Upcoming Events

Melbourne to Devonport Rudder Cup

Friday, 3 Nov 2023 - Saturday, 4 Nov 2023
Time: 06:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Location: Queenscliff

Safety & Sea Survival Course Full & Refresher Course

Sunday, 19 Nov 2023
Time: 08:15 am - 05:00 pm
Location: Wesley College

West Offshore Products Coastal Sprint Race 2

Saturday, 25 Nov 2023
Time: 07:00 am - 05:00 pm
Location: The Heads, Port Phillip Bay

Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster

Wednesday, 27 Dec 2023 - Friday, 29 Dec 2023
Time: 12:00 pm - 12:01 pm
Location: Portsea Pier

Rip Tour of Port Phillip Heads

Sunday, 24 Mar 2024
Time: 09:45 am - 11:00 pm
Location: The Heads, Port Phillip Bay

West Offshore Products Coastal Sprint 3

Saturday, 20 Apr 2024
Time: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm
Location: The Heads, Port Phillip Bay

Sail Escapade


RYA Diesel Engine Basics, or "Why won't it start?"

Click here to enrol

We'd just finished an overnight race around Port Phillip and had dropped sail to pull into Brighton and drop off a crew member. We were motoring into harbour as the crew secured the sails when the engine alarm went off. “Not good” I thought, we'll have to check it out. “Hoist the main and shut down the engine” I said, preparing to hand over the helm to an appropriate crew member.
Wait a minute! Michael did the diesel engine course a few weeks ago, “Michael, go below please and check the strainer and the sea water intake.” “OK” responds Michael and disappears below. A few minutes later, as we safely sail around outside the harbour, Michael returns and reports “Nothing obvious in the strainer and I tested the intake – there's plenty of water flowing in when I open the sea cock. I reassembled everything, give it another go”

When things go even a little wrong with your engine at sea you need to have some idea how to help yourself. There is no RACV and you can't just pull over and stop. Even if you know what to do, who's going to keep the boat off the rocks while you have a tinker? - Perhaps you should encourage a crew member, spouse or offspring to enrol as well?

This course is provided by Sail Escapade, an ORCV training partner.


Too often we take the engine for granted. Of course it starts everytime, and you get it serviced regularly by a marine diesel mechanic so it should be fine, right? You don't need to be an expert but it can be useful if you know how to do some basic procedures and fault finding.

What would you're response be to the following - “Yep” or “WTF?”

  • “Sounds like your pump impeller might be shot, whip it out and have a look” says your mechanic over the phone.

  • “Have you tried bleeding the fuel system?”

  • “Check the strainer, it might be blocked.”

  • “Have you been draining the water from the separator?”


Learn how to recognise the basic components of your diesel engine and how to check for the main causes of minor engine trouble. By the end of this course you should be able to locate the important components of the various systems on the engine and to carry out basic fault finding and rectification.


No prior knowledge is expected or assumed and participants will be placed into groups of similar standards. However, this is a hands on course – if you are not comfortable using a screwdriver, spanner …. and sometimes a hammer :) please ask your instructor for advice … and gloves.

What to bring

  • Notepad, pencil and eraser.

  • Working clothes including closed toe shoes please.

Course Outline.

This is a hands on course. Most of the learning will be done in a practical environment using marine diesel engines mounted on engine stands. You will disassemble the engines to examine the workings.

Candidates will become to familiar with -

  • The basic operation of a four cycle and two cycle engine.

  • The various systems which make up an engine.

1. Fuel system

2. Air system

3. Cooling system

4. Lubrication system

5. Exhaust system

6. Electrical system

  • Useful Tools and spare parts.

  • Faultfinding

  • Daily maintenance

  • Basic repairs and servicing


Progressive assessment will occur during the course via the practical nature of the course. The workbook contains a number of questions to help assess the level of knowledge you have acquire.


Upon successful completion of this course, participants will receive the RYA Diesel Engine certificate. The certificate is recognised both internationally and also as a part of the commercial certification of RYA sailing qualifications..

Course Materials

All participants will be provided with -

  • RYA Diesel Engine course pack.

  • A number of handouts relevant to certain topics.

  • References to supporting information online.

Dates, Locations, Times, Duration

Course duration is approximately 7 hours.

Next course

Tuesday, Mar 1st 2016

9:00am – 4:30pm


Wyndham Harbour,

Quay Boulevard

South Werribee


ORCV members $210

Non-ORCV members $240

Cost includes course pack and lunch.


Online enrolment is available here, payment is required when enrolling.


Please contact our course provider, Sail Escapade on 0418574360 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Long Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency (LROCP)


We do not have any dates for these courses.  Please check these kindred club websites for courses:

When the ORCV does run this course, it comprises of two sessions with a self study period in between. 

ORCV Office 3 Aquatic Drive, Albert Park, Victoria.


