The RYA Advanced Powerboat course represents the pinnacle of the RYA Powerboat Scheme. It is aimed at both recreational and professional powerboaters who are looking to undertake more challenging passages, further offshore, by day and night. Students will learn to take responsibility for managing the vessel in more demanding situations, which call for a wide range of skills.


The course looks to build on a student’s existing skills and introduce them to more advanced techniques, with a particular emphasis on night navigation at planing speed. Reinforcing their boat handling, students will take on more challenging manoeuvres, in a variety of conditions. Passage planning and meteorology will be refreshed and night pilotage introduced, in readiness for the night navigation exercise. In addition, the course looks in detail at a variety of emergency situations at sea and how to deal with them.

This course also serves to prepare candidates (who meet the pre-requisites) for the Advanced Powerboat exam, which leads to the Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competence. This certificate is required by those who wish to use their qualification commercially, on MCA-coded vessels up to 20 miles from a safe haven.

If you are unsure whether you meet the pre-requisites, please contact us to discuss your experience.

2 days, plus a night navigation exercise on Day 1 (approx. 3hrs, timings vary depending on the time of sunset)

The course will run from Cromarty Harbour, on the Black Isle (approx. 40mins drive from Inverness).

  • Detailed tuition from an experienced RYA Powerboat Instructor
  • Use of XS 6.5m RIB training vessel, with 150hp engine
  • Use of 150N auto-inflate lifejacket
  • A comfortable shore base for theory sessions
  • Tea, coffee & biscuits
  • RYA Powerboat Scheme Syllabus and Logbook (if you don’t already have one)
  • RYA certificate on successful completion of course
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Warm layers (bring spares, as you may get wet)
  • Lightweight, quick-drying trousers (no jeans please)
  • Wellington boots and warm socks
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Any medication required
  • Headtorch
  • Packed lunch or money for the local convenience store/bakery
  • Preparation for sea
  • Boat handling
  • Passage making and responsibility as a skipper
  • Pilotage
  • Meteorology
  • Rule of the road
  • Use of engines
  • Emergency situations
  • Night cruising

Assessment is on a continuous basis. Existing skills will be developed throughout the course. Students will get the opportunity to plan and execute a night passage and demonstrate night pilotage into a harbour. The certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the syllabus and students will be thoroughly de-briefed.

Should any areas of weakness be identified, extra tuition will be offered and issuing of the certificate will be deferred until competency is achieved in all areas.

To develop your knowledge and support your learning, we would recommend the following book:

RYA Advanced Powerboat Handbook

In addition, the following books will be very beneficial and if you’ve attended the Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster theory course, you will probably have some of these already:

RYA Navigation Handbook

RYA International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

RYA Weather Handbook


Discounts are available for group bookings. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

There are currently no courses scheduled.

Due to the requirement for night pilotage and the length of daylight during the summer months in the North of Scotland, these courses are run from September – April.

This course can be run on demand for groups (min. 2 people). Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

On successful completion of this course, students will have the ability to plan and conduct coastal passages by both day and night. They will be confident managing the vessel in a variety of situations and taking responsibility as skipper.  Their boat handling skills will be refined and adaptable to different conditions.

As with any training, the key is put your new skills into practice as soon as possible. Using them in context consolidates what you have learnt and builds your confidence. Take the opportunity to use powerboats self-sufficiently as often as possible, particularly at night.

If you wish to obtain a commercial endorsement, to operate on MCA coded vessels, you will need the Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competence. This is awarded on successful completion of the Advanced Powerboat exam, conducted by an independent examiner. For more information on doing this through Coast and Cairn, please see here.

Please contact us to book and pay for this course. 

A 20% deposit is required to secure a place and the full balance of payment will be required no later than 4 weeks prior to the commencement of the course. On receipt of full payment, we will provide you with joining instructions.