RYA Powerboat Training Courses


We all know that safety and enjoyment of your day out on a boat - and the enjoyment of your crew – is greatly enhanced by knowing how to use it properly. Therefore we strongly recommended before using your powerboat or rib the appropriate training is obtained. Whilst is it (not just yet) mandatory to have the full powerboat qualifications to drive a rib or powerboat throughout the UK, many insurers, harbours and marinas are now asking for proof of competence. In the UK, training for all ribs and powerboats is controlled by the Royal Yachting Association, the RYA. Full details of all RYA training centres and course details are on their website.

Recommended Qualifications for Leisure Rib and Powerboat Skippers

Pennine Marine recommend that the minimum qualifications for leisure users are;

  • Users of inflatable’s with outboard engines  - RYA powerboat level 1
  • Skippers of ribs and powerboats - RYA powerboat level 2
  • Skippers of ribs and powerboats used in coastal waters - RYA intermediate powerboat course
  • Skippers of ribs and powerboats offshore and/or at night - RYA intermediate powerboat course

The RYA Courses for Powerboaters and RIbs

A brief summary are the RYA courses that are needed by rib and powerboat skippers are follows;

RYA Powerboat Level 1

A one-day course covering basic boat handling and safety. There is some theory work. The course includes launching and recovery from a road trailer, basic daytime navigation, safe boat handling and an introduction to safety equipment and how to use it.

RYA Powerboat Level 2

A two-day course covering all powerboat handling and safety. This qualification is recommended for all ribs and powerboats and leads to the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) which a power boater will need if the boat is taken abroad. The first day is the same as level 1, i.e. all the basics. There is more high speed manoeuvring, close quarters steering and emphasis on practical boat handling. There is more theory work, including more advanced daytime navigation and also an introduction to the international collision regulations. There is more emphasis on safety equipment and in particular how rescue “man overboard” casualties.

RYA Intermediate Powerboat Course

This two day course builds upon powerboat level 2 and is designed for those who need to travel further afield with their boats, having already mastered basic boat handling. There is far more theory work, especially the navigation and the passage planning needed for serious coastal work. This navigation uses both traditional and modern techniques.

RYA Advanced Powerboat Course

The advanced course lives up to it name - it is intended for powerboaters who will be driving at night or in more remote and unfamiliar waters. It also emphasises the skippers role and how to handle a boat in demanding sea and weather conditions.

RYA Marine Short Range Certificate - The Mandatory Course for Marine VHF/DSC Radios

It is mandatory that users of marine VHF/DSC radios have a Marine Short Range Certificate.(The Marine Radio License). This RYA radio course is a one day classroom course which teaches the correct radio procedures for radio operators, including describing the different types of radio and DSC, radio channels, the “NATO” alphabet and last and by no means least, how to make a “pan pan” and “mayday call”.Given the massive growth in the complexity of marine electronics in the last ten year, the RYA have crammed a lot into this radio course and we recommend some pre-preparation.Upon passing this course, you can apply for your marine radio operators licence –which is mandatory for all marine radio operators.

RYA Rescue Boat

The RYA rescue boat course is intended for those who drive a rescue boat, often for a club or activity centre.

RYA Radar Course

If you use radar, then this one day course teaches you radar set up, navigation and collision avoidance.

RYA First Aid
The classic one day first aid course, but designed around the requirements for users of small craft.