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Old 08 February 2002, 17:57   #1
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RYA Power Boat Level 2

Think its about time I should take my level 2, after i'v kept putting it off again and again.

Can any one reccomend some where in North Wales or Midlands? What kind of price should I be paying? Can I do it in my RIB?

I'v been looking at Plas Menai...... Any Comments.......

Anyone else fancy doing??? Group Discounts etc.....

Cheers

Jono
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Old 08 February 2002, 18:25   #2
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You might find it worthwhile to take a look at Paul Glatzel's website www.powerboat-training.co.uk It appears to have good advice on choosing courses and if I recall, some links with schools in the general areas you are asking about.

It has a fun quiz too!
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Old 09 February 2002, 03:38   #3
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Janho

In choosing a school I would consider the following:

N. Wales Vs Midlands: The key thing here is that you appear to be considering both an Inland level 2 course and a level 2 with a Coastal endorsement. The RYA has only just started to make it clear in advertising that the qualifications awarded by coastal schools are different to those awarded to students attending an inland course. If you do any boating whatsoever on the sea then you should attend a coastal school.

Type of school: My opinion is that there are two types of school: Small powerboat schools running perhaps a boat or two where the school is run by someone for whom powerboating is a passion. This contrasts with schools such as activity centres where powerboating is offered in addition to a plethora of sailing qualifications. I would say the key is who's instructing you. At both types of school you will find excellent Instructors who really know their stuff re powerboating, however when I did my level2 an at 'activity centre' the guy who taught me was totally into sailing but was teaching me because it was his job. In short whilst I gained the qualification I gained no more by way of real advice/experience.

Price: Activity centres & some schools will charge as little as 120 sometimes. I would budget to pay though c180 - 225 as with many things in life you get what you pay for. You won't really get a block discount as the ratio is 1 instructor to three pupils and few schools would run a course (profitably) with less than three so the prices are pitched accordingly

I would suggest the following 'assessment' tips:

- Ask for brochures etc to be sent: Assess the reaction time & quality of what you get. The brochures will be pretty indicative of the quality of the course material you get & use
- Speak to the Instuctors - do they know their stuff, will they give you that bit more, are they passionate about their subject - it will make a huge difference over the two days

You can get a list of schools by calling the RYA on 023 8062 7400 and asking them to send you "RYA Power Centres 2002" brochure. Please feel free to email me direct with any questions - good luck!

Paul
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Old 09 February 2002, 03:51   #4
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Hi Jahno

I have been looking for a Level II course for my other half - who has agreed that she need the trainng. I am probably going to do the course with her - for morale support - and as a refresher.

The Plas Menai site was one I considered, as we get a discount through or local sailing club. However, when I contacted them they seemed a little vague about their course - especially over the coastal endorsement. This may just reflect the knowledge of th person I spoke to, but I must admit it has put me off a little.

I think we have decided that a school on the south coast will offer us a better deal, as they seem generally to be more professionally geared up for tidal / coastal work, and indeed for RIBs in general. The cost is a little more - about 20 per person generally - but as has already been said, you tend to get what you pay for.

Many of the schools we have contacted have offered to do 'package deals' for a group - which would mean we coud pick our own times - and it would be good to do the course with people who we 'know' - even if only from Rib.Net - at least they are like minded and are operating the same type of craft.

If you feel like going ahead and trying to book a course with group discount we would be very interested. We would like to do our course as early in he season as possible so that she gets the most out of the boat this year.

Look forward to your thoughts.
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Old 09 February 2002, 06:38   #5
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Hi All

I did my advanced course at Calshot Activities centre on the Solent and can say that it was extreemly well done and even though I have been RIBing since Noah was a lad it showed me some new things and tested me to the limits. The instructor was very well gened up and they can sometimes link up with the RNLI/CG with an exesise and you will get to take part which is very good exeprence if he worst should happen. I think they have a web site at www.hampshire.gov. hope it all goes well and you will enjoy it.

John
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Old 09 February 2002, 06:55   #6
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I did the Advanced course almost 2 yrs ago with the RAF. My experience over the last 12 months however (without a boat!!)has been limited to say the least. If anyone's looking to arrange a course and numbers help the price, I wouldn't mind doing a similar level course/or simply gaining further experience in heavier weather under instruction.

Chris
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Old 09 February 2002, 07:35   #7
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Paul seems to know his subject - and I note he is a Powerboat Instructor.

Any chance you could run a course for us?
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Old 09 February 2002, 08:55   #8
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Whilst i agree with paul about small schools with instructors passionate about powerboating and not just dinghy sailors who happen to also have a powerboat instructors ticket I must take issue on a couple of points
1- a glossy brochure might indicate a professional marketing approach but in my experience it does not guarantee a good course - (and I inspect schools for the RYA so I see the good the very good and the others). and remember the client ultimately pays for the brochure
2 - I am a power trainer teaching all levels of rya powerboating right up to and including advanced instructor for my school and others. We offer discounts to as low as the 120 paul mentions but that certainly does not mean a reduction in quality! . Upping my prices will not improve my courses which are amongst the best around . The family are all involved and are passionate about powerboats and the sea. As I sit here there are my family's three pagers on the desk - 2x rnli and 1 x coastguard - if we were in it for the money we certainly would not have them! We teach powerboating cos we love it, we meet some really nice people and as long as it pays for the boats well thats fine - and the taxman's bill is less too. -
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Old 09 February 2002, 14:04   #9
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Dave (Wavelength)

You're absolutely right in the points you make. Certainly a glossy brochure certainly shouldn't be taken as indicating an excellent school nor a sheet of B&W A4 a poor one. They can give a feeling though and then it is down to a verbal assessment. Personally I don't go for glossy brochures as you're right they just cost a fortune, I prefer an informative well written pack of A4 sheets. I had a good example recently in that I myself wanted to do a really heavy weather course some way beyond Advanced and contacted a 'well known' school. Eight weeks later and two chase calls later I received a scrap of paper for the wrong course - suffice to say i'm still looking!

You're also right re the cost. The prices I quote are based on my area Poole/Solent - perhaps a better saying would be - you tend to get what you pay for but sometimes you get a bargin! - if you charge 120 then its certainly a bargin and i'm glad my school is nowhere near yours!

Paul
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Old 11 February 2002, 09:17   #10
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I did level 1&2 and safetyboat courses for 80 in total at the West Solent Powerboat school. It was about 5 years ago and I know it's down south but it is quite a saving on an activity centre at the time it would have cost me 350...
I don't have teir number with me but will post it tomorrow.
It was a good course in a two year old 5.6metre Avon Dive... and was very good quality so it proves sometimes you get more than what you pay for.
Alex
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