RYA Intermediate Powerboat Day Cruising Course

Plymouth & Devon Schools Sailing Association RYA Powerboat Scheme Syllabus & Logbook G20 Book Cover Photo

This course teaches powerboating to the standard required to safely undertake and execute a short coastal passage by day.

At PDSSA we take this course in a variety of powered craft on tidal coastal waters. You will gain experience in boats from small tiller steer RIBS to larger console wheel steer RIBS and also if time allows a run through the exercises in our Plymouth Pilot, a small displacement training powerboat.

It is recommended that all participants consolidate this short introduction with the Advanced Powerboat Course  as well as practice between courses.


  • Two Days

Pre – requisites

  • Experience –  RYA Powerboat Level 2  with a coastal endorsement
  • KnowledgeRYA Powerboat Level 2 with coastal endorsement, Day Skipper theory, RYA First Aid and VHF/SRC Radio operator’s certificates are all recommended
  • Specialist Equipment & Clothing – None
  • Age – Minimum age 16+


Course Detail

Planning a Day Cruise

Knowledge of:

  • Use of marina locks (Can be covered under practical section if available)


  • Latitude and Longitude
  • The principles of GPS and chart plotters
  • Sources of weather forecast information and the interpretation of forecasts
  • Tidal heights at secondary ports
  • How to use a plotting instrument and plot a course to steer (CTS)
  • How to issue distress by all available means


  • Work out tidal heights for standard ports using a tidal curve
  • Navigate
  • Use true and magnetic bearings
  • Interpret bearing and distance
  • Interpret chart symbols
  • Interpret tidal diamonds and tidal streams
  • Use pilot books
  • Interpret Lateral and Cardinal buoyage
  • Implement IRPCS, in particular 5,6,7,8,9,12-19,23
  • Use GPS waypoint navigation and determine XTE – Cross Track Error, SOG – Speed Over Ground, COG – Course Over Ground, BTW – Bearing To Waypoint, DTW – Distance to Waypoint
  • Use a laminated chart afloat
  • Use pilotage to enter and unfamiliar port by day
The aim of the practical elements is to put into practice the elements as detailed in the theory section above in order to complete a passage including:


  • 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

Knowledge of

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


  • The importance of boat control in waves and adequate seating to minimise the possibility of back injury


  • 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


  • Demonstrate a practical application of techniques for pilotage in local waters


  • 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 a variety of traditional and electronic means


  • Techniques for picking up a man overboard in differing conditions


  • Pick up a man overboard
  • Deal with cold water shock and immersion hypothermia
  • How and when to raise the alarm


There’s not much that you’ll need to begin with.

We can provide you with a wetsuit, spray top and buoyancy aid. Our sizes range from Junior Extra Small to Adult Extra Large.

We will expect you to bring the following items:

  • Swimsuit to wear under a wetsuit
  • Rash vest or thin T-shirt to wear under a wetsuit if your swimsuit doesn’t cover the top half
  • Wet shoes such as wet suit boots, dinghy boots, old trainers which give rugged foot protection. We have found that open toe footwear and crocs are not suitable as they either fall off too easily, have no grip when wet or could lead to serious foot injury. Garden wellies are not suitable for sailing courses either
  • Towel and wash gear to shower and dry afterward if required.
  • Food and drink. Most of our courses run over two full days so bring enough to eat and drink each day. It’s a good idea to take a drink bottle afloat. These can be carried in an accompanying safety boat for you.
  • Sun glasses if it’s bright…make sure you have a retaining strap too.
  • Hat, beanie or cap especially on very sunny or cooler days.
  • Sun protection lotion. We recommend a water resistant lotion with a SPF50 rating.
  • Enthusiasm to learn!!

Optionally a pair of sailing gloves to protect your hands and fingers would be useful and helps protect your hand and fingers from blistering when wet and working with dinghy sheets, lines and other ropework. These are relatively cheap and can be purchased on-line or locally at one of the boat chandleries.

Sailing is a physical sport but has many facets.

If you’re getting in it to win it the fitter you are the better. You’ll be able to sail some very extreme sailing boats with adequate training and experience.

However if you’d prefer a more sedentary pace your fitness level will be fine as long as you can safely move from one side of a small, moving boat to the other.

Yes we run regular RYA Sailability sessions where you can learn to sail in our adapted boats. We have a crew-lift hydraulic electric hoist to help you in and out of the boats.

Of course if your ability means you are able to move around and you can get from one side of the boat to the other safely then our larger regular boats are there for any of our standard sailing courses.

We’d obviously love to have a chat with you first to gauge the best options but are sure we can get you afloat.

We prefer Cash, Cheque or bank transfers in payment for courses. We currently do not have the ability to take payment by card.

Payment by Paypal is also possible by special arrangement with the centre manager. An additional fee is payable to cover the additional transaction costs we incur from Paypal.

Our Address is

Plymouth & Devon Schools Sailing Association
Boathouse 17
Madeira Road
The Hoe

Plymouth & Devon School's Sailing Association don't use sat nav post code to find us iconWARNING: Don’t use the postcode on a sat nav to find us….you won’t !!

You’ll find us at the southern end of the Barbican Wharves between the Barbican Landing stage, The Old White House on the end of Pheonix Wharf and Elphinstone car park. All of this below the south eastern quarter of the Royal Citadel. Check us out on the map here and on our contact page.

Course Dates

No Events
Date/Time Event Book

What’s Next?

Support the development of the national boating programs and gain access to some more great deals. Become a member of our national governing body by joining the RYA just click this banner to find out more and sign up.

Join the RYA online today