RYA 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 exams

You may use your own boat or a boat that you have chartered or borrowed. You will be responsible for ensuring the boat is seaworthy and suitable for the area in which the exam takes place and equipped as shown below.

The vessel must be 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.
  6. Photographic ID card or document, such as a passport or driving licence

Advanced Powerboat exam pre-requisites

Minimum seatime

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. 
Background knowledge Knowledge to the level of Yachtmaster Offshore theory
Form of exam Practical
Certification required
  • A GMDSS compliant Marine Radio Operator's Certificate such as the RYA Short Range Certificate or higher.
  • An RYA First Aid Certificate or another valid first aid certificate, as detailed on the RYA website.
  • Advanced Powerboat course completion certificate ONLY IF claiming reduced sea time detailed above.
  • Photographic ID card or document, such as passport or driving license
Minimum exam duration

1 Candidate: 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 at the time of the exam


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.

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