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Old 28 August 2001, 17:47   #1
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Powerboat training

< I've separated this section of the thread to keep the subject together. John Kennett>

I am looking for somewhere to take my RYA Level 2 so if anyone has some good suggestions in the SouthWest please let me know.

Jools
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Old 02 September 2001, 06:01   #2
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Regarding your RYA level 2 enquiry about West Country based schools you could contact Richard Brown at Plymouth Sailing School.

I have found them to be very helpful, flexible and professional (and I have no connection with or interests in the school!).

They have a website http://www.sailinks.co.uk/plymouth/ and I feel sure that you will receive a helpful response to any enquiry you direct to them.
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Old 02 September 2001, 06:41   #3
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Another place to try is:

Jon Clift's Powerboat School
Windward House
Coronation Road
Salcombe
Devon
TQ8 8EA
Phone: 01548 842727
Fax: 01548 842727

Email: jon@powerboats-salcombe.co.uk
Web site: www.powerboats-salcombe.co.uk

Jon's got a lot of RIB specific experience and his courses tend to go beyond the rather limited RYA Powerboat Syllabus.

I don't know the Plymouth Sailing School, so the following is not aimed at them (!) but I have noticed a tendency for sailing schools to offer powerboat training as an add-on to their real business of sailing with no real thought as to what the trainee might actually want to do with therir boat.

In my opinion the RYA powerboat training scheme syllabus is still geared towards training people to drive safety boats for dinghy racing. There is no nationally recognised qualification with real relevance to RIB cruising. Having said that I would still recommend taking a level 2 course, but look for extra content over and above the syllabus ideally on a three day course.

Hmm, that turned into a bit of a rant didn't it? Oh well . . .

John
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Old 02 September 2001, 11:18   #4
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John,

I would have thought that the Advanced Powerboat course (for RIBs) would have suited the requirements of cruising what with rough weather handling, night passages, serious navigation, weather, etc. (all which I seem to remember from my yachting days constituted the essential elements of a cruise - especially the wind shifting to the North as soon as we reached Cherbourg!)

May I recommend David Robson of Aquapower Sea School - www.aquapower.co.uk who is based in Yarmouth IOW and who specialises in RIB tuition of all levels
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Old 02 September 2001, 13:10   #5
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To my annoyance, I can't find an up to date copy of the Advanced syllabus (the RYA web site doesn't have anything this useful!). I'll try to get hold of one, but if anyone would like to post it here that would be great.

From what I remember the syllabus is very light on subjects like rough weather handling and serious navigation, but does involve identifying various lights in a familiar area at night.

Passage planning is pretty theoretical too. There is no requirement to plan and execute a demanding passage of any sort. Neither is there any requirement to have any substantial previous experience.

In any case, an advanced certificate shouldn't be required for reasonable cruising (say a 50 miles trip in daylight in reasonable conditions) -- the level 2 syllabus should be enough for that, but it's not because it only includes an elementary introduction to navigation.

The RYA do not teach navigation in fast open boats, and their shore-based navigation courses still concentrate on conventional chart and pencil navigation on a chart table at 4 knots. Even the Yachtmaster theory syllabus only has a passing nod at electronic navigation.

Conventional navigation is good to know, but who can honestly claim to be able to plot a running fix aboard a RIB?

Many powerboat schools recognise the shortcomings in the syllabus, and although their courses will qualify trainees for an RYA certificate they go far beond the syllabus. Training establishments who teach to the powerboating syllabus and go no further will provide the same qualification, but not the same knowledge and skill.

This is why I recommend an extended level 2 course, which covers a decent amount of passage planning and sensible navigation.

Hmm. Ranting again . . .

John
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Old 02 September 2001, 17:29   #6
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Jools, firstly i would agree with John's recommendation of Jon Clift's school and Ribald's of Aquapower, in the South West you might also consider Britons Slip Sailing School ( I don't know the other school referred to so can't comment). If you are prepared to brave the fairly unfriendly RYA site (www.rya.org.uk) then you will find some more schools. I would advise calling the schools and chatting with them as the quality of the course really will come down to the quality of the instructors and their approach. (It's all too easy to produce sexy websites and brochures yet lack for capability when it comes to training.)

John is right regarding the value of bolting an extra day or so onto a standard course as it really gives the opportunity to put into practice properly what you have learnt and to undertake a passage or two. Incidently passage undertaking as part of a course is actually now becomming more difficult to undertake. RYA schools now can only run courses within 3 miles of a nominated departure point (in essence three miles from their base). For example a Poole based school can only go 3 miles from the chain ferry! - in the Solent its easier and the NDPs are at either end of the Solent. The result of this is that if you chose to ask the school to undertake some passages as part of your course their vessel must be MCA coded to cat 3 or 4 (if anyone has any questions about coding a RIB post a thread and i'll reply as I fell like an old hand having just been through the process).

John made the observation regarding the RYA site and the lack of syllabus information. It was partly because of the failings of this site that I created the site www.powerboat-training.co.uk. On the site you will find a number of schools (including the three i mentioned above) the course syllabi (spelling?) - including advanced (go to the courses section) and lots of other stuff that i hope you will find of interest. The site is like this site in that it is run as a hobby rather than for commercial gain so if any of you want to contribute an article or two or advertise your school then please contact me. It isn't quite up to this site in graphics terms though!

Finally, Jools if you fancy doing level 2 in Poole then my school is on the site i've just referred to - a shameless plug - sorry
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Old 02 September 2001, 17:35   #7
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Paul,
Could you confirm check your site address as the link comes up as Easynet Web Space page with no reference to your site
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Old 03 September 2001, 03:03   #8
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The joys of the internet! It worked last night but doesn't today - i'll get it checked this am and will post when it's sorted Thanks

Paul
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Old 03 September 2001, 03:08   #9
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Now seems to work (5 mins later!) despite fact i've done nothing to fix the problem. I'll keep an eye on it during today but can only assume was a server issue which is now resolved. Paul

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Old 03 September 2001, 03:09   #10
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www.powerboat-training.co.uk is working! The problem was caused by the forum software including the trailing full stop in Paul's post as part of the URL (I've edited Paul's post now so it works).

Paul, can you start another thread with the current coding rules? I'm sure it would be of interest to lots of people here, especially anyone contemplating chartering their RIB at all.

Cheers
John
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