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RYA Inland Waterway Helmsman’s Course

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Just a bit of background about our circumstance, Both my girlfriend and I have been living on a rented 55ft NB for about a year and a half now and are hooked, I work full time and Charlotte is a Full time social work student. This has meant that our enthusiasm and interest for boating has been somewhat suppressed by time and cash constraints. As a result our boating skills are shocking at best and probably dangerous at worst. I know a few of you have strong opinions about the worth of the helmsman's course and that’s fine, however we need a boost of confidence over and above competence. So if you would kindly leave the merits of the course to one side, could anybody recommend somebody that we could do a weekend course with, we have been left a small amount of money and would like it to go towards something that will grow.

We live in Brentford but don't mind traveling further afield (it would be nice to see some different canals)

 

Cheers for now

Rob (wanted)

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Just a bit of background about our circumstance, Both my girlfriend and I have been living on a rented 55ft NB for about a year and a half now and are hooked, I work full time and Charlotte is a Full time social work student. This has meant that our enthusiasm and interest for boating has been somewhat suppressed by time and cash constraints. As a result our boating skills are shocking at best and probably dangerous at worst. I know a few of you have strong opinions about the worth of the helmsman's course and that’s fine, however we need a boost of confidence over and above competence. So if you would kindly leave the merits of the course to one side, could anybody recommend somebody that we could do a weekend course with, we have been left a small amount of money and would like it to go towards something that will grow.

We live in Brentford but don't mind traveling further afield (it would be nice to see some different canals)

 

Cheers for now

Rob (wanted)

 

How far do you want to travel ? We did ours at Top Lock Training in Marple, right on the junction of the Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canal, it's a lovely setting. He was in the process of selling his house and marina when we did it ( sept 09) but we passed through a couple of weeks ago and he was still there, might be worth giving him a call.If you PM me I'll pass on his phone number.

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I intend to take do the same later in the year, I will be going to http://www.trboathandling.com

 

I met Terry at Crick boat show and felt very comfortable with him, and he is the one that will be doing the training.

 

On the 2 day course you stop overnight on the boat.

 

Gary

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How far do you want to travel ? We did ours at Top Lock Training in Marple, right on the junction of the Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canal, it's a lovely setting. He was in the process of selling his house and marina when we did it ( sept 09) but we passed through a couple of weeks ago and he was still there, might be worth giving him a call.If you PM me I'll pass on his phone number.

I'll second Malcolm at Top Lock Training. Fabulous spot to do the training, including lock work on the mighty Marple locks.

 

See here:

 

http://www.toplocktraining.co.uk/

 

Malcolm featured on the TV series Locks and Quays Season 2 Episode 2

 

Warmly recommended.

 

Stewey

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Good suggestions, cheers, another consideration is that we'd be arriving via train, distance is no problem but a near by station would be best.

 

Thanks

 

Edit to add: That'll be Marple then :lol:

Edited by wanted
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I did mine (in conjuction with a CEVNI test) with a bloke in Limehouse basin. I thought it was crap and to be honest I think you'd learn more just taking the boat out for a week or two!

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Did my Helmsman's Certificate, with my Brother in Law who had never steerd a boat before, here.

 

http://www.willowwrentraining.co.uk/

 

It is run by Andy Newman, the gent who wrote the RYA book that goes with the course.

Not withstanding that these is I believe also a strong link between the "Considerate Boater" website and Willow Wren Training too.

 

"Considerate Boater" was hardly popular with quite a few people on here, and I think that connection would put me off!

 

(If my memory is playing up, and I've wrongly linked the two, I'll happily apologise unreservedly, though!).

 

(Struggling with poor connection in cuttings down by London, so I'm not going searching old threads....)

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I did mine (in conjuction with a CEVNI test) with a bloke in Limehouse basin. I thought it was crap and to be honest I think you'd learn more just taking the boat out for a week or two!

As the RYA shop advert for the accompanying book says, "there is no substitute for hands-on experience". If as they say the course is a fun day out suitable for 12 year olds is it really going to teach you that much?

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I did mine (in conjuction with a CEVNI test) with a bloke in Limehouse basin. I thought it was crap and to be honest I think you'd learn more just taking the boat out for a week or two!

Does anyone ever fail ....?

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I'll second Malcolm at Top Lock Training. Fabulous spot to do the training, including lock work on the mighty Marple locks.

 

See here:

 

http://www.toplocktraining.co.uk/

 

Malcolm featured on the TV series Locks and Quays Season 2 Episode 2

 

Warmly recommended.

 

Stewey

 

I found the course exceedingly useful, go for it!

 

I would also endorse Malcolm of Toplock training. Marple is miles away from you but apart from the great tuition I suspect you will find the experience of narrow locks very useful. If Malcolm has retired then try the competition - I have only personal experience of Malcolm but I have talked to people who have been on other courses and were delighted with what they got out of it.

 

 

Richard

nb indigo dream

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Richard and Pete at Lincs boat training do the course. Both have however admitted it is of limited use if you have used your boat a little.

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I did mine (in conjuction with a CEVNI test) with a bloke in Limehouse basin. I thought it was crap and to be honest I think you'd learn more just taking the boat out for a week or two!

 

I take your point Mike, but it's just the way my head works really, I'm pretty sure the aptitude is there just need confidedance. I have just emailed toplock as it looks like a nice bit of the world,I hope he's still up for it, I saw on google that his whole shebang is up for sale, just over a mil for the lot! one can dream eh?

