The RYA’s Powerboat Level 2 Course is one of the most sought courses in the marine industry. Of course, this course is also a prerequisite to applying for jobs in the yachting industry. However, having the basic skipping knowledge comes in handy regardless of whether you applying to the yachting industry or not; and it can be a pretty fun experience too. In this article, let’s expand more on what exactly you would be learning in the RYA’s Powerboat Level 2 (PB2) Courses.

What will I learn in the RYA’s Powerboat Level 2 (PB2) Course?

The RYA’s Powerboat Level 2 course is divided into two days. While each instructor individually decides how they would want to deliver their knowledge to the candidates, the core experience is generally the same. In the RYA’s PB2 course, you mainly learn about basic navigations, docking and launching the boat, safety procedures, off-shore basic safety-related lessons, and of course, driving the powerboat itself.

Let’s see what you will exactly be learning through this course.

​a. Launching the Boat 

Launching and Recovery is the first step your instructor will demonstrate about. As a skipper, it is important to have general knowledge about the launching and recovery of your boat.

The instructor will demonstrate everything appropriately as well as allow you to get a feel of it. It will involve the main procedure and the safety measurements to make sure you launch or recover your vessel safely.

b. Securing the boat around the docks

Securing your boat before getting on or getting off it is extremely important. The mistakes may be more embarrassing than fatal, but they are mistakes nonetheless. Your instructor will teach you about securing the ropes and docking the boat around a dock properly. This also includes taking your boat out of the docks.

Your instructor will demonstrate and instruct you how to do so carefully without damaging other boats, dock property, or your own boat. Meaning you will also be learning the safety pre-checks before launching the boat or after docking the boat.

c. Confined Manoeuvres

This part of your training comes right after you undocked the boat. In this section, your instructor will allow you to drive your boat around the docks (of course with a speed limit). Along with it, they will also talk about the rules and regulations regarding the dock traffic that you must follow. These are important to avoid accidents and unpleasant encounters with other skippers or disrupt the traffic.

Anyway, in confined manoeuvres, you will learn about how to drive your boat in a compact, confined area such as docks or water passages like a canal etc. In the training itself, it will be mostly around the docks. However, the applied basics are similar in confined areas so this should cover the general knowledge of the same.

d. Handling the Boat in open waters

Once the instructor feels that you are ready to move on to the next step, they will encourage you to take the boat in open waters. Here, they will also teach you how to operate your boat and a variety of other gadgets available such as a compass, VFH radio (basic), depth meter, and a digital map. Many modern powerboats nowadays have a digital map that shows the depth of the ocean, other vessels in the water, and your relative position from the nearby shore.

However, a good instructor will definitely recommend you carry updated physical maps of the region you’ll be driving into. Understanding the depth and seabed terrain is especially important when you want to anchor your boat in the middle of the lake/ocean for purposes such as relaxation, fishing, or securing your boat for man overboard procedure.

e. Man Overboard

Man Overboard is a procedure to rescue someone who fell off your boat. In this case, if you have another person on the boat, they will act as a spotter. A spotter instructs the position of the desired target, a drowning person in this situation. Following the spotter’s direction, the procedure then continues to drive the boat towards the location and rescue the person.

As a human substitute, your instructor will use a big, heavy object (of course). They will randomly throw it in the waters and then call ‘Man Overboard’. This call is for alerting everyone that someone has fallen off the boat. Then your instructor will point towards the general direction of the object. Drive the boat towards the direction and successfully retrieve the object to finish this procedure.

During retrieval, your instructor will also teach you other safety procedures during saving the person. They are important for your own safety, your vessel’s safety (you do not want it capsized in the middle of the ocean), and the drowning person’s safety as well.

f. Mooring Buoys and Anchoring

To secure your boat in the middle of nowhere on the waters, you will either be using the traditional anchor or the mooring buoy. Your instructor will teach you how it works and when to use your anchor or the buoy. Furthermore, they may also provide general knowledge regarding different buoys as well.

g.  Tides and Navigation

During your offshore hours, your instructor will also teach you about reading tides and winds, and using navigation charts. These will help you situate your boat appropriately whenever you need to halt or navigate your boat seamlessly to your desired destination.

h. Towing

Basic training about how to tow your boat back into the dock hangars or to your boat trailer. This will mainly include a demonstration and a practical. Make sure you note these down because you will have to practice by yourself if you want to master these.


The 2-day RYA’s Powerboat Level 2 Course can be a pretty enjoyable experience with the right instructor. Driving and caring for a boat may seem complicated on the surface, but we assure you that it’s not. In fact, it will be an experience you have never had before. Now, you don’t just have to read the experience but you can view the Powerboat Level 2 experience through someone’s eyes, thanks to AQUAHOLIC on Youtube!

This series is divided into three parts. If this is something that interests you, make sure you check out all of them! 

With the right instructor, you learn almost every basic in the PB2 course. And for that, we would highly recommend our Powerboat Level 2 Course. Sail and Power SA is an RYA Accredited institute that provides in-depth knowledge in theory and in practice with our powerboat courses. Our expert powerboat instructors carry over 30 years of experience in the industry. Feel free to give us a call today and we will be happy to help you!

Related: The RYA Powerboat Level 2 (PB2) Course in South Africa