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Course FAQ's: RYA Powerboat Level 1

How much will the RYA Powerboat Level 1 course cost including exam fees?

Typically this will cost around £240/320 EUROS/$360 per person.

What will you get out of the course?

A powerboat for the purposes of RYA training is one without a cabin you can sleep in. It might have an inboard engine – many workboats do – or an outboard engine. This might be a jet ski, club tender or an RIB.

This is a first step toward useful courses such as the Safety Boat qualification that sailing clubs around the UK value immensely – without a safety boat, many dinghy sailors won’t race or venture out.

You will cover the basic elements of powerboat handling. You will learn how to handle a powerboat at speed and low speed. You will cover how to come alongside a dock and how to leave, as well as basic engine maintenance.

You will also cover safety techniques such as man overboard, as well as the essentials of collision avoidance and the Rules of the Road.

What are your limits after completing  the course?

You will be safe to take a powerboat out on sheltered waters as a skipper.

Is the Powerboat Level 1 course onshore theory, practical or both?

Though there is an element of theory, the Powerboat Level 1 course is mostly about practical skills. Bring warm, dry clothing as over the two days you will be on the water most of the time!

Where can you take it?

You can take the course anywhere in the world that offers it. The RYA is based in the UK, so you will find most of the available courses in that country. Have a look around our website to find a course near you.

Can you do the course in another country?

Yes, anywhere you can find a RYA instructor.

What level of experience do you need before you begin this course?

You need no experience. You can be as young as 8 to do it.

How long does the Powerboat Level 1 take to finish?

The course takes two days.

What does it involve?

You will cover launching the boat from a slipway, as well as assessing the slipway as being safe to launch it from.

You will look at buoyancy aids as well as how to use them. You will cover the basics of the Rules of the Road, about collision avoidance and other safety issues such as use of the kill cord.

You will cover basic engine checks such as oil and fuel levels. You will also learn about stowing an anchor and being towed.

On the water you will learn about high and low speed manoeuvres, as well as how to operate a displacement and a planning vessel. You learn how to use the wind in manoeuvres, and how it affects the boat at various speeds.

You will also cover coming alongside a dock and leaving the dock. Finally, you’ll learn the basic elements of towing and being towed.

How do I progress after passing it?

You can progress through the different levels of RYA Powerboat courses, the most approriate being the Powerboat Level 2.

Does the course give you international accreditation?

No, but you will be able to demonstrate a certain level of competence should you be asked for evidence of your skills.

Where can I learn more about the RYA Powerboat Level 1 course?

Look up the RYA syllabus here.

Our friends at Sport Solent also offer some great information.

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