The courses are given by extremely experienced instructors, all of whom are former maritime pilots.
Port Revel instructors are appointed by being co-opted by other instructors with the Director's approval. To reach that point they are required to complete five weeks of preliminary training with the other instructors, one of which is spent as a participant on a standard course. This usually takes up the first year.
New instructors then begin giving lectures of increasing complexity. They have generally mastered all the lecture topics by the end of the second year or during the third year. As of the fourth year they are usually capable of taking full responsibility for a course and supervising younger instructors.
The instructors are all (retired) maritime pilots with at least 20 years of experience handling large vessels. Most of them are French, but this is not compulsory: they are merely required to speak fluent French (for internal communication) and English (the working language). Instructors are also required to master ship handling theory and have basic teaching and interpersonal skills.
There is no requirement for initial teaching experience (which maritime pilots seldom have). Port Revel's internal train-the-trainer programme is spread over 3 years and yields the highest level of teaching/training competence in ship handling. All instructors work at least 5 weeks/year on the lake in order to stay at this highest level of competence.
At least two instructors are available on the lake with three ships sailing at any time during exercises. Similarly, at least 3 instructors are available with 4 ships and at least 4 instructors with 5 ships.
The tugs are operated by tug masters with at least 15 years of experience.
Instructors: 8 instructors, all maritime pilots.
They are responsible for running the theoretical and practical training courses.
Their professional experience as seamen and the numerous hours spent with students from around the world means that they are not just first-rate professionals but also quite remarkable "interfaces" between real ships and model ships.
From left to right:
Marc DERLYN - Bruno MERCIER - Eric VECHE - Alain CHARMASSON - Fréderic PEROTIN - Olivier THOMAS - Marc VAN VLIET - Jean-Paul JEANJEAN