Powerboat II; Storm Hannah


Somebody suggested that it would be a good idea if I did the Royal Yachting Association's Powerboat II qualification to see how a powerboat handles differently to a boat with sails and I knew that my old sailing club, Starcross Fishing and Cruising Club, ran the course so contacted them to support them as an ex-member.

Dates had been arranged months in advance but as anybody knows the weather in April can be "changeable" in this part of the world and so it was to be! Storm Hannah decided to pay the west of the United Kingdom a visit and the first day of a two day course was postpond due to high winds.

Day 1

Sunday was re-rostered as day one and I drove to Starcross, parked the car and gathered my wet weather kit as I knew the RIB was an open boat with no tea making facilities onboard, an essential part of my sailing day!

I knew the instructor Dan from my time at the club and met the other two "students" on the course, both keen yachtsmen about my age. The kettle was pressed into service and introductions completed Dan started on the theory part of the course before we headed the training RIB on the pontoon. With the matra "kill cord" in our head.

Arriving at the RIB we did all the usual checks, so far not that much different to what I do on Aphrodite. All done we hopped aboard and cast off. Dan at the helm.

Out into the moorings he demonstrated the first set of maneuvers a figure of eight round some buoys. Well that was not that difficult! The second maneuver was not so easy a figure of eight in reverse! Never done that in a sailing boat, perhaps I should do as a party trick? This I found challenging as you are going with the tide then against it.

Third challenge for the morning was holding station with a buoy another one that we had done on a sailing boat, so no problem there. This then developed to picking up a mooring buoy, something we were all well versed in.

Back to the club for lunch and some more theory before back onto the RIB for the afternoon's exercises coming alongside the pontoon.

We were all finished on the water by 1600, cleared the RIB for the day and headed back to the club to debrief and arrange a date for the second day.

Coming away from the day I could understand why RIBS are so popular, simple to use and fun.