This iuboating website is created to help more people get their boating licence, in particular, the PPCDL. Recently, many readers are starting to ask, “So, now that I have gotten my PPCDL, what’s next?” “Should I get a boat now?” “What type of boat?” “& if I am not gonna buy a boat now, what else can I do?”
In fact, there are many people out there who basically did nothing or didn’t know what to do after obtaining their PPCDL. What a waste!
So, how do we not let our PPCDL go to waste and “collect dust”??
I was in that same situation as well. After following strictly my own strategies for getting my licence in the shortest possible time period, I took the practical test and passed on my first attempt. Thereafter I embarked on the journey into the boating world. I spoke to many people in the boating scene for the past many months, in particular, seeking advice on what to do next after getting my PPCDL. In conclusion, I believe that every person can start their journey into boating by doing the following 7 things:
1. Buy a boat; go on friends’ boats; visit a yacht broker near you
Probably you have already decided on the exact boat to buy even before taking your PPCDL test. So now is the right time to go ahead and buy it. But if, like myself in the beginning, you are not sure yet whether you should get a powerboat or sailboat, don’t rush into things first. Take your time. The famous saying in boating goes:”The 2 happiest days in your boating journey are when you bought the boat, and when you sold it”. Buying a boat is unlike buying a car or even a property, where the market is pretty liquid (at least here in Singapore) So no need to rush, unless your name is Larry Ellison. You can always call on your friends who own boats, and join them in their cruises. Better still, offer to pay for the fuel for the trip, though I doubt they would take it. We went on some of our friends’ boats, ranging from cruisers to formula-one speed boats to beautiful sailboats. Here are some other ways to “own” a boat.
Also you can visit some of the yacht broking companies and chat with them. A good broker will want to aid you in your journey into boating, and build a long-term relationship with you. Of course, a good broker wants to sell you a boat! But I would not recommend bothering them too much if you have no intention at all of owning a boat in future. I know a friendly American guy from Simpson Marine. You can look him up if you intend to get a boat soon.
2. Join a marina club; get in the right environment
If you don’t have anyone in your social circle who are in the boating scene, go check out the marina clubs in Singapore. My wife and I went to check out a few before purchasing a life-time membership at ONE°15 Marina Club at Sentosa.
We decided on ONE°15 because (i) it is away from mainland and offers us a peaceful environment (ii) there is a small community of liveaboards there & we intend to get a sailboat to sail to nearby islands & to live aboard for a few days a week (iii) it has full facilities and a beautiful infinity pool (iv) it is also a great place to entertain our family, friends & business clients (v) the marina is directly opposite some beautiful islands for a quick sail-away. Thus far, we have already met some very nice people there to share with us their boating experience.
So, to get involved in boating, get involved in the environment where there are “boating people”! Marina club memberships should range from a few thousand dollars to less than fifty thousand dollars. Not expensive at all when compared to golf country club memberships. Marina clubs here include:
* ONE°15 Marina Club
* Marina @ Keppel Bay
* Republic of Singapore Yacht Club, West Coast
* Raffles Marina, Tuas
* SAF Yacht Club, Changi
* SAF Yacht Club, Sembawang
* Marina Country Club, Punggol
3. Join a boating online forum, make friends
If you are not joining any marina clubs for the moment, go online and checkout some interesting boating/sailing forums. One of them is cruisers forum http://www.cruisersforum.com/
And I actually made some friends there who got me introduced to the beauty of sailing vs powerboating. I saw some people offering their time and asking to be put as crew onboard after they obtained their PPCDL. (I think this is only feasible when you are going into sailboats. Never heard of powerboat owners needing “extra” crew onboard.) But first, make sure you can provide value-add to these boat-owners. Have a can-do attitude. Put others’ comfort before your own. Follow instructions, ask questions if you don’t understand. Volunteer to do extra work. (On a sailboat, say if a line needs to be coiled or if a sail needs to be folded, you’re the first one up there helping out.)
Personally, I still feel the best is to buy your own boat.
4. Take up further course
PPCDL teaches you how to drive a boat, but not anything about maintenance, route planning, reading weather conditions, knot tying, coastal navigation & sailing! At this time of writing, I came across a 1-day Route Planning Basic Course offered by METS. It is supposed to help us acquire more in-depth knowledge of route planning and the skill of coastal navigation. I will check it out soon.
For those considering getting a sailboat, I would highly recommend the courses offered by Keppel Bay Sailing Academy. They are very professionally run by the RYA-qualified instructors on beautiful Beneteau First 40.7 yachts. I have completed their 5-day Competent Crew Course recently. It was a magnificent experience.
5. Get some boating gear, iphone apps, books/magazines, attend a boat show
This is somewhat similar to point 2 – Get in the Right Environment. Go to a popular bookstore. You should be able to find some boating/sailing magazines. Let me know if you want some softcopys of previous issues for certain titles such as Yachting Monthly, Boating World, DIY Boat Owner, Boat Buyers Guide etc. They are particularly useful if you are intending to get a boat & have some practical experience after getting your PPCDL.
Yes, there are many iphone/ipad apps relating to boating. I have the Navionics AustralAsia version for ipad, DragQueen (a simple anchor alarm), Knot Guide, Ship Finder (shows you the vessels in Sg waters). There are also ipad apps by developer Prestige Vision Inc (beautiful virtual tours & videos of awesome yachts normally above 50 foot).
I don’t think I need to elaborate on getting boating apparels, shoes, attend a boat show etc. You got the idea.
6. Get more friends to take up PPCDL & journey into boating together
Someone once said, “Fastest way to learn golf is to teach! Cos’ you can’t teach what you do not already know!” Well said, but he could be teaching the wrong things! Well, we cannot teach our friends how to berth a boat yet but we sure can get them interested to go get a PPCDL and then journey into boating together. I first got interested in boating because I read about the benefits of boating on the internet & my friends invited me to go boating with them. Then I realised “Better get more friends keen on boating, so that we can share the same hobbies and go boating together!” And now is the best time to get your PPCDL, here’s why.
7. Boat charter; travel to Langkawi/Phuket/Australia
When looking to purchase our next car, we usually go for a test drive. Boat wise, they don’t normally offer “sea trial” until you have placed a deposit. And because the local boat scene is not as vibrant as that in US, Europe, or even Australia, the boat you want to buy may not be in stock over here. I have friends advising me to travel to places such as Phuket, Australia, and charter a boat there where they have more variety. This is a good way to “try” different boat models without making that commitment yet.
In conclusion, I believe every person can start their journey into boating by doing the above 7 things after they get their boating license. & do subscribe to this iuboating site (below) as there are more developments coming your way. Cheers to your boating journey!
Why do you want to take PPCDL test? What have you done after you got your PPCDL? How do you ensure the time & effort you invested in getting the PPCDL is worthwhile? Are you enjoying boating/sailing thus far?
(Please feel free to voice your comments below)