RYA Powerboat Level 1 Course

The RYA Powerboat Level 1 course is a one-day course that provides a practical introduction to boat handling and safety in powerboats. Ideal for children.

Key Course Details

Duration: 1 day

Minimum Age: 8

Assumed Knowledge: None

Pre-Course Experience None

Course Price: £135 per person / £195 with 1:1 tuition / £250 for 3 students.

Where will this course take place? Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne, East Sussex

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This training course is for those keen for a basic introduction to powerboating or as a taster session. No previous knowledge is necessary. Additionally, partners of boaters can use the training course to acquire the skills necessary to handle a craft in an emergency. This course provides you with the basics in powerboat handling and safety. It is not a requirement for adults to take Level 1 before taking Level 2.

The RYA Powerboat Level 1 Training Course syllabus is also an appropriate entry-level course for introducing children to powerboating and is ideal if your children use a tender or dinghy around the marina. We aim to teach 95% of this course on the water.

This course is a lesser detailed version of Level 2 concentrating on the practical handling elements of Level 2. Most all of the time is spent on the water practising manoeuvres and learning about the safety aspects of boating. It is ideal as a starting point for those people who are nervous and those who only want to understand the skills necessary to handle a boat in an emergency.

This course is also suitable for children from the age of eight. No prior experience is needed for Level 1.

Some of the topics that we cover during the course include:

  • Launching & recovery
  • Boat handling
  • Approaching and securing to a buoy
  • Anchoring
  • Leaving and coming alongside
  • Handling a boat at planing speed
  • Man overboard

The RYA Powerboat Level 1 syllabus is broken down into three sections: Knowledge of the subject, Understands the subject and Can demonstrate a level of proficiency in the subject.

Section A – Practical Boat Handling

Launching and recovery (eight to eleven year olds to observe this session only)
Knowledge of:

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

Preparation of boat and crew

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


  • Perform the following: fasten to a cleat and stow an anchor

Boat handling
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 an engine
  • Demonstrate the use of an appropriate length kill cord at all times

Picking up and securing to a mooring buoy
Knowledge of:

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

Leaving and coming alongside
Knowledge of:

  • Wind effect
  • Approach in tidal stream or current


  • Leaving – ahead or astern


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

Section B – Theory

Knowledge of:

  • Loading and balancing the boat and the effect on handling and performance
  • 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

Man overboard

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

For Level 1 the minimum age is eight years and no prior boating experience is necessary. On successful completion of the course, they will be able to drive a boat under the supervision of an adult.

£135 per person / £195 with 1:1 tuition / £250 for 3 students.

1 day from 9am to 5pm (may finish about 4pm depending on whether children on the course are getting tired.)

Upcoming Powerboat Level 1 Courses

Please see below for an up-to-date list of all current powerboat level 1 course dates. If you have a specific date in mind that isn’t shown, then please get in touch with us and we will do our best to accommodate you.

All of our courses can be paid for by Paypal or BACS (bank transfer). If paying by BACS, please be aware that we require payment within 24 hours of booking, otherwise the booking may be cancelled.

Sorry, we do not currently have any dates scheduled for this course. Please call us on 07713 639066, or email hello@seatrainingsussex.co.uk and we will happily work with you to try to arrange a suitable date.

Looking for other powerboat and sailing training courses? See our full range of powerboat, shorebased and online training courses here.

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