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Old 04-07-2017, 03:50 PM   #1
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Boat handling course

Hi,

The boss and I will be in a position soon to fulfill the latest madcap idea of ours...

We come up with these spontaneous ideas and usually just jump in with both feet but this one needs a bit of planning...

We always said we would do two center living when the kids flew the nest, well they now have. We are in our mid 50's and are in a position to do it but have now decided that one of the two centers should be movable... Hence a boat.... The other will be fixed here in the UK.

We have about as much idea on how to drive a boat as we have on docking a space ship, we once hired a pedalo for 30mins but I don't think that counts...

Also, what if one of us really can't stand the swell and gets sea sick all the time...

So... I'm looking at the various motor boat courses that are available... we would both do the course and then if we like it and haven't drowned, we plan on buying a boat and cruising off into the sunset...

We are pretty sure we will like the lifestyle and will want to do it, this seems like a good way to get some experience and gain some knowledge in one go.

I did e-mail the US Power Squadrons to enquire about their courses and if we could do them from a distance but never got a reply so I guess the answers no...

So... any personal recommendations of any of the courses available in and around the South East of the USA would be great, they are not cheap, the last one I looked at costs $2695 EACH for a six day course and I don't want to just guess on which is a good course when that much money is on the table..

Or has anyone else got any other ideas..??

Thanks...
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:02 PM   #2
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If you are going to take two courses, make them different ones, least confident one first, transfer the knowledge and coach each other.

Hiring a captain a few days a week for a while for reinforcement would be helpful as well.

It's an investment, figure as a percentage of your first five years' total costs of ownership you'll see not much at all.
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:19 PM   #3
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They won't let you do a more advanced course unless you have done the first one...

I'm not complaining about the amount of money, just want to check out the provider, they aren't on Tripadvisor...!!!
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:09 PM   #4
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I meant from different providers, programs, whatever.

I understand Commonwealth county's standards are generally high, the US is so deregulated, caveat emptor rules.
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:26 PM   #5
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The idea was to get a feel for it (boating) and see if we like it, I think it's best if we do them together..

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
caveat emptor rules.
That was the reason I asked for recommendations....
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haylands View Post
The idea was to get a feel for it (boating) and see if we like it, I think it's best if we do them together..



That was the reason I asked for recommendations....
Perhaps a charter in the Caribbean with a Captain? Certainly a reputable charter outfit can assign a Captain more suited to giving you some education and/or outright teaching. You could include your preferred type of boat in the process.

I have not chartered there, sorry I can not recommend a particular business.

Best Wishes,

Jeff
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:54 PM   #7
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Jeff, we did think of that but it is a similar price to the course once you factor in all costs... and with the course you get a piece of paper that the insurance companies like...
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:01 AM   #8
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Sounds like you are in the UK. It is pretty hard to find anything as good as the RYA has available. Have you checked them.
http://www.yachtingeducation.com/blank-cdmd

Some places on this side of the pond offer RYA courses but probably much easier to get in the UK.
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Old 04-08-2017, 05:33 AM   #9
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I appreciate that is probably the best thing to if you just want a qualification, but over here it's cold, wet, blowey and just plane horrible to be out on the water, and that's during the summer.....!!! it holds no appeal to me and would give us little idea of what we were going to experience where we want to cruise...
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Old 04-08-2017, 06:32 PM   #10
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Cold wet and blowey? Close the doors and windows in the classroom and toss another lump of coal on the fire. I suspect the RYA classes are much like here and done in a shore based classroom, night school probably. You will need a heck of a lot more of that learning than sea time if you are starting to learn boating as an adult instead of growing up with it. Once you've learned what you are supposed to be doing and why, then look for skippered lessons and it will all fall into place.

My two cents worth of advice.
PS, I'm a power boating instructor.
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Old 04-08-2017, 07:27 PM   #11
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Can't say I'm that interested in becoming the next Sir Frances Drake, and seeing as you don't "need" any qualifications to drive a boat around Florida unless you were born after 1988 I'll stick to one of the more basic courses for now... From the lack of response to this request for recommendations it seems most folk don't even bother to do that......!!!
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:03 AM   #12
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My very strong opinion. Take the RYA course. Second best is to take an online course like the US Power Squadron course. It is important to know what day markers are and mean before you take a boat onto the water. Example is the rock just below the surface on the right or left side of the red day marker as you enter a Florida harbor.

If you take the RYA course tell the instructor you are planning on boating in Florida. Just like in driving the US, Canada and the Caribbean boat on the wrong side of the red daymarker.

Then take one of the captained boat handling courses such as from Southwest Florida Yachts (Florida Sailing Cruising and Trawler School Learn to sail vacations, boat handling lessons on sailboats, trawlers and powerboats.). Of course time your week in Florida for that perfect spring day in the North of England.
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:38 AM   #13
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I have spoken to several representatives from the RYA and it seems to attract a "certain" type of person, someone who is more interested in telling you how wonderful and clever they are.... You don't need a person of experience to tell you the "rules of the road" and lets face it, driving a boat isn't rocket science, piloting it safely and well just takes practice and knowledge. Knowledge I can learn from a variety of places, practice needs to be hands on and looking at the prices in schools all over the place it is apparent that heading over to your side of the pond is about the same price as doing it in Europe.... I'm not that fussed about the money just wanted to see if there were any first hand recommendations from people on here.

The prices I quoted above are from the school you mentioned...
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:41 AM   #14
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I would recommend chartering a boat for a week or so. You can hire a captain and make it an enjoyable learning experience.

You mention "swell"..often coastal cruising you can hide from swells and this isn't a problem. If you get into more open water it is not so easy.

Here are two charter operations I think do a good job (there are more) in the Pacific NW:

Desolation Sound Yacht Charters


Anacortes Yacht Charters
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:20 PM   #15
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Ken, Thanks for that, don't think I said anything about swells but on that subject we will just be fair weather boaters, the boat is the means to an end for us, not THE end...

As for chartering in the PNW sorry but no way.... If I'm not getting burnt and having to keep out of the sun between October and March then I'm not interested...!!!
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