Personal Watercraft Instructor

Key Course Details

Duration: 3 days

Time: 9am to 5pm

Group Size: Up to 6

Min Age: From 16

Price: £523 to £550


Personal Watercraft Instructor

The RYA Personal Watercraft Instructor course allows you to teach the one day RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency course and if you are on a superyacht registered as a RYA Training Centre the RYA Introduction to PW Safety.

Course Duration

3 days from 9am to 5/6pm. You should also budget for 1 – 2 hours per evening for ‘homework’ during the course.

Prior experience

Candidates for the instructor course must possess the RYA Personal Watercraft Certificate of Proficiency and an appropriate First Aid qualification. (Please check the suitability of your first aid qualification – Acceptable first aid certficates).

Candidates must possess at least two years’ experience of helming personal watercraft. You should also bear in mind that you should be a very competent powerboat driver as you will usually lead the courses from a powerboat.

Minimum Age

Those over the age of 16 can attend this course.

Trainer – student ratio

6 students to 1 RYA Personal Watercraft Trainer and 2 PWs. On day 3 of the course there will be a second Personal Watercraft Trainer – the ‘Course Moderator’.

Course Dates

Our craft: Throughout the year we run these courses every 4 – 5 weeks at our base in Poole.

Superyachts: We regularly run the courses by invitation on yachts. We can do so in any country with the approval of the RYA.

Why choose Powerboat Training UK for your RYA Personal Watercraft Instructor course?

The key thing that we can bring to a course is our considerable experience of training Instructors across the world. The Trainers that run our courses (usually led by Paul Glatzel – author of the RYA Powerboat Handbook & RYA Advanced Powerboat Handbook) run a considerable number of these courses each year and are 100% on top of what is recommended as ‘best practice’ ensuring that those they train are really well placed to then run courses once qualified.

We have been running PW Instructor courses since 2007 when we became actively involved in the new (at that time) scheme to have RYA Training Centres on superyachts. Since then we have trained many hundreds of PW Instructors in the UK, the Caribbean, the US and the Mediterranean to work both on superyachts but also at ‘normal’ centres all over the world.

Our experience ~ We have trained many hundreds of PW Instructors across the world who now instruct at centres from ‘normal’ shorebased venues to superyachts.

In 2012 we were awarded the training contract for the Personal Watercraft based Police Officers for London 2012. We created a bespoke course we called the ‘Patrol Watercraft Course’ which has gone on to become recognised as the course for this type of operation.

Our location and teaching facilities ~ Poole Harbour is a truly amazing teaching location – so much so that the RNLI and the Royal Marines base their training operations here. The RNLI are based in our marina and at the last count there were 14 all weather lifeboats in the marina!! Our classrooms are well resourced, professional, clean and tidy.

Our Personal Watercraft Trainers The RYA Personal Watercraft Trainers that we work with are highly experienced and deliver many instructor courses each year. They stay 100% in line with current best practice so we can be sure that our Instructor courses are amongst the best there are.

Our history ~ We started the school over ten years ago and have grown a reputation for delivering on our promises. Our clients range from individuals with their own craft to organisations such as Sunseeker, the RNLI and we were awarded the RYA Training contract by Dorset Police for the London 2012 Olympic events in Weymouth.

We are also very proud to have written the RYA Powerboat Handbook for the RYA and 2014 will see the launch of the RYA Advanced Powerboat Handbook.

Course prices £550 per head for the three day course including PW hire. (All prices inc VAT). The higher price quoted in the ‘Key Course Details’ section above is the price per head for 1 person, for 2 persons the per head cost reduces by 2.5% and for three people by 5%. The price shown is inclusive of VAT.

What is included in the course price? ~ when you undertake your Instructor Course on our boats then the price you pay includes fuel and free use of waterproofs/lifejackets. Price includes VAT too.

Does the course price represent good value? ~ remember in life you pretty much get what you pay for. We don’t pretend to be the cheapest but the course will be on well maintained first rate craft, and run by trainers guaranteed to teach current best practice. We have great facilities in a large marina offering a great all-round experience. Check out the other relevant pages on this website to see what we mean.

We also would hope that by attending a course at Powerboat Training UK you will be viewed as an instructor who has trained at one of the centres most respected for delivering high quality career enhancing instructor courses.

Some of the offers available when buying this course include…..

Special Offer No1!! Book and pay for your VHF Course at the same time as you book the Level 2 course and only pay £75 for the VHF course (including course pack). (Usual cost is £99, you also need to pay the RYA Fee which is £60). You can choose whether to undertake the course in the classroom or online. We run VHF Courses every two weeks so fitting you in will never be an issue – we run these courses  in Poole and Lymington.

