It is an essential element to being safe, in control and to get the best out of being afloat. Complete a competence based training course designed for the type of water based activity you want to enjoy.
Remember, it may not only be yourself you need to be responsible for!
Most of us feel handling a little rowing boat doesn't need tuition even if we are aware that a shallow lake can be dangerous. The safety conscious individual will make sure everyone is wearing a lifesaver and ensures someone ashore knows when they departed, where they are heading for and when they expect to get back. The fact that a couple of oars flapping around taking us in nearly always the wrong direction, because we don't know when to pull, push or whatever, is not a problem. For many, pride will stand in the way of a completing a course on rowing, I mean! How difficult can it be?
But it's a different story if you strap on an engine, carry many passengers, start heading away from shore where people become the size of ants or land disappears altogether.
From windsurfing to skippering a super yacht and from power boating to sailing and rowing, the resources for becoming competent in your chosen aqueous pastime are all here in this guide.
The RYA have set out a range of set-curriculum shore-based theory and practical courses afloat (mainly on RYA Sea School boats) through their Sea Schools. Many boat training companies will use the RYA curriculum as a foundation for their own tailor-made courses designed to meet the needs and level of experience suited to enrolling candidates. Navigational skills by day and night are also covered as well as seafaring rules regulations and general etiquette of the waves.
Advanced courses for the experienced sea dog with rescue training, navigation and GPS reading at high speed day and night are just a taste of the professionally run tuition available.
Many boat or yacht owners may be restricting their enjoyment by limiting their passages to the harbour or just keeping to the shore line. Give yourself the competence and confidence of sailing further than you may have dared, possibly into international waters, by taking a suitable course in boat training.