Boat Training & Aerial Drones

Drone pilots are often hesitant to take their drones out to sea for, perhaps, obvious reasons. Drones and water don’t mix…you only have to youtube drone crashes to see why. The first time you take your drone out over the deep blue sea you can feel your heart rate start to rise and the adrenal glands beginning their workout. ‘What if I lose control?’. ‘What if the battery dies?’. ‘What if I lose signal!’. The same stress inducing feelings can arise for new boat owners too, when trying to dock their shiny new vessel in a tight pen…and this is where the two stories come together. Here at Skippers Ticket School, we are pioneering the use of aerial drones for boat handling training. Parking a large boat is all about spatial awareness and for new boat owners this can sometimes present a challenge. At the helm of your vessel, even sitting comfortable on the fly bridge, you are potentially restricted in your ability to accurately visually asses the environment around your boat. It’s no different than in any other motor vehicle. We’ve all seen that person who parks at the traffic lights, 6 car lengths too many behind the car in front, completely unaware of their true spatial surroundings. By using our Phantom 3 Advanced aerial drone, complete with live HD video feedback, we are able to offer students a perspective that would otherwise be unattainable. Live bird’s eye views coupled with experienced tuition from one of our fully qualified boating instructors allows our students to truly see how to approach, position and park up their vessel in even the tightest...

Boat People – Sailing from Christmas Island to Bali, Indonesia.

Boat People – Sailing from Christmas Island to Bali, Indonesia. –Elliot Press Four crew. A 41ft wooden Ketch with a damaged mast. Water damaged electronics. Approaching storms and a 600 nautical mile journey. What could go wrong? It was December 2013 and I’m on my way to Trigg Beach lying to myself that there might be a wave. A call comes in that I wasn’t expecting. James, owner and skipper of S.V. Kelolo, is on the other end of the line; “Can you get on a plane to Christmas Island on Saturday?”…it was Thursday afternoon. He explains that Kelolo is stuck in Christmas Island on a mooring designed for naval frigates and time is running out. He had hired a incompetent delivery crew to bring the boat from Malaysia to Fremantle and things didn’t turn out well. Storm damage and insufficient diesel dictated a ‘rescue’ by the Australian NAVY offshore of Christmas Island. Kelolo was abandoned on a mooring and the delivery crew flew home. James was stuck with little option but to sail the boat himself…something which admittedly, he’d been doing for years. What was the plan? There would be the skipper James, myself and two of Jame’s old mates, Archie and Brendan. With a yacht full of surfers, Fremantle was quickly replaced with Bali as our intended destination. With Indo barrels breaking in my mind, I was in and tickets were booked…despite the fact I was to be a groomsman for a friend’s wedding that weekend. Explanations were thought up, blessings given and I was boarding a plane Saturday morning for Christmas Island instead of driving south for a friend’s wedding. Anyone who’s flown...