Instructor Course Joining Instructions


The Joining Instructions below cover all RYA Instructor courses.


Powerboat Courses are run from Mariners Wharf.  Please meet at our classroom; Chieftain House, 11 Harcourt Rd, Bitterne Park Southampton, SO181GN


Some of our courses have pre requisites, these are not optional, they are requirements. If you are unsure what they are please check back against the relevant product page/course description (links are provide in the course details below).


There are three possible outcomes/results to an Instructor Course. They are;

  • PASS (You pass the course and the trainer recommends to the RYA that you become an Instructor)
  • ACTION PLAN (You pass some sections of your course and the Trainer sets an action plan for you to complete within a certain time period (often 1, 2 or 3 months) before you then qualify. An action plan may include re assessment of certain skills
  • FAIL (You will need to improve certain skill areas and then re take the course when you are ready)

At the end of your course your trainer will give you a full debrief and inform you of his/her decision. Some RYA Instructor courses are moderated by a second Trainer who will also be involved with the course debrief.

Successful RYA Instructor candidates receive their certificate by post from the RYA within a few weeks of completing the course.


Tea and coffee is included. Meals are not included

Please bring a packed lunch for each day, (there is a bakery, Co Op, Tesco Express and chip shop local to the training centre). For the  Powerboat Advanced Instructor course you will need some money for your evening meal (day 1).


While we train instructors at several different levels there are many themes and qualities common to all good instructors. The instructors role is to help, encourage and nurture students, to help them learn the skills and knowledge that they will find useful and above all to demonstrate a good example of seamanship and skippering for students to learn from.

We have all been taught by good and bad teachers at some point in our lives. We need to learn from these people which qualities aided our learning and which were negative. It goes without saying that an instructor must be able to demonstrate all of the skills required to a higher standard than that required by the student and an instructor must also be able to adapt his/her teaching style to suit different students.

During your course you will be asked to teach various sessions, some practical and some theory. The usual format is to explain, demonstrate, sum up the key points and then let the student have a go before de-briefing. De-briefing techniques will be covered on your course but the essential ingredients are to be positive, honest and to help the student become aware of what they need to do to improve.

Instructor training courses are at the top end of coaching; your trainer will expect you to have certain skills before the course and will then coach you on your instructional technique. The most common reason for candidates not passing an Instructor course is due to a lack of understanding or experience in the chosen activity. If you are a little rusty on certain areas then work on them before your course.

You will find it useful before your course to consider the key points of each technique within the relevant syllabus. For example if a receive beginner were picking up a mooring buoy under power the key points would be.

  • Boat preparation (lines and possibly a practice run)
  • Briefing the crew and ongoing communication during the manoeuvre
  • Choosing the correct direction of approach
  • Controlling speed and stopping the boat
  • Picking up the actual mooring buoy
  • Securing to the buoy
  • Having an escape plan and being aware of hazards.

In the normal course of our boating we do all of these things without giving it too much thought, but students learning new skills need to made aware of the key points or factors that will make their exercise successful. Below you will find notes specific to each Instructor Course.


All adults are provided with 150N life jackets. If you would prefer to wear your own life jacket then you may do so. It must be of a minimum 150 Newtons, be well fitting and have been looked after, as per the manufacturers recommendations. For courses involving a night exercise it must be fitted with a light and reflective material. Children are provide with an appropriately sized Lifejacket.



Powerboat Instructor Skills Test   Powerboat Instructor Course  Powerboat Instructor Re Moderation YMI to PBI Conversion Powerboat Advanced Instructor
Passport Photo of yourself
Note pad & pen
Warm clothing and a change of clothes
Cap/hat, gloves, sunglasses, suncream
Sailing wellies (or footwear that can get wet)
Wet weather gear (or hire ours for £5/day)
RYA Powerboat Logbook G20
RYA Powerboat Instructor Handbook G19
Any teaching resources you think will be useful
2B pencils, eraser and sharpener
Small torch
Waterproof sleeve for your passage plan
Small dry bag if you want to take extra kit afloat
First Aid Certificate
SRC Certificate
RYA Membership Number
RYA Powerboat Level 2 Certificate (& Safety boat Certificate if you have it)
Your Advanced Powerboat Certificate
Your Advanced Powerboat COC or Yachtmaster Power COC
Sailing Knife


