IWHC Syllabus

THE INLAND WATERWAYS HELMSMAN’S COURSE SYLLABUS

DECKWORK

  • Common nautical terms
  • Handling warps and fenders
  • Throwing a heaving line or coiled rope
  • Knots: Tee stud hitch, Boatman’s hitch and Bowline
  • Securing to bollards, rings, cleats and mooring stakes
  • Anchor work

HELMSMANSHIP & BOAT HANDLING

  • Loading and weight distribution
  • Steering in a river or canal
  • Control of speed
  • Inter-action and canal effect
  • Turning
  • Berthing and unberthing alongside and between buoys/piles
  • Recovery of man overboard
  • Anchoring

PERSONAL SAFETY

  • Identification of risks including cold shock
  • Use of lifejackets and buoyancy aids
  • Avoidance of personal injury, including crushing of limbs when fending off
  • Special risk to children

ENGINES

  • Engine care. Checks to be carried out before starting and whilst running
  • Routine periodic checks

BOAT SAFETY

  • Fire hazards, particularly gas and petrol
  • Use of fire extinguishers
  • Watertight integrity
  • Re-floating after grounding

LOCKS

  • General understanding of maintenance of levels
  • Operation of locks
  • Tending lines in locks

BRIDGES & TUNNELS

  • General understanding of operation of bridges and use of tunnels

COLLISON AVOIDANCE

  • Steering and sailing rules of international regulations for preventing collisions
  • Bye-laws and local regulations including traffic signals, signs and priorities
  • Awareness of other national and local regulations
  • Publications to be carried

CARE OF THE ENVIRONMENT

  • Avoiding damage to boats, banks, flora and fauna
  • Pollution avoidance
  • Consideration of other water users

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