Someone asked,”What is the PPCDL Practical Test all about?”

Exam Assessment :  This is what the Practical & Orals Test is all about

 

Practical Part.

PREPARATION TO GET UNDERWAY

Overall hull condition check. > check registration No: SZ > check all compartments > noted dry.

Equipment check       > 12 items. 6 item inside the storage container, 6 items in the boat.

Passenger check       > lifejackets donned and seated.

Look out appointed. > to check the stern surroundings are clear.

Boat license check  > boat license number > capacity > expiry date.

* Number of Lifejackets to be carried to coincide with the capacity stated on the certificate.

 

STARTING ENGINES

Propeller check > Press the control button at the side of the throttle lever to lift up the propeller > propeller noted free.

Fuel oil check .> Lift up the fuel container to assess the weight.

> check the fuel gauge indicator if it has one

> open the container cover to verify the fuel contents.

Throttle position and steering check. > Turn the wheel and check the engine movement

> shift the throttle fwd, neutral, astern & put back to neutral position.

Ask permission to start the engine, make sure the kill switch clip is connected to the slot button & also the throttle lever is in neutral position (stop position)

Then only can u start the engine, now start the engine.

Engine cooling system check.> engine cooling water must flow continuously.

 

UNBERTHING. 3 test boats will be tied up on the port side in a row along the jetty. 1. 2. 3

** If your boat is the 1st  (1) or middle boat, (2) when unberthing ask your assistant to give a push of the boat stern area from the jetty platform, so that the stern will open up

and clear from the other boats. If your boat hit the other boats alongside the jetty, is considered an immediate failure. Take note of this.

Start the engines before casting off. Let go the forward line then let go the stern line, so that the stern will open out and u are safe to go astern.

Appoint a lookout to check the stern surroundings are clear. > Stern clear.

Steering control > both hands on the wheel.

Speed control > minimum speed inside the marina area > No wake zone.

Always when unberthing go astern.

 

MANEUVERING

Look out maintained > U must appoint a lookout (if U are alone with the Tester ask him to be the lookout)

Appropriate speed > no wake in the marina area. > put engines to minimum speed. (Unless the examiner asks U to increase the speed)

Steering ability > able to steer and keep the boat steady on a landmark heading.

Both hands on the steering wheel.

Give way to other vessels. > pass port to port. (if u are not sure what to do, stop the boat and let the other vessel pass clear of u)

Keep to the starboard side of the channel.

When steering the boat keep away from any floating material e.g. plastic, wood etc.

 

Man Over Board (MOB)

Inappropriate action > shout out man over board, port or starboard side

> Lookout keep an eye on the man over board, port side or starboard side

Turn the wheel hard over towards the side of that the men fell. (Lifebuoy)  DO NOT REDUCE THE SPEED

Approach > steer the bow right ahead towards the lifebuoy, align the bow to the lifebuoy and reduce the speed to minimum speed.

> Lookout standby to pick up the man over board on the starboard side

Speed > use minimum speed, when about 3 to 4m from the Lifebuoy turn the bow slightly to port and STOP the engines.

Lookout pick up the mob (lifebuoy) on the starboard side.

** Only the lookout is allowed to pick up the man over board (lifebuoy) ** you must Not do it yourself **

** If your bow hit the lifebuoy directly U will fail, U can ask for a 2nd chance & try again.

** If U are unable to pickup the lifebuoy (i.e. its drifted or too far away due to the waves etc) DON’T wait, make another turn re-try the whole operations over again.

** In case the Examiner ask U, Why do U pick up the mob on the starboard side and not on the port side.

Answer him, for Safety reason I can see the Victim clearly and able to pick him up safely.

 

Oral Part  

BUOYS & LIGHTHOUSES 

Buoys > serve as floating markers.

Beacons > serve as fixed markers.

Lighthouse. Serve as fixed structures markers > Raffles, Sultan Shoal, Bedok, & Horsburg.

 

Day:  Colour, Shape & Top mark

Night: Colour & Characteristic of the light, i.e. its flashing & rhythm.

 

COLLISION PREVENTION 

Assessing risk of collision

Action for head on situation

Action for crossing situation

Action by overtaking vessel

Action in a narrow channel / fairway

Responsibilities between vessels

Observance of good seamanship

 

RECOGNITION OF LIGHT & SHAPES 

Navigation lights & shapes

Head on situation lights

Crossing situation lights

Overtaking situation lights

Hampered vessel lights & shapes (hampered = vessel not under command)

Anchor vessel lights & shapes

 

ACTION TO BE TAKEN 

In restricted visibility

To anchor the vessel ( this he won’t ask U)

Sound signals

 

GENERAL

Buoyage system

Use & function of the HARTS > to enhance the security of the port, use in an emergency situation when U need immediate help > to activate, press the ‘PANIC BUTTON’

Identify navigational aids at night

Secure the boats lines on the cleats. > make figure of 8 x 2 times and turn back the hitch to lock it

Releasing mooring line before starting engines > take note of this.

Always start the engines first, and then release the stern line then the forward line.

Releasing mooring line no coordination between candidate and assistant. > take note of this

Determine wind direction & strength. > Check flags flying on the SMA flag poles + boats in the marina area. + see which way the water is flowing. Is it from left to right or right to left, when the bow is pointing in any direction.

Expiry date of safety equipment > hand flares > 3 years. > fire extinguisher annual service.

MPA License check below of the certificate the expiry date > annual renewal.

Over berthing or under berthing > take note on this n do the corrective action with slight engine speed and steering, just like parking a car.

Take corrective action and adjust the boat to be within the length of the jetty.

Pleasure craft security code > display at steering stand. > to enhance the security of the port

Navigation lights sectors

Determine give way, stand on, head on, crossing, overtaking situation

Sound signal when and where to use

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2 thoughts on “Someone asked,”What is the PPCDL Practical Test all about?”

  1. Hi,

    I noticed some discrepancies in your post in regards to the mooring lines. Whether to start engine first or before releasing the lines? And whether to let go of the stern or bow line first?
    As stated in your article:

    1. Start the engines before casting off. Let go the forward line then let go the stern line, so that the stern will open out and u are safe to go astern.

    2. Releasing mooring line before starting engines > take note of this.

    3. Always start the engines first, and then release the stern line then the forward line.

    Hence it can be quite confusing to others. Other than that, you are a generous and detailed person.

    Cheers

    • Hi Char,

      Thanks for the comment.
      In my own practical test experience, usually there will be more than 2 pax (excluding tester) on the boat.
      Hence, when the first one is being tested on the items to be prep and checked before unberthing, the 2nd one
      will help to release the lines.
      Whether to let go the stern or bow line first, I believe it has to do with whether you are the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd boat.

      I suggest best is to ask the person whom you are taking refresher course from.
      When is your practical test date?

      Cheers!

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