Chief Instructor: Don Gunton, Ocean Yachtmaster™ & RYA Yachtmaster™ Instructor
Mobile 0775 460 4092 Phone 0191 281 2018
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Based on the Tyne, Yachtmaster™ and RYA Instructor Melvyn Wallhead provides RYA Practical and Theory Courses locally.
'Day Skipper' and 'Coastal/Yachtmaster™ Offshore' are popular tickets and can be studied in a warm, comfortable and level (!) room of a recently built Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne (NE6 5HN). Classes are small, maximum size 8, ensuring individual attention.
The emphasis is on fun with interactive learning, using some of the equipment you will be faced with when onboard a sailing yacht.
Practical Courses and Short Trips involve a mixture of learning and fun, to enjoy the summer and the scenery. They start from Royal Quays marina in North Shields, which has 24 hour access to the river Tyne, close to its mouth into the sea.
I have a quality 11 metre Hallberg Rassy yacht and will be pleased to have you onboard as crew (or as aspiring skippers!) Try Hallberg Rassy and search for HR36
Royal Yachting Association Online Course
Essential Navigation & Seamanship
Do this at home or anywhere you have access to the web. Ideal for those without the time to spare for a class or private tuition.
This is an introduction to navigation and is done through RYA Interactive, where you can take the Course which is split into modules and work through these at your own speed. You can practise the more complex before having your online test. It is estimated that about 6 to 10 hours of online study are involved. 'Now that I have completed Day Skipper, I would certainly recommend the online course, which provided a good grounding for me, without this, I would have found Day Skipper extremely challenging' - Darren
Find out more through RYA Interactive and apply through myself to participate. RYA Interactive
Cost £95 plus RYA Course package (£26) and postage, if any. (still available in sessions or tailored tuition) RYA video
Royal Yachting Association Theory Courses
These are usually held at the 2009 built HBC Life Centre, Heaton Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 5HN (54°58'50.05N, 01°34'53.14W) which provides comfortable surroundings, on the level, and makes chartwork a lot easier!
Shore Based Courses take place Evenings, Saturdays and Weekdays with a mixture according to the aspiring sailors' commitments and include a visit to see the sailing yacht in Royal Quays.
RYA Day Skipper Theory
Traditionally the popular place to start, leading to attaining RYA Day Skipper Practical, the key to bare boat charter.
Minimum time to be spent is 42 hours and includes a written and course assessment (no examination) before attaining the certificate. Subjects to be covered include; Nautical terms, rope work, charts, navigation, Safety Regulations to include collision avoidance, anchoring, tides, electronic navigation, weather and passage planning.
No previous experience is needed and this is for someone keen to either acquire further knowledge or becoming more committed to the whole experience. Cost £325. RYA Day Skipper Theory
'Thanks for a well run Course which I have really enjoyed' - Chris.'I found the rooms and facilities excellent.... the classroom (hands on aids) also being a great help' - Tony, 'I would highly recommend you to anyone who is seeking to learn about sailing or to gain any RYA certification' - Stuart.
Coastal/Yachtmaster™ Offshore Theory
Now we are getting more serious. Sailors will want more in depth knowledge in preparation to owning or skippering a boat, or just that they have realised, like so many before them, that there is a lot involved here and risks should be kept to an absolute minimum.
Time to be spent is 44 hours and includes a written and course assessment before attaining the certificate. Subjects to be covered include those from the Day Skipper syllabus, but much more in depth. Cost £350. Next class January 13, 15, 20, 25, 27, 29 & 30th, February 6, 8, 10, 12 & 13th RYA Coastal Yachtmaster Theory
Sailors should have already acquired knowledge up to Day Skipper standard.
'I would recommend your course to anyone' - Fiona.
Are there any Extras?
Navigation equipment is provided but extra are the RYA Pack, which includes the certificate!, and Training Almanac, total cost currently £41.
Any Gifts from Teacher?
Yes, a visit to his boat (not sailing though)
Yachtmaster™ Ocean Theory
Navigate as it used to be done, by the sun and stars. Get to handle a real sextant and find out how to locate your position out at sea, far, far away from land. Learn also how to provision a boat for a long passage and also about weather conditions you can expect. How to deal with hurricanes, heaven forbid that we shall have an opportunity to put this into practise!
The Course is available as an evening class and also intensive.
See what relevance sextant navigating can still have in today's world of the GPS. Cost £425 plus £25 RYA Pack. RYA Yachtmaster Ocean
I can't do these times and am in a hurry!
