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Navigation and Seamanship, getting started
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It was 2am and we were on our way to Launceston across Bass Strait. I was on the helm and I asked the watch leader to go below, plot our position on the chart and then let me know how far we were from the gas platform. After an inordinately long time he reappeared at the companionway with a slightly sheepish look on his face, held up his left hand with his index finger and thumb about 5cm apart and said “about that far”. I said “I think you need to do a navigation course”, he said, “I think you're right”.

This course provides a comprehensive grounding in the basic knowledge required to take responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of a cruising yacht or power boat and her crew. Successful completion of this course will provide sufficient knowledge to allow the participant to participate in the RYA Day Skipper practical course.

Overview

Skippers of yachts and power boats, no matter what size, have a responsibility to ensure the safety and well being of those aboard their vessel and the vessels around them. That means knowing -

  • How to read a nautical chart

  • How to plot your position and determine a safe course.

  • How to find their way into unfamiliar harbours.

  • The tide and its likely effect on their boat

  • How to anchor safely

  • The “Rules of the road” - lights, shapes, sound signals and how to behave in the presence of other vessels.

  • What is the weather likely to do including reading local conditions.

  • SOLAS Passage planning requirements.

Outcomes.

This course provides a comprehensive grounding in the basic knowledge required to take responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of a cruising yacht or power boat and her crew. Successful completion of this course will provide sufficient knowledge to allow the participant to proceed to the RYA Day Skipper practical course. Participants are advised to complete the Day Skipper bridging course at a later date when they are considering advancing to Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster level.

Prerequisites

  1. Participants are expected to have a basic knowledge of boating or sailing, terminology and deck work. The  RYA “Competent Crew” syllabus will provide guidance as to the required knowledge, please use the contact button on this page if you need guidance.

  2. In addition it is preferable to have completed a few day passages as a crew member or skipper, preferably into and out of a few different harbours.

What to bring

  • Notepad, 2B pencil and eraser.

  • Chart 143 – Port Phillip

  • Dividers and parallel rules or course plotter.

The chart, dividers and plotter can be ordered via Sail Escapade's online shop.  Once you've selected the items you require and entered the start date of your course you can return here and complete your booking.  The items will appear in your shopping "cart" along with the course fees.

Course Outline.

This course provides an introduction to the full range of topics required.

Candidates will become to familiar with -

  • Understanding and using nautical charts

  • Nautical Publications

  • Fixing and plotting positions

  • GPS

  • Anchors and anchoring

  • Tides

  • Understanding weather and weather patterns

  • Introduction to pilotage

  • Bouyage

  • Introduction to the International Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea (Colregs)

  • What is “Passage Planning” and why is it important

Assessments

Progressive assessment will occur during the course through a number of practical exercises and some homework tasks.

During the last session the participants will engage in a combination assessment and revision session to ensure they are fully aware of the level they have reached.

Qualifications

ORCV requires that at either the Skipper or Sailing Master of yachts participating in events at night or outside Port Phillip be able to satisfy the Event Director that they have the necessary knowledge and experience to complete the event. Completion of this course contributes to the knowledge requirement.  This course also qualifies participants to complete the abridge two day RYA Day Skipper theory course rather than the full five day course.

Course Materials

All participants will be provided with -

  • RYA Day Skipper theory booklet.

  • A number of handouts relevant to certain topics.

  • References to supporting information online.

Session time and Duration.

Total teaching time is approximately 15 hours - Evening sessions are five nights of three hours each, usually held over consecutive weeks, weekend sessions will be over two days of around 7.5 hours.

Venue

Sail Escapade Wyndham Harbour or HBYC
St Kilda Boat Sales
Quay Blvd
Werribee South  3030

 

Contact Details:

Robert Bradley
RYA Yachtmaster and Instructor Marine Radio Invigilator,
RYA Diesel Instructor Sail Escapade
+61 418 574360

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