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RYA/MCA Advanced Powerboat Exam

In order to work commercially on powerboats, you will need to take the RYA/MCA Advanced Powerboat Exam. To commercially endorse your Advanced qualification, you will also need (in addition to the minimum requirements below) a copy of your sea survival certificate and a completed ML5 medical report (to be completed by your GP).

The advanced powerboat exam is a practical test of boat handling and pilotage. It includes an oral and written test on passage planning, chart work , tides, collision regulations, weather and safety. At least some of the test must be taken at night.

  • Minimum Requirements:

    • 30 days at sea, 2 days as skipper
    • 800 nautical miles
    • 12 night hours.
    • (If you hold the Advanced course certificate this is reduced to 20 days, 2 days as skipper, 400 miles, 12 night hours)
    • VHF operator's certificate
    • First Aid certificate
  • The Exam Syllabus:

    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
    Boat handling:
    • hull forms & handling characteristics, propeller configurations
    • knowledge of action to be taken in rough weather
    • significance of tidal stream on sea conditions
    • steering & power control through waves
    • understanding & correct use of power and trim tabs
    • towing, under open sea conditions & in confined areas
    • strategy up and downwind & in heavy weather
    • awareness of the effects of wind & tide when manoeuvring
    Responsibilities of skipper:
    • skippering the vessel with effective crew communication
    • preparing the vessel for sea & for adverse weather
    • tactics for heavy weather & restricted visibility
    • emergency & distress situations
    • customs procedures
    • courtesy to other water users
    Passage making & pilotage:
    • chart work
    • tidal heights & depths
    • buoyage & visual aids to navigation
    • instruments including compass, logs, echo sounders etc
    • passage planning & navigational techniques
    • use of electronic navigation
    • 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.

    You should be able to use weather and tidal information to predict likely sea conditions and make passage planning decisions.

    Rules of the road:
    Application of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

    Candidates will be expected to know what safety equipment should be carried on board the vessel. In particular, candidates must know the responsibilities of a skipper in relation to:
    • fire prevention & fighting
    • hull damage/watertight integrity
    • medical emergency
    • towing & being towed
    • VHF emergency procedures
    • explanation of helicopter rescue procedures
    • use of flares
    • man overboard
    • sector/expanding square search
    • lifejackets
    • life rafts

The Advanced Exam can be booked direct with the RYA, or alternatively through us. We are more than happy to offer you a preparation course for 1 or 2 days before the exam, and our RIB is also available for you to then take the exam on.

Please call us on 01202 661881, or contact us, with any questions you may have, or to discuss your personal requirements.
The Waterfront, Cobbs Quay, Hamworthy, Poole, Dorset, BH15 4EL - Tel: +44 (0) 1202 661881 - Fax: +44 (0) 1202 664222
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