As in all walks of life, qualifications and certification of ability are becoming more and more a requirement of operation and insurance. To this end, Seagull Trust Cruises has instituted a training and certification scheme for its boat skippers, under the auspices of the Royal Yachting Association RYA. This training is only available to members of Seagull Trust Cruises, and is not offered to the general public.

It is STC policy that, in addition to local training specific to the area of operation, all of our skippers should hold at least the RYA Inland Waterway Helmsman’s Certificate, or a higher level of qualification. Some of the Skippers are professional ship captains and seamen, many of them holding recognised Master Mariner Certificates of Competency, however the majority are volunteers and it is to these people that formal training is provided.

Gordon Daly, Chair of the Seagull Trust Cruises Boats Committee, has completed the RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman’s Instructors Course and is Principal of Seagull Trust Cruise’s own RYA Training Centre assisted by Roy Davidson, who is also a certificated RYA Inland Waterways Helmans Certificate Instructor.

Falkirk, Ratho and Kirkintilloch Branches are now RYA Recognised Training Centres, where Gordon Daly and Roy Davidson conduct the courses with the skippers using their own canal boats on their own stretches of canal. The course covers all aspects of cruising on inland waterways including boat handling, mooring, using locks, bridges etc.

All Skippers now hold their Helmsman’s Certificates or hold a higher qualification and it is our firm intention to ensure that all of the Skippers have an appropriate qualification going forward.