Then a Tailored Timetable with one to one tuition could be for you. Costs £525 (£850 a couple) for Day Skipper, £550 for Coastal/Yachtmaster™ and £695 for the Ocean. Available when the diary permits - 'I found the (RYA DS) course tuition excellent, delivered with the benefit of years of practical experience and backed up with many real life examples of why a good understanding of the theory is critical in practical situations.' - Simon (DS Tailored Timetable)
How do I Book?
£100 confirms the reservation with the balance due six weeks before the start of the Course. Cheque made payable to 'MSF Wallhead', or cash, to 1 Anscomb Gardens, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7BB. Bank details for direct transfer on request.
Any by myself will involve a full refund.
In the case of you withdrawing or failing to pay the balance I will try to adopt a humane attitude and find a replacement.
Royal Yachting Association Practical Courses
Enjoy a sail on a quality 11 metre sailing yacht operating out of North Shields and within easy reach of the scenic Northumberland Coast
RYA Start Yachting
A two day Course for complete beginners where you will learn about a yacht, rope work, sailing, rules of the road, man overboard recovery, clothing/equipment, emergency equipment and precautions and meteorology. RYA Start Yachting
RYA Competent Crew
A five day Course living onboard the yacht where you will become experienced in seamanship and a useful Crew member. Many and varied skills will be learnt, such as sail handling, safety, rope work, meteorology, dinghy handling and steering a boat.
No prior experience is necessary, just a willingness to learn and have a good time, in company.
The package includes full board (excluding a celebratory dinner out) and instruction from an RYA instructor.
The full five days costs £525, to include RYA Course notes and paper certificate. Alternatively, try sharing private tuition which will be during the daytime only over three days. This leads to Competent Crew equivalent, without the RYA certificate. RYA Competent Crew Cost £255 based on three sharing. Next Course April. Course Review by Jamie Farquharson
Next availability 11-14th May (Clyde), 13 - 18th June. Further dates in July/August & September
RYA Day Skipper Practical
A five day course, often with Competent Crews, living onboard the yacht, well known for its luxury and steadiness afloat. Although this is a beginners skippering Course, candidates should have practical to Competent Crew standard and Day Skipper Theory level knowledge.
You will be introduced to the problems and responsibilities of being in charge of a sailing yacht and how to cope with common difficulties. RYA Day Skipper Practical
You will learn to be able to skipper a cruising yacht safely by day in tidal waters. Subjects to be covered include boat handling, pilotage, meteorology, collision avoidance, navigation and wind awareness. Turn yourself from crew to skipper in 5 days. Next availability 27th June - 2nd July FULL. 13 - 18th June. Further dates in July/August & September
Clyde Day Skipper Practical. 11-14th May 2014. Following on from the popular 2013 Course, I am chartering a yacht locally, at Largs, for the five days. Already bookings have been received and I have only the forecabin available, for a couple/friends, at £895.
The Course will start on the evening of the first day and finish in the afternoon of the last, weather permitting, at Royal Quays, assuming no problems. You will visit other marinas in the area. - 'A life changing time for me' - Liz
'I had a great time and really enjoyed the course. Thank you so much for all your guidance and endless patience!' - Yvonne
What to Expect. You will be living onboard for the duration of the Course and will have an opportunity to learn many skills without an examination, as the certificate is awarded based on continuous assessment. Days can be long, often 9am to 9pm and some night sailing (No 9am to 5pm here!). All ages, 18 and above, are welcome.
How to Prepare. Although you need sea mileage this will be gained during your stay. A suggested minimum practical experience is Competent Crew level. Some theory will be put into practice and knowledge up to RYA Day Skipper Theory standard is recommended.
You will need suitable clothing and be prepared to have some fun on the way (or even afterwards during shoreside debriefs, before 2300)
How to Book. There are a maximum of five places onboard and the cost is £550 per person or £895 for a couple prepared to share the forecabin, which has privacy but restricted space. Cost includes RYA Course notes and new style plastic card certificate.
You will be asked to confirm your fitness for the Course, with £100 reservation and the balance six weeks before the start, as outlined in Theory above.
You need to be physically able to cope to experience the Course to the full. Whilst it may be possible to allow for some mobility limitation, there is a safety aspect to this and the skipper will have the final decision as to whether you can continue.
With your booking, please state your age, any sailing experience, and advise me of anything relevant such as limited mobility, diet or health.
