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RYA Specialist Short Courses

A programme of one day support courses enabling you to expand your knowledge and skills in specialist areas.  These are not only great stand alone courses but also complement courses in the various RYA practical training schemes.  Indeed, some courses, such as Marine Radio Short Range Certificate, are a pre-requisite for higher qualifications such as Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence.

Diesel Engines
A beginners' course to help you prevent and solve diesel engine failure
Mechanical failure is the main cause of rescue call-outs to cruisers but most engine problems can be avoided by taking simple precautions.  A detailed mechanical knowledge is not required.  This course teaches you how your engine works, how to keep it healthy by using basic checks and maintenance procedures and how to get it started again in the event of a breakdown.
Course Content:  Principles of diesel engine operation, systems and parts of the engine, fault finding, rectification of common problems, bleeding the fuel system, changing the impeller, routine maintenance, winter lay up procedures

Marine Radio Short Range Certificate
A radio is an important piece of safety equipment and it is vital to understand the correct procedures.  This course is therefore for anyone who owns a fixed or hand-held marine VHF radio.
This is the qualification required by law if you operate a VHF radio fitted with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) on any British vessel voluntarily fitted with a radio.  All new VHF sets are either fitted, or can be interfaced, with DSC allowing calls to specific vessels.  If you hold the 'old' VHF licence (pre-1999) you need to upgrade your qualification if you purchase new equipment.
The course will be taught using radio simulators and will be examined by a short written test.
Course Content: basics of radio operation, the correct frequencies (channels) to be used, distress, emergency and medical assistance procedures, making ship to shore telephone calls, Digital Selective Calling (DSC) using simulators, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), Search and Rescue (SART)

Radar
A short course giving you an understanding of radar as an aid to navigation and collision avoidance
The International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea state that if you have radar on board your vessel you must know how to use it.
Radar is probably the most versatile of all electronic navigation aids but the best results are only obtained when you know how to use all the functions correctly.  It can easily mislead those who do not understand its controls, allow for its limitations or how to interpret its picture.
Course Content:  How the radar set works, how its adjustments and features affect the way it works, target definition, radar reflectors, types of radar display, radar plotting, the use of radar in navigation and collision avoidance

Sea Survival
A course for anyone going to sea providing an understanding of how to use the safety equipment on board your boat.  It could save your life!
In the event of an emergency at sea people with training are more likely to survive.  99.9% of those afloat will never use their liferaft.  However, if you are one of the unlucky few, your chances of survival will be greatly increased if you understand how to use the equipment and how to help yourself.
An important part of this course is a practical session in a swimming pool.  Experience first hand the problems of entering an uncooperative liferaft and assisting others while fully kitted out in wet weather gear and a lifejacket.
Course Content:  Liferafts and the equipment they contain, survival techniques, the design of lifejackets, medical aspects of sea survival, search and rescue techniques

Offshore Safety
Training for recreational and racing skippers and crews who encounter rough weather and problems at sea
At the end of the course you will have a good knowledge of the safety equipment carried on small boats and the seamanship techniques needed to survive at sea in heavy weather
The certificate awarded conforms with the eligibility requirements of section 6.01 of the ISAF Special Regulations for category 0,1 and some category 2 offshore races.  These regulations require a percentage of the crew to have taken personal training.  Full details can be found on the ISAF website.
Course Content:  One day sea survival course plus a half day training in seamanship and emergencies including heavy weather seamanship, weather forecasting, fire fighting and man overboard recovery

First Aid
A course aimed at anyone who goes afloat, whether on inland waters or the open sea, covering all the usual first aid subjects but from a boating perspective
In a medical emergency a little first aid knowledge and immediate action can save lives, especially in remote locations
This course is designed to provide a working knowledge of first aid for people using small craft and to support skippers.  It fulfils the requirements for professional skippers of small craft working within 60 miles of a safe haven, including Boatmasters, and the Senior First Aid Certificate needed by offshore racers subject to ISAF regulations on first aid training.  The course is recommended by the MCA and HSE.
Course Content:  Includes subjects specific to boating such as the recovery position in a confined space, CPR including the drowning protocol, cold shock and hypothermia from immersion and/or exposure, seasickness and dehydration, medical assistance or advice by VHF, helicopter rescue

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