Intermediate Powerboat Course

Course Details

The Powerboat Day Cruising Course course is aimed at those who have boated a season or more, probably already have Level 2 and want to learn more about coastal cruising. 

The Day Cruising course aims to teach you to take the powerboat beyond just line of sight destinations and learn more about both traditional and modern navigational techniques including the use of GPS and chart plotters. You will spend time working on passage planning and pilotage skills which you will put into practice by completing a slightly longer coastal trip. We use a variety of destinations depending on the tides such as ChepstowOld Severn BridgeClevedonCardiff & Weston-Super-Mare.

The course will also work on improving the basic boat handling skills you acquired during Level 2 including some time spent considering handling in slightly rougher conditions (weather dependent). Candidates are assessed throughout the course – there is no formal written/practical exam. 

THEORY – Section A – Planning a day cruise

Knowledge of:

  • Navigation,
  • True and magnetic bearings,
  • Bearing and distance,
  • Chart symbols,
  • Tidal diamonds and tidal streams,
  • Use of pilot books,
  • Position lines,
  • Use of marina locks (can be covered practically if appropriate) 


  • Latitude and Longitude,
  • The principles of GPS,
  • Sources of forecast information and the interpretation of forecasts,
  • Tidal heights at secondary ports


  • Use a plotting instrument and plot a course to steer (CTS),
  • Work out tidal heights for standard ports using a tidal curve,
  • Interpret Lateral and Cardinal buoyage,
  • Implement IRPCS, in particular rules 5,7,8,9, 12-19, 23,
  • Use GPS waypoint navigation and determine XTE, SOG, COG, BTW, DTW,
  • Use a laminated chart afloat,
  • Use pilotage to enter an unfamiliar port by day,
  • Explain how to make a VHF emergency call

PRACTICAL – Section B – The aim of the practical session is to put into practice the theory detailed above and to complete a passage, which shall include:

Boat Preparation


  • The importance of protective clothing and safety equipment,
  • The minimum level of equipment for the boat,
  • Considerations of equipment required for longer passages,
  • Correct stowage of equipment

Boat Handling

Knowledge of:

  • Effect of waves,
  • Rougher conditions,
  • Awareness of other water users,
  • Mooring stern-to between posts or Med style


  • Demonstrate awareness of wind and tide,
  • Moor alongside, in a marina berth (where available),
  • Demonstrate the use of an appropriate length kill cord at all times

Pilotage & Passage Making


  • The need for pre-planning, including advice in the event of having to return at night


  • Apply the lessons learnt in the theory section and successfully complete a practical passage,
  • Fix position by traditional and electronic means

Man overboard


  • Techniques for picking up a man overboard in differing conditions


  • Pick up a man overboard

 Ability after the course:

  • You will be able to plan and execute short coastal passages by day
  • Have improved you confidence to take a powerboat on slightly longer and more demanding trips and manoeuvre it in tighter confines. 

Whereas Level 2 focuses on introducing boaters to short trips close to shore the Intermediate Course aims to take them further afield. The course perfectly suits:

  • Those who are quite new to boating and wish to build on the skills and knowledge gained in their Level 2 course. As a guide typically a 12 month gap is perfect however if after getting your Level 2 course you have got plenty of hours under your belt less than 12 months can be fine. Call to discuss if you are unsure.
  • The course is also perfect for those who have boated for years but want to expand their horizons. The Intermediate Course can ‘bolt on’ perfectly to many years of experience opening up new horizons and improving confidence and the enjoyment of exploring new places.
  • For those without their own boat the Intermediate course is a great way to get more time afloat whilst learning at the same time

Knowledge to the level of Day Skipper theory is recommended.

Assumed Knowledge:


  • Candidates should be competent to the standard of Level 2 (including the coastal endorsement). Whilst the course does include time on developing your boat handling we will not have time to develop basic techniques.


  • Knowledge to the level of Day Skipper theory is recommended. 
  • It is recommended that attendees hold a First Aid certificate and VHF/SRC operators certificate. 

9am – 5pm each day

Minimum Duration: 2 days

16 years old

This course operates with a maximum of 3 students per instructor/vessel

£299 per person;

Book for 2 people at £275 p/p or book for 3 or more at £260p/p

Day Cruising Skipper – £585

Save 10% off the RRP – The RYA Day Cruising (Intermediate) course builds on the foundation knowledge of the level 2 course and is suited to those who aim to drive larger more powerful powerboats. During the two days you will cover, cruising at planing speed and more advanced boat handling. It is recommended for anyone considering moving on to the Advanced course and knowledge to the level of Day Skipper theory is recommended.

This bundle combines the following courses:

  • RYA Day Skipper Shorebased
  • RYA Day Cruising (Intermediate) Course

What you need to bring, What’s Included and What’s Not!

  • Your certificates/Powerboat Logbook  i.e. RYA Level 2 certificate, VHF-SRC, Theory certificates
  • Suitable Clothing: warm clothing ie. thin thermal layers, fleece, gloves, hat as well as sunglasses and unblock.
  • Suitable Footwear: Deck shoes, Boots, Trainers.
  • We provide waterproof clothing – if you have your own you are welcome to use your own equipment.
  • We provide lifejackets – if you have your own you are welcome to use if – it must be a minimum of 150N and have been serviced in the last 12 months.
  • Free Use of our waterproof clothing for the weekend – You are welcome to use your own equipment if you wish however they must be suitable for boating and clean and tidy with lifejackets of a minimum of 150N serviced within the last 12 months.
  • A fully serviced lifejacket – min 150N
  • Boat Fuel
  • Free parking at our Training Centre
  • Free hot drinks/biscuits at our Training Centre
  • Lunch/Meals are not provided but we do have a small tuckshop with snacks/cold drinks for purchase, we have a cafe onsite (open 0900-1600 daily) and there are several local shops/cafes within a short walk to purchase food.
  • Powerboat Logbook and Powerboat Handbook – these can be purchased on booking.
  • Marina Parking – Portishead Quays Marina now operate parking charges in their car park managed through ANPR cameras. The first 15 mins is free with each hour costing £1 up to 6 hours. To park for between 6 and 24 hours costs £7. Payment can be made at the machines using coins or using paybyphone site number 79021. Failure to comply will result in a Parking Charge of £100

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