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Old 20 September 2020, 14:14   #1
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how old to helm a boat

asking on behalf of a friend

how old do you have to helm a rib on costal waters. I know of a 15 year old wating to go fishing with a friend and wants to take his familys boat (SR 5.4). he is able of handling the boat by himslf.
Insurance?
vhf licence?
is it leagal/possible?
anything else to deal with
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Old 20 September 2020, 14:37   #2
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PB2 can be done at 12 but endorsed I think, most insurers are 18 unless specified iirc

Vhf need an SRC to be legal not sure on an age restriction.
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Old 20 September 2020, 16:08   #3
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I used to play around in the Solent when I was that age from Hayling Island to the needles on an SR 4 but that was in the 1970/80s.
Things are much different in the modern world, I doubt we had insurance and you definitely wouldnít get it now!!
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Old 20 September 2020, 16:45   #4
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There's very limited actual rules in this country for operation of leisure craft, but many harbour (or slipway) bylaws will require the skipper to be 16/18+ and the vessel to be insured, and as above, insurance might not be possible unsupervised. That being said, at 15 (with PB2 and VHF SRC) I was certainly taking our RIB's out by myself...

VHF SRC these days is >=16 to be able to take the exam and obtain the operator certificate, RYA PB2 is 12+ (but until 16 will have an endorsement about supervision by a competent adult).
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Old 21 September 2020, 03:58   #5
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Our son did pb2 at 13 or 14 but was endorsed that he required adult supervision until age 16.
He did drive our tender and small rib fairly often on his own before 16 though I guess it depends on your own risk assessment.
Obviously not going to be insured but its not mandatory anyway
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Old 21 September 2020, 04:30   #6
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My son would make very short journeys like from pontoon to slipway, or across a bay at that age. My concern for letting them go further is not about their helming ability, insurance or behaviour - itís about their ability to cope with a problem. Eg a rope round the prop, an engine warning alarm, a flat battery etc.

So I always wanted him in an area where I could see if he was having issues, and kayak out to him if needed.

Bear in mind that at 14/15 we happily send teenagers off with a tent, stove and supplies on duke of Edinburgh expeditions with appropriate training for 2 days. Whilst most people do that on foot you can do it on sailing boats or canoes and the potential for getting in trouble there is high. (There is some sort of remote supervision in place but no safety boats etc). We do tend to mollycoddle modern children and itís not necessarily good for them. Itís worth keeping in mind that everyone on doe expeditions is supposed to be competent - to me this would be a key consideration, not is my son competent but is the person he is going with going to have a clue if he falls overboard; and how responsible the other kid is - because itís two kids egging each other on that will lead to silly behaviour.
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Old 21 September 2020, 05:08   #7
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I think I did my RYA sportsboat award with rescue endorsement in maybe '87 and used to helm the club rescue boat (Langstone Sailing Club - 12' dory) once I'd passed. I was maybe 13 when I started doing that 0- although can't remember exactly.

I can imagine Karen objecting to it now, but I can also promise I was as competent performing rescue duties as anyone at the club at the time and more competent than many.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferryman View Post
I used to play around in the Solent when I was that age from Hayling Island to the needles on an SR 4 but that was in the 1970/80s.
Things are much different in the modern world, I doubt we had insurance and you definitely wouldn’t get it now!!
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Old 21 September 2020, 05:45   #8
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My little brothers and I have helmed boats since we were about 11. A 10hp sib, 40hp dory and a 40hp sr4. As someone said anyone can driver a boat (well except my mum) it's when the manure hits the rotary air circulator so to speak. If they've got a few years boating experience under their belt then it's not bad, my youngest brother once had engine trouble on a solo outing, he grabbed onto a lobster pot until we caught up in the big boat. We've never had insurance issues. I'd advise doing the pb2, we all did. It makes insurance easier for youngsters. None of us have VHF radios or src but phones in aquapacs
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Old 21 September 2020, 06:06   #9
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Yeah, that was me too - lots of messing about in boats prior.

But I would totally recommend any newcomer to the sport to do a PB2 for the reason noted above - it's not about knowing what to do when everything is fine, it's about what to do when things aren't going quite so well.
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Old 30 September 2020, 17:16   #10
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When i asked the insurance company, they told me that my kids needed to be 18 and have PB2 before they'd insure them
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Old 30 September 2020, 17:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zodiac Dan View Post
When i asked the insurance company, they told me that my kids needed to be 18 and have PB2 before they'd insure them
Thats kinda weird that 18yo need to do pb2 when adults dont need pb2 wonder when an insurer deems someone is capable of insuring a boat without pb2?
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Old 30 September 2020, 17:42   #12
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Quote:
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Thats kinda weird that 18yo need to do pb2 when adults dont need pb2 wonder when an insurer deems someone is capable of insuring a boat without pb2?
I agree that 18 is an adult but insurer may be 21 or over, anyone under requires PB2, there is also often the ďsupervisionĒ clause Can you supervise from the shore or another vessel or do you have to be on board, there are plenty of 16 year old boaters who are far more capable helms than 21+ year old none boating supervisors....
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