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Level 1 Powerboat
kids learning level1 on the water

Aim: To provide a practical introduction to boat handling and safety in powerboats.

The course may be conducted in a variety of boat types, both planing and displacement, and the certificate issued will be endorsed to show the type(s) of boat in which the training took place. It is hoped that this taster day will encourage students to progress to the RYA level 2 powerboat course. The ratio of students to instructors should not exceed 3:1.

Duration: 1 day

Minimum age: 8

8 to 11 year olds will receive the Level 1 certificate, which will be endorsed - The holder should only use powered craft under the supervision of a responsible adult on board the craft.

12 to 16 year olds will receive a Level 1 certificate, which will be endorsed - The holder should only use powered craft under the supervision of a responsible adult.

Navigation Books

Section A Practical boat handling

Launch and recovery (8 to 11 year olds to observe this session only)

Knowledge of:

  • Considerations to be taken during the launch
  • The use of a trailer or launching trolley
  • Considerations to be taken regarding sea conditions and hazards
  • Construction, width and condition of ramp/slipway

Preparation of boat and crew


  • Personal buoyancy and appropriate clothing
  • The use of the following equipment: lines, fenders, anchor and warp, bailer, fire extinguisher, pump, paddles or oars, compass, flares, torch, whistle, charts, first aid kit, sharp knife.

Can perform the following:

  • fasten to a cleat and stow an anchor

Boat Handling

Knowledge of:

  • Planing boats: propeller angle and immersion, use of shallow drive
  • Low speed handling: ahead and astern
  • Displacement boats: handling ahead and astern, carrying way in neutral


  • How to carry out pre-start checks, including fuel tank and fuel bulb
  • Steering, controls and windage


  • Steer and control boat speed
  • Start and stop the engine
  • Demonstrate the use of an appropriate length kill cord at all times

Picking up and securing to a mooring buoy

Knowledge of:

  • Preparation of mooring warps
  • Use of a boat hook
  • Method of approach
  • Crew communication
  • Making fast

Leaving and coming alongside

Knowledge of:

  • Wind effect
  • Approach in tidal stream or current


  • Leaving - ahead or astern


  • Demonstrate the use of painter, lines and fenders, attachment to boat, stowage under way
  • Control speed and angle of approach
  • Make fast alongside

Being towed

Knowledge of:

  • Preparing own lines for towing
  • Accepting a tow
  • Securing tow lines
  • Trim and balance under tow

Section B Theory

Knowledge of:

  • Loading and balancing the boat and the effect on handling and performance
  • Local Byelaws and Insurance


  • Crew numbers: minimum number in the boat, keeping a look-out
  • Awareness of other water users, including effect of wash
  • Application of IRPCS. Understands rules 5,6, and conduct around commercial shipping in confined waters
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