The Benefits of Training on Icom Radios at RYA Accredited Training Centres
Getting to grips with your radio is a key part of safety at sea, so the right training can be vital. When you are venturing out on the water, a marine radio is an essential bit of kit. But the correct training is also vital when it comes to using your radio effectively. Luckily, there is an extensive list of RYA trainers around the country that provide the RYA Short Range Certificate (SRC) so that you can get started. ‘You can’t boat successfully without a VHF radio because you’ll need to communicate with somewhere such as a harbour,’ says Dominic Coleman of Dorset Marine Training in Poole. ‘If you’re in a smaller craft such as a dinghy or kayak then knowing when ships are coming in and out will mean you make the right decision when crossing channels. It’s just as important to listen as it is to communicate.’ Dominic and his team use real radios for training, so that sailors feel confident once they are at sea. ‘In the classroom, we use Icom marine training radios so that students can get hands-on experience with real radios rather than talking theoretically about them,’ he explains. ‘If you’ve shown somebody how something works you’ve proved the benefit to them physically as opposed to just telling them.’ Along the coast, Aboard Boat Coaching in Hamble runs regular RYA SRC courses for up to eight students in one session. Its training room is a professional set-up with eight Icom IC-M423 marine training radios. Mike Coulson, the company’s co-director, agrees that hands-on learning is the most effective way to pick up radio skills. ‘The Icom training radios are really important to us as it doesn’t take long for students to work out how to use them,’ he explains. ‘Most students learn by doing, and our training set-up allows this to take place. We love our Icom radios as they are straightforward to understand and use. We use them in the classroom and on the water. They’re a great asset to our training centre.’ Colin Stracey from Premier Sailing based in East Fambridge on the east coast in Essex said ,‘We use Icom radios for training in our classroom and on our boats. Both boats have Icom fixed and handheld marine VHF radios and we use them for calling up marinas when we want to go into a harbour and we get all the students to have a go at using the radio when they are on the boat. So they use it for real and not just in a classroom. ‘We like Icom products because they are simple to use. It does what it says on the tin. It is reliable, neat and the instructions are straightforward…. that is the key for us, is simple to use. And because every radio is the same it means the instructors know how each radio works.
Realising the importance of educating sailors in using radios effectively, Paul Harrison set up Seavoice Training in Merseyside in 2006. ‘After many years working for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency as a watchkeeper, I knew I could teach the RYA VHF Radio course from a professional, experienced angle,’ he explains. Seavoice has equipped its training rooms with Icom radios, with Paul finding them particularly user-friendly: ‘We only use Icom radios as we found other training sets could be hard to use or the screen was too small to see the controls.’ ‘The marine environment can be a harsh place,’ he adds. ‘So having a marine radio you can depend on is key. Icom marine radios are always the radio we recommend.’ Dominic from Dorset Marine Training agrees. ‘We use Icom radios because they’re consistently reliable,’ he says. ‘I’ve swum with them, fallen out of dinghies with them, dropped them and bashed them around! We use them every day.’ To find out more about Icom’s range of marine radios, and discover the right system for your needs, visit the marine radio section of our website marine radio section of our website. If you are a training centre and want to find out about our range of training simulators, contact our team on 01227 741741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.