Special Offer No2!! We also offer the opportunity to book the RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship Course for a massively discounted £80 when booked alongside a Powerboat Level 2 course. This is a great course to develop your understanding of charts, tides, buoyage and navigation onto the next level after the course.

The Course

As the RYA state the entry requirements for this course are: “Candidates will need to hold the RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency award and have at least two years’ experience riding personal watercraft and hold a valid first aid certificate approved by the RYA.”

Our PWC Instructor courses are undertaken by highly experienced Powerboat Trainers who have been endorsed by the RYA as PWC Trainers.

The course is an intensive three day course which is a mixture of continual assessment and instruction.

A typical course structure might be:

Day 1

  • Meet & greet, introductions, safety brief
  • Course structure & outcomes
  • Being an instructor
  • How to teach
  • Demonstrations and instructing on the water

Day 2

  • Delivery of pre-prepared shorebased sessions
  • On water training of ‘guinea pigs’

Day 3 ~ Moderation day

  • Introductions and discussion of days agenda
  • On to water delivering teaching sessions
  • Delivery of shorebased sessions
  • Administrative aspects of running a centre
  • Debriefs and course outcomes

During the course potential Instructors instruct sessions both on and off the water with regular debriefs with the Trainer where we ensure that you are getting the key teaching points across on each session.

A hugely valuable element of our courses is that we invite ‘Guinea Pigs’ in for one or two half day sessions so that you can practice with real students – this is very beneficial and makes a real difference to the course.

Anyone interested in qualifying as an Instructor should acquire the following publications:

Essential books

    • RYA Power Schemes Instructor Handbook (G19/2014) – the new version from 2014 supports the powerboat, personal watercraft and inland waterways schemes.
    • RYA Personal Watercraft Handbook (G35): The book given to attendees on the one day RYA Personal Watercraft Course

Useful books for background information and to develop knowledge in some areas

  • RYA Start Powerboating (G48): The book given to Level 2 attendees – a scaled down version of the RYA Powerboat Handbook.
  • RYA Powerboat Handbook (G13): The book written to support the National Powerboat Scheme by PTUK’s Paul Glatzel.

Personal Watercraft Instructor books


The syllabus for the Personal Watercraft Instructor’s course is defined in the Power Schemes Instructor Handbook. The syllabus is:

  • Theory of teaching – principals of practical instruction
  • Delivering theory subjects
  • Preparation and effective use of visual aids
  • Lesson and progamme planning
  • Teaching styles
  • Practical driving and driving skills
  • Reviewing and feedback skills
  • The standards required by the RYA
  • Assessing student ability
  • Structure of the RYA Personal Watercraft Scheme
  • The standard and content required for the ‘navigation’ exercise
  • Developing student skills along a progressive pathway
  • The requirements for running an effective RYA Personal Watercraft school including conditions for recognition

During the course the candidate will receive input from the trainer and also from the other candidates. They will be asked to show the following:

    • Knowledge of the subject of personal watercraft
    • Ability to deliver effective teaching sessions
    • Ability to safely and effectively organise personal watercraft
    • Ability to teach effectively multiple students on a fleet of personal watercraft
    • Ability to demonstrate all elemnets of the RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency award and the RYA Personal Watercraft Safety award
    • Ability to deliver at least one theory session ashore
    • Be able to demonstrate safety awareness for themselves and students throughout

Candidates will be asked to teach three distinct groups on the course:

  • Each other – ie the other students on the course
  • The course trainer/moderator
  • Real students or ‘guinea pigs’ who have been asked to attend to assist the course. These must not be paying students on a recognised course.


“Great course. Running PWs on superyachts is potentially a very stressful undertaking and the RYA Instructor course gave our crew the confidence and skills they needed to make running these courses safer for guests.”
Chief Officer on a 72m yacht commenting on a PWC one day course followed by a 3 day Instructor Course

Personal Watercraft Instructor - Enquire

Thank you for your interest in this course.

Due to the entry requirements for this course we always ask that we have a chat through the course and your experience before we go ahead and agree dates with you and book you onto the course and/or examination.

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

As you can see below we have a variety of dates scheduled and we hope that they tie in well with your availability. If the dates don’t quite work then we are always keen to be as flexible as possible to help accommodate your availability – just contact us and we’ll see what we can do.

Don’t forget too that if you are an individual or company/organisation booking a few people onto courses then we may be able to schedule dates around you. Equally, for bookings some time in the future we can usually juggle our course dates if what we have scheduled doesn’t quite work for you.

When you make a booking on this system please remember that is subject to confirmation and you will receive confirmation from us at the latest the next business day. You will not be charged until we send the confirmation.