RYA Coastal Skipper Practical
An advanced five day course, with or without an examination at the end. Like the Day Skipper Course from Royal Quays you will be living on board and aspire to the Coastal Skipper standard, the ability to skipper a yacht on coastal passages, day and night. You will be instructed on skippering techniques and passage planning. You will be assumed to have sailing to Day Skipper standard and navigation to Coastal/Yachtmaster™ shorebased. RYA Coastal Skipper Practical
If you are looking for the Yachtmaster™ Coastal or coveted Yachtmaster™ Offshore qualification, as this is by examination, 6 to 10 hours, an RYA Examiner can come and 'put you through your paces'. Yachtmaster
Remember you need, at the time you are to be examined;
For Yachtmaster™ Coastal - minimum of 30 days sea time, 2 days as skipper, 800 miles & 12 night hours. (if you have the above Coastal Skipper Practical Course Completion certificate the sea time is reduced to 20 days, two as skipper, 400 miles & 12 night hours)
For Yachtmaster™ Offshore - minimum of 50 days sea time, 5 days as skipper, 2,500 miles, 5 passages over 60 miles including two overnight and two as skipper.
For both examinations you will need certificates for First Aid and a VHF Radio Operator's.
Yachtmaster™ Preparation. A three day Course onboard the school boat followed by examination for Yachtmaster™ Coastal or Offshore. My Chief Instructor will guide you through this, to include a night sail, out of Royal Quays and, after three days, will be replaced by an RYA Examiner for two further, five days in all. You need to have prior competence to Coastal Skipper standard and the requisite certificates and sea miles in your log book. Cost £595. 17 - 21st May 2014. Last remaining place available.
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Other Practical Courses
Own Boat Tuition
One/Two to One RYA Course or individual sessions can be arranged on your own boat. from £150/day guide rate. Tuition has been carried out at Royal Quays, Kielder and Nice, in the Med.
International Certificate of Competence (ICC)
Although not a 'sailing passport' this certificate is often required by European countries when own boat sailing or chartering - a customer reports 'sailing with a large company four years ago in Croatia we were checked and all boats where the skipper had no ICC were impounded. The Company had to fly out an RYA Instructor to assess them before they were allowed to continue .'
For European Inland Waterways familiarity with their Code Européen des Voies de Navigation Intérieure (CEVNI) is necessary, requiring a short written test to gain endorsement for the IGG,
The ICC coastal certificate can be obtained in one of two ways;
1 Attain Day Skipper Practical
2 Have an ICC Assessment, where you will have limited tuition and are assessed on your practical and theory skills. Likely to take place over two or three days, with tuition, this could be the preference of an experienced boat owner. It could even be in the Med!
Individual quotations given, but examples of cost are; Own Boat One day assessment without tuition £225. My Boat Three days cost £525 (safety talk & tuition needed)
The ICC form on the RYA site gives full details. ICC Form
European Inland Waterways Certificate (CEVNI)
If you wish to go through the European Inland Waterways you have to demonstrate that you understand the rules of the road by completing successfully the CEVNI test (Code Européen des Voies de la Navigation Intérieure).
The RYA ICC CEVNI test is a short, multiple choice, paper which can be completed online, in two parts;
After you have passed your certificate can be printed off, which can be used to apply for an Inland Waterways endorsement to your ICC.
You can also do a practise test online at RYA Interactive
Learn to Sail
Or just brush up your skills before that sail in the Greek Isles. Tuition is on a one to one basis (or one to two), onboard the 11 metre sailing yacht based at Royal Quays marina, North Shields. Dates by mutual agreement. Cost from £160 for the day with per head discounts for extra persons.
I can match you up with others in a similar situation, dramatically reducing the cost. Tuition can lead to RYA Competent Crew standard, without the certificate, but without having to attend a five day, live aboard, course.
Trips and Treats
A present for a birthday or special occasion? Just let me know and I will try and help.
Day Trips (or Get Your Sea Legs)
No experience is necessary for these trips. The aim is to have an enjoyable sail, good companionship and learn some skills. Weekday 0930 - 1700 with non alcoholic drinks provided. Cost £50 per person. Next dates 23rd April & 8th May 2014. - 'Thought it was well organised, the content was good and well presented and personally I got a lot out of it, think the weather helped too' - Ken.
How do I book?
First confirm availability with me and then pay the full amount, online direct to my bank, or cheque made payable to 'Melvyn Wallhead' sent to 1 Anscomb Gardens, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7BB. Cash not refused either! Only when payment has been received can the booking be confirmed. Please give me your age, any sailing experience, and advise me of anything relevant such as limited mobility, diet or health.
If I have to cancel there would be a full refund.
Specialist Short Courses
Restricted (VHF only) Radio Operator's Certificate
You are required to have an Operator's licence if you own a marine radio, either fixed or hand held and this one day Course will help you gain this qualification.
During the Course you will be instructed in the basics of radio operation, frequencies, distress, Digital Selective calling and other emergency equipment. The Course will be available as an online option from January 2014.