Operators of marine VHF and MF/HF radios are required to be certified in accordance with international conventions and agreements to which Australia is a party. There are two levels of internationally recognised certification relevant to recreational sailors and boaters -

The Short Range Certificate (SRC) for VHF operation, known in Australia as the Short Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency (SROCP).

The Long Range Certificate (LRC) for VHF and MF/HF operations, known in Australia as the Long Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency (LROCP).

NOTE - The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), as the government regulatory body, has recently approved a new qualification called the Australian Waters Qualification (AWQ). The AWQ is only valid for VHF operation in inland and territorial waters. It is not valid beyond the 12nm territorial waters limit nor is it recognised outside Australia. With these restrictions in mind ORCV recommends recreational sailors obtain the LROCP or, as a minimum, the SROCP. N.B. To upgrade from SROCP to LROCP requires re-sitting the full exam hence the recommendation to do the complete LROCP.


The course culminates in a supervised examination and now includes a practical assessment.

  • The exam is prepared by the Office of Maritime Communication at the Australian Maritime College (OMC); a division of the University of Tasmania.
  • The exam is 25 multiple choice question for the SROCP or 50 multiple choice questions for the LROCP.
  • After completing the written exam, all candidates are required to complete a supervised practical assessment using VHF and HF equipment as appropriate to the certificate they wish to obtain. 
  • The pass mark is 70%
  • Upon successful completion of the examination, the candidate will receive their certificate in the mail directly from the OMC.
  • The certificate is valid for life and does not require renewal.

This course will result in participants acquiring the knowledge to participate confidently in marine radio communications. While there will be some practical content, including some hands-on operation of a radio for assessment purposes, the main emphasis is on understanding the regulations, protocols and land-based stations. For this reason we recommend that sailors use the radio regularly when boating to notify their local marina or harbour control of their movements, as this is both good safety practice as well as the opportunity to become comfortable with radio operations and procedures.

The ORCV has developed a complementary training session, “Practical hands-on marine radio workshop”, which is recommended as a supplement to provide practice and confidence in using marine radios. This practical training includes routine communication, group skeds and distress situations as well as understanding the capability of the ORCV mobile communications van which is used to support our on-water events.


No prior knowledge or reading is required.

Minimum prescribed age is 16 years old.

Course Outline

This course provides a guide to the topics covered in the exam and provides a program of coaching, self-study and pre-exam revision which is designed to both increase your knowledge and allow you to approach the examination with confidence. The course is run over two sessions and consists of a training night, a self-study period of around one week, followed by a revision exercise and the exam approximately one week later. Practical assessment is organised separately.

Candidates will become familiar with -

  • ·Basic radio components and controls.
  • ·Distress, calling and working frequencies.
  • ·Maritime communication stations and coast radio stations.
  • ·Marine repeater channels, simplex, duplex channels and the Victorian/Tasmanian repeater network.
  • ·Simple electrical circuits and related fault diagnosis
  • ·Standard radio usage protocols
  • ·Distress, urgency and safety protocols
  • ·Digital Selective Calling (DSC) distress procedures.
  • ·EPIRB operation and SART Operation

The assessment component now includes a practical assessment.  The course provides some hands-on experience during the first training session but personal experience/practice is recommended prior to the practical assessment.

Marine Radio

Preparation and Exam

Skippers and crew, should be confident in their ability to operate the radio equipment on any boat. You never know when you may be called upon to issue an important distress call or coordinate radio communication while your skipper comes to the aid of another vessel.

The course provides a guide to the Long and Short Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency exam. A program of coaching, self study and pre-exam revision will help increase your knowledge and allow you to approach the examination with confidence. The training session is approximately 3.5hrs followed by a revision session and exam one week later. Your internationally recognised certificate is issued by the Australian Maritime College upon passing the exam and practical assessment.


Upon successful completion of the examination and assessment, participants will receive the relevant certificate (SROCP or LROCP) from OMC. The certificate is valid for life and there is no further assessment or renewal process. OMC can also replace lost certificates for a small fee

ORCV requires that at least one, and for Category 2 and above events and double handed entries, two members of the crew to hold the relevant certificate of proficiency. In times of distress or urgency, the skipper will have many things to deal with and having a competent crew member take charge of the radio will free the skipper to deal with other tasks.

Course Materials

All participants will be provided with -

  • A 48 page study guide.
  • A number of handouts relevant to certain topics.
  • References to supporting information online.
  • Access to the online practice examination.


ORCV Members and Beyond the Bay participants: $195
Non Members $220


Cost includes printed study guide and OMC examination sitting fee and practical assessment supervision.

The full Marine Radio Operators handbook can be ordered for an additional $50. It is only required by boat owners who have a MF/HF radio fitted and do not already have a copy. 

What to bring

Notepad, highlighter pen and pen or pencil.