Helmsman Practical

This course is ideal for the new owner who is conscious of the difficulty and potential hazards of boat handling in the marina.

Course Journey

  • COURSE REQUIREMENTS

    This is a beginner's course. Some practical experience is desirable but not essential.

  • COURSE AIM

    To teach boat handling and safety in a designated area.

  • SYLLABUS

    There is a Theory and Practical component consisting 5 topics each regarding basic boat knowledge and handling.

  • AFTER COURSE ABILITY

    A thorough understanding of basic motor boat theory with practical knowledge. The foundation upon which further training can begin.

  • NEXT STEP

    We recommend that you progress to our Day Skipper Practical Course if you are ready.

Course DetailsCOURSE DETAILS

This two day course covers basic boat handling, engine checks and safety. Ideal for the new owner who is conscious of the difficulty and potential hazards of boat handling in the marina.

Pre-course Experience

Some practical experience is desirable.

Assumed Knowledge

You do not need any knowledge to take up this course.

Course Content

During this course you will cover motor boat safety, helmsmanship, handling and engine maintenance through both theory and practical sessions.

Minimum Duration – 2 Day

Minimum Age

This course is for adults only.

Ability after Course

You will be competent in handling a motor cruiser of specific type in sheltered waters and better qualified to progress to further courses.

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SYLLABUS

Below is a list of the topics for study and practice involved in this course.

Theory

1. Types of craft

• Sportsboats, motor cruisers planing/displacement
• Types of hull, seakeeping, wash consideration

2. Engines and drives

• Petrol/diesel
• Single/twin screw
• Shafts/outdrives, outboard, waterjets

3. Engine operation and maintenance

• Pre-start checks inboards/outboards
• Engine checks while running
• Routine maintenance checks
• Fuel consumption range, reserve, and location of fuel cut-offs
• Basic fault diagnosis

4. Safety and seamanship

• Personal safety equipment; lifejackets, buoyancy aids, flares, first aid kit
• Anchoring: types, stowage, depth of water, preparation, check holding, weighing (may be done practically)
• Disabled craft, towing
• Fire precautions, extinguisher, fire blankets

5. Rules of the road

• Has a working knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Practical

1. Boat preparation

• Local boating conditions and regulations
• Preparation of boat, lines, fenders
• Safety equipment, lifejackets, dangers, number in boat
• CE marks, loading, effect on handling and performance
• Use of kill cords
• If trailing – number of people for launching/recovery, slipway condition, steep/slippery, wind, tide
• Can tie and knows use of: bowline, round turn & two half hitches, clove hitch, single & double sheetbend

2. Boat handling

• Steering, controls, windage
• Starting and stopping
• Low speed, steering a straight course
• Turning in a confined area
• Effect of wind on bow
• High speed/full power, planing, trim tabs and power trim
• S turns, U turns, stopping from speed
• Displacement craft: handing ahead and astern
• Carrying way

3. Securing to a buoy

• Preparation of mooring warp and boathook
• Method of approach in various conditions
• Crew communication
• Making fast

4. Berthing alongside

• Preparation and use of lines and springs, fenders, attachment to boat, stowage underway, securing to cleats
• Method of approach in various wind and tide conditions
• Making fast – importance of ‘taking a turn’
• Use of springs to leave a berth

5. Man overboard

• Immediate reaction
• Proper observation of man overboard
• Correct return
• Awareness of propellers
• Final approach and recovery of man overboard

  • Training with Phil Jackson of Suncoast gave us the confidence to use our boat in all conditions and to cruise new areas. The teaching was highly professional and informative but also relaxed and fun! If you have a boat, or are thinking of buying one, remember to invest a bit of money in yourself. Get confident, ring Suncoast.

    Neil & Janice McLachlan
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