Boat training: Do I need to learn to drive a boat? And what are the options?

Although it isn’t a legal requirement to have boat training in order to skipper a sub-24m yacht in UK waters, we would strongly advise getting some tuition if you are new to boating.

Even on a small boat there is a lot to learn about how the boat handles and what to do if something does go wrong.

The more prepared you are the more confident you will feel and the less likely it is that you will have an incident that scares you or your family away from the boat.

There are RYA-accredited boat training centres all over the UK which offer a range of courses for all abilities.

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Powerboat Level 2 is a great starter course over two days, which will cover the basics of boat handling and safety and give you the ability to handle a powerboat in familiar waters by day.

Intermediate and advanced boat training courses are also available, which cover the theory side of running a boat including navigation skills, passage planning and cruising at night.

With these qualifications you can then apply for an International Certificate of Competence (ICC), which provides evidence of competence when requested by officials in foreign countries


RYA tuition will equip you with knowledge and confidence

You also need a Marine Radio Short Range Certificate to operate a VHF (Very High Frequency marine radio). This can be obtained through the RYA either online or in a classroom.

RYA boat training courses are accessible, fun and a great way to get to know your boat with a professional tutor on hand.

First published in the June 2021 issue of Motor Boat & Yachting. Our How to start boating series is brought to you in association with Pantaenius.


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