IOM Boat Training

Just like the name gives away the Isle of Man is an island, surrounded by the sea and with a long maritime tradition. You don’t have to look far to find somebody you know that will have at some point owned or currently owns a boat, our harbours are rammed with them! On the other hand do you know anybody that has ever had any formal boat training? You wouldn’t jump in a car and expect to be just let loose on the roads but when it comes to boats and the sea it’s a whole different ball game, however no matter how experienced you are IOM boat training could be for you?

IOM Boat Training First Hand Experience

IOM Boat Training - RYA Courses On The Isle of ManI can speak from first hand experience with this, I have been around boats and marine craft for as long as I can remember. At 5 years old I was out fishing from my dads rowing boat, at age 7 my family was one of the first on island to invest in kayaks (none of this fancy light weight sit on stuff, 2 old fashioned fibre glass sit ins), at age 13 I was taking out the family 20ft inboard boat on my own. I can count the number of years out of my 40+ where I’ve not owned or had access to a boat on a few fingers. And yet I’ve still recently gone down the route of getting in some formal boat training in the form of a RYA Powerboat Level 2 qualification and I can honestly say it was a brilliant 2 days and absolutely worth the time, little bit of money and effort. I know on the Isle of Man there are hundreds of people like me not to mention the people buying boats, thinking of buying a boat each year that are totally new to the whole boating scene. So why is boat training so important, especially on the Isle of Man?

Do I Need A License To Own A Boat On The Isle of Man?

For a start there are no formal requirements to owning and operating a pleasure craft on the Isle of Man, got the money? Crack on. However, operating safely is a whole different ball game. The number of people I see on a regular basis struggling to launch or berth their boats is unreal, the stress and anxiety it causes them is very real. Why go through all that when a tiny bit of formal boat handling training can give you best practise and at least let you know in your own mind you’re doing things right. Sometimes things don’t go perfect but at least with the training you’ve got the peace of mind of knowing you did all that you could. You also never know what small tips you might pick up along the way.  And that’s just the slow speed handling, on top of that you can learn about emergency procedures, travelling at speed, the various types of flare, navigation and so much more.  I know to a lot of people you may take some of this for granted but I’m sure like me you’ll be surprised at how much extra you pick up over a full 2 days of training, the vast majority of which is spent on the water.

Do I need to be experienced to do boat training?  Absolutely not.  When I did my RYA Powerboat 2 I was on the course with 2 other people, both of which had never owned or operated a powerboat before.  In terms of experience they both went from nothing, having to be shown how to fit a kill cord at the beginning of day 1, to safely and calmly manoeuvring a 7 meter boat in a confined area and berthing in testing (force 4) winds without issue on day 2.  They both passed having come from nowhere, a testament to the teacher.  The high speed passage to Castletown was a lot of fun and I know they both enjoyed the whole experience immensely.  A large part of this was to do with the student/teacher ratio, where I trained being 3 students maximum to a teacher so each and every person got loads of time at the helm under instruction, quickly building a level of confidence to allow them to relax.

What Levels Of Boat Training Are Available On The Isle of Man?

I did my RYA Powerboat Level 2, but there are other options available.  You can do a cheaper one day RYA Powerboat Level 1 course if you think that 2 days might be a bit much for you (I didn’t, I love being on a boat and the 2 days were brilliant).  From those you can look towards doing the RYA Intermediate and Advanced Powerboat courses, both of which involve more passage planning and navigation but still with plenty of time on the water, including gaining experience in rougher waters and emergency situations.  It really entirely depends on your situation.  For me the majority of my boating time has and will always involve fishing.  I thought Level 2 was about the right level for me and it also comes with the added bonus of being convertible in to an International Certificate Of Competence (ICC) which allows you to rent powerboats up to 10 meters whilst abroad.  This opens up a whole new world when on holiday and you’re looking to take something out to wet a line for the day!

Where Is The Best Place To Do Your IOM Boat Training?

There are a number of operators on the island who offer boat training.  For starters there is the Venture Centre, 7th Wave and the Isle of Man Yacht Club.  However I went with Chill Marine operated by Chris Hill out of Port St Mary.  Why?  A couple of reasons really.  Chris offered the most flexibility in terms of the dates available, he runs courses on a regular basis not only over a weekend but also during the week.  There is also the fact that there is a maximum limit of 3 students per boat.  This was enormous to me because if I was spending 2 days at sea I wanted as much time at the helm as possible.  There was also the fact that all seats were forward facing making it so much easier to follow along when not in the hot seat, there is nothing wrong with sitting on the tubes of a rib when pleasure boating but when I was there to learn I wanted to be able to see where we were going, hear and learn as much as possible.  I know the 2 other people on the course felt very much the same as me.  They learnt just as much when I was at the controls as when they were and vice versa.

Just bought a boat? Had a boat for years but never had any training? Looking to expand your boating knowledge and feel more comfortable on the water?  Fed up of people laughing at you when you try to berth???  I’d highly recommend getting in touch with Chill Marine for availability and prices.  Being on the Isle of Man, boat training was not something I’d thought about but now I’ve done it I’d say it would benefit anybody interested in boating around our amazing waters.  You can find the Chill Marine website by following the link or alternatively Chris can be contacted on 07624 221000

Visit Chill Marine – IOM Boat Training Website



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