A warm Welcome to Tom Jones Cruising


This web site is the home page for ' Tom Jones Cruising',


The training done :

Day Skipper (shorebased) course - theory

Yachtmaster (shorebased) - theory

DSC VHF Radio course


Essential Navigation & Seamanship



Why are we called Tom Jones Cruising ?

When I set up the Training Centre the training was done on my boat - a 60ft steel hull motor cruiser berthed at Liverpool Marina.

You've guessed it - the boat was called Tom Jones, nothing whatsoever to do with the singer or the book !

The Boat Tom Jones can be seen on the header above and the picture below. My wife and I used her for charter cruises on the inland waterways of Europe but she has now gone to a new cruising ground in Poland and We now have another boat, an 11.2m Dutch motor cruiser that we spend the summers on - cruising the inland waterways of Europe. In 2010 we took the boat from its home on the Thames over to Calais and through the French inland system to the Mediterranean via Paris. This summer, 2011, we will be touring the Canal du Midi.

Your training will be conducted by Doug McGarvie

Doug started his sailing in dinghys and then moved on to a Folkboat, Argo, which he sailed extensively around the River Mersey and Irish Sea. He raced on the Mersey and Irish Sea and he and the boat were a reasonably successful team. Circumstances changed and Doug moved to a 60ft twin engine, steel hulled motor cruiser which again was cruised around the Irish Sea. Doug and his wife then chartered the boat for a few years on the inland waterways of Europe.

Times changed again and Doug now has an 11.2m Dutch-built motor cruiser which he cruises, with his wife, on the inland waterways of France.

All in all Doug has a wide and varied experience and is able to advise both sail and power boaters through the experience he has gained

Doug holds the MCA/RYA Yachtmaster Offshore practical qualifications for both Power and Sail, with a Commercial Endorsement

He is the holder on an International Certificate of Competence for Power vessels over 15m and sailing vessels, both offshore and inland, with a CEVNI endorsement

Doug is an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation

If you have an enquiry he can contacted by email or phone : 07870 295 736





If you operate VHF radio fitted with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) on any British vessel voluntarily fitted with a radio, it is required by law that you gain the Short Range Certificate.

The DSC VHF radio course is a one day course which is run at Liverpool Marina. The start time is 09.30 hrs finishing at 17.00 hrs

bar meals are available at the marina but are not included in the course fees

The cost of the course is £105 which includes £30 for your Radio Licence issued by the RYA

You will need to bring with you on your course a passport size photo for your licence together with normal writing materials

I normally work with a maximum of 6 people on the radio course

A working knowledge of the Nato phonetic alphabet is an advantage

If you already hold the 'old' restricted radio licence this can be upgraded to a DSC licence by taking a half day course at a cost of £55 plus the licence fee of £30.

Contact me for details

If you are a club member and want training done on your premises - this can be arranged.

Provided you are able to get together 6 people for training, I will come to you


This is the new boat




CEVNI stands for Code Européen des Voies de Navigation Intérieure.

It is the code governing navigation on the interconnected European inland waterways.

Signs, rules and procedures for navigating the European inland waterways are all included within the CEVNI code, and pleasure craft are expected to know and follow the code.

Knowing and abiding by the regulations is the best way to protect yourself and your boat

A valid ICC is required for cruising Europe’s inland waters.

To validate your ICC (International Certificate of Competence) for inland waters you must take the CEVNI test, which checks your knowledge of the rules and signs that skippers of pleasure craft are expected to know and follow.



The RYA ICC CEVNI test is a short multiple choice paper which can be taken either at a CEVNI test centre or online.

The actual on-line test is split into two parts

Part 1: Signs and buoyage.
Part 2: Sound signals, lights and shapes.

There are seven questions in each part, and you must answer at least five questions correctly in each part to pass the complete test.

After you have passed, you can download a certificate that can be used to apply for your ICC Inland endorsement

The "RYA European waterways regulations (the CEVNI rules explained)" publication G17 provides the information you need to learn the code in a clear and concise way - a sample paper can be found at the back of the book.