Now please click on the relevant course title below for course specific information

RYA Powerboat Instructor 3 day 0915-1715
RYA Powerboat Instructor Skills Training half day 0915-1230
RYA Powerboat Instructor Skills Assessment half day 1300-1715
RYA Powerboat Advanced Instructor 2 day 0915- 4 hrs after dusk (day 1)

0915- afternoon (day 2)

RYA Powerboat Instructor Re Moderation 1 day 0915-1715
RYA YMI (Power) to Powerboat Instructor Conversion 1 day 0915-1715



  • Minimum age 15
  • Relevant experience in a variety of craft
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2

Training (morning)

If you have opted for the training element of the course, as well as assessment, you will have a few hours to familiarise yourself with our boat and receive a few pointers from one of our experienced Instructors. Clearly this is not the time to be learning new skills, but it is a good opportunity for a final practice before assessment.

Assessment (afternoon)

The assessment consists of three parts

  • An online open book quiz, “Powerboat Instructor Task 1,”you complete before the course. (see below)
  • A boat handling test
  • A short oral test on background knowledge.  The oral test can include anything from the RYA Powerboat Level 2 course and is likely to include IRPCS, basic chartwork, tides, weather, safety, hull types and engine/drive types

For the boat handling test, you will be asked to demonstrate various manoeuvres from the Powerboat Level 2 course. This may include holding off, turning in a confined space, picking up a mooring, anchoring, MOB, approaching & departing various berths in various states of wind and/or tide and planning speed boat handling.

As a guide, if you are coming alongside, we would like to see the driver put the boat alongside without bumping into the pontoon. We do not want to see hands being used to fend off, stop the boat or pull the bow or stern in. The driver should be able to bring the boat to a stop in the correct position. When departing from a pontoon, the same brief applies: no hands and no scraping the boat against the dock. Throughout the assessment, we expect to see good practice (e.g. the kill chord should be worn, one hand should be on the throttle and one on the wheel at all times, drivers should maintain a good look out and should communicate with passengers and crew). Candidates should demonstrate a good understanding of manoeuvring a small outboard powered, wheel steered craft and demonstrate the correct use of neutral when in proximity to other craft and obstructions. When it comes to the Person Overboard Drill (using a dummy), we do not mind which method you use, as long as it works and is safe.

The Assessor is not there to catch you out; he/she will not play any tricks on you, his/her role is purely to check that you have the driving skills required so that you can go on to learn how to impart these skills to others.

Pre-Course Preparation

  • Complete the “Powerboat Instructor Task 1”,  online quiz to test your knowledge and establish where there might be weak areas. Once you hit submit, we will be able to see your answers. This is an open book test so we hope you will score close to 100%.
  • Check your background knowledge includes everything within the RYA Powerboat Level 2 course syllabus contained in the RYA Powerboat Logbook
  • Practice the manoeuvres in the Level 2 syllabus

Recommended Pre-Course Reading

  • RYA Start Powerboating
  • RYA Powerboat Handbook 


For most candidates this will follow on from the Skills Test (above).


  • Minimum age 16
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • RYA Powerboat Skills Assessment
  • RYA First Aid (or equivalent)
  • Five seasons experience of powerboating logged (preferably in range of boat types and sizes) OR one season for those who use powerboats as an integral part of their normal full-time occupation.

