Solent Boat Training, Using Icom Marine VHF for Classroom and On the Water Training

Solent Boat Training, Using Icom Marine VHF for Classroom and On the Water Training

Solent Boat Training, based in Southampton is an RYA training centre with over 20 years’ experience in delivering boating courses to students from all over the UK and Europe. All courses are run by approved RYA, HSE & MCA instructors from their impressive training facilities based in Southampton. The school heavily uses Icom VHF radios both in the classroom and on their training vessels to assist in the management and training of their courses.

Sam Noble, Co-owner of Solent Boat Training said, ‘We offer training for all, from an absolute beginner to a Yachtmaster Ocean skipper. Across the board we teach motorboat to yacht master. We teach sailing up to yacht master, we teach powerboating up to advanced powerboating, we teach diesel engine and petrol engine maintenance courses, VHF radio courses, shore-based navigation courses and first aid. We have six classrooms and a training workshop all within the marina together with free accommodation included with all sailing courses, this means your training will be to the highest standard. We offer RYA courses from both Southampton and Lymington as well as own boat tuition all around the Solent including Yarmouth, Hamble, Lymington & Cowes.’

‘Sailing and Powerboating are the most popular courses at the moment. Most people want to learn to sail and go and charter a boat abroad in the Med….and you can’t really argue with that.

Asked how he got into the industry, Sam said, ‘I got on the water through Southampton Water Activities Centre (SWAC) about 20 years ago through the schools activities week. This is where I got involved in dinghy sailing. This eventually led to a trip to France on a 45-foot sailing yacht, sailing the north coast of France before coming back across the English Channel with SWAC.

‘I had caught the bug. I then went to college and studied Accountancy and Business, English and Maths. My extracurricular activity when I was at college was sailing which I did on a Wednesday evening. The first year told me that I didn’t want to do Accountancy, Business, English and Maths. Hopefully it has helped me out with a bit more of an understanding of those things and in the end, it has worked out alright.’

What do you like about your job? Sam said, ‘The people, teaching people new skills, meeting new people, meeting a diverse range of people. Everyone is different, everyone has a good story and sometimes if you are lucky you get two very opposing people come together on the same boat, they are always the best of friends after it because everyone shares this common thing about enjoying sailing/powerboating.’

He added, ‘Training is very important for those who want to take up sailing or powerboating. You will sometimes get two different types of people attend a course. You get the person who is thinking about buying a boat and knows to do the course first. Quite often you will get another person on the same course that’s had a boat for years and doesn’t know why they need a licence and that they have been doing things for years without really knowing why. After lunchtime of the first day they usually come back saying ‘I didn’t know that’ and they realise there are easier ways of doing things. Without the training, you’re just not aware of what you don’t know and the training is there to make you aware. It doesn’t make you perfect, it just makes you aware of the hazards and potential dangers that you could go up against.’

Sam said, ‘We use the Icom IC-M330GE training radios in the classroom because they make an otherwise classroom-based course far more practical and you can have fun doing it. It is nice that the radios can be interlinked and talk to each other so you can hear both sides of the conversation. You have the ability to change all of the settings and use all the DSC calls…that’s special in itself.’

‘We use all sorts of Icom fixed and handheld radio on the boats…we have a lot of them. We like Icom radios because they are very easy to use, very intuitive….its incredibly important to have that when you go out to sea especially as a primary safety device. Without them we could not deliver our courses.’

To find out more about Solent Boat Training and details about their RYA VHF Marine Radio Courses, visit Alternatively give their team a call on 07754 808039 or email


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