Competence and Self-induction

In this section:

1.           Introduction

2.           Pre-qualification

3.           Competence assessment

4.           Self-induction


1. Introduction

The purpose of our competence and self-induction process is to help you get the most out of your membership and enjoy stress free boating by ensuring that you are confident and competent to operate the boats.

The three stages of the process are:

Pre-qualification is the process of fully understanding your experience and goals to enable us to get you boating as soon as possible.

• Competence assessment is the process of checking you have the necessary knowledge and skills to fully enjoy the boats.

• Self-Induction is the process of becoming familiar with Pure Latitude procedures, the operating base details and the specific boats you want to use.

For a visual over view of the process, please see our induction and competence assessment flow chart.


2. Pre-qualification

When you join Pure Latitude, we will evaluate (via the form below and phone) your previous experience and existing skills in order to agree the best approach to get you on the water.

The qualifications you hold provide a useful indicator of proficiency, but only serve as a guide to competence because of the variation in schools, examiners and time since the qualification was obtained. Based on the prequalification, there are three possible outcomes for getting started:

Competence assessment – Experienced tidal skippers normally self-induct by reading our base and generic boat guides before looking over a boat with the relevant boat specific guide. Our instructor will then join you onboard for a competence assessment.

Training  – Members with less experience typically arrange some bespoke training which is normally focused on practicing key skills or gaining RYA qualifications prior to a competence assessment. The extent of training required will depend on both experience and goals. (Click HERE to read training overview.)

• Event day – No competence assessment or training required. Simply book an event day and go boating with a PL skipper onboard.

3. Competence Assessment

We assess competence to operate a boat via a practical and oral test. Importantly this includes boating theory, knowledge of our procedures, bases and boats and practical ability to handle the boat under power and sail (when relevant). We categorise boats into types and approve usage by type or boat category.


What we expect of a competent skipper

• Theory – All areas of the RYA day skipper syllabus should be understood plus full capability in reading charts, an almanac and tidal data. Ability to demonstrate clear logical passage planning, pilotage and risk assessment with appropriate contingency plans.

• Boat Handling – Demonstrate clear boat management, especially communication with crew for all handling requirements. e.g. confident close quarters manoeuvring and docking, strategies for adverse conditions, sail (where relevant) handling including reefing.


The assessment

The competence assessment will evaluate seamanship (navigation, boat management and boat handling skills) plus general knowledge of our procedures, base details and specific boat systems. You will need to have completed a self-induction on both the general procedures and on the specific boat you are being assessed on.

The process is relaxed and includes plenty of guidance, but the necessary skills must be demonstrated by the end of the session.

The competence assessment will result in one of the following three outcomes:

• Competent – approved to take all boats in the assessed class.

• Conditionally Competent – some conditions on usage. E.g. boat type, fair weather or range you may sail.

• Training required – in the event that competence is not demonstrated at the necessary level, we’ll work out a training plan. This will be arranged as a separate activity charged at standard training rates.


Boat classes

Importantly, competence in some boat classes will presuppose competence in other classes e.g. competence on a large sailboat implies competence on a small sailboat. See table for the classes.

Boat Class Example Boats Included Class
Sail small Oceanis 30.1, Dufour 325, Dufour 34
Sail medium Hanse 345, Hanse 348 Sail small
Sail large Dufour 375, Jeanneau 389, X37 Sail medium, Sail small
Motor single engine Antares 30 Riverboat (by agreement)
Motor twin engine Prestige 36
Powerboat small Ballistic 6.5 rib
Powerboat medium Axopar 28 Powerboat small
Riverboat Stevens 34


Booking initial competence assessment

Following the prequalification process, we’ll agree the boat(s) for competence assessment and book in a date.

We will build in around 2 hours for you to complete a self-induction on a boat in advance of the assessment and expect a minimum of an hour to cover generic procedures and a further 2 hours for an assessment on a mid-sized boat.

Once you are familiar with the generic procedures, care processes and the base specifics, further assessments on other boat types will be limited to the specific boat and are expected to be of shorter duration.


Further competence assessments

In most cases, further assessments are scheduled separately and combined with a degree of training. The assessment days on our shared event calendar are a popular route for many members, but they can also be arranged on a private 1:1 basis.



Initial competence assessments are included in your membership. Further assessments on subsequent boats are chargeable. Check our event calendar for shared training and assessment day pricing, or contact the office for 1:1 rates.


Validity period

The best way to keep your skills current is to ensure you are regularly boating. If you don’t use a boat class for over a year then we reserve the right to ask you to complete a competency assessment again.

4. Self-induction

Our self-induction process ensures you are familiar with Pure Latitude procedures, the location details for the marinas you intend to sail from and the characteristics of the specific boats you want to use.

Before taking a boat, members must sign an induction completion form confirming that they have been through the written material and completed a practical familiarisation on the relevant base/boat. This is a regulatory requirement and you cannot use a boat until you have confirmed your induction completion.

The time it takes to complete a self-induction will vary depending on experience level and existing familiarity with Pure Latitude and the boating location but allow a couple of hours for the first one.

Some elements of self-induction are generic and important to understand from the start, whilst others are boat or marina specific and need to be covered when you are self-inducting on a boat or at a marina you have not yet used.


Generic information

Sections a,b,c and d are “one time” reads, although they are useful reference points if you forget anything and there are minor updates occasionally.

a. General admin procedures – the team, who to contact and when, charges and billing, how to book and cancel, etc.

b. Getting approved – induction, competence assessment and training

c. Event and Crew match procedures – where to find events, booking, crew match

d. Generic guide to using boats – Explains all the general procedures and methods for booking, taking, using and returning boats


Boats and Marinas – All the detail on boats and marinas.

• Boat guides – all the on-board systems and any specific characteristics relevant to a boat such as sail plans, engine configurations and handling characteristics.

• Marina guides – includes marina office, keys, access, hours and parking procedures, facilities, local information including chandlery and gas, mooring and navigation guidance, orientation including local shops and restaurants.



How do I complete a self- induction?

Induction requires reading and understanding the material followed by an on-board familiarisation. Boats are available for the on-board part whenever they are not booked. Please check status and advise us if you intend to conduct an on-board familiarisation.

Boats are also reserved for this and other activities each first Wednesday of every month. Please advise if you are planning to come and which boats you are interested in as we also use these days for routine maintenance.

You will need to check on and off in the same way as when you book a boat. You must leave the boat in the condition you find it and you cannot eat or drink onboard, take any kit bags on board or run engines.


Confirmation of induction completion

Do not forget that you must sign an induction completion form confirming that you have been through the written material and completed a practical familiarisation before you take a boat.

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