RYA Motor Cruising Courses in the Algarve — Portugal

28 Апр 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Cranchi 33 Endurance

The Iberian Sea School

RYA Motor Cruising Courses in the Algarve — Portugal

The Iberian Sea School is an RYA Motor Cruising School to see the school’s certificate of recognition click here

Please scroll down towards the bottom of the page to see dates of courses

Each motor cruiser has a unique personality and each merits sympathetic operation. Even the most talented skippers find their boat handling improves with better technique.

It is amazing the number of owners and skippers stuck on their own in marinas because nobody wants to go to sea with them any more. My goal is to help you to become that marvellous thing, a capable and personable skipper, who manoeuvres a motor cruiser with ease and panache, utterly reliable in a crisis and a pleasure to be at sea with at all times.

I not only offer all the official courses in the Royal Yachting Association syllabus (shown below) but also Marina boat handling is a particular specialty. In just a day, I can transform your ability from ‘just average’ to ‘deeply impressive’. I thoroughly enjoy this work. It is very satisfying to see my clients now able to handle their own boat with confidence and style — in what previously was a difficult berthing situation.

My function is to guide owners and skippers into understanding what is important and what is not. Motor Cruising is fun and it is all about ‘style’ and ‘panache’. But without proper training a motor cruiser or power boat in the wrong hands can be extremely dangerous, much of my training is about safety as well as driving the boat effectively in a marina and at speed out at sea.

The Iberian Sea School offers all the RYA tidal Practical Motor Cruising Courses for which RYA Course Completion certificates will be issued. Courses can take place either in your own boat or in a boat supplied by The Iberian Sea school as shown below.

Day Skipper in your boat The first day of a 5 day course will be spent studying traditional navigation learning how to use a Raymarine GPS Chart Plotter in my classroom near Vilamoura. The next four days will be spent using your motor cruiser practising marina boat handling, high speed navigation exercises at sea visiting a different marina or harbour everyday. I have a maximum of 4 people on these courses.  If you have done an RYA theory course in the last 3 years, you will only need to do the 4 practical days.

Day Skipper using Celtic Dream  — The Iberian Sea School’s Cranchi Zaffiro 34 based at Albufeira Marina.  The first day of a five day course is spent in the school’s classroom at Olhos de Agua near Vilamoura learning about traditional navigation and how to use a Raymarine GPS chart plotter. The next four practical days involve marina boat handling exercises Albufeira and Portimão Marinas, and high speed navigational exercises visiting various other harbours and marinas along the coast. I have a maximum of 4 people on these courses. To the right you will see a slide show of four clients enjoying a Day Skipper Motor Cruising course with me in November 2011 and another in August 2012.

If you have done an RYA theory course at any time over the last 3 years, then you will only need to do the four practical days of this 5 day Day Skipper course.

To read a full length article about The Iberian Sea School’s Day Skipper courses click here

Coastal Skipper can be taken either in your boat or in Celtic Dream the school’s Cranchi Zaffiro 34.   It is assumed that clients will have completed the RYA shorebased Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore theory course.  The course will be over a total of 5 days and will involve marina boat handling exercises and navigation at sea making coastal passages visiting a different harbour or marina every day.

Lunch when using a school boat will be provided by the school everyday in a restaurant (except one when we have filled baguettes provided by a restaurant in Albufeira Marina). One of the photographs in the slide show above is of 5 of us having lunch at a restaurant in Alvor during a course in November 2011 and another having lunch at a restaurant during a course in August 2012.

Where will you go on your Motor Cruising Course? — The RYA encourage schools to go on a proper cruise on courses, if you are doing your Motor Cruising course with me in the Algarve it could not be a better place to do exactly that. For more information on cruising in the Algarve click here . and to see my article specifically on the Guadiana river by clicking here . Whilst it may not be possible to go as far as the Guadiana, we will definately go to Alvor, to read my article on Alvor click here . We will almost definately go to Ria Formosa, to read my article on Ria Formosa click here .


Helmsman’s Course: Syllabus – Types of Craft — Engines and Drives — Engine Operation and Maintainance — Safety and Seamanship — Rules of the Road — Boat Preparation and Boat Handling — Securing to a Buoy — Berthing Alongside — Man Overboard.

Day Skipper: Syllabus – Preparation for Sea – Boat Handling – Navigation — GPS – Pilotage – Passage Making – Meteorology – Rules of the Road – Engines – Emergency Situations – Night Cruising.

Coastal Skipper: Syllabus – Passage Planning – Preparation for Sea – Pilotage – Passage making and ability as Skipper – Radar – GPS — Boat Handling – Adverse Weather Conditions.

Course Duration: Helmsman’s Course 2 days, Day Skipper 5 days (unless unless an RYA theory course has been completed during the last 3 years in which case 4 days, Coastal Skipper 5 days

Traditional navigation is learnt thoroughly first, then electronic navigation later

Bob Ball navigating using tradition techniques on board his Sunseeker Manhattan

Whilst GPS has taken all the stress out of navigation, it has also taken some of the excitement and most of the feeling of achievement when making a landfall close to a planned destination as a result of traditional navigation. And, whilst our GPS equipment is extremely reliable, we are totally dependant upon the American government (they could switch the entire system off for a period). We are also reliant on our vessel’s electrical systems which in a salt water environment are notoriously fickle, and with just a small problem can leave us with no GPS.  I recently heard of a skipper of a 60 foot motor cruiser who — while cruising in the eastern Mediterranean — was unable to read his chart plotter positioned on the fly bridge because of very bright sunlight. He had no knowledge of traditional navigation, no charts or pilot books on board and despite having land on either side of him was completely lost. A telephone call to a friend in England did not help him find his position, but eventually a local naval vessel guided him to his destination.

Approximately 30 hours of a five day Day Skipper or ICC course will be spent learning and practising traditional navigation. After which if you should ever for any reason loose your GPS signal you can be certain of having the expertise required to reach your planned destination.

4 / 5 day courses on Celtic Dream

For four / five day courses I use Celtic Dream a Cranchi 34 Zaffiro based at Albufeira Marina and seen below cruising at 27 knots on a rare cloudy day off Albufeira in a calm sea in May 2012.  

I have a maximum of 4 people on Motor Cruising courses, please email me for dates of courses.

DATES FOR COURSES IN 2013. The next course on which I have a place available is  from September 2nd to 5th, there is one place available on this course.  Please email me or telephone for dates when I am available for an RYA course on your own boat.

My email address is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone me on 00 351 965800702.

Celtic Dream, can also be chartered by the half day, day or week with a skipper from Celtic Marine Lda, for more information click here .

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