We had 6 students this weekend all looking to master the art of driving one of our 6.5m Powerboats at both high and slow speeds, and learning the skills required to be a good and safe skipper. Students started in the classroom with an introduction to personal and vessel safety equipment -an opportunity to see our wide range of clothing from simple spray suits, flotation suits and dry suits, to examine a life jacket and safely practice with our dummy flares and EPIRBS. Once buoyage and rules of the road had been mastered it was off to the Marina to start our boat checks and learn how to safely tie and untie a boat. With the instructors demonstrating each of the slow speed manouevres each student had plenty of practice to get the hang of bringing the boat safely alongside a pontoon, picking up a mooring buoy and, the most difficult activity of the day, turning the boat in a confined space. Day 1 ended with us returning to the classroom for a quick introduction to weather as part of our planning for Day 2. Sunday dawned bright and sunny and after a quick introduction to chart work, navigation and tides we set off for the boats. On day 2 our students conduct the boat check themselves putting into practice their new found skills before taking us into the lock at Portishead Quays Marina. With the second highest tidal range in the world the Bristol Channel is a notorious piece of water not for the faint hearted – an ideal challenge to test if our students passage plans were accurate! Once out in the channel our instructors demonstrated the art of high speed handling – keeping the boat safely on the plane whilst putting it through controlled turns and starts and stops. Putting the passage plans into practice the students found the entrance to the River Avon, transited up under the M5 motorway bridge to grab a quick lunch on a mooring buoy. Once all of the basic skills had been mastered it was on to Man Over Board recoveries (thankfully only Bob the mannequin ends up in the water!) and learning to stem the tide off one of the lateral channel markers (a difficult feat with a 3-4 knots tide running). With a final slow speed handling session in the confines of the marina the students undertook their final checks to ensure that they had met the required standards. Success for all of our students this weekend who all went away happily with some great new skills, experiences and friendships and of course, most importantly, their Level 2 Powerboat Certificates. So a big well done to all of this weekend’s students – we hope that you safely continue your boating adventures wherever they may take you. If you would like to join one of our RYA Powerboat Level 2 courses then click HERE for more details.