Powerboat Level 2 – training on your boat

Key Course Details

Duration: 2 Days

Time: 9am to 5pm

Group Size: Up to 3

Min Age: From 12

Price: £560 for up to 3 people


Powerboat Courses

The RYA Level Two course is also known as the National Powerboat Course. It is our most popular course and the two days over which it is run gives plenty of time for both practical instruction and theory. Training on your own boat is an excellent way to develop a great understanding of your boat, what it is capable of and how to make close quarter handling straightforward!

Course Duration

2 days from 9am to 5pm.

Instructor – student ratio

The RYA teaching ratios allow there to be up to 3 of you on the boat with our instructor during the course. If possible we’d always recommend that you have the people that boat with you regularly join you on the course as it is really beneficial to look at techniques as a team for subjects like berthing or launch and recovery.

Prior experience

No prior boating experience is necessary. The course equally suits those new to boating and those who have been boating for years. You do not need to already have Level 1 before you take Level 2.

Minimum Age

We are generally happy for a child over 12 to attend the course with you but would always recommend that if they are going to spend two days on the boat they have some prior boating experience as opposed to this being their first time afloat – please do not hesitate to call to discuss.

Why choose Powerboat Training UK for your Powerboat Level 2 course on your boat?

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.

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. The Lymington river leads directly to the great cruising grounds of the Solent – a wonderful resource! Our classrooms, like Poole, are really well appointed and make a great base for a course.

Outside our classrooms in Poole we are lucky to have an excellent slipway which is really handy if we are training you on a boat that lives on a trailer as we can practice launch and recovery as many times as you want to.

In Lymington we have access to an excellent public slipway which gives us the option of training the launch and recovery aspect in a very hands on way too.

Our Instructors ~ we ensure that our instructors are teaching 100% ‘Best Practice’ and have a process whereby we constantly review their sessions to ensure that you get the most productive experience from your time with us. All teach because they love boating and we work with them to constantly ‘upskill’ their qualifications and experience.

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 saw the launch of the RYA Advanced Powerboat Handbook.

Course price ~ £560 for up to three people on your boat.

What is included in the course price? ~ When you undertake your Level 2 Course on your boat then the price you pay includes free use of our lifejackets and waterproofs (often charged as an extra). We will send you our ‘Own boat tuition’ form in the run up to the course which will highlight the kit we’d like to see on board – we are usually able to lend you equipment from this list if required at no cost. Price includes VAT too – yet another common extra and if coming to either of our two bases there is free parking.


Ooops – almost forgot!. Included in the course price each attendee gets the RYA Start Powerboating book and can purchase a copy of the new updated RYA Powerboat Handbook for the reduced price of £15.

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 run by instructors guaranteed to teach current best practice. We have great facilities in large marinas offering a great all-round experience. Check out the other relevant pages on this website to see what we mean.

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 classroom based VHF course (including course pack). (Usual cost is £100, you also need to pay the RYA Fee which is £60). Alternatively you can choose the Online version of the VHF course for £65 – you will still need to come in for the assessment. 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

The RYA Powerboat level 2 course is aimed both at those new to boating and those that have boated a while that want to improve their boat handling.

Your instructor will cover the following topics with you during your time with him/her:

  • Boat Handling including in confined spaces.
  • Approaching and securing to a buoy
  • Anchoring
  • Leaving and coming alongside
  • Handling a boat at planing speed
  • Man overboard
  • Launching & recovery
  • Navigation to include charts, tides, buoyage
  • Undertaking a passage
  • The ‘Collision regulations’

The vast majority of the time on this course is spent on the water and out of the classroom.

The time that you do spend in on theory will cover: The types of craft and their respective advantages/disadvantages; engines & drives; use of power tilt & trim tabs; safety checks; personal buoyancy; awareness of other water users; application of the collision regulations (IRPCS); local bylaws; towing and being towed; communication with other craft; emergency action; distress signals; fire precautions and fire fighting and rope work.

On the second day of the course we spend time looking at charts, tides and using a compass. Using these skills we then prepare a passage plan and execute it through the harbour.

Essentially day one of the course is aimed at developing your ability to competently handle the craft in close quarter situations whilst day two develops the ability to navigate and then puts this into practice ensuring you have the ability to undertake short inshore passages.

Once you have reached the standard at which we can award the Level 2 certificate should you wish you can go on to apply for your ICC from the RYA. The relevant form can be downloaded (here) which coupled with a photo and a copy of your certificate will get you your licence. If you are a member of the RYA then your ICC is free else it costs approximately £43. Coincidently joining the RYA costs about the same so we would generally advise that you join then get the ICC free. If you intend travelling abroad shortly after your course and thus require your ICC to be issued quickly we advise that you join the RYA a few weeks before your course and then call the relevant department to try to ensure a quick turnaround for your application my own only took a week.

