This decision was an easy one for me. I wanted to sail and go boating, and I wanted to learn in the sun, with a polite professional at the helm of my course.
Prosailing Malta is centrally located, and the school is in a recently renovated premises. It’s an airy classroom with lots of light, Robert and his team have all the tools to make the lessons fun and easy to follow.
Learning the rules of the road is as exciting as learned a new language, and with the right techniques, you’ll memorise all the do’s and don’ts in no time.
The biggest plus for me was the fact that the course is taught in English and during the practical session all the new terminology will find its place, both on your mind and on the perfect training vessel the school provides. I still get goosebumps when I think about how cool I felt pushing the boat’s throttle lever forward.
As a keen learner I immediately tucked in to the detailed course books provided. They offer clear and concise descriptions of everything you need to know, and that little extra too.
First things first, we learned that out at sea everything is different. Vessels use colours and lights to indicate maneuvers, and since bringing boats and ships to a halt takes far longer than a car, it is vital to observe all the different laws that apply throughout the whole world. You’ll discover that having one standard method can be the difference between avoiding a collision and ruining your day.
When I say everything changes out at sea, I mean everything does! Google Maps won’t save you out there, so we learned how to use charts to detect how deep the waters are and where the hazards lie on the sea bed below. These charts can help us track our position using no technology, and can help you get assistance in case of emergency.
When such emergencies arise we learned how to stay calm and use our on board VHF system. Always make sure this is in running order and be able to reel off instructions in a clear, patterned way. It’s an international language and system, one which you need to know by heart.
Using props, our small group of avid learners was shown different buoyage systems, and now we can identify them night and day, thanks to different beacons placed on top of either one.
Knowing the buoyage system for the Mediterranean is vital.
First aid was something else we touched on, as was the importance of basic fire training. Knowledge of these things makes me feel much safer at sea and I now find myself checking each vessel I board, knowing where the hazards are, and where the first aid box and fire extinguishers are. Being a boat owner myself, I need to check the expiry dates of all my safety equipment regularly and ensure my life jackets are always where I need them to be: On my crew member’s backs.
Learn your life jackets.
The most engaging part of the course for me was the big section of ropes. You’ll quickly notice ropes and sailing go hand in hand, so best nail your most important knots. I practiced the famed bow line over fifty times a day to ensure I nailed it for my exam, and even got to tie it blindfolded and behind my back. If all else fails, that knot will come handy.
Besides the critical bow line we learned:
- Reef knot
- Clove hitch
- Figure of eight
- Sheet bend
- Double sheet bend
- Half hitch
- Cleat hitch
The important Cleat Hitch in action
As a person who just loves flags, for no reason I know of, I was also intrigued by the different flagging system used. I studied the phonetic alphabet and corresponding signals by heart, and still practice to this day. I practice by simply spelling things out and I used this Sporcle Quiz to help me
The nautical flags
Some might argue that with modern technology these signaling systems are outdated, but I always aspire to learn more and do more, and I recommend the same attitude when you sign up here.
I’m the type of learner who needs the right teacher, and Robert provided me with the right coaching style for my thirst for knowledge. This course is just the beginning for me and I am thrilled to know that at Prosailing Malta I can go all the way from my Nautical Licence to my RYA Yachtmaster Offshore.
This school uses international accreditation systems to examine all students, and the quality is of an extremely high standard. You’ll quickly realize that out at sea you need a no-risk approach, and this programme ticked all the boxes… plus I even got to make a few friends along the way.
In a short space of time you’ll feel more firm on a boat, and with confidence comes great responsibility… are you ready to change your life and master the Nautical Licence?