You cannot move faster than the master of boating education. No matter how badly you want it, reality will show you the reasons why.

When you place yourself in that position, you cannot afford the tuition you didn’t pay for by dedication, study and scrutiny. There are no short cuts to rising to the top. Failures can be costly, slow it down a little!

Desire should not be confused with competency. Training is a development structure of the direction one needs to go to attain the necessary skills as an occupational mariner.

Training itself for one evolution in training will not secure mastered success. Life teaches us this lesson all the time. Athletes exemplify it and schools represent it.

Don’t think you can jump ahead without a conscientious respect for boating safety. To be part of community is to be immersed within it and surrounded by other mariners.

To develop your skills, give yourself about six months of applied training. That means every day training, not one training session on the water for 2 hours and 3 hours of preparations.

When somebody tells me, they have been operating Rescue Water Craft for 5 years I take stock of that quote and ponder the agreeableness on its terms.

5 years is 1,825 days. There are 24 hours in a day, if we take 40 hours as a regular work week, we are looking at 2,080 hours a year x 5 that would put them up to about 6,240 hours of Rescue Water Craft on water work. Nobody in the world has it.

Think about restructuring that answer. Stop saying you have 5 years of experience, and start saying you are still learning and get back on the boat!

Learning skills will be restrained or resolved depending upon the relationship value of the particulars that are presented to you and how those sills are corrected. Who doesn’t want to be better at these operations? I sure do!


First you need to make a commitment. This commitment needs to cover several areas, your time, your money and your honest effort and willingness to make improvements. That’s asking a lot of you!

That means you have to be trainable.

Some people simply are not, they need to be realistic and conduct some homework first on the demands associated with Rescue Water Craft operations.

If you aren’t ready to do that part, that educational sacrifice you will never master Coxswain skills needed in the dynamics of boating safety.

You will need professional help. Directly from experts who are properly vetted and tested by a boating organization. If you want the right help you need to go to the best instructor.

Be willing to take honest feedback aka critiques from your instructor. If you cannot take the advice, you probably are not the best fit for this demanding role.

Evaluations can be uncomfortable, but a mishap you create from not listening or not being able to grasp the advice will cost you more than you can afford in reputation.

Once you get your foundational skills down, practice on them one at a time.

• Over and Over.
• Set goals
• Evaluate your benchmarks.
• Move onto the next one.

While you are engaged in your skill building you are still in the experimental phase. Learning the ropes as they say. Do you know where that idiom originally came from? Our nautical heritage of course! The tall ships rigged with ropes to set the sails.


Without the seaman’s knowledge of these ropes these ships could not catch wind to their sails. Hence ‘learn the ropes’ was for the knowledge of the basics of sailing and as the ropes were learned onto the mastery of the ships rigging, raise the main and an assortment of knots as a deckhand.

An instructor will ‘show you the ropes’, because they have the experience to introduce you to the same thing! How does this work? Well, from imitation of course, but within the audience.

We have people who imitate poorly by not making that commitment for training. Without training, there is no knowledge and without knowledge there is no performance. Everything is reliant on the variation of the other. If not, it’s impractical.

In our method of training we know that learning the ropes means you will need to show him the ropes. You cannot master that which you can not define. This takes time, real hours, on-water hours, documented results.

That’s the hard part, people are spread thin on demands and it is challenging to respect the mastery of our seamanship skills. It’s not for everyone.
Don’t learn on your own, get advice, structure and feedback.

Don’t think you can do this after one class, a few days or hours, that’s a formula for failure.

Do learn by passing and failing your skills aka trial and error. Monitor your results.

Seek knowledge from a variety of resources and continue to learn, don’t set an end point on your knowledge. Learn how to use your time in a context of value by focusing on key items you can include in your evolutionary learning objectives.

Be your own Devil’s Advocate. Why are you doing it that way, what else can you do, how will additional dynamics cause your methods to fail, what can you adapt regarding change?

Talk to people you don’t like and to people you admire. Gain insights from both of their respective models. Speak up, don’t hide in the shadows, reach out and tolerate the results.

You cannot move faster than your master. You may have to swallow some humble pie and realize they may still be on the pursuit of study as a learner and that may very well be why they are a master.

When you pair up with a vetted master you now have the opportunity to challenge the evidence and to scale your ambition safely and surely.
You don’t want to end up a master of disaster.

Reconcile that time by becoming a prudent mariner.


Posted: February 1, 2020

Content Creator of Rescue Water Craft and Personal Water Craft boating international education standards: Shawn Alladio is the world’s foremost authority and leading subject matter expert. She cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.


Have any questions? Come train with us and discover what your community is doing to modernize standards, safety and reduce liability!

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