Reviews by students who have completed the course.
A very user friendly method of preparing for the skippers exam.
Great course. Well prepared.
Very helpfull course.I have a problem that the course material differs from those of SAMSA and SA Small Craft Association (SA Small Craft Boatmanship) and/or is not complete enough in the following ways:The course material contains about 80% of the other course material mentioned which is okay.Lesson 3: Fire extinguisher - must be mounted horizontally (?) Why and not upright? - must be near the motor (?) Why? If a fire starts at motor you will not be able to reach it.Lesson 4: Nowhere does it tells you to warm up the motors before departure or launching! This is vital!It does not tell you to ensure there's water on the boat.The part in "Launching the Vessel" is confusing. Most of the actions here should be done prior to launching like couple the fuel line, drain plug in place, etc. The separation between pre launch checklist and launching the vessel must be combined.Lesson 7: Nowhere is the capsize bottle or alternative steering mentioned. The pre voyage procedures are also incomplete to that of lesson 4. So is the pre launch check list. All this is just confusing. It seems as if one is going out to sea one requires less checks than an inland check. No mention is made about flares that should be in the capsize bottle. I dont understand why the capsize rope must be in the bottle and not tide to the boat... once in the water one will have difficulty to tie the rope.Please take note that these lessons are not enough when writing the theory as the examiner in Port Elizabeth has other material and the one in Jeffreys Bay completely other material from which he requires you to learn for the theory.Otherwise a good learning aid.
Thank you for your feedback – we always appreciate it as it puts us in a position to improve the course.
Lesson 3: Fire extinguisher - must be mounted horizontally?
Depending upon how long your fire extinguisher is left sitting, the chemical powder responsible for putting out fires can become compacted at the bottom of the container. When it’s time to use the extinguisher, you will likely experience the fire extinguisher discharging propellant, and not extinguishing agent straight away. Storing an extinguisher horizontally can remedy this by ensuring the chemical powder does not settle at the very bottom of the container.
This is not a rule but highly recommended by the South African Deep Sea Angling Association (SADSAA) in their manual as compiled by Stan Walter.
The Fire extinguisher must be near the motor
We agree – this might be confusing. The “near the motor” does not mean next to the engine. What it means is that the likely place where a fire can start will be at the engine and it is therefore not recommended to store it in the bow. We will change this to “easily accessible and not too far from the engine.”
Lesson 4: Nowhere does it tells you to warm up the motors before departure or launching!
We state in lesson 2 (Engine Care): "Beware not to over rev a cold engine. The warm-up levers should not be more than one third open and the throttle about 1500 R.P.M. on starting. Run engines at this speed for about five minutes to ensure they are properly warmed up."
We will add this as a check after launching the boat.
It does not tell you to ensure there's water on the boat.
We cover the water on-board in Lesson 7. We have added it to the checks in lesson 4.
The part in "Launching the Vessel" is confusing.
The pre-launch checks is divided into 3 sections: 1 – before you leave for your destination 2 - before you launch your boat and 3 – when you launch the boat. The reason why 2 and 3 is not combined is that some skippers get their boats ready to launch in the slipway and then only start their checks. Very frustrating for other boaters, especially if the skipper then realized he forgot something and need to go and get it.
Lesson 7: Nowhere is the capsize bottle or alternative steering mentioned.
The part of the capsize bottle is in lesson 7 – just under the section OPERATING THROUGH A LAGOON OR RIVER MOUTH
We cover all the safety equipment which has to be on-board in lesson 3 – alternative steering is covered there. In the sea going lesson we only cover the additional equipment, as we mention in the lesson, which one will need to get a sea certificate of competence for the sea.
Just a note: - You say that we do not mention the capsize bottle but then mention a few lines further “I dont understand why the capsize rope must be in the bottle and not tide to the boat..."
The online course covers the SAMSA syllabus and a bit more for category R and E. The navigation section covers material up to category C. Prospective students need not to worry – we explain which parts are important and that the others are “good to know”!
Most skipper manuals cover learning material up to category B and students find it confusing (and frightening!) when they try to prepare for the course by going through the manuals. We, for instance, will not give our one day students a manual beforehand as only half of the information is valid for ‘R’ and ‘E’.
We asked all our affiliated examiners to go through the online course material and give feedback before they join us. We can therefore only think that you refer to examiners not affiliated to us and did not go through our lessons.
Our online students are doing well in the final exam - now more than 800. We had lots of feedback from our examiners in the initial stages on areas they felt we could improve and expand on. It is an ongoing project and we therefore appreciate it when we get constructive feedback and comments from our students.
Thank you again!
Great course. It is easy to follow. It is understandable.