The RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman course (IWHC) is aimed at the novice or the boating enthusiast wishing to formalise and/or expand their knowledge. It is suitable for those with little or no previous experience of the semi-displacement and displacement craft typically used on our rivers and canals. All aspects of boat handling including safety, deckwork, locks, engine care, bridges and tunnels, collision avoidance and care of the environment are covered. The Inland Waterways Helmsman course is suitable for motor cruisers, narrowboats, widebeams or barges cruising the network of inland waterways both in the UK and abroad. Bisham Abbey Sailing and Navigation School are one of the few RYA schools able to give you a choice of craft on which to enjoy this course. We have a 22ft motor cruiser, 36ft narrowboat, 60ft widebeam or a 17m Dutch barge for you to choose from! The practical course may be taken, by arrangement, at a mutually convenient time either using one of the School's craft at our centre at Bisham near Marlow in Buckinghamshire. Alternatively one of our instructors can travel to your venue or mooring and you may undertake the course on your own boat.
RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman courses can be arranged on a one to one basis or with your regular crew and/or family on board. This is an ideal course for those taking their first holiday afloat on inland waterways in hired craft, or those thinking of purchasing their own boat or taking a few weeks 'boat-share'.
The course may also be used to obtain the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) for inland waters for citizens of the UK through the RYA (a written test on the European regulations (CEVNI) must be taken in addition to the practical course).
The IWHC course usually involves a day's training with continuous assessment, with the emphasis on safety and enjoyment but it can be taken either as a one or two day course. For students with some experience the syllabus may be able to be covered within the one day; for those with little or no experience it will probably take a further day to attain the standard required to enable us to award the certificate. If you are thinking of buying a boat or joining a 'boat-share' you may wish to take one day on one of our boats and then a further day on your own later. Whatever your requirements may be, we can help to make your boating experience both enjoyable and safe.
Take a look at the RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman course syllabus (see below) to see exactly what is covered and then get in touch to chat over your particular requirements. When we have confirmed a mutually agreeable date you can forward the completed booking form together with your cheque to secure your booking.
Richard Fairhurst a writer for Canalboat and Inland Waterways Magazine spent a day on the river with Roy May enjoying a boat handling course. Read all about his experience by clicking on the link below to find an extract from his article;