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Old 09 October 2004, 04:25   #1
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Rya - Vhf/src/dsc Radio Course

Hi

When asking our customers feedback several people I have spoke to seem to think the RYA vhf radio course is to complicated and to long. When you think a Level2 course on average depending on the RTC is 12-14 hours and radio course is 8 hours

Whats your thoughts?

What was your course like?

Should the course be allowed to be merged with other waterbased courses to make it more practical?
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Old 09 October 2004, 04:34   #2
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I don't really understand how anyone can say it is 'too complicated' as there is obviously certain info which needs to be communicated and understood and cannot be simplified further. My course lasted around 5 hours (excluding exam) and, IIRC, all of us passed first time. I guess it could be combined with L2 but that would add 0.5 - 1 day to the course length, surely? And you still wouldn't be able to do a 'real' Mayday or PanPan (hopefully!!!). HTH.

Edit: I know it's unusual, but where I took my course had real radios on a closed loop circuit so, apart from the fact that we weren't bumping up and down with the occasional spray of water in our faces, it was pretty realistic and therefore practical. I realise using the computer simulators would be less realistic/practical.
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Old 09 October 2004, 06:40   #3
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I have just completed my course last weekend and although I was not overly impressed by the Tutor I thought the course and its contents were of sufficient detail and length as to make it worth while. On the other hand I found the L2 to be too simple and gained very little from it.
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Old 09 October 2004, 07:01   #4
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I find that 1 day is fine, but if you have someone who wants a 1:1 course on DSC and already knows a bit about it then 8 hrs is way too long.

Jono, have you had any of the random questionaire retruns from the RYA reference VHF courses that you have run???
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Old 09 October 2004, 07:35   #5
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david, yes we have had a few.
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Old 09 October 2004, 10:37   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louise
I don't really understand how anyone can say it is 'too complicated'
I found it a very hard course only just scrapped through!


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Old 09 October 2004, 12:07   #7
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As it's possible that some people only want to carry a vhf for emergency use, the course doesn't seem to make sense. It may be a simplistic view, but surely all you have to do is call out a mayday, then give the lat and long reading taken from the gps. I accept that people who are venturing further away will need more, but for coastal sailors, (who hopefully would never need to call the coastguard out), a day long course combined with the fee doesn't seem reasonable..
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Old 09 October 2004, 14:22   #8
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If you think one day is too much then think yourself lucky you are not in Ireland. For years the Irish authorities have accepted that the RYA 1 day VHF was fine, a couple of months ago they decided that the RYA course wasn't detailed enough and require a 2 day course and don't accept the RYA qualification. Not sure what has happened on this in the last two months though as there was some fierce debate going on. Personally i think the 1 day VHF course is fine as it stands as it trains people to do what they need to be able to do - which is reasonably basic.

Qcamel, given your comment re your level 2 course how did you feel it fell short?

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Old 09 October 2004, 15:04   #9
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Part of the issue is making sure that all operators are capable to a good standard. I'm sure that most people, in a scrape, could switch to channel 16 and say 'I'm sinking somewhere off the Needles, come quick'. However the operators certificate has to cover for all eventualities and ensure that everyone is competent to the same level. You can't really have a 'casual' and 'professional' version - you either use VHF or you don't.

For anyone that's old enough. you might remember the countless idiots using CB radio a few (OK, 20-25) years ago. Without proper certification, VHF could easily go the same way.

The other problem is making sure that the course is actually long enough to drum the essentials in to the densest of users! For the better candidates this might be a bit boring, but at least you can be reasonably sure that everyone has got it.

Personally, I think a day out for a potentially lifesaving facility is a small price to pay.

Anyway, this is my first post to RIBnet although I've been 'lurking' for a while. Great forums - good to see a web group that's not completely full of bullshit and waffle (I didn't say devoid). But I hope I don't get a reputation for rants!

