Coastal Skipper - Which Version?

Pete7

Well-known member
Joined
11 Aug 2004
Messages
4,073
Location
Gosport
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
I would see no benefit in having the course completion certificate other than as evidence of eligibility to take the exam.

[/ QUOTE ] I had no problem chartering a UK yacht with a RYA/DTp Coastal Skipper Practical Course Certificate, the DTp gives a clue to its age, (and a suitable log book with experience) so it certainly has value, though I take your point about leanring and exams. I may yet take the exam.

Pete
 

DRANNIE

New member
Joined
5 Sep 2005
Messages
410
Location
Herts
Visit site
I did mine with ondeck who I would reccommend. The choice came down the type of experience I wanted in the context of skippering a boat. There is an assumption you can park the boat and do all the things required by day skipper.

I chose not to do the exam and we went accross to the channel islands. I got to experience offshore sailing in sometimes difficult conditions and strong tides. For me, this was the type of experience I wanted as I can't get it on my 22ft boat. To do the exam we would have been more limited on our sailing area as there is more of a need to know the bit of water you are being examined in very well, in order to have a better chance of passing. Did the course completion cert have value? Out of the 3 of us taking it I was the only awarded the ticket so in my view with that school and that instructer yes.
 

harryb1

New member
Joined
4 Dec 2006
Messages
67
Location
Oxford
Visit site
Sorry not to have answered your question before-I did understand what you were getting at-just went off on a ramble!

The course content should be the same-all the areas of the syllabus in your RYA log book for Coastal Skipper.

Having said that if the 5 days are exam prep, then instructor needs to make sure you are happy with all aspects of skippering, so more pressure for both you and the instructor-but thats a good thing as I think you'll get more out of yourself and the instructor. (Who has an interest in getting you to pass)



If money's not the issue, I would definitely do the exam. (And I originally didn't want to, when I booked the course)
 

Babylon

Well-known member
Joined
7 Jan 2008
Messages
4,265
Location
Solent
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
I did mine with ondeck who I would reccommend... I chose not to do the exam and we went accross to the channel islands. .... Did the course completion cert have value? Out of the 3 of us taking it I was the only awarded the ticket so in my view with that school and that instructer yes.

[/ QUOTE ]

Interesting. Ondeck is one of the schools I'm considering. Did the other two students fail to achieve the course completion certificate because they simply weren't up to scratch, or because the school/instructor have very high standards and they weren't prepared to just wave borderline cases through?

In my own professional work (where I train people on intensive long-term courses to quite high standards of precision and creativity) I'm pretty tenacious and, after the basics have been absorbed and practiced, I expect people to begin to approach the work with the right mindset and consistently achieve quality results. So I'd like to think that when I'm on a training course, I'll be pushed fairly hard and learn to get it right every time. Or am I expecting too much?
 

flaming

Well-known member
Joined
24 Mar 2004
Messages
15,180
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]


In my own professional work (where I train people on intensive long-term courses to quite high standards of precision and creativity) I'm pretty tenacious and, after the basics have been absorbed and practiced, I expect people to begin to approach the work with the right mindset and consistently achieve quality results. So I'd like to think that when I'm on a training course, I'll be pushed fairly hard and learn to get it right every time. Or am I expecting too much?

[/ QUOTE ]

As a sailing instructor, that's pretty difficult to get right, and will depend on the pupils.
Slightly less relevant at this level, as by this stage most people will have invested enough time and effort into sailing to know that it is for them, but at comp crew and DS level, part of you is thinking about not putting these people off sailing.

Don't forget that for most people this is a week of their hard earned holiday, and repeating drills way beyond "competent" into "perfection" territory is not a lot of people's idea of fun, and there's so much to cover that you could probably only do that for about 1/3 of the sylabus.

When I did YM we did an awful lot of night sailing in conditions that I thought marginal at the time. We had F6/7 all week, and only hoisted the full main briefly on the exam, before it blew up even harder. I certainly felt we'd been pushed pretty hard, I was shattered at the end of the week!
The exam was quite easy by comparisson!

That instructor is now the principal of On Deck btw...
 

Babylon

Well-known member
Joined
7 Jan 2008
Messages
4,265
Location
Solent
Visit site
Hi Haz

I've just re-read your original post - no need to apologise for any 'ramble' as I found your account very informative.

Having also read through all the posts again, I'm inclined to sign up for the 7 day course with MCA exam. There is good sense (for me at any rate) in having the pressure of an exam. If I'm advised not to take the exam or if I fail, then at least I know the limit of my current abilities.

BTW I've considered own-boat tuition for this, but she's quite small and I don't have anyone else willing to share the course; I also don't want to be distracted by any sense of 'extra responsibility' for my own boat; finally I think there's a lot to be learnt by training alongside four other students on a school boat.

Thanks for the responses

Babylon
 

lw395

Well-known member
Joined
16 May 2007
Messages
41,951
Visit site
Do you want Coastal Skipper? or is it a diversion on a campaign to get Yachtmaster?
In your position I might be plotting to get YM next year, so not really want to do the CS exam.
 