In certain situations the Level 2 certificate can be attained without attending the full course. This is known as Direct Assessment and takes half a day. (Call us if you feel that your experience is suitable and you are interested in this way of obtaining Level 2).

A further consideration when attending a level two course is where you take it. Coastal based schools award certificates with a Coastal Endorsement. This means that the student has learnt in conditions where tides and currents must be considered. Generally speaking if you intend using your boat in coastal waters ensure that you undertake a course with a coastal school.

This course is aimed at

Powerboat Courses

The RYA Powerboat Level 2 course course appeals to a wide variety of individuals from those new to powerboating to those who may have boated for many years.

Some examples of the sorts of people that the Level 2 course is best suited to:

  • Those keen to understand how to get the most from their new (or new to them) boat. Training on your boat allows you to get to grips with the specific checks you should do on the boat, how it handles in wind and how best to coming alongside, tend lines etc.
  • Those new to boating keen to ensure that as they start boating they are doing it right. The course focuses on ensuring that you develop a really good base understanding of boat handling, navigation and seamanship. After the course you can then bolt on more practical experience to really cement the knowledge gained on the course.
  • Those keen to boat overseas and want to achieve their International Certificate of Competence (‘ICC’) undertake the Level 2 course which then allows them to apply for the ICC using a copy of their Level 2 certificate.
  • Those who have boated a while but never received any formal training. Level 2 ensures that you will carry on but doing it the ‘right way’ ensuring that you use the most efficient methods and with a good understanding of the ‘building blocks’ of boating. Many of the people falling into this camp tend to wonder before a course how much they will gain from the course as they have been boating so long yet after the course wonder why they never did it sooner. Indeed for some it really reinvigorates their boating leading them to seek out new places to go with a greater confidence.


Aim: “To teach boat handling and seamanship in powerboats. Minimum age 12, those aged 12 to 16 will receive a Level 2 Certificate endorsed “The holder should only use powered craft under the supervision of a responsible adult.”

Please note (From PTUK): The vast majority of time on the course is spent on the water boat handling. Therefore the volume of text dedicated to the topics below should not be taken to indicate the time spent on each of these areas.

Within the RYA Powerboat Scheme the course contents of each course are taught to one of three levels. These levels are:

Knowledge of: The subject will be briefly explained. Familiarisation during the course and where to find out more after the course.

Understands: The subject will be covered in greater depth and you will be asked to demonstrate a basic understanding and go away from the course able to develop your own skill in this area.

Can: The subject will be covered in great depth, including background theory, demonstrations by the instructor and repeated practice by yourself until you can demonstrate good skills in the subject.


Launch & recovery
Knowledge of:

  • Use of a trailer or launching trolley
  • Consideration of launching and sea conditions, including hazards and obstructions
  • Number of persons required to launch/recover
  • Construction, width and condition of slipway
  • Steep/slippery slipways, beach launching, lee shores
  • Care of trailer bearings, hitch, lashings, ties, lights and winch
  • Trailer parking


  • Prepare the boat, lines, fenders, safety equipment, fuel tanks, lines and secure gear on board
  • Prepare to go afloat
  • Tie relevant knots

Boat Handling
Knowledge of:

  • Loading: effect on handling and performance, effect on balance and trim, CE Plate and manufacturer’s recommendation
  • Handling characteristics of displacement boats, rudder steered craft and shaft driven vessels


  • Crew members: minimum number in faster craft, keeping a look-out
  • The importance of boat control in waves and adequate seating to minimise the possibility of back injury
  • Awareness of other water users, including effect of wash
  • Steering, controls, effect of current or tidal stream
  • Handling a boat at planing speed, trim tabs and power trim
  • Planing boats: propeller angle and immersion, shallow drive, planing and displacement speed handling, tiller/console steering


  • Carry out pre-start checks, engine starting and stopping
  • Demonstrate the use of an appropriate length kill cord at all times
  • Carry out low speed manoeuvres including: turning in a confined area, effect of wind on bow and holding off. Demonstrate an awareness of the danger of flooding when going astern
  • Handling a boat at planing speed

Securing to a buoy

  • Preparation of mooring warp
  • Use of a boat hook
  • Direction of approach
  • Taking way off
  • Crew communication
  • Making fast
  • Procedure when overshooting


  • Approach and secure to buoy

Knowledge of:

  • Types of anchor
  • Stowage and attachment to boat
  • Preparation of anchor, chain and warp
  • Weighing anchor


  • Correct approach in various conditions
  • Taking way off
  • Crew communication
  • Check holding
  • Depth of water, holding ground, scope required