Ofcom 'Licensing ensures that radio equipment used onboard ships does not cause undue interference to other communications and is operated by competent persons'
Breach is a criminal offence, maximum fine £5,000 and/or 6 months plus equipment confiscation (even more on trial!).
Northumbria Sailing instructs on a one person per VHF set basis, giving you a proper chance to play and learn. This is an 8 hour Course, followed by a short written test. RYA VHF Radio
Course take place over two evenings or a full day. Cost £95 per person, to include the RYA booklet, but excluding the £30 payable to the RYA who issue the licence. Full Day Course and Evening dates by arrangement (could be at your home). Next Courses; December 20th (day) & February 3 & 11th (evenings) - 'I would recommend you to others - Tom'.
The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea requires that proper use be made of radar, if onboard. Thus if a skipper breaks the Rules he could be prosecuted under The Merchant Shipping (Distress Signals and Prevention of Collisions) Regulations 1996. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch criticised both skippers' use of radar following a collision; Collision between Gas Monarch and Whispa
The message is clear - if you have radar you must be able to use it properly.
This is a one day, or two evening, Course, 0930 to 1700 or 1730 to 2100, aimed at increasing your knowledge of radar as an aid to navigation but with particular emphasis on collision avoidance. Candidates will have an opportunity to use a simulator. The relative merits of Radar and AIS will be discussed as well as seeing an AIS display. RYA Radar Day Course
Cost £110 which includes the RYA booklet, but excludes the RYA Pack, currently £8.50. Next Course; January 17th
RYA First Aid
Is your Certificate out of date? The First Aid Certificate is valid for only 3 years
From time to time I arrange First Aid Courses taken by an RYA First Aid Instructor. A one day Course to bring you up to date with the latest advice on how to cope with injuries, with particular reference to, but not exclusively, those at sea. Certificates valid 3 years. Note: An RYA Examiner will normally only accept this Course and the STCW. Cost £90 (£100 with Cat C Drugs endorsement). Next Course to be arranged RYA First Aid
RYA Books & Publications
I receive a generous discount from the RYA for publications, instruments and dvd's. This I share with customers and they are post free too! Ask me for my List & Students can browse my stock.
Stuck for a Present?
Why not try a Northumbrian Sailing Course? Alternatively, buy a Voucher, either from the RYA or Northumbria Sailing and let the lucky recipient choose.
Sailing Gear Available on Hire
One set, female small, can be hired for £10 per day or £25 for five. Red Henri Lloyd jacket plus Musto dungarees.
Melvyn Wallhead, Ocean Yachtmaster™ has over 30 years of experience with sailing boats and would like to share this with you, so you too can enjoy the 'highs' of sailing a yacht on a warm day with a favourable breeze.
Melvyn is an RYA Instructor, now approaching 60, sadly from the wrong direction, Melvyn lives in Newcastle upon Tyne with wife and son. He considers the North East and Northumberland to be an underestimated sailing area. There is a fine coastline, complete with islands and castles, with super bird life. If the weather is a bit unfavourable there's still plenty of level sailing in the River Tyne to enjoy in comfort.
21,000 sea miles with 600+ days at sea have taken Melvyn, as skipper, to four continents, around Britain and across Biscay to the Med and back. Norway, Baltic Germany, Netherlands, Canaries, Orkneys and Scottish Islands have also been explored. You can be sure that he has already made your mistakes at some stage and can sympathise.
We aim to be safe at sea but to learn to enjoy a challenge. A bit of fun too is all part of the scene and a drink in a bar of a new port after a day at sea is a delight to be savoured.
I'm told web pages must have links to others, so I set out below a selection which I, and you, may find useful. I suppose these days I should make appropriate self protection statements such as 'I accept no responsibility' and all this, but I wouldn't have posted a site in the first place if I thought it was US.
For a readable synoptic chart, like we used to see on TV; Weather Chart or Met Office Chart
To see what Royal Quays marina looks like; Royal Quays marina
Try me on Google Earth at; 54°59'43.93″N, 01°27'10.56″W
Sailing Dinghy Hire in the Lakes; Glenridding
For information on the Tyne and weather; Port of Tyne
To survey a boat; Boat Surveyor
Sailmaker, Chandlery & Boat Fixing; Storrar Marine
Selling or Buying a boat? Contact George; Network Yacht Brokers
Try this stunning dolphin video from our North Sea trip in June 2010
North Sea Dolphins
Check me out on Facebook
Try my latest Newsletter
1 Anscomb Gardens, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7BB
Sail Safely the RYA Way :)
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