Babylon

Well-known member
Joined
7 Jan 2008
Messages
4,265
Location
Solent
Visit site
Thanks Flaming, very useful insights, especially regarding not putting off people new to sailing (as almost happened to a very frightened CC person on the first two days of my DS course with a persistent F8 in the Solent).

I'm not of course seeking perfection here, just the right course and appropriate level of pressure to get me feeling equiped and reasonably confident that I can safely handle the sort of coastal and cross-channel skippering that I'd like to start doing.
 

Richard10002

Well-known member
Joined
17 Mar 2006
Messages
18,979
Location
Manchester
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
I'm not of course seeking perfection here, just the right course and appropriate level of pressure to get me feeling equiped and reasonably confident that I can safely handle the sort of coastal and cross-channel skippering that I'd like to start doing.

[/ QUOTE ]

I may be wrong, but I would have thought that the mileage required by the course, would suggest that you would already have done some of the coastal, and cross channel, stuff you would like to start doing, (even if it was as crew with someone more experienced on board).

I had about 12500 miles under my belt for the YM prep. Week, and the instructor was surprised at how much I hadnt actually even done in the past. Having said that, YM Prep. is just that.... a preparation for the exam. Perhaps the Coastal Course is much more about teaching something new?

On taking the exam or not - you will have paid for it already, and I dont think it's refundable so, unless they tell you you cant take it, (unlikely), just go for it... even if you fail, it will be good experience for the next time.
 

Babylon

Well-known member
Joined
7 Jan 2008
Messages
4,265
Location
Solent
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
Do you want Coastal Skipper? or is it a diversion on a campaign to get Yachtmaster?
In your position I might be plotting to get YM next year, so not really want to do the CS exam.

[/ QUOTE ]

I hope I'm not misjudging your tone. I'm in no rush to get anything, except in due course the confidence (based upon external assessment) to take myself and my crew (usually my family) on our first safe steps out beyond the Solent. I've not yet thought about YM at all, and I've never cared what the next guy has or hasn't got, or how he got there. I hugely admire people who take life by the horns and go out and achieve things, but I've never been interested in competition with them or in any kind of one-upmanship. Bettering myself as a sailor - and overcoming my fears through learning - is what interests me.

Both time and money are a bit tight at the moment, so I'm particularly interested in doing the right course (see my original post).
 

Babylon

Well-known member
Joined
7 Jan 2008
Messages
4,265
Location
Solent
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
I may be wrong, but I would have thought that the mileage required by the course, would suggest that you would already have done some of the coastal, and cross channel, stuff you would like to start doing, (even if it was as crew with someone more experienced on board).

[/ QUOTE ]
Yes I have plenty of past experience and milage as crew - lots of Solent, a cross-channel, the Western Isles, etc - but I've found a huge difference in confidence between crewing with highly-experienced skippers and skippering myself (especially when I've got inexperienced crew - as I usually do - aboard)

So a course (as I imagine the CS to be) where you are taught - through being supervised and assessed by an instructor - as you plan and carry out coastal and some night passages, making safe practical decisions for the boat and your crew is exactly the next step that I'm after.
 

Richard10002

Well-known member
Joined
17 Mar 2006
Messages
18,979
Location
Manchester
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
.... - but I've found a huge difference in confidence between crewing with highly-experienced skippers and skippering myself (especially when I've got inexperienced crew - as I usually do - aboard)

[/ QUOTE ]

Same here... I was quite happy for years making serious decisions and handling serious manouevres, (never could spell that word), on other peoples boats, but when it's your own, it's a completely different feeling.

"That's up to you mate - It's your boat" are words I've heard more than once /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

EdWingfield

New member
Joined
10 Apr 2006
Messages
1,553
Location
Campbeltown
Visit site
Hi Babylon

I will set you a passage planning exercise. (you may use Google Earth for True courses as I know I'm not in your manor)

I wish to depart Amble (Northumberland) at 14.00 on May 4th and sail to Tayport (Fife) 93M. During daylight hours I wish to be inshore, but at night I should be out beyond the 50m contour (say 1M) to avoid crab pots. Assume wind SW f3-4. Boat is a 10m cruiser that should give 5kn average speed through the water in those winds.

I’d like to know boltholes if the weather turns unexpectedly horrible. I have a drop keel giving 0.9 – 2.2m draft. I have a 29hp Volvo.

I'll use the plan if I think its ok and report back.
 

KenMcCulloch

New member
Joined
22 Apr 2007
Messages
2,786
Location
Edinburgh, Scotland
Visit site
Re: Amble to Tayport Passage Plan

[ QUOTE ]
Hi Babylon

I will set you a passage planning exercise. (you may use Google Earth for True courses as I know I'm not in your manor)

I wish to depart Amble (Northumberland) at 14.00 on May 4th and sail to Tayport (Fife) 93M. During daylight hours I wish to be inshore, but at night I should be out beyond the 50m contour (say 1M) to avoid crab pots. Assume wind SW f3-4. Boat is a 10m cruiser that should give 5kn average speed through the water in those winds.

