You are currently viewing Powerboat Training Courses – a useful guide

Powerboat Training Courses – a useful guide

The RYA Powerboat scheme that we specialise in teaching has a series of logical steps or building blocks to it. However, when you start looking at the powerboat training courses that are available it can sometimes be unclear what you need to do. Here we will explain to you the benefits of doing each course so you can decide how far you want to take your training. You can click on any of the icons on this page and get the specific details of each course we offer.

Level 2 powerboat training courses
RYA Intermediate Powerboat training courses
RYA Advanced Powerboat training courses
RYA Essential Navigation
RYA Day Skipper

RYA Yachtmaster Theory

RYA Powerboat Level 2

The RYA powerboat training courses start with the Powerboat Level 2 course. There is a Level 1 course but this is really designed for children. It doesn’t get you a licence and just increases your costs. We don’t offer it.

The RYA Powerboat Level 2 is a two day course. Upon successful completion of this course you will be issued a UK licence to drive powerboats up to 10 metres in length. That’s a pretty big boat after just two days on the water!

During the course we will cover all the basics of seamanship and basic boat handling. We will teach you how to manoeuvre in the wind and tide and show you how to do various tasks. These will include anchoring, picking up a mooring buy for a lunch stop, recovering a person from the water and safe high speed driving and cornering. We also include a free VHF course. Not a bad bundle for £325 ?

The Powerboat licence can, if you wish, be converted into an ICC. That’s an International Certificate of Competence. This licence will allow you to drive powerboats while on holiday in the sun. Living the dream! In order to do this you simply need to send a form and a passport photo off to the RYA and for the princely sum of £45 they will issue your international licence. Alternatively, if you join the RYA for 1 year, they will issue the licence for free. Bargain!

Top Tip

Bear in mind though, most reputable places abroad will require you to have a VHF radio licence in order to legally charter a boat while you’re on holiday. That’s why we include it for free?️

Level 2 powerboat training courses
Learn to drive a powerboat. Courses from complete beginner to commercial skipper

RYA Essential Navigation

An extremely sensible add on to the Powerboat Level 2 course is the Essential Navigation classroom course. At £125 it’s not an expensive course but it does mean another weekend training. The benefit of this is the safety knowledge it gives you to take on the water when you go boating.

A bit like the highway code for boats it will teach you how to interpret the maps, to avoid getting caught out by the tide and how to avoid hazards and plan a safe day on the water.

Most students tend to stop at this point to be honest. They have a ICC and a VHF radio licence so they can hire a boat on holiday. They also have just enough knowledge to be sensible and stay safe on the water. So at this point we have done enough high quality training for them to have the confidence they need as well as the skills.

Powerboat IRPCS Revision Sheet
Essential Navigation – Giving you the knowledge you need to stay safe

RYA Intermediate Powerboat Training Courses

The intermediate powerboat training course is the next step in the journey. Again, it’s a two day course and people come back to it at different times. It’s an excellent course to do as we go off visiting new places. You will make a plan to enter a different harbour and then follow the plan on the water.

The intermediate powerboat training course teaches you to go further afield on even bigger adventures. That’s why people come back to it at different times. It depends how much boating you do after your Powerboat Level 2 course but eventually you will want to visit more places. It’s part of getting the best out of your new hobby. ?

Rather than focusing on boat handling, although this is still included, we will teach you to plan a coastal passage. From our base in Poole Harbour, this could mean navigating to a secluded cove on the Jurassic Coast. Visiting Christchurch for lunch at the Captain’s Club. Or a gentle river trip to a country village.

Day Skipper Theory

The Day Skipper theory course is a thorough navigation course that will give you the knowledge to plan coastal passages and keep everybody safe too.

This course has a minimum of 40 hours classroom time. During the course we will teach you:

  • Chartwork
  • Position fixing and GPS navigation
  • Rules of the road
  • Weather forecasting
  • How to get into new harbours
  • Tidal calculations
  • Emergency and safety procedures
Day Skipper IRPCS Revision Sheet
RYA Day Skipper Theory – a step up in knowledge

Take Things Pro With These Powerboat Training Courses

After the intermediate course there are a range of courses and exams required so that you can go pro. Lets explore these options in more detail.

RYA Yachtmaster Theory
RYA Advanced Powerboat training courses
RYA Powerboat Instructor Course
Advanced certificate of competence

Yachtmaster Theory and the Advanced Powerboat Course

The Advanced powerboat course is required training in order to take the commercial skipper exam. During the course we will take you out in the dead of night and teach you to navigate by the lights. You will be trained to the point that you can stop the boat in the middle of the ocean within 5 metres of an unmarked position. It’s pretty cool stuff.

In order to gain the knowledge and be capable to pass the course you will have to have recorded between 400 and 800 miles of experience on the water. You will also need to pass the Yachtmaster theory course to give you the knowledge needed at a professional level.

This is also a two day course but you can expect a very late night. We will teach you how to conduct search patterns, give safety briefs and give you the tools to take paying passengers to sea.

The Advanced Powerboat Exam

The advanced exam is conducted by an independent examiner from the RYA. He will expect you to have a thorough knowledge of everything in the syllabus and be a capable boat handler.

Successful completion of this exam will qualify you to drive power driven vessels, up to 24 metres in length, as a commercial skipper. ?️

Become an RYA Powerboat Level 2 Instructor

This is probably one of the most awesome ways to earn extra pennies there is. It’s also not that hard to achieve which is the good news.

In order to be eligible to become an instructor you need to hold a Level 2 certificate and have three seasons experience of driving powerboats. Having said that, if you drive boats as part of your job, this is cut down to one season.

If you meet that criteria you can attend a skills assessment day with an independent powerboat trainer. If you make the grade then you can attend the week long instructor course. During the course you will learn how t structure and deliver an RYA powerboat level 2 course. On a successful pass you can then teach the course. We pay £100 per day for powerboat instructors. Not bad over a two day course program. ?

Intermediate and Advanced Powerboat Instructor

To be able to teach at the top level of the powerboat scheme you have to have been a powerboat level 2 instructor for at least a year. You also have to hold the advanced course certificate and the COC exam qualification.

If you do then it’s the same again. Attend an instructor course conducted by an RYA trainer. If your successful you can then teach people to go further afield and take them on adventures in the dark.


However far you decide to take your hobby or professional qualifications, we have the right powerboat training courses and the right attitude to your learning. We will work with you and get you where you want to be. Wherever that may be. ?????

Noel Hutchinson

Qualifications: Yachtmaster Instructor for sail Yachtmaster instructor for power Advanced powerboat instructor VHF instructor & assessor Yachtmaster navigation instructor Diesel engine maintenance instructor Around the world: Oman, middle east Balearic Islands Croatia Spain Gibralter United Kingdom

Leave a Reply