RYA Powerboat Level 1

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

This course provides a practical introduction to boat handling and safety in powerboats.

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 powerboat level 2 course as well as practice between courses.


  • One Day

Pre – requisites

  • Experience – None
  • Knowledge – None
  • Specialist Equipment & Clothing – None
  • Age – Minimum age 8+


  1. Is aged 8-11 years and should only use powered craft under the supervision of a responsible aduly on board the craft
  2. Is aged 12-16 years and should only use powered craft under the supervision of a responsible adult.
  3. For some reason Assistance is required to complete the course.

Course Detail

Launch and Recovery (8-11 Year olds observe only)

Knowledge of:

  • Considerations to be taken during the launch
  • The use of a trailer or launch trolley
  • Considerations to be taken regarding sea conditions and hazards
  • Construction, width and condition of slipway


  • Personal buoyancy and appropriate clothing
  • The use of the following equipment: Lines, fenders, anchor & warp, bailer, fire extinguisher, pump, paddles or oars, compass, flares, torch, whistle, charts, first aid kit, sharp knife


  • Performs the following: Fasten to a cleat and stow an anchor

Knowledge of

  • Planing boats: propeller angle and immersion, use of shallow drive
  • Low speed handling: ahead and astern
  • Displacement boats: handling ahead and astern, carrying way in neutral


  • How to carry out pre-start checks, including fuel tank and fuel bulb
  • Steering, controls and windage


  • Steer and control boat speed
  • Start and stop the engine
  • Demonstrate the use of an appropriate length kill-cord at all times

Knowledge of

  • Preparation of mooring warps
  • Use of a boat hook
  • Method of approach
  • Crew communication
  • Making fast

Knowledge of

  • Wind effect
  • Approach in tidal stream


  • Leaving – ahead or astern


  • Demonstrate the use of paninter, lines and fenders, attachment to boat, stowage under way
  • Control Speed and angle of approach
  • Make fast alongside

Knowledge of

  • Loading and balancing the boat and the effect on handling and performnce
  • Local byelaws and insurance


  • Crew numbers: minimum number in the boat, keeping a look-out
  • Awareness of other water users, including effect of wash
  • Application of IRPCS. Understands rules 5, 6, and conduct around commercial shipping in confined waters


  • How to stop the boat
  • Raising the alarm
  • Prevention


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

Date/Time Event Book
13/02/2018 - 14/02/2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Powerboat Level 1 Course
Plymouth & Devon Schools Sailing Association, Plymouth Devon
13/03/2018 - 14/03/2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Powerboat Level 1 Course
Plymouth & Devon Schools Sailing Association, Plymouth Devon
03/04/2018 - 04/04/2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Powerboat Level 1 Course
Plymouth & Devon Schools Sailing Association, Plymouth Devon

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