Arrranging to take the CEVNI test online

It is possible to take your CEVNI test online, anywhere, anytime. The online test is an alternative to the paper-based test that has been in operation since the 1990s and provides ease of access to test facilities for those who don’t live near a RYA training centre.

The online CEVNI test, like all RYA courses and tests, is run through RYA training centres.

Only some traning centres offer the online test.





To access the online tests go to the link below.


Creating a new account

Students register themselves by clicking ‘Login’ in the top right corner of the RYA Interactive site home page, and then clicking ‘Create new account’.

Then you will be asked for simple personal details and must select Tom Jones Cruising as the training centre from a drop down list.

You choose your own user name and password and will then have access to the site generally.


It is highly recommended that you try the practice tests online first before attempting the real thing, you don’t need to register to take the practice tests.

Don't conduct the test unless you have read thoroughly the CEVNI rules and you feel confident

I would strongly suggest that you do the practice test at least once before taking the CEVNI test

Complete the CEVNI test. You will be told immediately whether you have been successful or not.

Print off your CEVNI test confirmation.

Send your CEVNI test confirmation, together with the other items required for your application or renewal to the RYA Certification Department.

In addition to the passing the CEVNI test, for an ICC to be issued you must present a qualifying RYA practical course completion certificate or pass an ICC practical test at an RYA recognised training centre and be eligible to be issued with an ICC.



The RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship course is now available to you wherever you have access to the Internet.

You will be able to complete the course in your own time at your own pace, this will be backed up with support from your course tutor, via phone, email support and post.

This course is an excellent introduction to navigation and safety awareness for new, inexperienced, rusty skippers or crew. It is the perfect stepping stone to the more in-depth Day Skipper and Yactmaster theory courses.

for more information click onto



Previous Experience is NOT Required

This course is perfect for you if are new to sailing, motor boating, powerboating, sea angling and diving as well as experienced dinghy and keelboat sailors and inshore racers.


Course Content

•Charts and publications
•Engine checks
•Passage planning
•Rules of the road
•Pyrotechnics (Distress Signals)
•Tidal awareness
•Visual and electronic navigation (GPS)
•Weather forecasts

You will receive a course pack whitch includes a chart plotter, course handbook, excercises and an electronic chart plotter CD.

You will also be in constant contact with your course tutor via Phone, email support and by post if you get stuck during the course.

You will be sent a stamped, addressed envelope to return your chart work and RYA exercises for marking and feedback on your progress throughout the course.

Other items you will need to complete this course

A Notebook, soft leaded pencils (2B), pencil sharpener and a soft rubber

This course is NOW available through Tom Jones Cruising




Day Skipper and Yachtmaster shorebased (theory) training


all Day Skipper and Yachtmaster courses

are fully booked for this season




At present there are no statutory qualifications required for those of us who sail in small boats for leisure purposes in the UK. Increasingly it can be an advantage to have a recognised qualification for insurance or chartering purposes, but despite the potential introduction of compulsory qualification it remains possible, albeit foolhardy, for anyone to step on board and skipper a boat with little knowledge and no experience.

The situation overseas is more complicated with many countries insisting on some written evidence of competence. The RYA training scheme is an attempt to counter both these problems by persuading people of the benefits of formal tuition whilst providing internationally recognised certificates of competence.

Shorebased and practical courses

Learning to sail is a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience. It is of little use to be able to manoeuvre a boat sideways out of a marina if, when at the lock gate, the skipper cannot plot and set a course. Conversely, knowing the difference between an Alpine Butterfly knot and a Constrictor hitch may be academically fascinating but of little practical use if you are unable to tie a clove hitch to secure a fender.

The RYA courses are thus intended to complement one another - the shorebased (theory) courses will give you the knowledge, and the practical courses will give you the opportunity to apply that knowledge at sea under qualified guidance.

With the exception of the Competent Crew course, it is assumed that students attending practical courses will have a good knowledge of navigation and meteorology so that the instructor will be able to concentrate on practical aspects of the syllabus.

Although the courses are progressive, there is no requirement to possess an earlier certificate before enrolling in a later course. For example, if you have a basic knowledge of navigation and seamanship, you may consider enrolling for the Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster course. This is perfectly acceptable and you are not required to have first achieved Day Skipper qualification, however I would feel obliged to check your level of knowledge before enrolment.