Essential Pre-Course Reading

  • RYA Powerboat Instructor Handbook G19 (parts 1, 2 & 5)

Other Useful Reading

  • RYA Powerboat Logbook G20
  • RYA Powerboat Handbook G13
  • RYA Start Powerboating G48

Description and Assessment

Candidates must be familiar with the RYA scheme and the content of the Level 2 syllabuses (contained in Powerboat Logbook G20). You will be expected to demonstrate boat handling skills to a high standard and deliver short onshore talks. The Powerboat Instructor Handbook (G19) gives plenty of advice on teaching styles and techniques. This course is based on continual assessment and covers four areas:

  • We expect candidate to score close to 100% in the open book test “Powerboat Instructor Task 2” which you can complete in advance in your own time!
  • Personal boat handling skills & Supporting Knowledge (you must continue to operate at the Skills Assessment standard)
  • Instructing, coaching and de-briefing (we will teach you these skills on the course, although you will still need to have read G19 before you attend).
  • Safety. (You must drive and coach in a safe manor at all times, this includes appropriate use of the kill cord, driving at a safe speed, correct use of gears, maintaining a grip on the wheel and throttle when ever driving and keeping a good look out.

Successful candidates will become qualified to teach the RYA Level 1, 2 and ICC Courses at RYA Training Centres. Holders of the RYA Safetyboat certificate will automatically become Safetyboat instructors as well.

Pre Course Preparation

  1. Read G19 (parts 1, 2 & 5) thoroughly.
  2. Complete the online, open book assessment “Powerboat Instructor Task 2
  3. Short list the key points of each Level 2 manoeuvre, as described in the section above entitled “Instructor Training”


The trainer will ask you to teach both a practical and an onshore session from the Level 2 course and carry out any other skills identified in your action plan; please ensure you are familiar with all subjects on the syllabus. You may pre-prepare an onshore talk on any of the following subjects:

  • Buoyage
  • Chart work – Latitude, Longitude, Bearing and Distance
  • Hull Shapes and Drive Types
  • Summoning Assistance
  • Weather
  • Tides
  • GPS

This talk should be pitched at RYA Level 2 standard. Your audience will be the rest of your course candidates and the trainer. Talks should be kept to a maximum of ten minutes, but if the subject can be covered in less time, then keep it shorter. The group may ask you one or two questions at the end of your talk. Resources available include Whiteboard and a Multi Media Plasma Screen. This talk, however, does not have to take place in a formal classroom environment; it is up to you to choose how to deliver the talk. the single best piece of advice we can give you it make the talk interactive rather than a lecture

You will also be tested on your general theory knowledge and boat handling skills. Successful candidates will be recommended for the RYA Powerboat Instructor Award.

Essential Pre-Course Reading

  • RYA Powerboat Instructor Handbook G19 (parts 1, 2 & 5)
  • RYA Powerboat Logbook G20

Other Useful Reading

  • RYA Powerboat Handbook G13
  • RYA Start Powerboating G48


Please read the notes above for “Re Moderation” and bring your YMI COC with you. You should also complete the online assessment “Powerboat Instructor Task 2” before the course.  As it is open book we expect you to score close to 100%.



Description and Assessment

Candidates will clearly have an extensive background of powerboating by day and night and will be asked to teach the rest of the group various parts of the Intermediate and Advanced syllabus. Please ensure you are familiar with and can demonstrate all of the skills and techniques. You may be given topics at short notice, so ensure that you are familiar with all topics listed in the logbook G20 and are prepared to deliver any of them. Your boat handling must be of a very high standard, your theory knowledge must be above Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased level and you will need to demonstrate good practical night pilotage and skippering skills. There is one night exercise on the course (first evening). Assessment is continual. On successful completion of the course you will be qualified to teach the Powerboat Tender Operator Course, Intermediate and Advanced Powerboat Courses at RYA Training Centres.

 Pre-Course Preparation

Prior to the course, you will need to prepare the following documents (typed and printed ready for the first morning):

  • Course plan for a 2-day Intermediate Course
  • Course plan for a 2-day Advanced Course (including night exercise on first evening)
  • A hand-out on search patterns for Advanced students

You will also need to practice any advanced skills that are rusty. 

Essential Pre-Course Reading

  • RYA Powerboat Instructor Handbook G19
  • RYA Advanced Powerboat Handbook
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