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Advanced Powerboat Exam

The RYA/MCA Advanced Powerboat exam is a practical test of skippering ability by day and night in the type of craft applicable to the National Powerboat Scheme.

Full details of the exam syllabus and requirements are shown in the RYA's Powerboat Logbook (code G20) available from the webshop.

Boats used for 'own boat' exams

You will need to provide a seaworthy vessel capable of a minimum of 12 knots, equipped with the following:

  1. compass
  2. lights conforming with IRPCS
  3. VHF radio (may be portable)
  4. GPS (may be hand held) or plotter
  5. depth sounder
  6. anchor, chain and warp
  7. tow line
  8. torch
  9. basic tool kit and spares
  10. heaving line
  11. paddles or additional means of propulsion
  12. flares: 2 hand held, 2 orange smoke
  13. bilge pump or buckets/bailer
  14. first aid kit

Additionally if not on the boat, you will need to bring to the exam:

  1. laminated or waterproof charts
  2. GPS set (may be hand held)
  3. tide tables
  4. pilotage information for the local area, eg pilot books, port information etc
  5. plotting instruments. 

Advanced Powerboat exam pre-requisites

Minimum seatime
  • 2 years relevant experience including night pilotage.
  • As a guide 30 days, 2 days as skipper, 800 miles, 12 night hours.
  • If you hold an RYA Advanced Powerboat Course Completion Certificate the seatime is reduced to: 20 days, 2 days as skipper, 400 miles, 12 night hours.
  • All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam.

Form of exam Practical
Certification required
Minimum exam duration 4 to 5 hours 2 candidates: 5 to 6 hours 3 candidates: 6 to 7 hours. No more than three candidates can be examined in one session.
Minimum age 17

Before you book your exam please check that you:

  1. can provide a boat
  2. have completed the required mileage and experience as skipper
  3. hold a VHF Radio Operators License or Short Range Certificate
  4. hold a valid first aid certificate
  5. have read the syllabus in RYA publication G20
  6. have read and comply with the pre-requisites above.

Candidates should be familiar with all the equipment on board the vessel, as they may be asked to use this during the examination. 

If you need your Certificate of Competence in order to work on board a commercial craft subject the MCA's codes of practice, you will need to get it commercially endorsed - see 'Related articles'.

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