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I take your point Mike, but it's just the way my head works really, I'm pretty sure the aptitude is there just need confidedance. I have just emailed toplock as it looks like a nice bit of the world,I hope he's still up for it, I saw on google that his whole shebang is up for sale, just over a mil for the lot! one can dream eh?

 

Just take the boat out anyway even if it's just up to the Fox for a couple of weeks. If you're thinking of buying your own boat you want to know what happens when you don't have shore power - what works and what doesn't - so that you know what sort of electrical system you want, whether you want gas (you probably will), etc. You may as well make use of that facility while you're renting.

 

Then borrow an anchor & chain and take the boat out to Teddington and back. Call the Brentford lock keeper (0208-568-2779) to find out the times and make sure he's staying around so that you don't get left out in the tideway. You don't need an EA licence - just go as far as the Anglers pub and turn around under the weir and come back. If the Anglers pontoon is free you can even stop for a pint. It's about 1 hour 15 mins each way and you'll learn a lot in a few hours. If you're concerned about doing it on your own speak to Alistair on Daddy Longlegs. He's moored on my old pontoon and I'm sure he'll be glad to come with you.

Edited by blackrose
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Just a bit of background about our circumstance, Both my girlfriend and I have been living on a rented 55ft NB for about a year and a half now and are hooked, I work full time and Charlotte is a Full time social work student. This has meant that our enthusiasm and interest for boating has been somewhat suppressed by time and cash constraints. As a result our boating skills are shocking at best and probably dangerous at worst. I know a few of you have strong opinions about the worth of the helmsman's course and that’s fine, however we need a boost of confidence over and above competence. So if you would kindly leave the merits of the course to one side, could anybody recommend somebody that we could do a weekend course with, we have been left a small amount of money and would like it to go towards something that will grow.

We live in Brentford but don't mind traveling further afield (it would be nice to see some different canals)

 

Cheers for now

Rob (wanted)

 

Hello Rob,

 

I'm not sure if you're sorted but Ellen and I did a course with Rod Fox on Enigma based in Stourport; up the Staffs and Worcs and then out for a beetle down the Severn. We learnt lots, corrected some bad habits and had a lovely time. You're also welcome to stay on Cobbett if you come this way.

 

Edited to correct typo

 

Jill

Edited by wrigglefingers
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Hello Rob,

 

I'm not sure if you're sorted but Ellen and I did a course with Rod Fox on Enigma based in Stourport; up the Staffs and Worcs and then out for a beetle down the Severn. We learnt lots, corrected some bad habits and had a lovely time. You're also welcome to stay on Cobbett if you come this way.

 

Edited to correct typo

 

Jill

 

Jill, This could be a good option, it'll be good to get some river stuff in as well. And, a very kind offer, I'll let you know what we decide.

 

Cheers

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Jill, This could be a good option, it'll be good to get some river stuff in as well. And, a very kind offer, I'll let you know what we decide.

 

Cheers

 

Okay dokey - you're welcome! Link to Rod is here

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I have no desire to 'knock' any training opportunity but we have found that the Cert In Comm Boat Management (CCBM) has been more beneficial to our situation than the RYA one. As we work with groups on boats and train adults (who, if they meet the criteria can then take groups on boats) the CCBM has been more relevant.

The other interesting factor is that it seems that the RYA qualification does not have any revalidation period built in - by this I mean that for the qualification to be valid for another period of time (usually 3 - 5 years) one has to produce evidence of actual practice. Following this the qualification is revalidated.

We were told by the RYA that once you had the qualification then it was yours for life - which seems a bit strange as one could do no boating for several years - then go on a boat and your qualification was still valid?

The CCBM is administered by the Community Boat Assoc (NCBA) - have a look on the net.

If any one wants more info - pm me.

Cheers everyone

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We were told by the RYA that once you had the qualification then it was yours for life - which seems a bit strange as one could do no boating for several years - then go on a boat and your qualification was still valid?

 

Not that strange as it is really just a certificate to say were on the "fun day out". Someone raised the point earlier: Does anyone ever fail?

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As I think I made clear, I'm not bothered about qulifications, have enough badges still yet to be sewn on my swimming trunks!

What we are after is somebody who can offer us the time to grow our confidence. And yes, it will be a fun day out I hope.

 

I have my own way of taking stuff on board and this I feel would be the kick up the arse I need.

 

:lol:

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I had a very enjoyable day with Roy (someone?) on the Chelmer and Blackwater. I had never been on a narrowboat and this course gave me the confidence to take the boat out by myself afterwards. I don't know how useful it would be to a 'seasoned' boater. For his contact details you could give Hugh Turner (the moorings manager) a shout on 07910 558465.

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Could you not convince a friend to go out with you and give you a few pointers. It would be cheaper

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Could you not convince a friend to go out with you and give you a few pointers. It would be cheaper

 

I appreciate that but I really can't stress enough how my brain works and how I learn. As I have said, I WILL be doing the Helmsmans, just working out the best place.

 

Cheers though.

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I appreciate that but I really can't stress enough how my brain works and how I learn. As I have said, I WILL be doing the Helmsmans, just working out the best place.

 

Cheers though.

 

If thats how you feel go for it, but really there is no substitute for experience and you cant buy that. Dont expect miracles from a short session with an instructor.

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