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Coastguard Boating Education Boatmaster Certificate

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This certificate course is New Zealand's premier recreational boating programme. To be eligible for the assessment candidates must be at least 15 years of age. To obtain the full qualification candidates must have completed at least 100 hours of boating experience.

The course is a comprehensive, general boating programme designed to be of 30 hours duration. It is available as evening classes, daytime block courses, and as a course over three weekends. It is designed for people who have previous boating experience; it is generally regarded as a first step for experienced pleasure boating crews and skippers, who want to progress further through the Royal New Zealand Coastguard certificate scheme.


1. International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at sea:
1.1 A knowledge of : Avoidance of collisions by day and night. Clear weather rules including sound signals. Recognition of lights and shapes on the various classes of vessels. Fog Signals. Precautions and actions in poor visibility.

2. Buoys and Beacons. 2.1 Recognition of he colours, shapes, lights, characteristics and meanings of the New Zealand system of buoyage.

3. Lifesaving:
3.1 Use and care of the equipment suited to the various types of pleasure craft.

4. Firefighting: 4.1 The causes and prevention of fire and the use of the suitable equipment to control it.

5. Distress:
5.1. Recognition of all the distress signals.
5.2 Recognition of the alphabetical code flags A C N V and their meanings.
5.3 The correct Mayday Procedure.
5.4 Knowledge of "Panpan" and "Securite" radio telephone procedures.

6. Equipment:
6.1 Equipment that should be carried on any boat including correct use and stowage.

7. Chartwork and publications:
7.1 Latitude, longitude, courses, bearings and distance, position fixing.
7.2 A simple knowledge of the use of charts, including symbols and abbreviations.
7.3 Information contained in the Marine Notices (Boat Notes) and in the New Zealand Nautical Almanac.

8. Compass:
8.1 How it works, care and maintenance, how to steer a course, use of transits and clearing bearings.

9. Tides:
9.1 Finding high and low water at main and secondary ports. Spring and neap tides; finding the direction and rate at a charted tidal reference point.

10. Boat Handling:
10.1 Management in rough seas, surf, crossing bars.
10.2 Principles of boat handling - steerage, manoeuvring, berthing. Launching and retrieving boats, effects of tide and wind.
10.3 Jet boat handling (as appropriate).
10.4 Stability.
10.5 Anchors and anchoring.

11. Regulations:
11.1 Water Recreation Regulations.
11.2 General Harbour Regulations.

12. Weather:
12.1 Sources of forecasting information. Interpretation of weather map and local effects. Understanding of New Zealand weather patterns.

13. Accidents:
13.1 Collision, stranding, man-over-board, fire, breakdowns, heaving to, leaks, towing. Responsibilities of the skipper. Hypothermia.

14. Search and Rescue organisation:
14.1 A knowledge of its operation.

15. Ropes:
15.1 Rigging, bends and hitches - e.g. sheet bend, fisherman's bend, round turn and two half hitches, bowline and clove hitch.

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