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When I did my vhf course 15 years ago I have to say it wasn't great. It was Coastguard.

They taught the theory but buggerall on practicality. The tutors were/are volunteers but not necessarily great teachers - but they're volunteers - so big ups to them!

I learnt more from a seasoned sailor afterwards (in 1/2 an hour in the cockpit of his boat as opposed to 3? nights course) than I did on the course.

 

Having said that, I'm a huge supporter of Coastguard and I hope/think their courses have improved since then.

I've done 3 Coastguard courses - and my belief is they need to get good teachers teaching the courses, as opposed to just knowledgeable teachers.

The ability to teach, to get the knowledge across, shouldn't be underestimated.

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The best way to learn radio protocol is to listen to the professionals. Keep your vhf on dual/triple watch on ch16 and a couple of the port operations working channels eg 12 / 13. And if you hear 2 ships or commercial traffic calling on ch16 switch with them to the working channel and listen. It will help your learn the lingo by infusion and when you come to do the course (or use the vhf for yourself) you’ll be more confident.

Do not listen to the trip report working channels Eg 60/64 - it will teach you bad habits and drive you nuts.

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  • 4 weeks later...

A lot of schools run night school classes on VHF.

Or you could try your local Aero club. Aircraft also use the same VHF (on generally different frequencies) and to be frank aircraft trainers do a FAR better job than anything marine I've ever done or seen.

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On 19/06/2020 at 9:09 AM, Terry B said:

When I did my vhf course 15 years ago I have to say it wasn't great. It was Coastguard.

They taught the theory but buggerall on practicality. The tutors were/are volunteers but not necessarily great teachers - but they're volunteers - so big ups to them!

I learnt more from a seasoned sailor afterwards (in 1/2 an hour in the cockpit of his boat as opposed to 3? nights course) than I did on the course.

 

Having said that, I'm a huge supporter of Coastguard and I hope/think their courses have improved since then.

I've done 3 Coastguard courses - and my belief is they need to get good teachers teaching the courses, as opposed to just knowledgeable teachers.

The ability to teach, to get the knowledge across, shouldn't be underestimated.

This ^^^  x100

There's a huge difference between being good and knowledgable and being able to teach. 

Or even worse examine someone's knowledge. 

Example. What's the difference in the meaning of the following two statements?

1. "A vessel viewed from its port side."

2 "A vessel, of any size, viewed from its port side."

3. "A vessel, with or without grandmothers, viewed from its port side."

...

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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