Advanced Powerboat (‘CoC’) Commercial Exam

Key Course Details

Duration: 1 day

Time: From 10am plus the evening

Group Size: 3 per boat

Min Age: From 18

Price: See text


Advanced Powerboat Commercial Exam

The RYA/MCA Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competence (‘CoC’) Examination is undertaken by those wishing to operate craft commercially up to 20 miles from a safe haven by day or night.

Exam Duration

This can only be a rough guide and a whole variety of factors affect how long each examination lasts. As a guide though – 1 candidate 4 – 5 hours, 2 candidates 5 – 6 hours, 3 Candidates 6 – 7 hours

Minimum seatime required

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. Your theory knowledge should be at the level of RYA Yachtmaster Theory.

Examiner – student ratio

3 students to 1 RYA/MCA Examiner and boat.

Minimum Age


What training and preparation should I undertake before taking the examination?

This will vary from person to person but it is easy to underestimate the level that you need to be at for the Advanced Examination. The common mistake to make is to assume that because you have taken the Advanced Powerboat Course that you are at the right level. The Advanced Powerboat Course is a really good work-up to the exam and certainly most people should undertake it. However by way of example the Advanced Course may introduce you to night navigation whereas the exam requires you to demonstrate a high degree of competence at night way above the level you would have been at if the Advanced Course was your first trip out at night. In short the advanced course introduces techniques and methods whilst the exam tests that using those techniques and methods is second nature to you. This will only be the case if you have invested plenty of time practicing the methods and actually put them into practice on real passages.

Make sure that ahead of the exam that you ensure that your theory is fully up to scratch (you need to be at the level of RYA Yachtmaster Theory) and put time in ensuring your close quarter boat handling is very good in any conditions. You should be able to put a RIB into almost any marina berth the examiner chooses either bow or stern first in any conditions. Practicing the various pilotage techniques you will use day and night to ensure you are totally happy with their use is of course essential.

Overall the key thing is to ensure that you have enough experience and time afloat as you need to evidence a high degree of competence and confidence to the examiner. The examiner has to judge whether to recommend that you are capable of being responsible for 12 passengers so he/she has to be sure that you have the necessary skills.

Why choose Powerboat Training UK for your RYA Advanced Powerboat Examination?

Our boats ~ with 7.8m fully coded Ribcrafts based in both Poole and Lymington we are able to provide first class boats for you to use on the examination. Each RIB is fully equipped with all relevant safety equipment and are fitted with Icom and Garmin electronics.

Our location and teaching facilities ~ Poole Harbour is a truly amazing location – so much so that the RNLI and the Royal Marines base their training operations here.

Likewise our base in Lymington at Aquasafe Powerboat School is at Lymington Yacht Haven which like Cobbs Quay is a large marina with a huge range of craft. Our classrooms are well resourced, clean and professional.

Both locations provide a first class venue for an examination and except in extreme conditions exams are rarely weather affected.

Our expertise ~ we prepare many people each year for their exam and are also very proud to have written the RYA Powerboat Handbook for the RYA and the recently launched RYA Advanced Powerboat Handbook. The Advanced Powerboat Handbook is a good buy for those undertaking the exam.

What is included in the examination fee and what else do I pay? The examination fee is set by the RYA each year and is available in our price list. It is payable to the RYA through the examiner on the day either by credit card or cheque.

You will also need to either provide your own boat or charter one of our RIBs.

If you charter on of our RIBs then this is at the rates detailed in our Course Prices – here

If you want to use your own craft you will need to provide a seaworthy vessel equipped with the following:

  • Compass
  • Lights conforming with IRPCS
  • VHF radio (may be portable)
  • GPS (may be hand held) or Plotter
  • Depth Sounder
  • Anchor, Chain and Warp
  • Tow line
  • Torch
  • Basic tool kit and spares
  • Heaving line
  • Paddles or additional means of propulsion
  • Flares – 2 hand held, 2 orange smoke
  • Bilge pump or buckets / bailer
  • First Aid Kit

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

  • Laminated or waterproof charts
  • A GPS set (may be hand held)
  • Tide tables
  • Pilotage information for the local area, eg pilot books, port information etc
  • Plotting instruments

You must wear a 150 or 275 Newton lifejacket with a DoT(UK) approved lifejacket light.


