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Top Ten Tips For Learning The ColRegs Boating Rules Of The Road

Top Ten Tips For Learning The ColRegs Boating Rules Of The Road

Colregs Boating Rules Of The Road

Skippers struggle to learn and remember the ColRegs

Yachtmaster and Day Skipper course instructors will tell you that skippers often struggle to learn and remember the collision rules, many finding it specially difficult to memorise the navigation lights rules.
And if that weren’t tough enough, examiners mark down heavily on poor knowledge and lack of application of the navigation rules.

So, what are the best techniques for learning the ColRegs and Nav Lights?

During the time we were developing our series of apps we talked to skippers, trainees and instructors and discovered a number of helpful techniques that people like to use to help them learn or instruct the Colregs and navigation lights and rules. Here are the recurring ones:

  1. By rote: which means going over them time and again, until they sink in. (no pun intended!)
  2. By referring to a book or almanac (see recommendations for further reading below)
  3. By flicking through flash cards (available in chandleries)
  4. By inventing mnemonics and turning the rules into a rhyme or ditty (see an example below)
  5. By referring to an authoritative web site like the RNLI  or USCG Aux
  6. By listening to a CD or audio (MP3)
  7. By reversing the role of learner and becoming teacher, and instructing someone who does not know the rules (It’s surprising just how much more you remember when you have to teach!)
  8. By writing simplified rules in your own prose (see example below, but beware! This might make the examiner smile, but he / she will likely fail you!)
  9. By investing in a self-paced multimedia pack (similar to the kit used in training centers)

ColRegs Learning Method Number 10 – banish “dead time”! 

Top Ten Tips For Learning The ColRegs Boating Rules Of The Road

Top Ten Tips For Learning The ColRegs Boating Rules Of The Road

Technique number 10 was barely mentioned until we spotted a gap and set about creating graphically-led self-help learning materials for people to use on their mobile devices (smart phones, iPods, tablets etc..) Working closely with professionals we co-created a series of apps aimed at complimenting and enhancing popular learning styles and techniques.

When speaking to seafarers of all sorts we discovered a genuine need for an affordable and convenient ColRegs designed specifically for the small screen and to help people to learn and revise the navigation and boating rules “on-the-go” whilst they were on their commuter journeys and during other “dead time” in their daily routine.

One advantage we saw when creating a series of apps covering Nav Lights, ColRegs, Rules of the Road and IALA Buoys and Lights, was that the information we provided could be created and distributed without being a burden on users who like to travel light and unhampered. With the information neatly stowed away but permanently accesible on their favourite device for instant reference, at sea or on land, we knew we were providing something of real value. That’s now proven with thousands of satisfied and loyal users in over 45 countries.

Praise for ColRegs Nav Lights & Shapes and ColRegs Rules Of The Road 

Here are a few of the comments users of our apps have mentioned, after purchasing and using the ColRegs apps

“Very easy to use, wish I’d had this when I was doing day skipper!”

“We run an RYA Training centre and these apps are a great aide memoire
for our students.”

“I have just downloaded and am using ColRegs Rules of the Road app, a
brilliant training and reference device.”

“I really like the colregs part of it and the way you have kept it
completely in line with the IRPCS.”

” Beautifully produced and very simple to use, a cool learning tool”

” Good app for anyone to use, much easier than flip cards”

Even though our apps cost as little as £1.99 or $2.99 (the price of a cup of coffee) we know that users like to see what they are getting before they purchase, and that’s why we always produce a clear video to demonstrate the contents of our apps

Click to view our demo of ColRegs: Rules Of The Road

Click to view our demo of ColRegs: Nav Lights & Shapes

What methods do YOU recommend for learning and remembering the ColRegs? 

—————— examples of mnemonics and writing the ColRegs in your own prose ———-

Example of rhyme or ditty to memorise the ColRegs:

If upon your port is seen a boats light of green
There’s now’t for you to do
since green to port keeps clear of you
If to starboard red appears it is your duty to keep clear
if ahead both green and red
turn to starboard and show YOUR red etc …..

An example of how you might rewrite the ColRegs:

If anything hits you from your right side: you pay
If anyone hits you on your left side: they pay.
Hit or hinder anything in front, and you pay etc….

Further Reading:

A Seaman’s Guide to the Rule of the Road: Morgans Technical Books
Rules of the Road Morgans Technical Books

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