One to One Boat Training – Individualised and Bespoke Training

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One to One Boat Training – Individualised and Bespoke Training

Is ‘one to one’ boat training for me?

Due to the current global situation, we have reduced the majority of our courses to single household bookings. This provide a fantastic opportunity if your crew is in your ‘bubble’ but what about those who boat alone?  We have the option of one to one boat training but what are the advantages and how do we address any disadvantages?

At Dorset Marine Training, we have always specialised in small group sizes on our courses. For our Powerboat Courses this is just two people and our Motor Cruiser courses four. On our classroom courses we usually limit them to between four and six. Of course, where groups want to book a full boat to benefit from economies of scale we do that too. We have always worked significantly under the maximum permitted ratios to give our clients more time learning. Quite frankly it also makes for a much nicer course for us to teach too. We know we have plenty of time to focus on the areas you need.

Over the last few months as we move between lockdowns and social distancing measures, we have reduced our course numbers further in most cases to just one household. For many couples, parents and children, crews or housemates this has been a massive benefit to them. It provides a lovely way for families and close friends to spend a few days ago. We have also seen some lovely courses between parents and adult or teenage children. It is such a lovely way to develop a relationship learning a new skill together & having lunch away from other demands on time.

For most, this has proved a great solution. But what about those who boat alone? Normally they would join another individual or group to keep costs low. This year for a few courses we were able to put individuals together on larger boats or in the larger classroom. This was with the understanding that they would need to be very respectful towards restrictions and distancing. This however does put more restrictions on how we could move around each other, cleaning routines and logistics on which tiers people were travelling from.

We have always welcomed those who wanted or needed one to one boat training and people are able to pay the two person rate to have the luxury of a one to one course. However, in the current situation we know that the one to one is not necessarily a choice but a necessity, so we have tried to help. For those who needed to visit us alone we introduced special discounts. Until April 2021 we have introduced a discount on our usual one to one training rate for Powerboat Courses. For VHF we have a min two person rate or the course can be taken online and we’ll conduct VHF assessments on a one to one basis.


Advantages of ‘One to One’ Boat Training:

  • The training can move along at your pace
  • We can tailor start and finish times to suit you
  • There is no waiting around for others to arrive
  • There is more hands-on learning time whether that is on the helm of a boat or using a VHF Radio
  • You get the undivided attention of the Instructor
  • You can ask whatever questions you like without worrying about what others may think
  • We can tailor the training to cover areas that really represent your future boating whilst still covering the syllabus.

Disadvantages and how we work to address them:

  • Crew skills –it would be easy to miss out on the understanding of what crew face. We recognise this and work hard to include these skills including discussing how different crew might react. Later boating will be much more fun if our crew are happy. If you plan to boat alone we can look at single handed skills.
  • Other perspectives – everyone brings something to a course. That might be an inquisitive mind, it might be previous experience and these (can) all add to a course. As instructors we have taught many courses over the years so have experience to draw upon. We also ‘boat’ ourselves outside of teaching so use those experiences too. We are commercial skippers, we sail, canoe and safety boat, and we own leisure boats.
  • Downtime – it can be quite intense learning one to one and it can be useful to watch other people on the helm. We are fully aware of this so ensure we demonstrate manoeuvres and break up learning to incorporate breaks where needed.
  • Cost – whilst one to one training is a necessity rather than luxury we have assisted by introducing a special offer on PB2 courses making it great value.
  • Social aspect – we can’t deny that we are lucky our clients are usually from similar backgrounds and get along well. Whilst we can’t replicate this, Dom and I have had previous careers in other fields and can generally hold a conversation!


Whether you visit us for a course on your own or with a group I hope this short article explains how we approach training. We are always happy to chat through options so please CONTACT US to chat further.

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