Both the Day Skipper and the Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster practical courses offer a choice of either sail or power. Meteorology and navigation remain the same, but the elements of seamanship are biased towards your preference.

The theory (shorebased) courses are common to both sail and power

Navigation is the art and science of finding your position at sea, of moving in the right direction to your destination and of ensuring that you have chosen a safe route and can stay on it. The use of electronic navigation aids is an increasing aspect of RYA courses and are covered wherever appropriate.

Seamanship is the knowledge of ships and boats in general, their construction and characteristics, the equipment carried and its use, the environment in which they sail (seas, rivers and estuaries), safety precautions and emergency procedures.

Meteorology is the science of the weather - the ally and potential enemy of all small boats. You will need to know sufficient about this subject to interpret and act upon weather forecasts and to prepare your own predictions from your own observations.




Day Skipper (Shorebased) Course

The Day Skipper course is designed primarily for those who are new to sailing and boating, those with dinghy or a little crewing experience, and boat owners who have yet to make extended passages at sea.

We assume no previous knowledge and each topic is fully explained and illustrated as it is introduced.

Beginning with simple chartwork and nautical terminology, the course progresses through to tidal predictions, buoyage recognition, position fixing (including GPS and electronic chart plotters), steering and sailing rules, weather patterns, and navigation in fog and at night.

The emphasis throughout the course is upon personal safety, including the use of man-overboard equipment, lifejackets, flares and VHF.

As the course draws to a conclusion, all these subjects are combined in a demonstration of practical passage planning, giving sufficient knowledge for conducting your own passage.

Syllabus includes

Basic Nautical Knowledge

Charts and Publications:

Simple Plotting, Variation and Deviation

Basic Navigation: Position Fixing and Course to Steer

Deck Seamanship and Safety

Tides and Tidal Streams

Buoys, Beacons, Lights and Pilotage

Navigation in restricted visibility

Rules of the Road : International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea


Electronic navigation aids - GPS and electronic chart plotters

Mooring and anchoring

Passage Planning




RYA/MCA Yachtmaster course

This course is a natural progression from the Day Skipper course and therefore assumes a degree of prior knowledge.

In order to assist those who are self-taught, or who may have completed a Day Skipper course some years ago, the format of this course is such that the introductory modules act as a refresher of the basic concepts of navigation.

This revision element is too brief to be of value to beginners but is intended to assist those who are just a little rusty.

Navigational techniques are refined and expanded upon and whilst chartwork (including electronic aids) and tidal factors are studied to an advanced level, the emphasis is upon the practical knowledge required to become a skilled offshore skipper.

Safety is stressed throughout with emphasis on collision regulations, interpreting weather forecasts, boat handling and coping with emergencies.

The planning and skippering of a simulated passage, from customs clearance to safe arrival at your destination concludes the course at an internationally recognised level of competence.

Syllabus includes

Navigational Aids

Fire Safety on Small Craft

The Compass, Course Correction and Time

Communications at Sea

Tidal Streams and Tide Tables

Visual and Electronic Position Fixing


Finding Tidal Heights and Times

Shipping Forecasts and Weather Maps

Passage Planning


Teaching / Learning Strategies

The majority of topics for both courses will take the form of an illustrated lesson using computer and projector, models, whiteboard, with questions and answers, with practical workshops were appropriate. This is reinforced with homework on the subjects covered, which will be marked within a week of being handed in, to provide meaningful and timely feedback.

Assessment exercises will be conducted throughout the course to provide revision of subjects and give both the student and instructor a method of monitoring progress as the course progresses.

Learning Objectives

To enable the student to gain the knowledge and skills of Seamanship, Navigation and Meteorology, in order for them to successfully undertake either the Day Skipper or Yachtmaster Shorebased Examinations and progress to the Practical courses. The ability to skipper a yacht or motor cruiser, in a leisure environment, with confidence.

Your Instructor is Doug McGarvie

He can be contacted on : Mobile phone : 07870 295 736

email : doug@tomjonescruising.com





Your Cabin
The Boat
'Tom Jones' on the River Mersey
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© Tom Jones Cruising 2006
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