The new course, which has been created in conjunction with the (PYA) comes after numerous concerns from captains, PYA council members and training providers that the default expected tender course for crew is currently Powerboat Level 2 (PB 2), which does not provide the training necessary for tender driving concerning superyachts.
The new course involves a number of practical elements: pilotage and passage planning for day and night, towing of toys, embarking and disembarking passengers, docking situations and anchoring; as well as a number of theoretical elements including launch and recovery, propulsion systems, passenger safety and comfort, passenger management and vessel-specific equipment familiarisation. The theory element, Falk added, would only amount to a few hours in a classroom; "The rest," he said, "is on the water." The course will take two days and be available to people of 17 years old and above, and candidates must already hold a PB 2 certificate.
The course, Falk noted, is not a replacement for PB 2, but a step up. The RYA advises crew get their PB 2, build up their confidence and get some handling experience, and then take the new Tender Operators course. "The hope is that this becomes the default qualification for operating tenders on superaychts," said Falk.
Falk closed by revealing to the audience that in November, during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the RYA will unveil the voluntary "Code of Practice for Water Sports on board Superyachts".