RYA Powerboat Courses

What certificates/licences do you need to work commercially with Motor / Powerboats?

We are asked all the time “What certificates do I need to work commercially on Motor Boats or Powerboats?” and the answer depends on 2 things:

  • How far offshore you are looking to go, and
  • What certificates/qualifications you already have.

This blog takes you through the possible options for your commercial endorsement, what certificates and qualifications you need and how to get them.

So what is a commercial Endorsement?

A commercial endorsement is required for work on board British flagged vessels subject to the MCA’s codes of practice for small commercial vessels. A number of additional training courses and medical fitness certificates are required to be eligible for a commercial endorsement.

Which certificate do I need?

The MCA’s codes of practice categorise British flagged commercial yachts according to the type of yacht and the waters in which they operate. It is this categorisation that determines which of the above certificates you will need

Powerboat Level 2 Commercial Endorsement – 3 miles from a nominated point of departure (Cat 6 waters)

The types of commercial craft requiring this level certification are typically: charter fishing boats, small passenger launches, thrill ride operators, harbour patrol launches, construction site safety boats etc. Once your Level 2 certificate is commercially endorsed you can then work on commercial vessels up to 24m in length, operating in category 6 waters – that is up to 3 miles from a nominated departure point in fine weather and daylight hours. Although you can take the Level 2 course at age 12 the minimum age for a commercial endorsement is 17 years old.

Powerboat Advanced Certificate of Competence – up to 20 miles from a safe haven (Cat 3-6 waters)

If you are looking to work on commercial vessels up to 24m in length, operating in category 3, 4, 5 and 6 waters – that is up to 20 miles from a safe haven, carrying up to 12 passengers then you will need to have completed the RYA Advanced Certificate of Competence (EXAM) in order to gain your commercial endorsement. 

NOTE: You CAN NOT simply apply for a commercial endorsement against the Advanced course certificate following completion of the 2 day Advanced course.* Candidates must have successfully passed their Advanced Exam to apply for a commercial endorsement.

RYA Day Skipper Practical Motor – To sea, within 20 miles from a nominated departure point in favourable weather and daylight (Cat 5/6 waters)

If you are looking to work on commercial vessels up to 24m in length, operating in category 3, 4, 5 and 6 waters – that is up to 20 miles from a safe haven, carrying up to 12 passengers then you will need to have completed the RYA Advanced Certificate of Competence (EXAM) in order to gain your commercial endorsement. 

NOTE: You CAN NOT simply apply for a commercial endorsement against the Advanced course certificate following completion of the 2 day Advanced course.* Candidates must have successfully passed their Advanced Exam to apply for a commercial endorsement.

RYA Yachtmaster Coastal (CoC) Motor – up to 20 miles from a safe haven (Cat 3-6 waters)

A commercially endorsed Yachtmaster™ Coastal Certificate of Competence will enable you to skipper vessels up to 24 metres in length, operating in category 3,4,5, and 6 waters – up to 20 miles from a safe haven. 

NOTE: You CAN NOT simply apply for a commercial endorsement against the RYA Coastal Skipper course certificate following completion of the 5 day Coastal Skipper Course. Candidates must have successfully passed their YM Coastal Exam to apply for a commercial endorsement

RYA Yachtmaster Offshore (CoC) Motor – up to 60/150 miles from a safe haven (Cat 1/2-6 waters)

A commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence will enable you to work as a Master of commercial vessels of up to 200gt in category 1 to 6 waters – that is up to 150 miles from a safe haven.

This Certificate of Competence can used commercially in its own right, or as a pre-requisite for the MCA’s Officer of the Watch qualification, which enables you to work worldwide on vessels of up to 3000gt.

NOTE: Skippers working in category 1 or 0 waters will need the ENG1 medical.

All Exam Pre-requisites and Prices

You can see more on the whole range of practical exams and pre-requisites on the RYA Exams page using this LINK

If you don’t have your own vessel you will need to hire a suitable vessel for your exam – details on the vessel requirements can be found here

How do I apply for the Commercial Endorsement? 

You will need to send the following items to the RYA Certification Dept:

  • Your original certificate
  • Your Professional Practices and Responsibilities certificate – this is a compulsory online course covering your responsibility as a commercial skipper
  • A commercial endorsement application form
  • An ML5 or ENG1 medical fitness certificate – Skippers working in category  2-6 waters require an ML5 whereas 1 or 0 waters will need the ENG1 medical.
  • A copy of your RYA Basic Sea Survival certificate or STCW Personal Survival Techniques
  • RYA First Aid Certificate or other acceptable first aid certificate (only required if applying for a commercial endorsement to a Day Skipper, Powerboat Level 2 or Advanced Powerboat Course Completion Certificate).
  • RYA SRC Certificate or other acceptable GMDSS Marine Radio Operator’s Certificate.
  • A passport sized photo with your name on the back
  • The fee

Revalidating your commercial endorsement

All commercial endorsements must be revalidated every five years by proving at least 150 days of actual sea service on appropriate vessels during the previous five years, and be in possession of a valid medical fitness certificate.

Categories: RYA Powerboat Courses

1 reply »

Leave a Reply