I’d like to know boltholes if the weather turns unexpectedly horrible. I have a drop keel giving 0.9 – 2.2m draft. I have a 29hp Volvo.

I'll use the plan if I think its ok and report back.

[/ QUOTE ]
A very interesting challenge, I think it's a trick question (more than one actually) myself although I don't have tide tables to hand to check out my suspicions.
 

harryb1

New member
Joined
4 Dec 2006
Messages
67
Location
Oxford
Visit site
I can see why many people would miss out coastal skipper, the actual qualification has no real benefit, be it Course completion or the MCA ticket

But in my case I wanted the training at that point, not to have to wait till I had enough miles for YM.

So I think CS has it's place, but is missable for some.

Think Babylon's right about being on a course with other students, learn allot from each other, and see different ways of doing things.
 

MissFitz

Member
Joined
18 Apr 2008
Messages
688
Location
Brighton
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
I ask this because one or two schools have told me that the emphasis of each of the five days instruction IS different, with the RYA certificate course being relatively more relaxed than the MCA exam prep course: the former allowing varied student instruction based around actual coastal passages, while the latter might not actually involve much passage-making but instead concentrate on prepping candidates for the sort of scenarios the examiner might throw at them.

[/ QUOTE ]

I recently spoke to the RYA about this, as I also found it very confusing, & their Chief Cruising Instructor said that this is exactly what the two types of course are intended to be for - the 5-day course should be to give students the chance to cruise further afield & get experience of skippering in more difficult conditions & out of their home waters, while the 7-day course should be 'skills & drills' exam prep & exam.

FWIW I've just done my YM with Hamble School of Yachting, & was very impressed, they have a lot of good instructors & really put you through your paces - can highly recommend.
 

harryb1

New member
Joined
4 Dec 2006
Messages
67
Location
Oxford
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
I recently spoke to the RYA about this, as I also found it very confusing, & their Chief Cruising Instructor said that this is exactly what the two types of course are intended to be for - the 5-day course should be to give students the chance to cruise further afield & get experience of skippering in more difficult conditions & out of their home waters, while the 7-day course should be 'skills & drills' exam prep & exam.

[/ QUOTE ]


I don't understand this. On the course I did it's exactly the same.
A 5 day CS course with 2 day exam on the end. All items in CS syllabus covered plus exam prep during the 5 days. You get the CS course completion certificate after 5 days, Then take the exam for the MCA one.

Only difference is there is less pressure if the exam is not being taken, and then I guess it's more relaxing and maybe course can go further afield.

But often course is run with YM exam prep and other CS who are taking exam so week will be exam prep- even if you decided not to do exam.
 

alant

Active member
Joined
30 May 2001
Messages
37,600
Location
UK - Solent region
Visit site
But often course is run with YM exam prep and other CS who are taking exam so week will be exam prep- even if you decided not to do exam.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Unless you are 'own boat tuition', almost all school boats will have a bias towards those taking the exam, sometimes unfair on those simply wanting a sailing 'experience', who have also paid for the 5/7days, but good experience regardless of RYA Cert Comp or 'exam' based.
 

EdWingfield

New member
Joined
10 Apr 2006
Messages
1,553
Location
Campbeltown
Visit site
Re: Amble to Tayport Passage Plan

No tricks Ken. I've looked up departure tides but not arrival Tay Fairway. Entry could be impossible due to a sluicing ebb, in which case I'll presumably be advised to slow down off Fife Ness to kill time, or go to anchor somewhere for a while.
 

KenMcCulloch

New member
Joined
22 Apr 2007
Messages
2,786
Location
Edinburgh, Scotland
Visit site
Re: Amble to Tayport Passage Plan

[ QUOTE ]
No tricks Ken. I've looked up departure tides but not arrival Tay Fairway. Entry could be impossible due to a sluicing ebb, in which case I'll presumably be advised to slow down off Fife Ness to kill time, or go to anchor somewhere for a while.

[/ QUOTE ]
OK, from memory you have no real option than to leave Amble some time around HW, although with your keel up maybe a bit before, the N going ebb will take you well past the Farnes . The problem as I see it is that with a total passage time of around 18-20 hours or so you will be going up the channel N of Abertay Sands (I think that's what they are called) against the ebb and may not have sufficient water at Tayport, never mind the risk of grounding and pounding! Assuming SW winds you could anchor in St Andrews bay to wait for the tide. Alternatively you could stop off at Eyemouth or Anstruther on your way which would be my preference unless well crewed. Another way to do it would be to deliberately slow down off Berwick or thereabouts to await the next N going ebb and hope to catch the last of the flood at Abertay.

Ports of refuge are a bit of a problem really, if the winds are W-ish you don't really need them but if it blows even moderately strongly with any E in it, and you might then want refuge, many of the harbour entrances become risky propositions. If an Easterly gale were to appear you might have little option than to run into the Forth and hide up here somewhere, Granton for example. Unfortunately when such a wind blows in May or June it often does so for days at a time! Watch the forecast carefully.
 
Top