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Powerboat Program

Do you want to learn to drive a small powerboat? Would you like to man a rescue boat to support your local sailing club? This program will provide you with the necessary skills for the safe use of small powerboats, including the equipment to be carried, knowledge of seamanship, navigation and weather.

As part of the program you will have the opportunity to achieve the Start Powerboatingcertificate which satisfies licensing requirements in some states of Australia. If you wish to assist in club events or desire to be an instructor, coach or official, then the Powerboat Handling course is particularly beneficial. The skills and knowledge gained in this program can be applied in most of the other programs and it is highly recommended for all.

For more information about the Powerboat program and courses please click HERE.

Powerboat Courses

There are three different courses of the powerboat program on the Sailing Pathway.

Click on the course below to find one near you or for a more detailed syllabus click here.

Step 1 Find a Start Powerboating Course Your powerboating pathway begins here introducing practical driving skills, trip planning, boat maintenance, safety equipment and dealing with emergency situations. Following the course you will have sufficient skills and knowledge to skipper a small powerboat.
Step 2 Find a Powerboat Handling Course This one-day course is designed to improve your boat handling skills, especially in confined areas such as Marinas and in swell and waves. You will also learn more about engines and types of craft, and practice navigation techniques on a passage.
Step 3 Find a Safety Boat Operator Course This course provides the skills needed to support water based activities at clubs, schools and outdoor recreation centres. Over 12 hours you’ll learn about race course design, practice on-water rescue of dinghies and multi-hulls, and even get an awareness of techniques to support kite surfers and kayaks.

Direct Assessment

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is available to experienced Powerboat Operators who wish to attain the Powerboat Handling certificate.  This process is commonly known as ‘Direct Assessment’ and is primarily an opportunity for the applicant to demonstrate their powerboat handling skills.  The assessment which is measured against ‘performance criteria’ also includes written / oral questioning and is structured around the syllabus for both the Start Powerboating and Powerboat Handling courses. Click on the links below -

Powerboat Instructors

If you have completed the Powerboat courses, you may interested in becoming an Australian Sailing Powerboat Instructor:

  • Click here to find a Powerboat Instructor course


Powerboat Program FAQ's

Q: What are the Australian Sailing (AS) and Royal Yachting Association (RYA) recognised certificates to get a NSW General Boat Licence?

A: Click here to find the AS recognised certificates and here to find the RYA ones. Note this process is managed by Transport NSW so please contact them for further information.

Q:An organisation outside of Australia has asked me to produce a RYA powerboat certificate but I’ve completed an Australian Sailing course?

A: Present this program notice which lists a comparison between RYA and AS courses.