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Cruising With Confidence

Cruising With Confidence

With more boats out on the water in these special times, we are seeing more people wanting to learn more about their own boats and to be able to use them without the stress of having to learn from scratch. Thanks to training courses, such as the ones offered by Karla Del Herbert-Evans of Nautical Training and Marine Services, life with a boat has become much easier and better for many.


“I can drive a race car at 240kmh. But even with loads of smaller vessel experience, I felt completely out of my depth with my big boat purchase,” shares Chris Gilmore, owner of a Riviera M430. “It was very clear from my first docking experience that I needed to learn some new skills to become more confident with close quarter manoeuvring.” So, he booked three practical training sessions with Nautical Training & Marine Services: vessel handling, familiarisation, knots, springlines and hitches, docking, anchoring and bar crossing.

“After my first session, Karla recommended I bring my crewman to learn the docking lines and practise the docking procedures with clear communication together,” says Chris. He invited his father-in-law, Lex Hopton, to join the sessions with Karla. “Lex is keen to be my wingman, know my boat and be able to confidently handle the lines to assist with docking and anchoring in the Broadwater and occasionally heading offshore.”

In the first two sessions, Chris learned the importance of understanding twin screw manoeuvring and to avoid overuse of the bow thruster. Their third session was forecast light westerly but increased upwards of 15 knots which presented a blow-off-dock scenario. Lex was keen to learn some bondage skills and knowledge of the use of spring lines, knots, and hitches. With a wicked westerly blowing them off the wharf, Lex was able to put his new springlines and docking skills to the test.


So confirms Greg Lee. “After an initial docking failure, it was an easy decision for us to invest in some quality nautical training to ensure survival of our marriage, mateship, new investment and avoid anxious boating experiences.”

Greg shares that after he and Robbie Whiteman decided to step up from jet skis, the co-owners were quite nervous about handling their Riviera M370. The three owners, Greg and Robbie (aka Crockett and Tubs), and Greg’s wife, Tania, chose to start their Nautical Training with the Chart Plotting Navigation Course, knowing the importance of learning to navigate in main deep water channels.

They booked several practical vessel handling and docking sessions thereafter. They completed the full package training: of fshore navigation, Broadwater navigation, vessel handling, familiarisation, knots, springlines and hitches, docking, anchoring and bar crossing.

The three gained the skills and knowledge to handle different approaches given prevailing conditions, and being able to use twin screw manoeuvring and understanding the use of springlines as the poor man’s bow thruster, if said thruster times out or fails.


“We are new to boating and wanted to get a general understanding of how to operate a boat in order to give us the basics before we ventured out on our own,” explain Margaret and Rodney Cornick. They own a Whittley Cruiser 2380 Outboard, with hydraulic steering and electric winch, that is perfect for the weekend getaway.

Both of them received training on trip planning, manoeuvring the boat, docking, entering and exiting a lock, anchoring and navigating the Broadwater. They were able to overcome the challenges that the couple were facing, including getting the vessel on a plane, and being able to dock the boat with Margaret’s support. Rodney simply puts it at, “The training was educational for both myself and Margaret. The sessions were informative, and relaxed.”

While Margaret and Rodney enjoy their modern cruiser, Cheney and April Bromilow are happy to learn more about their Cuddles 30 Cruiser, navigating Jacobs Well, Southern Moreton Bay and Broadwater. “We certainly got our money’s worth. Karla was prompt, patient, hands-on, giving us clear instructions and much more. It was an optimum day of learning. Regardless of our boat’s age and design, Karla tackled its operation with zest. At the end of the day, we were left feeling we could start our new adventures with confidence. Far from the nerves that began in the morning.

Without doubt, additional training and professional advice enhance the boating experience whether you are a novice or a veteran boatie. Nautical Training offers advanced vessel handling and boat familiarisation to further your understanding of larger vessel operations, twin screw manoeuvring, and confidence building in navigational skills and knowledge of our busy waterways, and extended passage trip planning.

As the premiere trainer for various organisations, Nautical Training are an industry-recognised name in boat licensing, offering comprehensive one-on-one and group training and licensing services for clients on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and throughout Southeast Queensland. Instructor Karla Del Herbert-Evans can tailor the training specific to your level of experience with a theory and practical component for each session.



Published in print July-September 2021