Example itinerary of 2 day Helmsman's course


  • 0900 Arrive at classroom and check in
  • Welcome and issue of wet weather gear
  • Board the motorboat and stow away personal kit and receive a brief tour around the boat
  • Instructor's safety briefing covering where and how to use all onboard safety equipment
  • Explanation of lifejackets including how and when they are used. Tour of outside deck including training on how to move around safely and basic line handling procedures
  • Talk through of pre departure checks including engine checks and the spares that should be carried
  • Engine start procedures
  • Practice how to slip lines and leave the pontoon followed by a motor down the river with each student having the chance to take the helm
  • Cover the basic "Rule of the road" at sea......who gives way to who etc
  • Practice coming alongside some pontoons in a variety of wind and tide situations
  • Plan a short trip to lunchtime stop at anchor practicing steering a compass course and maintaining a lookout on the way
  • Discussion on where to anchor and how the crew ready the anchor and it's gear
  • 1300 Drop anchor and learn how to ensure the boat is secure. Have lunch
  • 1400 Learn how to weigh anchor and head to evening destination. On route learn what to do in the event of a Man Overboard incident
  • Each person practices helming the boat back to the MOB or helps on deck with indicating casualties position, throwing markers and rescue gear and recovering casualty back on board
  • 1730 Arrive at evening destination and learn how raft to other vessels or secure to a town wall
  • 1800 Discussion about different types of craft and hull forms and the difference difference between planing and displacement craft. Discuss the different drives such as outboard, inboard, shaft, single screw, double screw and so on and how handling and performance varies with each.
  • 1900 Go ashore for dinner


  • 0800 Showers at marina facilities, breakfast, clean up and get weather forecast
  • Complete pre departure checks including engine checks
  • Slip mooring and motor down the river giving everyone a chance to steer the boat under power
  • Practice coming alongside and leaving various pontoons with everyone rotating jobs
  • Practice turning in a confined area
  • Short trip to a mooring buoy for lunch. Learn how to approach a mooring buoy for given wind and tide conditions. Crew rotate either driving or working on the foredeck to pick up buoy. Learn how to secure to a mooring
  • 1300 Lunch at a mooring buoy. Discuss the use of liferafts and how to handle emergencies such as fire or flood or injury to a crew member
  • 1400 Depart mooring buoy and motor back towards Hamble practicing MOB on route. Learn some very basic chart familiarisation and how to use a hand bearing compass
  • Clean up boat, return wet weather gear followed by debrief and issue of certificates
  • 1600 Depart Hamble

*All itineraries are examples and do not form any part of the contract

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