Powerboating offers the best of both worlds, the leisurely pace of a gentle cruise and the thrill of zipping across the open water. RYA training will give you the confidence and skills to handle the boat safely and make the most of your time on the water, whatever your pace.

As well as courses for recreational boaters, RYA powerboat certificates are also used by professional open boat skippers who need to prove their competence or require professional qualifications for work.

So whether you use powerboats for leisure, work, or in connection with another activity such as sailing or rescue, we have a course for you. Find out more about our powerboat courses below.

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Practical courses

The National Powerboat scheme is comprised of a series of one and two-day practical courses that can be taken either onboard a centre’s boat, or your own. There’s something for all ages and levels of experience. 


Level 1 Start Powerboating

A one-day introduction to simple boat handling and the use of safety equipment.

Level 2 Powerboat Handling

A two-day course to get to grips with powerboat handling.

Intermediate Powerboating

Two days of practical pilotage, passage planning and navigating by day.

Advanced Powerboating

Two days of planning and navigating more challenging passages by day and night.

Safety boat

Two days of hands-on recovery and fleet management techniques for dinghies and windsurfers for those operating in a training or racing environment.

Tender Operator

This two-day course builds upon Level 2 Powerboat Handling skills, focussing on short-handed operations, passenger safety and comfort. Designed in consultation with the Professional Yachting Association (PYA).

Courses ashore

Increase your confidence and get qualified with our navigation and specialist short courses.

Essential Navigation and Seamanship

A basic introduction to navigation for new skippers, crew or anyone interested in getting out on the water.

Marine Radio (SRC)

Get qualified to use a handheld or fixed marine VHF radio with our course and exam.

More courses ashore...

From first aid to diesel engine, there are a number of related classroom and online courses you may find useful as you develop your knowledge.


Test your skill, knowledge and experience as a powerboat skipper by taking the RYA/MCA Advanced Powerboat exam.

Find out more
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RYA Powerboat Handbook cover with images of powerboats

With more than 100 different titles to choose from, there’s an RYA book, eBook or audiobook for every age, interest and ability. Visit our webshop for course books and a range of supporting titles.

If you want to go powerboating overseas, you’re likely to need an ICC. The Level 2 Powerboat Handling certificate can be used as evidence of your competence.

Family on rib wearing tshirts and lifejackets, pointing at needles

Powerboating can be great fun for the whole family and there are plenty of opportunities for young people to get involved. Check our course descriptions for minimum age recommendations.

Orange rescue rib at sea. Man at helm wearing dark clothing and sunglasses

If you need a powerboat qualification for work, you might need a commercial endorsement. Find out more about professional qualifications and what it takes to work on the water.