On Saturday 30 March, Craigalmond Sea Scouts and Explorer Scouts took part in a Honda RIB training day at the Longcraig Scout Centre, South Queensferry.

Cramond Scouts have a very active Sea Scout section. During the year we provide opportunities for Sailing, Windsurfing, Kayaking, Canoeing, Stand-up paddle boarding and last but not least Power Boating. All topped off with the annual Sea Scout Camp at Cumbrae National Water Sports Centre

Every year Cramond Scouts use their RIB (Ridged Inflatable Boat) to run a training day to prepare and select competitors who take part in the National RYA Power Boat challenge. This event also gives complete beginners the opportunity to have a hands-on power boat experience.

The challenge involves driving a power boat at speed to negotiate a predefined skills-based course in the fastest time.

The course below includes:

  1. Slalom
  2. Man – overboard (practiced using a life ring and a buoy).
  3. Reversing

This year there were 23 candidates each getting a minimum of 30 minutes supervised power boat driving and qualified instruction, giving those who were able the opportunity to drive a RIB at speeds up to 30 mph.

With the assistance of three RIBs on the water, the Cramond Scouts’ RIB, the Longcraig RIB and the Cramond Boat Club Safety boat, the two smaller RIBs sped round, negotiating the course while the third boat acted as a ferry to and from Longcraig Pier.

For the first time when holding this event, we were easily able to give each candidate a minimum of 30 Minutes tuition and practice. At the end of each of the six individual practice sessions held that day, even those candidates who were driving a power boat for the first time were able to successfully negotiate the course.

Sounds easy! Not as easy as you might think!

All candidates demonstrated excellent skill with only one over enthusiastic driver catching and dragging the course, oops!

This was the first year at Longcraig and proved to be a great success. The perfect weather (for March) and the sheltered Longcraig Bay, where the Dinghies and Longboats are moored during the sailing season, proved the ideal location to lay the course.

Power Boats out on the course.

This was the most successful practice day yet as we were able to easily launch from the pier with the help of Longcraig Staff and keep the candidates out on the water as long as possible.

A Big Thank you to Longcraig Scout Centre for the excellent facilities and particularly the use of the tractor, an essential tool for launch and recovery.

At the end of the day, there were 23 very happy participants who had a great experience with a very good introduction to power boating and the Longcraig Scout Centre.

Big smiles all round.

Looking forward to next year!

John Kenworthy, Cramond Sea Scouts.