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Old 31 August 2010, 16:01   #1
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rya powerboat 2

hi, reasonably new to boating/ribbing and i feel it right to learn some appropriate skills so as not to put myslef, boat or family in danger.

i was considering doing the powerboat 2 course, can anyone recommend a good place to do it or if its the right course to be doing.

im in bristol by the way.

thanks in advance.

george
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Old 31 August 2010, 17:09   #2
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Yes the RYA powerboat level 2 would be the right course to go for. It covers all the basic boat handling skills together with some theory to back it up. No previous knowledge is assumed.

We run a couple of courses each week from Plymouth. See www.powerboatschool.com for more details.

Michael
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Old 31 August 2010, 17:50   #3
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Georgieboy,

I think most people would agree it is the right course for anyone new to ribs. If your main activity will be waterskiing or diving then you might consider the specific courses for boat handling in those areas instead. Much of the course is similar but with extra bits for those disciplines.

I can't help with a local recommendation for a "school" but I can suggest a few things to think about based on my experience when looking for a school a few years back, and when looking at other training (sailing) before that.

In theory RYA schools all train to the same standard. Innevitably some schools are better than others and some instructors are better than others. The very cheapest will probably be a sailing club - typically they will run PB2 courses as part of their training for safety boat crew for dinghy fleets etc. Usually you'll be in a large class, possibly with a limited range of boats to choose from. To qualify for entry on the course you may need to be a member, and you may need to volunteer to do some safety boat work. My perception is the training is probably likely to be more variable in standard than other courses. The instructor is likely to be a weekend boater, who often but not always is more interested in sailing than powerboats, and in many cases will not drive ribs beyond the locality of the club - so if you are planning on cruising then the extra knowledge you will pick up from the course (i.e. the stuff thats not on the official syllabus) will be less relevant. The instructor may only run one or two courses a year.

The next cheapest is likely to be a council/charity/sports council run outdoor centre / training venue. Here you will typically be in a big class. You may get more opportunity to use a range of boats, but you may also find that most of the boats in the fleet are either identical or very similar. There will be no need to join a club or volunteer to do safety boat duties. The instructors are likely to be professional instructors teaching much of the time. However they may well be sailing instructors, canoe instructors, mountain bike leaders, and climbing instructors too - so "powerboating" may only be a small part of the skill set they offer. From what I've seen the instructors tend to be younger (not necessarily an issue), their attitude is possibly more variable - some do it for the love, some do it for a summer job!

Then you may consider a professional sailing school a number of schools offer both sailing and powerboat classes. This is likely to be a much smaller class than at an outdoor centre. Its likely to cost more. Some schools are very much a sailing school which offer a bit of powerboat on the side, others are much more general/cross skilled. Usually a school will have a small number of instructors who do RYA training of some sort every day and so are very experienced (that doesn't necessarily make them great!). Other schools are dedicated powerboat schools - these people are likely to spend several days a week on RIBs, likely to have quite wide experience of cruising ribs - if you pick the right school they'll be open to the possibility of one-to-one training and/or using your boat for some of the course. In many cases there will only be one or two instructors - this is good because they are usually very experienced, and good things you hear about the school are likely to be directly attributable to the instructor you will get. On the downside small schools are likely to have a limited fleet of boats, and any technical issues with a boat might cause big disruption for the course.

So the general questions are:
  • Who will be teaching you?
  • How many students in the class? (don't just accept a student:instructor ratio - anyone can quote the rule book - typically how many students are in the class - my personal preference would be max 3 - more than this will probably be spread across multiple boats which means you'll be grouping together alot for "theory" rather than doing it sitting in the boat. One to one is ideal.)
  • What boats will be used?
  • How much time is spent afloat? (this should be most of it - but some schools are "better" than others)
  • How often do they run courses? (this tells you if it is their main work, or if it is a once a year thing)
  • Do they offer intermediate/advanced courses too? (if not then the instructors are probably relatively inexperienced so not Advanced PB instructors).
Then you have to balance that all against cost / convenience etc.
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Old 31 August 2010, 18:13   #4
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pb training

good answer

having been some/ several of the mentioned folk in Polwarts excellent reply, I'd agree with what you say,
and might add, if I was teaching RYA powerboating every day I'd maybe get bored/ lose the passion etc, so someone who does it enough to stay 'fresh' but not enough to be 'stale/bored' would be my choice - they'll still have the passion that should go with it!!
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Old 01 September 2010, 02:08   #5
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I can recommend tigerbay training in Cardiff. An excellent school. It was where I did all of my courses. You may see their sailing yacht in Bristol on many weekends.

The courses are run in Cardiff bay and out in the Bristol channel.

this is their web site
www.tigerbaytraining.net
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Old 01 September 2010, 03:29   #6
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I did mine last week and I can only say that it is essential if you are new to boating -anyone who considers operating a boat in the typical erratic, tidal UK conditions without even this basic level of instruction should think very carefully!

I did mine out of Eastbourne harbour and having an area like this to do endless 'pontoon-bashing' is a real asset.

We were at a ratio of 1 instructor:2 pupils and this is perfect IMHO. I did think of paying extra for a 1:1 but with two of us there was a good banter and lots of time on the controls but with good opportunities to see each others mistakes. I have quite a few years experience of pulling a skiier in the med but this in no way prepares you for general UK boating and the course really teaches you how to do things the right way rather than the wrong way that can come from being self-taught.

Go along and see the school first, chat to the instructor you will have and make sure you get on - all the guys at the school I attended were on the local lifeboat and were enthusiasts which really helps.

I would definitely do lots of reading up though before as it will help - there is a lot of theory to cover and having a bit of prior knowledge of safety, tides, charts, wind, equipment, general boat terminology definitely helps. Search this site and there are hundreds of useful previous topics

And here are a few useful sites sitting in my favourites, especially the first one:

http://www.powerboat-training.co.uk/articles.htm

http://www.solentribster.com/index.html

http://www.euphoriasailing.com/Marin...-selection.htm

http://www.animatedknots.com/indexbo...matedknots.com
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Old 01 September 2010, 04:22   #7
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i was talking to a bloke yesterday about repairing my tubes,he also does drysuit repairs,but he also teaches various rya courses,its based in weston super mare and called weston water craft,he seems a nice chap ands is going to help me patch my tubes for a few beers
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Old 01 September 2010, 07:00   #8
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Plas Menai - North Wales

I know that this is a bit of a drive for you but this is an excellent place to do level 2. It is government funded so is cheaper than most other places, as is the acommodation. We did our course there last year. They do not use big ribs all the time which may put you off, but I preferred it since I was not there to learn how to drive a rib, rather the safety, navigation and manoevering aspects.

http://www.plasmenai.co.uk/
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Old 01 September 2010, 14:36   #9
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thanks all for the help and advise. i think i will be booking one up shortly. probably in the cardif area as i would not need to stay away from home.
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