If you’re like almost every other client of ours, you’ll have got your Day Skipper or Yachtmaster, with the expectation that afterwards you would be free to roam the seas and head off to all corners of the world. The reality is that you are probably not ready to do that. Even the Yachtmaster is really a ‘licence to learn’ – the equivalent of passing your driving test. What you need now is to spend time with experienced skippers in real life situations learning your trade.
Real life training and skills development from expert skippers
The Passage Making Masterclass was designed specifically for people in your situation. You will spend two weeks with highly experienced sailors, taking on passages in some technically challenging areas. Your course will start with an assessment of your current skill set and will then guide you through all the key skills you need to set you on the path to being a competent skipper. To be competent, a developing skipper needs to experience offshore and international passage-making in a controlled environment. You need to be able to plan the routes and make the decisions but with expert backup and advice at every stage. This is the very best learning environment. These are real passages, dealing with real situations at every stage.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN ON A PASSAGE MAKING MASTERCLASS
Most yachts these days have radar but few amateur sailors have the skills to use this invaluable tool properly. As part of your Passage Making Masterclass, you will look at how to set up the radar and how to use it both to aid collision avoidance and for pilotage in poor visibility.
Pilotage is both technique and art form. Entering a foreign port late at night in bad weather when the crew is tired can be a very taxing exercise. Similarly weaving one’s way through rocks to a small anchorage. We will show you the techniques we use to produce simple, easy to follow pilotage guides that work
Previously you may have been taught about how low pressure systems form and that’s great. What we’ll teach you is really up to date, practical weather skills. You’ll compare weather apps, learn about their strengths and weaknesses and get familiar with the various official weather sources too.
Anyone can put waypoints on a chart, but proper route planning is about so much more than that. We will teach you to put waypoints in specific places that will match what you are seeing and doing as the passage is executed.
We’ll help you get to grips with this so that you can maximise the performance of your sails. Which sail do you trim first, is twist important, what do those cars do? Lots of questions and we’ll explain everything in clear simple lessons .
For those who do not sail regularly, or are not the driver, handing a yacht in a marina can be off putting enough to stop you taking a boat out on your own. While we train in much bigger yachts (60’) the skills are still the same. We will show you how it’s done, get you to try and talk through the various strategies that we use in tight spaces to keep our boats safe.
Anchoring is a skill that many people are nervous to try which is a great shame as it completely transforms one’s cruising range and a night at anchor can be a truly special experience. We’ll explain what size anchor you should be carrying, what type of anchor, how much chain and rope and what sea beds to anchor in. You’ll also learn how to anchor and how to ensure you stay safe through the night.
It’s all well and good learning the collision regulations, but are you happy with what to do when a giant cargo ship is nearing down on you. Will your actions actually make a situation worse. We take you away from parroting the rules and get into the meat of situations. What do you do, when and how.
Foreign port entry
Should you file paperwork before leaving your hoe country and if so, what? What is one expected to do on arrival in a foreign port and when? What paperwork needs to be carried or shown? We give you the detailed low down on what is required and when.
What makes a great skipper rather than just a competent one? We will talk you through the various approaches to skippering and what works well, when. This is a real skill that needs to be learned and practised. The impact on your next trip will be huge.
Who can join a passage making masterlcass?
This is our only course that is not open to beginners. You must have your RYA Day Skipper or above (or international equivalent). It doesn’t matter if this is (very!) rusty. Most people’s will be and this is part of the reason for joining the course. If you do not have a qualification but have plenty of experience, you may still be eligible to join. Please get in touch for a chat.
PASSAGE MAKING MASTERCLASSES: UPCOMING COURSES
Remember if you need any help choosing or need some suggestions don’t hesitate to call us on +44 (0)20 3086 7245 or email us. We’re here to help!
The smoking of any form of tobacco is forbidden on board or on the dock next to the boat. We also very strongly discourage the smoking of any tobacco at any time between the start and end date as the smell comes on-board into confined living space. The use of e-cigarettes is fine.
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