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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    8

    Default Getting started - south coast

    Hi,

    Hoping for a bit of honest advice.

    Is it at all possible/advisable - to get started in boating on the south coast dorset/sussex (maybe some parts of kent) - WITHOUT any training. Is it safe in a smaller boat, staying very near.....or is there really a necessary minimum level of rya training etc.

    Alternately, same question for river boating (e.g. thames around berkshire etc) - is that more accessible and do any of the skills crossover much?

    Regards

    K

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    3,162

    Default Re: Getting started - south coast

    Well you could start without any training, there is nothing to stop you. However, in my view the minimum you need is Dayskipper. The Solent is very busy and it really does help if you have some local knowledge before you push off on your own. That was my view and what I did when I started with my own boat 10 years ago. Others may say, "join a club" and I would agree with that sentiment, but it is no substitute for some formal training.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    38,249

    Default Re: Getting started - south coast

    Well you can learn what you need to know from books and from hard knocks, but....

    What kind of boating have you in mind?

    A lot of people I know have never done a course, but learned as they were growing up. That's great if you've got 20 years to spare.
    A well-chosen course might be money well spent.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,753

    Default Re: Getting started - south coast

    The most important things to learn are:-

    1./ How to read and understand charts (so you know where you are, where you're going, and what dangers are there).
    2./ How to get your boat in and out of parking spaces (this close-quarters boat handling is important, as you don't want to damage your boat or anyone else's).
    3./ How to use a VHF radio (so you can call for help in necessary, and you can call marinas to ask for a berth)
    4./ How to use the boat's safety equipment

    You can probably pick most of this stuff up by reading books, watching youtube videos, and the like. Taking an RYA Dayskipper course will give you confidence, as you will be taken out to sea with an instructor who will show you this stuff first-hand, and will put you into awkward situatuations, and will show you how to get out of them.

    So yes, you can do it without taking any courses, but I would suggest that it's worth the money.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Getting started - south coast

    We enjoy sea fishing.....and would love to gradually build up (i.e. further out) into that. I am looking at the RYA courses but it will take me a while to schedule that all in and eventually get through helmsman/skipper/coastal/offshore....

    But I was wondering if I can dive in safely alongside within some boundaries (quieter harbour/marina, well chosen first boat, pootle out a tiny bit and bottom fish for tiddlers).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,753

    Default Re: Getting started - south coast

    Quote Originally Posted by justk2012 View Post
    We enjoy sea fishing.....and would love to gradually build up (i.e. further out) into that. I am looking at the RYA courses but it will take me a while to schedule that all in and eventually get through helmsman/skipper/coastal/offshore....

    But I was wondering if I can dive in safely alongside within some boundaries (quieter harbour/marina, well chosen first boat, pootle out a tiny bit and bottom fish for tiddlers).
    I don't see why not.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Me; Nth County Dublin, Boat;Malahide
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: Getting started - south coast

    Shell out a few quid for a course or three, it could save your life!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ammersee, Bavaria
    Posts
    5,315

    Default Re: Getting started - south coast

    It all depends on what type of personality type you are. There is nothing stopping you buying a small boat and giving it a go - but you must have a good general idea of what's involved first.

    My father was a canoeist and taught himself to sail with the following two Ladybird books. He bought a sailing dinghy for use on Loch Tummel. As a family we progressed to bigger boats over a number of decades.





    ... but seriously, an RYA course would be a good place to start and even if your intention is to sail bigger boats, you can't beat a small sailing dinghy for learning about the forces involved and to get a "seat of the pants" feel for sailing. Around Chichester, Hayling Island and Poole are good (and relatively safe) places to learn. Clubs would be a good idea as would aquiring some friends who sail.

    Good Luck.
    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,753

    Default Re: Getting started - south coast

    If you want to have a go first, I would suggest that you start somewhere sheltered, like Chichester or Portsmouth harbour, and stay inside the harbour to start with. Get used to the boat, anchoring, manouvering, etc.

    Watch the weather, and only go out if it looks fine (don't go out if it looks windy or has potential for fog).

    Take a friend with you who has a bit of experience for the first few times, just to show you the ropes and make sure you don't do anything daft.

    Learn about tides and currents.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    35,609

    Default Re: Getting started - south coast

    Quote Originally Posted by justk2012 View Post
    I am looking at the RYA courses but it will take me a while to schedule that all in and eventually get through helmsman/skipper/coastal/offshore....
    From the mention of fishing and the "helmsman" course, I take it you're talking about motor boats? Most people in this forum will tend to assume sail, though it's not officially a sailing-only forum.

    It might be worth also asking the question in the dedicated motor boat forum.

    Pete

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