Motorboating courses offer beginners, novices and the more experienced the opportunity to expand their knowledge further and achieve high levels of seamanship and navigation.For most motor cruising holidays prior course training, although certainly beneficial, is not a necessity for helming a craft independently. However it is highly recommended that those buying their own motor cruiser and spending long periods on the water undergo a degree of training to increase their knowledge and confidence, and enhance their boating enjoyment.
RYA approved coursesIn the UK most schools, academies and clubs run Royal Yachting Association-approved courses, widely regarded as the best in the world, who believe that a system of voluntary education is more likely to achieve higher standards of safety than official legislation controlling and regulating boating.
The programme comprises a series of practical courses complemented by specialist short courses such as navigation. The programme can be entered at any level, provided the trainee already has the sufficient level of experience. Courses undertaken at all RYA recognised training centres are headed by experienced, qualified instructors on board a boat with a maximum of five students.
Motor cruising coursesThe RYA’s motor cruising courses provide a progressive programme of practical and theoretical training. Its three main courses are Helmsman, Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper.The Helmsman course is a two day handling course that is ideal for beginners. It includes such key basic skills as anchoring, man overboard, mooring, securing to a buoy as well as theory topics such as safety and rules of the water.
For those with a little more experience the Day Skipper course is aimed at those looking to develop their skippering skills with some practical and shore based courses such as boat and engine handling, pilotage and a little coastal navigation. Completion of this course automatically entitles the holder to an International Certificate of Competence.
Novice skippers who want to helms vessels travelling further a field and at night are recommended to take the Coastal Skipper course. This includes advanced boat handling and navigational techniques, such meteorology and radar modules.
Powerboating coursesThere is a similarly progressive programme of Powerboating courses aimed at people who use small open powerboats, such as sportsboats, RIBs, dories and launches, for either work or recreation. There are four self-explanatorily titled courses – Level 1, Level 2, Intermediate and Advanced.
The Level 1 Powerboat course is an ideal introductory one day programme covering basic boat handling, launching, safety and theory. Children as young as eight can take part in this.The second level is a two day course that provides the basis of the International Certificate of Competence. This includes collision regulations, high speed manoeuvres, man overboard and close quarters handling.
The RYA Intermediate Powerboat course deals with subjects like practical use of navigation and coastal passage planning by day. The subsequent advanced stage develops these skills by introducing night settings and more demanding conditions.