Syllabus for the Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competence Examination

Preparation for Sea

  • Preparation of vessel
  • Safety brief
  • Stowing and securing gear for coastal passages
  • Engine operations and routine checks, fuel systems, kill cord
  • Fuel system, bleeding, changing filters and impellors

Boat handling

  • Hull forms and their handling characteristics, propeller configurations.
  • Knowledge of action to be taken in rough weather
  • Significance of tidal stream on sea conditions
  • Steering and power control through waves
  • Understanding and correct use of power trim and tabs
  • Towing, under open sea conditions and in confined areas
  • Strategy up and downwind and in heavy weather

Awareness of the effects of wind and tide when manoeuvring, including

  • Steering to transits and in buoyed channels
  • Turning in a confined space
  • All berthing and un-berthing
  • Picking up and leaving a mooring buoy
  • Anchoring
  • Recovery of man overboard
  • Awareness of ground speed and ability to hold the boat on station

Responsibilities of skipper

  • Can skipper the vessel with effective crew communication
  • Preparing the vessel for sea and for adverse weather
  • Tactics for heavy weather and restricted visibility
  • Emergency and distress situations
  • Customs procedures
  • Courtesy to other water users

Passage making and Pilotage
Your chart work and theory knowledge should include:

  • Charts, navigational publications and sources of navigational information
  • Chart work, including position fixing and shaping course to allow for tide
  • Tidal heights and depths
  • Buoyage and visual aids to navigation
  • Instruments, including compasses, logs, echo sounders, radio navaids and chartwork instruments
  • Passage planning and navigational tactics
  • Importance of pre-planning High speed navigation, pre-planning and execution
  • Use of electronic navigation (GPS & Radar)
  • Pilotage techniques and plans for entry into or departure from harbour
  • Use of leading and clearing lines, transits and soundings as aids to pilotage.
  • Navigational records
  • Limits of navigational accuracy and margins of safety
  • Lee shore dangers

You should be able to enter and depart from a charted port by day or night. Your Examiner will give
you a pilotage exercise and ask you to explain your planning. You will need to be aware of the
problems of collision avoidance and how to determine your position by night.

You should be able to use weather and tidal information to predict likely sea conditions and make
passage planning decisions.

  • Definition of terms including the Beaufort Scale, and their significance to small craft.
  • Sources of weather forecasts
  • Weather systems and local weather effects
  • Interpretation of weather forecasts, barometric trends and visible phenomena
  • Ability to make passage planning decisions based on forecast information

Rules of the Road

Application of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea. You should have a working knowledge of IRPCS as well as an understanding of their application.


Candidates will be expected to know what safety equipment should be carried on board the vessel, based either on the recommendations in RYA booklet C8, or the Codes of Practice for the Safety of Small Commercial Vessels. In particular, candidates must know the responsibilities of a skipper in
relation to:

  • Fire prevention and fighting
  • Safety briefs
  • Hull damage/watertight integrity
  • Medical emergency
  • Towing and being towed
  • VHF emergency procedures
  • Explanation of helicopter rescue procedures
  • Use of flares
  • Man overboard
  • Search patterns
  • Lifejackets
  • Liferafts
  • Awareness of risks to passengers and crew through shock and vibration caused by operating at speed
  • Awareness of strategies to mitigate risk of injury caused by shock and vibration
    Candidates should be familiar with all the equipment on board the vessel, as they may be asked to use
    this during the examination.

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

Advanced Powerboat (‘CoC’) Commercial Exam - Enquire

Thank you for your interest in this examination!

Due to the entry requirements for the examination we always ask that we have a chat through the exam and your experience before we go ahead and agree dates with you and book you onto the examination. Obviously for most of the people that we book onto exams we are doing so alongside arranging other courses for them such as Yachtmaster Theory and the Advanced Powerboat Course.

Please either give us a call or fill in the form below and we will make contact with you. Alternatively you can email us at