Introduction to Night Navigation

Course Details

If you already hold your RYA Powerboat Level 2 (or higher) and are looking to gain more experience this night navigation training is designed to give you the basic skills and knowledge to start to safely find your way around at night.

These sessions offer an opportunity for you to take control of a powerboat at night, work together as a team to put your night passage/pilotage plan together and then execute your plan in the busy waters of the Bristol Channel.

This is a 4 hour Night Navigation Training session (subject to weather and tide) and we aim to spend around 2.5/3 hours afloat.

These sessions offer an opportunity for you to take control of a powerboat at night, work together as a team to put your night passage/pilotage plan together and then execute your plan in the busy waters of the Bristol Channel. You will be hands on as both the helm and the navigators ensuring that you can safely depart from our marina, navigate the busy waters in the Channel, fix your position using charts and electronics, arrive at your destination and get back again – all whilst using lights, buoys & identifying and avoiding other vessels.

The exercise starts around 60 minutes before sunset, with a classroom briefing session and overview of lights, buoyage, colregs, other vessels, charts & personal safety. Together with your RYA Advanced Commercial Instructor you will put together your night passage/pilotage plan before heading down to the boats to put your plan into practice. We actively encourage students to get involved with the passage planning for each trip and operate the on board electronic chart plotters and equipment.

On-board we will be using traditional and electronic means to fix our position, navigate, identify shipping and other traffic, and work together as a team to execute more challenging approaches at night time. Experience using a variety of lights including sector lights, leading lights, compass and clearing bearings – as well as exploring other techniques like how to follow the depth contours on charts to keep out of danger in restricted visibility.  

We aim to maximize the time you spend afloat and minimize the classroom time.

This 1-day course is aimed at those looking to gain more experience this night navigation training is designed to give you the basic skills and knowledge to start to safely find your way around at night .

  • Those looking to gain the required sea time for the MCA Advanced Commercial Exam and need some more night hours,
  • Those looking to venture out at night with limited or no previous night experience.

All candidates must hold a RYA Powerboat Level 2 (Coastal) certificate (or equivalent) as a minimum qualification to attend this course. You will be asked for your certificate number on booking

various times depending on the season – courses usually being around 1 hour before sunset.

Please check your booking confirmation for exact timings.

Minimum age 17 years old.


Prices, Booking and Special Offers


£100 per person;

Book for 2 people or more at £90 p/p

Powerboat Development – £225 This package offers 10% off the total price for the following courses :

  • Powerboat Development Day
  • Introduction to Night Navigation Training

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

  • Your RYA Powerboat Level 2 certificate (or higher).
  • 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 your course – 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 – 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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