BCU 3 star assessment questions

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on the rocks
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BCU 3 star assessment questions

Post by on the rocks » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:13 pm

We have an assessment coming up in October, on reading the guidance notes maybe someone can help with some questions?
- What would constitute a basic repair tape? Duct tape (waterproof?) and cable ties along with the knife?
- For paddling to a bearing I assume a walking type compass around my neck would be ok, or maybe in a map case on the spraydeck would be sufficient?
- I remember reading somewhere that there is a requirement for evidence of paddling other than on the sea, which I don't have (or was that on the 2 star which I've not taken?)

Thanks again for your help

G7AFM
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Re: BCU 3 star assessment questions

Post by G7AFM » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:00 pm

https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/cour ... sit-on-top

at the bottom of the page are some downloads.

on the rocks
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Re: BCU 3 star assessment questions

Post by on the rocks » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:04 pm

Thanks , I've read the downloads but they don't answer my specific questions - hence the post

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Mr Ed
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Re: BCU 3 star assessment questions

Post by Mr Ed » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:58 pm

Duct tape is hopeless for repairing wet surfaces.

I'd suggest something like Denso tape:

https://www.affixit.co.uk/Denso-Tape/De ... gL_j_D_BwE

In terms of my repair kit I carry:

Leatherman tool
Denzo tape
Cable ties
Plastic off cuts from Margerine tubs
Large plastic bags (can be rigged around hatch rims to make a makeshift cover)
Lighter
A couple of sheets of flash tape: https://www.toolstation.com/shop/p97581 ... gL1bfD_BwE

Some bits of rope/elastic
Some single use glow sticks
Some duct tape for dry jobs (but not for boat repair)

Hope that helps.

Mr Ed

on the rocks
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Re: BCU 3 star assessment questions

Post by on the rocks » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:06 pm

Thanks Mr Ed, very helpful

CharlieS
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Re: BCU 3 star assessment questions

Post by CharlieS » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:21 pm

Walking type compass would be fine; especially if you've practised taking a bearing while on the water.

I misread your question about evidence. If anyone's interested, what I typed in error is in the ps below.
Now I've actually read what you asked, I can confirm there is no requirement to have evidence of journeys NOT on the sea.
Even in the theory section it's mainly about the sea, which is good given the BCU's desire to make us all well-rounded generalists for some reason:
"D.9 General knowledge
Sample questions:
Name two manufactures or models of sea kayak.
How does joining British Canoeing help you and help canoeing generally?
How did the development of sea kayaks differ to that of the open canoe? "

Enjoy getting ready for the assessment.

Charlie


p.s. (answering the WRONG question)

And the evidence answer is:
"Assessment Prerequisites
• Provide evidence of at least 3 different journeys on the sea, of about 3 hours duration (8nm)
each"

What counts as evidence on the day will depend on the judgement of the assessor. Some (most?) will simply ask you to tell them about the three journeys, and then ask leading questions; others might prefer you to have a personal written record. I don't think it would be reasonable to demand 'proof' (e.g. a GPS track), and it's normally pretty easy to tell if someone doesn't really have experience on the sea.

If you're worried you could simply write them up in very simple terms - date, time, distance, start and finish, perhaps a rough hand-drawn map, and something about the conditions on the day. I've kept that kind of information as a matter of course since I started, along with tidal information, and any noteworthy surprises. It's a very helpful record to have, and a lot of fun to look back through.

This thread is old, and the BCU link is broken, but it has some good ideas: viewtopic.php?t=70653

robhorton
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Re: BCU 3 star assessment questions

Post by robhorton » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:56 pm

Re the repair kit, the expectation at 3* is that you are a competent member of a led group so you wouldn't be expected to cope with major boat repairs for example, and in any case it's unlikely you'd fail because something is missing from your repair kit. I would think about what you would need to cope with things like:

- Split wrist/neck seal on a drysuit
- Lost/forgotten hatch cover
- Small leak in a boat
- Foam not properly attached to roof bars

A walking compass if fine but attach it to your buoyancy aid / boat rather than round your neck.

on the rocks
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Re: BCU 3 star assessment questions

Post by on the rocks » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:42 pm

Thanks everybody, lots of useful information

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Robert Craig
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Re: BCU 3 star assessment questions

Post by Robert Craig » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:01 am

Duct tape solves many problems. Denso tape wouldn't be suitable for mending clothes, a tent, or as a bandage cover. It's often possible to dry the surface if necessary.

