As in all walks of life qualifications and certification of ability are becoming more and more a requirement of operation and insurance and to this end Seagull Trust Cruises has instituted a training and certification scheme for our boat skippers, under the auspices of the Royal Yachting Association.
Under an E. U. Directive it is now a requirement that all Seagull Trust Cruises Skippers hold a qualification approved by the Marine and Coastguard Agency. Some of the Skippers are professional ship captains and seamen, many of them holding recognised Master Mariner Certificates of Competency, however the majority are volunteers and it is to these people that formal training is provided exclusively.
Captain Gordon Daly, Chair of the Seagull Trust Cruises Boats Committee, has completed the RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman’s Instructors Course and is Principal of Seagull Trust Cruise’s own RYA Training Centre assisted by Hamish Nicoll, who is also a certificated RYA IWHC instructor.
Falkirk, Ratho and Kirkintilloch Branches are now R.Y.A. Recognised Training Centres, where Capt. Daly and Mr. Nicoll conduct the courses with the skippers using their own canal boats on their own stretches of canal. The course covers all aspects of cruising on inland waterways including boat handling, mooring, using locks, bridges etc.
All Skippers now hold their Helmsman’s Certificates or hold a higher qualification and it is our firm intention to ensure that all of the Skippers have an appropriate qualification going forward.