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 enjoyment out of your membership and enjoy stress free boating.

Three key components that ensure that you are confident and competent in operating the boats are:

Competence assessment is the process of ensuring you have the necessary experience and skills to fully enjoy the boats.

Self-Induction is the process of becoming familiar with Pure Latitude procedures, the location details for the bases you intend to sail from and the characteristics of the specific boats you want to use.

Training is the process of acquiring new skills and knowledge.

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


2. Pre-qualification

When you first join Pure Latitude, our chief instructor will evaluate (via email 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 discussion, there are three possible outcomes for getting started:

Competence assessment – Experienced boaters normally self-induct by reading our base and generic boat guides before looking over a boat using the relevant boat specific guide as a reference point. Our instructor will then join you onboard for a competence assessment on the boat types you wish to use.

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 volume of training required is of course commensurate with experience. (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. Starting with an event day will not include an introduction to key club processes.

3. Competency Assessment

We assess your competence to operate a boat via a practical and oral test of your knowledge of our procedures, bases and boats and 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 navigation, boat management and boat handling skills plus knowledge of Pure Latitude procedures, location details and boat specific systems.

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

The outcome of the competency assessment will result in one of the following three possibilities:

• 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 unlikely 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 Dufour 325, Dufour 34
Sail medium Hanse 345, Hanse 348 Sail small
Sail large Dufour 375, Jeanneau 389, X37
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 competency assessment

Your initial club competency assessment is booked via the office following the prequalification process and we will reserve the boat and instructor. Subsequent assessments typically happen on the front of a booking or as part of a visit to complete a series of induction/ assessments. We also hold all boats every first Wednesday of every month and inductions and competency assessments can be completed on these days. Allow 1.5 hours for a mid-sized boat.



Initial assessments are included in your membership. Further assessments on subsequent boats are chargeable. View the rates section of the member hub HERE.


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 bases you intend to sail from and the characteristics of the specific boats you want to use.

The time it takes to complete a self-induction will vary depending on the member experience level and indeed familiarity with Pure Latitude and the boating location.

Some elements of self-induction are generic and important to understand from the start, whilst others are boat or base specific and need to be covered when you are self-inducting on a boat and/or base 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


Base and boat procedures and details

All the detail on our bases, boats and how to use them.

Base guides – one for each base only requires reading once, includes marina office, keys, access and parking procedure, facilities and hours, local information including chandlery and gas, mooring and navigation guidance, orientation including marina, local shops, restaurants, river/open water, shipping.

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


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 every first Wednesday of every month. Please tell us you are planning to come and which boats you are interested in as we sometimes 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

Before being able to use 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 should not use a boat until you have confirmed your induction completion.

Return to member information hub