Powerboat II; The Need for Speed!

Day 2

RYA Powerboat II and the second day is the one you do the high speed maneuvering! I am not a huge fan of going fast but it had to be done.

Assembling at 0900 UTC Dan and the three course members arrived and the kettle pressed into service. The day started with a recap on the previous session and some more theory, revision really as the theory is designed for the beginner, after a briefing on what we were going to do during the day. The morning doing some pontoon and boat control work followed by lunch and then the high speed work out at sea we made another cup of coffee we headed out onto the pontoon. To perform the boat, and phone, checks before getting underway.

Checking the RIB and for some of us our phones

With all the checks done, and phones tucked safely away, we headed down the river to Exmouth Marina to do some close quarter work in amongst the pontoons and other boats.

With all three of us performing the required maneuvers to the instructors satisfaction it was back up to Starcross Fishing and Cruising Club for lunch and the last bit of theory work the all important "Man overboard" briefing. All quite different than in a sailing boat as you have the huge advantage of speed.

After lunch and several coffees he again headed down to the pontoon for the high speed work. Being a yachtsman who is quite delighted when we hit seven knots through the water this was going to be a very, very different experience.

Heading down the marked channel looking towards Berry Head

Dan, the instructor, briefed us on what we were about to do then demonstrated it. All of a sudden we were flying along at 30 knots, gripping on for dear life! I'm never happy at speed in anything this felt very, very exposed! I suspect a bit like being on a motorcycle at 30 MPH with the water very close. The other's were loving the sensation.

It came to be my turn and I gingerly opened up the throttle and off we went. WOW you need to concentrate hard with boats and pots about. Straight lines were OK but now we had to do turns. When Dan said "full lock" I took a big gulp and turned the wheel hard over. The RIB responded and round she went, just now and then you could feel the stern lose grip in the water.

At the helm

I was quite pleased when I had completed the high speed work and was able to pass the helm to another student.

The final set of exercises was "Man overboard" two techniques were taught and quite different to doing it on a sailing vessel as you could get to the casualty far faster than you could with sails or even the engine turned on.

We all satisfied Dan that were could pick up the bucket and buoy and we headed back to Starcross for the final debriefing and were delighted to hear that we had all passed, certificates issued we said our farewells and headed for home.

Overall the experience was "interesting", I did learn how to safely handle a RIB and could in the future, but think I would be happy at about 10 knots.

View from Starcross to Exmouth