RYA Advanced Powerboat Examination Syllabus

Advanced Powerboat Examination Syllabus

For students looking to commercially endore their advanced course certificate.
    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 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   


Recovery of man overboard   

Awareness of ground speed and ability to hold the boat on station   


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   

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.   


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   

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.    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   


Life rafts