Chris – an entirely valid question. When I sat down with the RYA a few years ago to discuss the Advanced book we agreed it was really critical that the book shouldn’t simply be a rebadged RYA Powerboat Handbook that people would feel was a rip-off.
The reason I wanted to do this book was that I felt there was a real gap on my own bookshelf for a book that addressed the interest that advanced powerboaters (whether leisure or commercial) have in all aspects of advanced powerboating . Additionally I found that when training advanced instructors there was never a resource to give them that adequately gave them backup to help them when running this course as whilst we had various resources from other organisations we couldn’t hand these out.
Over the last few years I have had the opportunity to train, and train with, a host of organisations which use a range of techniques and craft and I felt that I would certainly have enjoyed and benefited from reading about the areas we addressed so if I could persuade the RYA of the market for a book then it was a great opportunity to get these ways of doing things onto paper (and online).
To the RYA’s real credit they ran with it and Pete Galvin - who created some great illustrations for the Powerboat Handbook – came on board to do the very large number of illustrations. The RYA have also been great in not being constrained by the RYA Advanced Powerboat syllabus so (for example) whilst we no longer teach techniques for bringing one craft alongside another moving craft (which I completely agree with as it is too often done wrong and dangerously with little appreciation of the very real risks) then this is covered in the book, as the reality is, that many commercial skippers have to do this for a variety of reasons, likewise areas like search patterns, working with helicopters etc are dealt with to a level beyond which we would normally do on an advanced course.
So in short whilst yes there are some areas in the book that do cover areas we have addressed in other books (eg col regs, some aspects of slow speed handling etc) then we’ve really made sure that it isn’t a repeat of the Powerboat Handbook. After all the RYA were rather keen to ensure that sales of that book weren’t compromised by the new book.
One thing to be aware of is that there are two versions. The printed book and the RYA eBook version. In the eBook the animations are just being finished of subjects like how jet drives work to manouvre craft so if you buy the eBook now then you’ll get updates very shortly to add these in over the next few weeks.
Hopefully we’ve got the balance right but of course time, and you, will tell.
PS: And the cover? Glad you like it – there had to be a Redbay though else there was no chance of getting Willk to ever get one! ☺
PPS: This video gives a bit more of an insight