Driving an open-top powerboat is awesome! These boats are fast, often cheap to run, and if used correctly, very safe given their bucket-loads of excess buoyancy.
To support safe and enjoyable boating the RYA has developed the Powerboat Scheme taking you from a complete novice, to being able to drive a powerboat commercially in any conditions up to 20 nautical miles offshore (requiring a commercially endoresed RYA/MCA Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competency).
So where is a good place to start?
Level 1 Start Powerboating - Provides a practical introduction to boat handling and safety in powerboats. It covers boating techniques for launching and recovering a boat from a road trailer, everyday boat handling and the use of safety equipment. The course may be conducted in a variety of boat types, both planing and displacement, and the certificate issued will be endorsed to show the type of boat in which the training took place. A one day introduction to Powerboating with no previous experience required. The minimum age is 8, and candidates under the age of 16 will be issued with an endorsed certificate.
Level 2 Powerboat Handling (usually just called "Powerboat Level 2" or "PB2") - Provides the skills and background knowledge needed by the competent powerboat driver and is the basis of the International Certificate of Competence. It aims to teach boat handling and seamanship in powerboats. It focuses on low speed close quarters handling, man overboard recovery, an introduction to driving at planing speed, and collision regulations. The course can be taken at an inland or coastal location. It may be conducted in a variety of boat types, both planing and displacement. The certificate issued will be endorsed to show the type of boat in which the training took place. Minimum age is 12, and candidates under the age of 16 will be issued with an endorsed certificate.
Powerboat Intermediate Course - Covers the practical use of pilotage and passage planning by day on coastal waters using both traditional and electronic navigational techniques. It aims to teach the standard required to complete a short coastal passage by day. This course builds on the foundation knowledge of the Level 2 course and is suited to those who aim to drive larger more powerful powerboats. During the course you will cover cruising at planing speed and more advanced boat handling. It is recommended for anyone considering moving on to the Advanced course. The course can be conducted on a planing or displacement boat. Candidates should be competent to the standard of RYA Powerboat Level 2. It is strongly recommended that candidates hold a first aid and VHF/SRC operator's certificate and have knowledge to the level of Day Skipper theory. Minimum age is 16.
Powerboat Advanced Course - Aims to teach boat handling, seamanship, pilotage and navigation up to the standards required to drive a planing powerboat safely by day and night in tidal coastal waters, with which the candidate may be familiar, in more demanding conditions. Given the nature of these passages Advanced Powerboat courses should be delivered on powerboats of a minimum of 6 metres and an engine size sufficient to enable coastal passages at planing speed. Minimum age is 17.
The RYA/MCA Advanced Powerboat exam (which leads to the RYA/MCA Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competency) is a practical test of skippering ability by day and night in the type of craft applicable to the National Powerboat Scheme.
Documented minimum sea time completed on a seagoing powerboat in the last 10 years:
30 days at sea, which may be reduced to 20 days at sea if an RYA Advanced Powerboat course completion certificate is held;
2 days as skipper;
800 miles, which may be reduced to 400 miles if an RYA Advanced Powerboat Course completion certificate is held;
12 night hours.
You can now book your Powerboat Level 1 or 2 Course with us today: www.fleetwoodseaschool.com