  • Approach and anchor correctly
  • Weigh anchor correctly

Leaving and coming alongside

  • Preparation and use of lines and fenders, attachment to boat, stowage under way
  • Speed and angle of approach
  • Wind effect
  • Method of approach in tidal stream or current


  • Make fast alongside
  • Use springs
  • Leave – ahead or astern

Man overboard
Knowledge of:

  • Recovery or man overboard


  • Cold shock and immersion hypothermia
  • How and when to raise the alarm


  • Take immediate action
  • Observe the man overboard
  • Carry out the correct return with awareness of propeller
  • Approach and recover the ‘man’ in the water (Small weighted buoy to be used)
  • Demonstrate both drift down and into wind approach method
  • Switch engine off


Knowledge of:

  • Types of craft: advantages and disadvantages of different hull forms with respect to sea keeping  ability
  • Seating arrangements
  • Stepped hulls
  • Engines and drives: advantages and disadvantages of outboard, inboard and outdrive units, single and twin screws, choice and use of fuels
  • Siting of fuel tanks, fuel lines, batteries, wiring, fire extinguishers
  • Routine engine maintenance checks, basic fault diagnosis
  • Close down procedure
  • Advice to inland drivers about coastal waters
  • Use and limitations of GPS/Chartplotters
  • Application of local byelaws, especially around commercial shipping
  • Sources of weather information


  • Awareness of other water users
  • Communication with other craft
  • Disabled craft
  • Emergency action, preventing sinking
  • Adrift – alternative means or propulsion
  • Actions to be taken by disabled craft and being towed
  • Fire precautions and fire fighting
  • Distress signals, means of issuing distress, DSC and the Mayday call
  • Advice for vessels in restricted visibility


  • Apply IRPCS, principally rules 5, 7, 8, 9, 12-18


Knowledge of:

  • Byelaws and local regulatins
  • Insurance
  • Boat registration schemes


  • Pilotage and passage planning
  • Charts, chart symbols, buoyage systems
  • Tides and tidal streams


  • Use steering and hand bearing compasses.
  • Undertake practical handling on tidal waters


Whatever we may think of our courses what really counts is what others think, below are a selection of comments taken directly from the Feedback Forms that we ask are filled in at the end of each course.

Hello Viv. A quick note while I remember to say thank you for organizing the course for James and I. We enjoyed it very much and Alan was very professional and affable. I feel very confident now to take a boat out and also realize how little I knew and also how little I still know! Sammy is a very pleasant young man too. All Best Wishes. Mark

Firstly, many thanks for an excellent two day course, I learnt an enormous amount and will approach our new RIB with a little less trepidation now. Dominic is an excellent teacher and adapts his approach with each student to make everyone feel comfortable.
Cheers, Chris

“Hi Viv

Just to let you know how fantastic we thought the training was and how useful it has proved to be. Olly was skippering our Boston Whaler on Saturday on his own and the engine cut out near Old Harry. He had to make an emergency call to the coastguard after doing all the the things he had been trained to do on the course. He didn’t panic, he carried out checks and eventually made it to Swanage where the coastguard met him and we got Sea Start to him. Between them they worked out what the problem was and he ended up racing Sea Start back to Studland 🙂

The incident is mentioned in the Echo today.

He kept in touch with us by phone and we didn’t panic either because we knew he was confident and able to handle the situation. All the adults he came into contact with were really impressed with the way he handled himself and the boat.

So – thank you – and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this course to anyone, whatever their age.”
Cheers, Julie x

“Just wanted to write to thank you for a great course at the weekend. Alyn was incredibly patient and responded to our million and one questions with enthusiasm every time. Before buying a boat I had never realised that there were so many things to think about and now a few days on I really struggle to see how we would have managed to boat safely without doing the course.”
Joe & Ann (and son Ben) after spending two days with Paul and their new 28ft Bayliner sportscruisier.

“Thanks for taking the extra time with us at weekend to help us ensure we could do the launch and recovery part of boating during our Level 2 course. It was really helpful to do it a couple of times during the weekend and if you are okay with it we will take you up on your offer of assistance the next time we come down to launch.”
Jon after spending a couple of days undertaking Level 2 with his 7m RIB where we dedicated specific time to practicing launch and recovery with his vehicle/trailer/boat to ensure it was handled safely and he was happy with the process.

“An excellent course. Why would anyone who buys a new boat not do this course. ”
Richard after doing his Level 2 course on his new Karnic with Drake and Joe.

Powerboat Level 2 – training on your boat - Book Now

Thank you for choosing to undertake a course on your boat.

We can be very flexible on the dates to train you on your boat so please choose dates that work for you and we’ll check the calendar and contact you to confirm the training. This will usually be at the latest the next business day.

Viv on the phone