Own Boat Tuition / ICC Test

Personalised coaching on your own boat

for you & your crew

hanking on the jib sail during own boat tuition on Derwent Water

Have questions about how to do things on your own yacht? Book a day of bespoke tuition with Yachtmaster Instructor John Parlane - the North West expert! 

You can choose the topics. It could be developing your sailing skills, parking your yacht or perhaps using John's depth of knowledge and background in engineering to help solve other issues on your boat.

The RYA courses teach you how to sail but it's a new learning curve for a Day Skipper when they buy their own yacht! 

A day on Derwent Water

We first met Martin on his Level 3 sailing course. Shortly after, he purchased a nearly new Viko 21 keelboat. He asked John to spend a day on the boat to check everything was set up correctly. The jobs list was pretty extensive! We started on the jib, making it furl away properly. Then we showed Martin how to adjust the mast and rig. He also wanted to control the kicker from the cockpit, so we sorted that and fit a backstay tensioner as well.

These Polish built boats combine a very sporty rig with a high level of comfort down below in the cabin. I must admit, we were impressed. There wasn't much wind that day so it made sense to crack on with all the jobs. But we did manage a little sail at the end. All in all, a great day and a very happy customer.

Call John on 07721 891615 to book some tailor-made help on your own boat. 

Fee: £350 per day for North West area. Contact John for further afield. 

Round the Mull

Bob had harboured a dream to sail round the Mull of Kintyre for many years. Knowing it's reputation as a 'fearsome passage,' he asked John to help. His crew cancelled the night before but luckily Deirdre was free to help out.

Bob and John celebrate rounding the Mull with a glass of whisky

We joined Bob on his yacht in Ardrossan during a week of fresh to strong west or north westerly winds. Going round the Mull with wind against tide is not recommended. The solution was to go the other way. If we took the Crinan Canal out of the Clyde we could round the Mull with a fair wind behind us -  a much better plan.

The first leg was to Tarbert, then an early start up to Ardrishaig & into the canal. Bob's intention was to reach the Crinan basin that evening. He'd booked a table for dinner! It can work well sharing the locking with other boats, but not this time. There was no 'sharing' and the other boat's skipper & crew hadn't a clue. But we got there in time and had a great meal in the famous hotel. The next evening saw us in Islay's main harbour. It would be another early start to catch the turn of the tide to sweep us round the corner to Campbelltown.

Initially progress was slow, but as we left the shelter of the island the wind picked up and we were soon doing 7 knots. The lighthouse on the Mull is small and low down, unusually difficult to spot from a distance. It's actually a small tower on the roof of a single story building. Travelling fast in calm seas, we soon reached Campbelltown and admired Bob's masterful berthing into a very tight space.

Fell Foot Sailing Club

looking at how the midships spring rope is attached

Keelboat owners at the popular Windermere sailing club were keen to improve their boat handling skills. Sharing the cost of a day's tuition with John made it an inexpensive and hugely beneficial day for all.

We started by asking them what skills they wanted to improve and quickly narrowed it down to short handed berthing on the jetties and anchoring. After a short theory session on using a midships spring, they were keen to get out on the water to practise this method.

After lunch, we focused on anchoring & sailed across the lake to a suitably sheltered bay to practise the techniques we'd just discussed. Allowing enough scope to make sure the 'hook' didn't drag and watching a transit across the beam to check were key steps in the process. At the end of the day we said goodbye to a happy bunch of sailors who'd all improved their skills in two really useful areas.

Things you can do with John

Here's a list of possible topics for the day but there are numerous other skill sets we can help to improve too.

  • How to adjust the rig tension
  • Are the sails on correctly & working efficiently?
  • Want to practise Man Overboard?
  • Special sessions on parking your boat in the marina
  • Want to check you're doing everything right?
  • Relaxed & fun coaching for the family
  • Passage planning from your marina
  • General boating advice & seamanship skills
  • Using Radar on your boat
  • Diesel engine checks

ICC Test

You can also do your 1-day International Certificate of Competence (ICC) test with John but it will have to be on your own boat or a suitable one you have access to.

Read what others say about John on TripAdvisor.  John's qualifications.