Start Motor Cruising

Key Course Details

Duration: 1 - 2 days

Time: 9am to 5pm

Group Size: 4/5 per boat

Min Age: From 8

Price: £250



The RYA Start Motor Cruising course was created to address a gap in the range of motor cruising courses. The course works as a great one day course for individuals keen to get an experience of motor cruising and works as a great stepping stone to the other RYA Motor Cruising courses.

The Start Motor Cruising course is also aimed at Children from the age of 8 and is undertaken by them as part of another course – such as Dayskipper Practical. For example whilst the adults undertake the Dayskipper Practical course over 4 days the children will undertake the Start Motor Cruising course alongside them on the same craft.

Course Duration

1 day from 9am to 5pm for a dedicated course or 2 days where the course is run in tandem with another course.

Instructor – student ratio

4/5 students to 1 Instructor and boat.

Prior experience

No prior boating experience is necessary.

Minimum Age

Age 8 when attending alongside their parent/guardian else 16.

Private family courses

In our experience we tend to run this course in one of two ways: 1) We run on your boat with family members taking a mixture of courses one of which is Start Motor Cruising. 2) Increasingly popular are family groups (or even individuals) that come for the day as a group and charter the boat for the day to take the course as a family and as a means to get on the first rung of motor cruising – and what a great way to do it!

Why choose Powerboat Training UK for a Start Motor Cruising course?

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.

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 Solent offers an outstanding cruising ground with a wide variety of harbours and marinas to enter.

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.

Our craft ~ Our main training vessel is ‘True Blue’ a Rodman 1250 with twin 430Hp Volvo Penta engines operating through twin shafts. True Blue is an established charter boat based at Poole Quay Boat Haven and it makes a great training vessel. It is fitted with a considerable amount of electronics and has AIS, dual VHFs, dual radars, an electronic GPS based compass (these are very unusual on smaller craft), navtex and is coded to Cat 2 (60 miles from a Safe Haven).

What is included in the course price? ~ When you undertake your Start Motor Cruising Course with us then the price you pay includes all fuel used, certificates and free use of waterproofs if required (often charged as an extra). The price includes VAT too – yet another common extra.

Does the course price represent good value? ~ remember in life you pretty much get what you pay for. 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.

Course prices The 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.

When children are undertaking the course alongside parents or guardians on your own boat there is no charge.

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 Start Motor Cruising course and only pay £75 for the VHF course (including course pack). (Usual cost is £100, 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 online RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course for £80 (usually £100) when booked alongside a Start Motor Cruising course. This is a great course to start to develop your understanding of charts, tides, buoyage and navigation after the course. The course price includes a plotter and dividers and the course certificate fee.

The Course

The RYA Start Motor Cruising course is aimed at those who have no boating experience and who want to gain experience aboard a motor cruiser.

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

  • Personal safety
  • Seamanship
  • Emergency situations
  • Coming alongside/Picking up a mooring
  • Boat Handling

The course is an entry level course aimed at introducing you to being part of the crew of a motor cruiser. It is aimed at adults keen to attend a one day entry course or children attending alongside adults.

This course is aimed at


The RYA Dayskipper Practical course appeals to a wide variety of individuals course from those new to motor cruising to those who may have boated for many years and want to improve their skills.

  • 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 who have boated for a while who want to develop and improve their skills. Typically we find this involves a keenness to develop a better understanding of navigation and the practical application of this knowledge using GPS/Chartplotters and radar. Also the time spent developing boat handling capability is time well spent.
  • Those keen to boat overseas and want to achieve their International Certificate of Competence (‘ICC’)[the up to 24m version of the ICC] undertake the Dayskipper Practical course which then allows them to apply for the ICC using a copy of their Dayskipper certificate.
  • Those thinking about buying their own craft find that by undertaking the course they become far more educated buyers and therefore tend to be clearer exactly what their requirements are. Also the fact that we operate from two very large marinas gives the opportunity to see up close the variety of craft that can be considered as possible options.


Aim:Introduction to the skills required to being useful crew and gain an understanding of how they can assist the helm.

Within the RYA Motor Cruising 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.

Personal Safety

  • The difference between manual and auto-inflating life jackets
  • The importance of crotch straps
  • Appropriate clothing


  • Correctly fit a life jacket


  • The importance of securely stowing items before going to sea


  • Keep a look out

Emergency situations
Knowledge of:

  • Problems that can happen at sea


  • Their role in an emergency
  • How to raise the alarm
  • How to prevent MOB
  • The safety procedures on their vessel


  • Deploy the anchor (8-11 year olds to observe this session only)
  • Locate LSAs and first aid kit
  • Read a position from the GPS
  • Use a boat hook

Coming alongside/Picking up a mooring
Knowledge of:

  • What the manoeuvre entails


  • Preparation of mooring lines
  • Communication and the importance of letting the helm know when they have slipped or
    attached the lines


  • Attach fenders
  • Coil a line
  • Throw a mooring line
  • Attach a line to a cleat

Boat Handling

  • The importance of crew communication

Can: (under direction)

  • Start and stop the engine
  • Steer and control boat speed
  • Pick up a mooring

(Copyright Powerboat Training UK/RYA)

Start Motor Cruising - 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

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