Dorset Marine Training, Providing Friendly, Tailored Marine Courses

Dorset Marine Training, Providing Friendly, Tailored Marine Courses

Dorset Marine Training has quickly earned a reputation for delivering friendly, tailored courses for students looking to maximise their time on the water. The company, run by Sarah Quinn and Dominic Coleman, credits this to their enthusiasm, experience, and level of on-the-water expertise.

Sarah Quinn said, ‘We have that extra level of flexibility to adapt to our students requirements. For example, we recently had a young couple who undertook their VHF radio training online. They needed to be assessed, but the lady had recently had a baby and was concerned about being evaluated in a college because she was worried about getting a babysitter with her baby being so young. So, we just took our equipment and assessed them at their home. The assessment was completed correctly but just in a different surrounding.’

Dorset Marine Training came out of a desire by Sarah and Dominic to get away from the humdrum of ordinary business life. Both wanted to work together and had the desire to run courses the way they wanted to. Sarah said, ‘When clients book, we talk to them and make sure that the class fits their needs whether sailor, powerboater or canoeist. Then we know we can structure the course accordingly.’ Dorset Marine Training runs a comprehensive range of courses including RYA powerboat courses, all the courses from RYA Motor cruising scheme and courses from RYA Helmsman right up to Yacht-master as well as Essential Navigation. The company also undertake a lot of bespoke training. Sarah said, ‘if we had someone contact us with a problem such as losing confidence using their boat, we would structure a plan to ultimately get them out on the water again. Deep down we both enjoy being on the water and we want other people to enjoy being on the water safely as well. We love seeing people gaining confidence.’

Although Dorset Marine Training covers the south coast area of England they are not limited by their location. Dominic said, ‘Although we can go further afield it is quite evident that people are quite willing to travel from London and surrounding areas. Poole is such a lovely place that some students bring down their families and make a weekend of their tuition with their families doing their own thing. We are also blessed by our location as we are pretty much sheltered here. It is a unique area for boating.’

Dorset Marine Training use both Icom marine VHF hand portables and fixed radios to run their courses. Dominic said, ‘we have the IC-M323G on our motor cruiser and RIB and have several IC-M73, IC-M35 marine VHF handhelds to assist us in the running of our courses. On our Short-Range Certificate (SRC) course we use IC-M323 fixed VHF/DSC radios to teach our students.’

He added, ‘Marine radios are essential for boating. You can’t boat successfully without a VHF radio because you will invariably need to get in somewhere such as a harbour or marina. It’s an easy way of keeping in touch if you are boating in company.’

‘If you are just out on the water they also allow you to listen. If you are in smaller craft such as a dinghy or a canoe then knowing when ships are coming in and out will very much mean that you make the right decision when crossing channels. If you are safety boating and responsible for a fleet it's just as essential listening in to know what is happening as it is to be communicating.’

Dominic said, ‘We use live Icom Simulators so that students can get hands-on experience with real radios rather than talking theoretically about them. People learn through different methods. If you have shown somebody how something works you have proved the benefit to them physically as opposed to just telling them.’

Sarah said, ‘We also find that some people fear the radios on their boats. There are a lot of buttons, and they may be worried that they might get it wrong. If you sit down in a classroom, you are reassured that you are using training radios, they are registered as training radios and that they are not going to transmit outside the classroom. This gives people the chance to play with the menus and not be afraid of pressing buttons. Learning this way in the classroom provides them with the confidence to go back to their boat and not be scared to use their radios.’

Dominic said, ‘We use Icom radios because they are consistently reliable. The radios we have used have been fantastic. We have not had any problems with them. I have swum with them, fallen out of dinghies with them, dropped them, bashed them around and they get used commercially as well. We use them day to day.’

Sarah said, ‘The durability is impressive on my portable radio. The number of times I have accidentally dropped it on the floor and it just lasts. But it is also the features. I can swap the batteries…I have the extra set to put in just in case I need to which is incredibly reassuring. I also like the menus. The menus are intuitive on the Icom radios so I use them for smaller boating.’

She added, ’The functionality of the portables follows through to the fixed which is incredibly useful.’

So, what does the future hold for Dorset Marine Training? Sarah said, ‘We enjoy being on the water and helping other people enjoy it, that’s such an important thing for us….and long may that continue.’

To find out more about Dorset Marine Training and all their courses, visit their website . Alternatively, you can contact them on 01202 901267 or email


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