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Old 09 October 2004, 15:06   #10
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For me the biggest value of the 1 day course was thinking through the situations and deciding what to do - pan pan, mayday, all ships, coastguard, whatever - and phrasing the messages in a concise form. Breaking the marine radio 'duck', by speaking out in the proper fashion having composed your message - even it was in the instructor's kitchen. I enjoyed my day, and the marine anecdotes based on the instructor's years of experience.
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Old 09 October 2004, 15:45   #11
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I don't think there is a day's content on the course and I thougt the one i went on was very padded out to make the day. I had similar thoughts about the First aid course. I figure a long day course 10 hours half first aid half HVF would do nicely. You could also make it a more special (and expensive day) by offering a 5 hour HVF course and maybe 3 hours of pboat coaching!
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Old 09 October 2004, 18:32   #12
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Irish Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Glatzel
If you think one day is too much then think yourself lucky you are not in Ireland. For years the Irish authorities have accepted that the RYA 1 day VHF was fine, a couple of months ago they decided that the RYA course wasn't detailed enough and require a 2 day course and don't accept the RYA qualification. Not sure what has happened on this in the last two months though as there was some fierce debate going on. Personally i think the 1 day VHF course is fine as it stands as it trains people to do what they need to be able to do - which is reasonably basic.

Qcamel, given your comment re your level 2 course how did you feel it fell short?

Regards

Paul
Irish System is 2 courses assessed by appointed external examiner

1 day .... this allows you to use a standard VHF Radio.

then there is a separate course and test for DSC... I don't think there are as many DSC sets around.

You get a call sign after the first and your MMSI after the second.

There are fees for each test !!

I did the first bit a couple of weeks ago and it was mostly relevant I would guess adding DSC into the same session would have made it too much but there's a bit about battery maintenance ,hydrometer use etc. which could be dropped (I'd need a drill to go along with the Hydrometer).


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Old 10 October 2004, 02:08   #13
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'Qcamel, given your comment re your level 2 course how did you feel it fell short?'

I returned to boating after a lay off of a number of years and felt that I should refresh my skill levels. After completing my course I felt I was really no further forwrd than I had been at the begining of the day, not sure if my expectations were too high or my training standards were too low.
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Old 10 October 2004, 03:07   #14
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Quote:
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I don't think there is a day's content on the course and I thougt the one i went on was very padded out to make the day. I had similar thoughts about the First aid course. I figure a long day course 10 hours half first aid half HVF would do nicely. You could also make it a more special (and expensive day) by offering a 5 hour HVF course and maybe 3 hours of pboat coaching!

i think the one day course is sufficient for vhf agree with Dave Hickman re the one to one ,best mix for me is simulators and radio's on a loop, its not a in depth course but it will teach the correct voice procedure and will give people the confidence to use the system ,as for the First aid course i do not think it is long enough and would like to see a two day course one of the theory and one of practical elements where we go on boats ribs ,yachts , motor cruisers and see how we would put it into practice in the small confines of these ,a good school would introduce the Pan Pan Medical Emergency Procedure during the scenarios but like everything on offer by most schools it has to remain competitve so if the school down the road is not doing the same people will go there as it will be cheaper quicker you may get those with more interest coming to these bolt on courses but i would think not many to make it worth while in running
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Old 10 October 2004, 04:02   #15
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Come to my office and listen to channel 16 for twelve hours, and you will need the course needs to be much longer.
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Old 10 October 2004, 14:20   #16
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Come to my office and listen to channel 16 for twelve hours, and you will need the course needs to be much longer.
Hi Ginge I agree with you that the standard of radio etiket is awful , but are you are presuming that everybody using channel 16 has done the course and for that matter got a VFH licence. I suspect most of the people using 16 haven't got either, but then you don't reaaly need it to call a marina do you! .

I think the point is if you want to make the syllabus more comprehensive the sure make the course longer, but the contents of what's on offer don't merit 8 hours. as always in my very humble opinion.

Louise you asked who could find the course too complicated...Have you ever met the gArfish!
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Old 10 October 2004, 14:22   #17
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And another thing......I don't think you should be allowed to teach unless you have made the investment in simulators ( Either buying or hiring)
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Old 10 October 2004, 14:26   #18
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Rogue - why?
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Old 10 October 2004, 14:28   #19
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Because the gArfish is very thick and would find the course too complicated
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Old 10 October 2004, 14:29   #20
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No, Rogue - why shouldn't a school be allowed to teach without simulators? In other words, what can you do with a simulator (no rude comments, please!) which you can't do with radios on a loop?
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