RYA Powerboat Level 2

What is special about this course?

The aim iof this RYA Powerboat Level 2 course is provide a practical introduction to boat handling, seamanship and safety in powerboats.  Main elements covered are:

  • Launching and recovery
  • Boat handling
  • Securing to a buoy
  • Anchoring
  • Leaving and coming alongside
  • Man overboard
  • Theory
  • Ropework
  • Distress signals and the Mayday call
  • Apply IRPCS – Collison Regulations
  • Coastal Pilotage and passage planning
  • Charts, chart symbols, buoyage systems

Entry requirements


Will teach boat handling and seamanship in powerboats:

Launching and recovery

  • Use of a trailer or launching trolley.
  • Consideration of launching and sea conditions, including hazards and obstructions.
  • Number of persons required to launch/recover.
  • Construction, width and condition of slipway.
  • Steep/slippery slipways, beach launching, lee shores.
  • Care of trailer bearings, hitch, lashings, ties, lights and winch.
  • Trailer parking.
  • Prepare the boat, lines, fenders, safety equipment, fuel tanks, lines and secure gear on board.

Boat handling

  • Loading: effect on handling and performance, effect on balance and trim, CE Plate and manufacturer's recommendation
  • Displacement boats: handling ahead and astern, carrying way
  • Crew members: minimum number in high speed craft, keeping a look-out
  • Awareness of other water users, including effect of wash
  • Steering, controls, effect of current or tidal stream
  • High speed manoeuvring: planing, trim tabs and power trim
  • Planing boats: propeller angle and immersion, shallow drive, high/low speed handling, tiller/console steering
  • Carry out pre-start checks, engine starting and stopping
  • Demonstrate the use of an appropriate length kill cord at all times
  • Carry out low speed manoeuvres including: turning in a confined area, effect of wind on bow and holding off. Demonstrate an awareness of the danger of flooding when going astern
  • Carry out high speed manoeuvres including S-turns and U-turns

Securing to a buoy

  • Preparation of mooring warp
  • Use of a boat hook
  • Method of approach
  • Crew communication
  • Making fast
  • Procedure when overshooting
  • Approach and secure to buoy


  • Method of approach in various conditions
  • Taking way off
  • Crew communication
  • Check holding
  • Depth of water, holding ground, scope required
  • Types of anchor
  • Stowage and attachment to boat
  • Preparation of anchor, chain and warp
  • Weighing anchor
  • Approach and anchor correctly
  • Weigh anchor correctly

Leaving and coming alongside

  • Preparation and use of painter, lines and fenders, attachement to boat, stowage under way
  • Speed and angle of approach
  • Wind effect
  • Method of approach in tidal stream or current
  • Make fast alongside
  • Use springs
  • Leave - ahead or astern

Man overboard

  • Recovery or man overboard
  • Take immediate action
  • Observe the man overboard
  • Carry out the correct return with awareness of propeller
  • Approach and recover the man in the water


  • Types of craft: advantages and disadvantages of different hull forms with respect to sea keeping ability
  • Engines and drives: advantages and disadvantages of outboard, inboard and outdrive units, single and twin screws, choice and use of fuels
  • Siting of fuel tanks, fuel lines, batteries, wiring, fire extinguishers
  • Routine engine maintenance checks, basic fault diagnosis
  • Close down procedure
  • Advice to inland drivers about coastal waters
  • Use and limitations of GPS
  • Application of local byelaws, especially around commercial shipping
  • Sources of weather information
  • Awareness of other water users
  • Communication with other craft - hand and sound signals
  • Disabled craft
  • Emergency action, preventing sinking
  • Adrift - alternative means or propulsion
  • Towing and being towed
  • Fire precautions and fire fighting


  • Distress signals and the Mayday call
  • Apply IRPCS, principally rules 5,7,8,9,12-19


  • Pilotage and passage planning
  • CG66 Small Craft Safety Scheme
  • Charts, chart symbols, buoyage systems
  • Tides and tidal streams
  • Use steering and hand bearing compasses
  • Apply Section A on coastal waters

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time

How long will my course last?

2 Day

Our RYA Powerboat Level 2 course offers a very practical and thorough introduction to powerboating.

Where can I study my course?

    • Dunoon Learning Centre
    • Lochgilphead Learning Centre
    • Oban Learning Centre

Start date

The courses run at various times throughout the year. Check Argyll College website and local centres for details


For the latest information on fees please see our fees policy.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Maritime Skills employment in the leisure boat industry, marinas and boatyards, or as progression towards knowledge and qualifications for entry into further maritime skills courses or Merchant Navy type training.

Is there more information available online?

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To enrol, or for further information on this course, please contact your local Argyll College Centre

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Argyll. UHI Argyll operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.