy & where to get it for less?
• Is the course reasonably priced?: Depends what you want as, the course should be value for money, the most expensive will not be best and the cheapest not worst.

Good luck


Stuart McNamara
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