John’s first boating experience was as a two year old when he was a passenger on a cruise ship to England and duly awarded a Certificate from “King Neptune” for crossing the Equator. During WWII John’s father was a Merchant Marine in the North Atlantic and his mother a WREN working on torpedo boats out of Portsmouth, so it would seem that John’s destiny was ingrained in his heritage.

John is passionate about boating and believes that we all have an affinity with the sea and doesn’t care if the boat is a flybridge cruiser or a tinnie, as long as it floats! John made boating his professional life by gaining commercial certificates and does a lot of boating throughout Australia. John also believes he has the best job in the world and flies to Europe every winter to skipper a boat in the Mediterranean.

In 2003 John founded ‘BoatSchool’ to share his knowledge and teach all those interested how to get their Victorian Marine Licence. The company objective is "to assist in the development of skills for fun and safe boating”.

BoatSchool also have a catamaran ‘Nora J’ which is available for practical training or just a day out on the water.


Limited numbers class means your questions get answered.
Easy to learn props including a model boat, navigation marks and safety equipment.
Entertaining videos and presentation, we have fun learning.
98% passes the tests first go and there is no charge to repeat.
Classes every week throughout the year.
PWC (Jet Ski) endorsement included.
Air-conditioned venue with tea/coffee included.
Complimentary sandwiches and bottled water.
We take credit cards and EFTOS for payment.
On the water training available, your boat or ours.
  • Mick Hughes
    We just got back from 3 days down on the Gippsland Lakes sailing. Having done your bareboat charter course meant that we knew what to do and where everything was! Thanks again for the training – being able to hop onboard and get sailing straight away meant we had more time for the fun stuff rather than hours of briefing. Very addictive this sailing lark!
    Mick Hughes
  • Nicholas Hough, General Manager: Kline Fire
    Wow, what can I say about Boat School. The experience that was given to me through an excellent practical session provided by John Sanders was outstanding. The lessons learnt during this course will ensure that my family through me is well aware of the dangers involved when boating throughout the waters in Victoria and other regions. From planning a trip, to the fundamentals of launching the boat, followed by a thorough lesson in the understanding of markers and speed limits; this course is suitable for first timers to the most experienced person who needs to operate a boat or jet ski. Thank you John for empowering me with your wonderful knowledge in boating. Your experience is invaluable.
    Nicholas Hough, General Manager: Kline Fire
  • Darren Nelson
    I've had 4 boats in the last 20 years and I learnt more in 4 hours at your course, many thanks.
    Darren Nelson
  • Adrian Forsyth.
    Congratulations on a very well run course by Boatschool. The communication and arrangement leading up to the course were clear and concise. The enrolment process simple and efficient. The course itself was easy to understand and was a pleasant evening of learning rather than like a droll school classroom. What particularly impressed me was the simple teaching aids you had set up, the boat, the equipment, the signals and signs. All of these together with your explanations made it very easy to understand, to learn and most importantly, to remember. I presented the Boatschool certificate to Vicroads and my marine license is already on the way. Thanks for the tuition, the information and making it so easy and enjoyable to get a boat license.
    Adrian Forsyth.
  • Chris Armstrong
    I learnt an exceptional amount of information and most importantly, enjoyed a fun and vibrant atmosphere. Not only did John teach us the Rules of boating but everyone understood exactly why the rule is in place. I definitely recommend it to any one looking to obtain their boat and or PWC license
    Chris Armstrong