The courses are given by extremely experienced instructors, all of whom are former maritime pilots.
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.
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.
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.
The tugs are operated by tug masters with at least 15 years of experience.
Gilles MOSSE / Marc BARTHELEMY / Pierre IZENIC / Jean-Louis ROY
Highly experienced instructors work on a part time basis: all of them are licensed captains and former maritime pilots, left to right on the picture :
Marc DERLYN (24 years - Dunkerque pilot) - Jacques SAUBAN (27 years - Loire Pilot) - Philippe BOULANGER (25 years - Sète pilot) - Frédéric PEROTIN (22 years - Port Vendres pilot) - Eric Le BOLLOC'H (23 years - La Rochelle pilot) - Eric VECHE (23 years - Dunkerque pilot) - Jean-Paul JEANJEAN (22 years - Sète pilot) - Bruno MERCIER (25 years - Marseille pilot) - Marc VAN VLIET (25 years - Amsterdam pilot).
With the tug master, that makes a total of over 300 years of seamanship !!
Capt. Hugo KENYON, San Francisco Bar Pilots, USA had said:
"Port Revel is the world leader in manned model training, facilities, instructors, technicians and models are second to none."