Boat Handling Course – Informative and Thrilling
Day 1: Information Overload
What do you do at the weekend? Maybe go shopping, go for a walk or in our case scuba diving. Yet one weekend in October we decided to take on the 2 day Boat Handling course.
No sleep in on a Saturday morning. Up and out and down the club with a cup of steaming coffee and the chatter of questioning what the day will hold.
For the day we did theory work in the lecture room with the words of wisdom from the experienced instructors of the Major (Alan), Alistair, Tony F, and training instructor Martin.
With the day planned out we listened to a number of lectures from explaining the ribs, how they work, what is best to carry on board for safety, signals, buoys, owner and driver responsibilities, and many other detailed areas.
After the lectures we went into the boat house to familiarise ourselves with the ribs and put the knowledge we had learnt to good use. We then had a demonstration on knots and what is best to use for different situations. Then it was our turn to try, which took a while yet going through step by step process we got the hang of it. We then had a break for lunch.
Once we had lunch we were back into it yet this time learning chartwork. This included plotting and using chartwork tools on the big maps of the coastline. This gave many the thirst to learn more on Chartwork and have resulted in a Chartwork Course in January 2022.
At end of the day we had to prepare and check the ribs were ready for next day to go on Mersey River.
Day 2: Mersey and Ribs
Yes, Finally! After information overload the day has come to go out on the ribs.
Of course you have to be sensible and responsible yet I will admit it is a thrill to push the throttle and ride the waves down the Mersey. It was such a beautiful sight, we had a sunny dry day, it felt like I was in a film. Some sort of bond film yet less classy looking as kitted out in my dry suit with a life jacket on too. As safety comes first.
The day started by collecting the ribs from the boat house and another check over. Then we made our way to New Brighton to launch the ribs. We were putting all the theory work into practise.
On my rib it was myself, Belinda, Paul and our instructor Alistair. On the river we had the pleasure to have front row seats to see the Queen Elizabeth Cunard Vessel moored at the cruise terminal in Liverpool. It was massive compared to us in the rib and towered over us. Throughout the day we took it in turns to complete the tasks Alistair taught us and requested us to complete. We learnt: controlling the rib taking into account the current pushing/pulling, manoeuvring the ribs, collecting divers (a buoy was used which we called Bob to make it feel real), using a anchor and many more skills.
The day was amazing we even had lunch on the rib what a beautiful spot to chill and each my lunch.
Time was against us though as the tide was coming in and we had to get back to the launch site before the cars were swept away. Once we arrived, we had to control the rib and get it hitched up to the trailer. The waves made it difficult yet finally got it on and out. Unfortunately we did have a bit of bother and started panicking as the Major’s car was stuck in the sand. We had an audience watching and the tide was coming in so felt the pressure. Yet all cars and ribs were eventually accounted for and out.
The ribs were filled with fuel and then taken back to the club, where they got a good scrub and wash down. We made sure the ribs were clean and tidy ready for the next use.
The cost of course is for the training packs and the cost of the fuel used in the ribs.
Honestly, if you haven’t done the course, I recommend it.
Please register your interest with the instructors and we will keep you informed when the next one is arranged and keep an eye out on our notice board, Facebook and our website.
Assistant Instructor and Communications Officer