RYA Powerboat Level 2

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

This course teaches safe boat handling and seamanship 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 Safety Boat Course and/or Intermediate powerboat day cruise course as well as practice between courses.


  • Two Days

Pre – requisites


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

Course Detail

Launch and Recovery

Knowledge of:

  • The use of a trailer or launch trolley
  • Considerations 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
  • Prepare to go afloat
  • Tie relevant knots

Knowledge of

  • Loading: effect on handling and performance, effect on balance and trim, CE Plate and manufacturer’s recommendations
  • Handling characteristics of displacement boats, rudder-steered craft and shaft-driven vessels


  • Crew members, minimum number in faster craft, keeping a look-out
  • The importance of boat control in waves and adequate seating to minimise the possibility of back injury
  • Awareness of other water users, including effect of wash
  • Steering, controls, effect of current or tidal stream
  • Handling a boat at planing speed, trim tabs and power trim
  • Planing boats: propeller angle and immersion, shallow drive, planing and displacement 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
  • Handle a boat at planing speed


  • Preparation of mooring warp
  • Use of boat hook
  • Direction of approach
  • Taking way off
  • Crew communication
  • Making fast
  • Procedure when overshooting


  • Approach and secure to a buoy

Knowledge of

  • Types of anchor
  • Stowage and attachment to boat
  • Preparation of anchor, chain and warp
  • Weighing anchor


  • Correct approach in various conditions
  • Taking way off
  • Crew communication
  • Check holding
  • Depth of water, holding ground, scope required


  • Approach and anchor correctly
  • Weigh anchor correctly


  • Preparation and use of lines warps and fenders, attachment to boat, stowage under way
  • Speed and angle of approach
  • Wid Effect
  • Method of approach in tidal stream or current


  • Make fast alongside
  • Use springs
  • Leaving – ahead or astern

Knowledge of

  • Recovery of man overboard


  • Cold water shock and immersion hypothermia
  • How and when to raise the alarm


  • Take immediate action
  • Observe the man overboard
  • Carry out the correct return with awareness of propeller
  • Approach and recover the ‘man’ in the water (small weighted buoy)
  • Demonstrate both drift down and into wind approach methods
  • Switch engine off

Knowledge of

  • Types of craft: advantages and disadvantages of different hull forms with respect to sea-keeping ability
  • Seating arrangements
  • Stepped hulls
  • Engines and drives: advantages and disadvantages of outboard, inboard and outdrive units, single and twin-shaft drives, 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/chart plotters
  • Application of local byelaws, especially around commercial shipping
  • Sources of weather information


  • Awareness of other water users
  • Communication with other craft
  • Disabled craft
  • Emergency action, preventing sinking
  • Adrift – alternative means of propulsion
  • Actions to be taken by a disabled craft and being towed
  • Fire precautions and fire fighting
  • Distress signals, means of issuing distress, DSC and the Mayday call
  • Advice for vessels in restricted visibility


  • Apply IRPCS principally rules 5,7,8,9,12-18

Knowledge of

  • Byelaws and local regulations
  • Insurance
  • Boat registration schemes


  • Pilotage and passage planning
  • Charts, chart symbols, buoyage systems
  • Tides and tidal streams


  • Use steering and hand bearing compasses
  • Apply all of the practical sections on coastal waters


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 2 Course
Plymouth & Devon Schools Sailing Association, Plymouth Devon
13/03/2018 - 14/03/2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Powerboat Level 2 Course
Plymouth & Devon Schools Sailing Association, Plymouth Devon
03/04/2018 - 04/04/2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Powerboat Level 2 Course
Plymouth & Devon Schools Sailing Association, Plymouth Devon

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