Notice that if the compass is in a map case you may need to but a wet hand into the case to set the compass. Mine's just lark's-footed to the deck elastic. [As an aside, I'm a bit unconvinced about using a boat-mountet compass for taking bearings.]

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Re: BCU 3 star assessment questions

Post by twopigs » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:36 am

on the rocks wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:13 pm
We have an assessment coming up in October, on reading the guidance notes maybe someone can help with some questions?
- What would constitute a basic repair tape? Duct tape (waterproof?) and cable ties along with the knife?
- For paddling to a bearing I assume a walking type compass around my neck would be ok, or maybe in a map case on the spraydeck would be sufficient?
- I remember reading somewhere that there is a requirement for evidence of paddling other than on the sea, which I don't have (or was that on the 2 star which I've not taken?)

Thanks again for your help
Re: Evidence

You should have a log of your sea trips - the usual reason for looking at the log book for evidence of trips is because the candidate is failing .... and a lack of evidence of trips is evidence that they don't have enough experience!! So if you can work out how many times you've been on the sea - either this year (say, ten) or ever then great. If you are paddling at the required standard I'd pass you whether you knew how often you'd been on the sea. Annoyingly I went to a 3 star open canoe training course and one of the other candidates had never been is an open canoe before. The trainer handed him a 3 star pass slip at the end of the weekend and told me to go and practice. It was the correct outcome - what annoyed me was how easy that guy made paddling look!
Canoeing - bigger boat, broken paddle, more skill!

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Jim
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Re: BCU 3 star assessment questions

Post by Jim » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:57 pm

In the old days we used to carry gaffer tape, small towel and a small bottle (pill bottle or similar) of meths and some matches/lighter to help dry the boat so the tape would stick. You don't need much meths, and get the towel well clear before lighting it. These days a turbo lighter will probably dry an area off in safer manner. I normally only carry a roll of tape and assume I have stuff in my camping kit to improvise drying and shelter if I need it.
I think having a way to seal a hatch is considered important, I rarely take anything specific these days - tape will do it in a pinch, or plastic sheet and bungee.

Paddling to a bearing is easiest with a deck compass but possible with a map compass tied to deck lines. If you are competent and confident you may be able to engage your assessor in a thought provoking discussion about how essential a skill this really is vs paddling transits, particularly at 3*. You may lose the debate, so make sure you are able to do it!

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Re: BCU 3 star assessment questions

Post by Allan Olesen » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:30 pm

For my 3*, we stood on a beach, looking towards a coast on the other side of the water. We were asked to use our compasses to first take a bearing to a point on the opposite coast line and then use this bearing to find our own position along the beach on a map.

I had both a compass mounted on the kayak and a handheld compass, but for this test the handheld compass was obviously the best tool.

I don't remember us doing anything during the assessment which required a compass mounted on the kayak.

Of course, assessments can be very different, so someone else probably had just the opposite experience...

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Re: BCU 3 star assessment questions

Post by MikeB » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:13 pm

The 3* assessment requirement is "to paddle on a bearing". There's no reason why a handheld can't serve as a boat-mounted compass - just stick it under the bungee and make sure it's lined up properly. You're going to need a handheld anyway if you want to use map and compass.

In terms of repair kit, in addition to the excellent suggestions already made, I'd recommend having whatever boat-specific Allen Keys and spanners are needed to fettle skegs and seats. And spare nuts and bolts! I've also found it helpful to have quick-setting epoxy.

Enjoy! And good luck.

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