Advanced Powerboat Syllabus | RYA Training Courses

Advanced Powerboat Syllabus

Aim: To teach boat handling, seamanship, pilotage and navigation up to the standards required to drive a planing powerboat safely by day and night in tidal coastal waters with which the candidate may be familiar.

  • Practical
    Prepare the powerboat
    Carry our fuel and engine checks
    Stow and secure gear
    Differences for a twin engine vessel
    Characteristics of various hull forms and propeller configurations
    Action to be taken in rough weather
    Demonstrate a practical understanding and correct use of power trim and trim tabs
    Demonstrate an awareness of the effects of wind and tide when manoeuvring, including:
    Steering in transits and in buoyed channels
    Turning in a confined space
    Berthing in various conditions of wind and tide
    Picking up and leaving a mooring buoy
    Demonstrate the use of an appropriate length of kill cord at all times
    The importance of pre-trip planning
    Planning and making coastal passages, taking into account the relevant navigational hazards, the type of boat and the strengths of the crew
    Chart plotters and radar, their advantages and limitations
    Organise the navigation, safety and welfare of the crew during a powerboat passage
    Navigate at higher speed using time / distance
    Use electronic navigational equipment for planning and undertaking a passage, including the use of waypoints, routes and XTE, SOG, COG, BTW, DTW
    Carry out pilotage plans and pilotage entry into or departure from harbour
    Use leading and clearing lines, transits, back bearings and soundings as aids to pilotage
    Use GPS and understands it limitations in pilotage
    Navigate using soundings
    Terms used in shipping forecasts, inclusing the Beaufort Scale, and their significance to small craft
    Sources of forecast information and interpretation of forecasts including synoptic charts
    The significance of meteorological trends
    Can interpret a synoptic chart
    Apply the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
    How to change a propeller
    Propeller diameter and pitch
    Propeller ventilation and cavitation
    Checks to be made before starting, during running, amd afetr stopping for diesel and petrol engines
    Periodic checks on engines and electrical systems including spark plugs, water filters and pump impellers
    How to bleed the fuel system (diesel), change filters and pump impellers
    Transmission belts
    Spares to be carried
    Correct action to take in emergency situations
    Fire prevention and fighting
    Hull damage / watertight integrity
    What to do in a medical emergency
    Towing and being towed
    Helicopter rescue procedures
    Use of flares
    Search patterns
    Pick up a man overboard in all available conditions
    Take charge of a powerboat at night, including leaving and entering harbour
    Demonstrate ability at keeping a proper lookout and identifying lit and unlit marks by night

Advanced Powerboat Examination

  1. 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 impellers
  2. Boat handling
    Hull forms and their handling characteristics, propeller confirgurations
    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
  3. Responsibilities
    Skippering 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
  4. 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, inclusing compasses, logs, echo sounders, radio navigation aids and chart work instruments
    Passage planning and navigational tactics
    Importance of pre-plannig
    High speed navigation, pre-planning and execute
    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.
  5. Meteorology
    You should be able to use weather and tidal information to predict likely sea conditions and make passage planning decisions.
    Definition of terms incuding 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
  6. Rules of the road
    Application of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
     You should be able to identify  power and sailing vessels by night. Identification of types of ship by night is not required, but you will need a knowledge of the lights of tugs and trawlers.
  7. Safety
    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
    Hull damage / watertight integrity
    Medical emergency
    Towing and being towed
    VHF emergency procedures
    Explanation of helicopter rescue procedures
    Use of flares
    Man overboard
    Sector search
    Lifejackets
    Life rafts
Back to main page