MCA/RYA Advanced Cert. of Competence

£455 Book

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Having completed the RYA Advanced Powerboat Course, you may wish to take the MCA / RYA Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competence. This exam is intended for advanced drivers who wish to work commercially with open powerboats. It is broadly equivalent to the Yachtmaster Coastal Power Certificate of Competence Exam but examined in a smaller open boat.

To give you the best chance of passing, we offer an intensive three day preparation and exam. This will include two night exercises with our Instructor and a third one on the final night with your examiner.

Course Duration:

We need 4 to 5 hours of daylight and 3 to 4 hours of darkness each day so exact timings vary depending on the season. As an example, December courses run 1200 to 2030 and summer courses will start and finish later.

Pre Requisites:

You should have the following minimum sea time (gained over at least two years):

  • 30 days on board
  • 2 days as skipper
  • 800 miles
  • 12 night hours

For holders of the two day Advanced Course Completion Certificate, this sea time is reduced to 20 days and 400 miles. We generally run these two courses back to back. The reality is that most sucessful candidates will have considerably more sea time than the minimum stated above.

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Course Content:

During the exam, candidates will be tested on their night pilotage and navigation skills as well as boat handling and supporting knowledge. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate that they are competent skippers. The examiner can test candates on any part of the Powerboat scheme (except the safetyboat course) and on any part of the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased and RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased courses. The two days preparation will largely be spent planning and carrying out the night exercises, although some time will be spent practicing the other skills.


It is important that candidate recognise, this is an exam preparation course and they should arrive with knowledge and experience of most of the necassary skills and techniques. There is not time on this course to teach these skills from scratch, the exam preparation is an opportunity to polish and refine these skills with coaching from our Instructor before presenting yourself to an examiner on the final day. The exam syllabus is


1 Preparation for Sea

  • Preparation of vessel
  • Safety brief
  • Stowing and securing gear for coastal passages
  • Engine operations and routine checks, fuel systems, kill cord
  • Fuel system, bleeding, changing filters and impellors

2 Boat Handling

  • Hull forms and their handling characteristics, propeller configurations.
  • Knowledge of action to be taken in rough weather
  • Significance of tidal stream on sea conditions
  • Steering and power control through waves
  • Understanding and correct use of power trim and tabs
  • Towing, under open sea conditions and in confined areas
  • Strategy up and downwind and in heavy weather
  • Awareness of the effects of wind and tide when manoeuvring, including
  • Steering to transits and in buoyed channels
  • Turning in a confined space
  • All berthing and un-berthing
  • Picking up and leaving a mooring buoy
  • Anchoring
  • Recovery of man overboard
  • Awareness of ground speed and ability to hold the boat on station

3 Responsibilities of Skipper

  • Can skipper the vessel with effective crew communication
  • Preparing the vessel for sea and for adverse weather
  • Tactics for heavy weather and restricted visibility
  • Emergency and distress situations
  • Customs procedures
  • Courtesy to other water users

4 Passage making and Pilotage

Your chart work and theory knowledge should include:

  • Charts, navigational publications and sources of navigational information
  • Chart work, including position fixing and shaping course to allow for tide
  • Tidal heights and depths
  • Buoyage and visual aids to navigation
  • Instruments, including compasses, logs, echo sounders, radio navaids and chartwork instruments
  • Passage planning and navigational tactics
  • Importance of pre-planning
  • High speed navigation, pre-planning and execution
  • Use of electronic navigation (GPS & Radar)
  • Pilotage techniques and plans for entry into or departure from harbour
  • Use of leading and clearing lines, transits and soundings as aids to pilotage.
  • Navigational records
  • Limits of navigational accuracy and margins of safety
  • Lee shore dangers

You should be able to enter and depart from a charted port by day or night. Your Examiner will give you a pilotage exercise and ask you to explain your planning. You will need to be aware of the problems of collision avoidance and how to determine your position by night.

5 Meteorology

You should be able to use weather and tidal information to predict likely sea conditions and make passage planning decisions.

  • Definition of terms including the Beaufort Scale, and their significance to small craft.
  • Sources of weather forecasts
  • Weather systems and local weather effects
  • Interpretation of weather forecasts, barometric trends and visible phenomena
  • Ability to make passage planning decisions based on forecast information

6 Rules of the Road

  • Application of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
  • You should be able to identify power and sailing vessels by night. Identification of types of ship by night is not required except a knowledge of the lights of tugs and trawlers.

7 Safety

Candidates will be expected to know what safety equipment should be carried on board the vessel, based either on the recommendations in RYA booklet C8, or the Codes of Practice for the Safety of Small Commercial Vessels. In particular, candidates must know the responsibilities of a skipper in relation to:

  • Fire prevention and fighting
  • Hull damage/watertight integrity
  • Medical emergency
  • Towing and being towed
  • VHF emergency procedures
  • Explanation of helicopter rescue procedures
  • Use of flares
  • Man overboard
  • Search patterns
  • Lifejackets
  • Life rafts
  • Awareness of risks to passengers and crew through shock and vibration caused by operating at
  • speed
  • Awareness of strategies to mitigate risk of injury caused by shock and vibration

What's Included:

  • 2 days and 2 nights of instruction
  • Use of one of our RIBs for the 3 days and nights
  • Fuel
  • Loan of a life jacket and light
  • An exam arranged for you
  • Free parking on site ( Subject to terms & conditions )

What's Not Included:

Optional Extras:

In order to then commercially endorse this qualification, skippers will also need a RYA Sea Survival Certificate, a Seafarers Medical from a doctor and RYA PPR certificate. The RYA then charge you a commercial endorsement fee.


If the dates below do not suit please contact us as we may be able to arrange some dates around you.

Is this course for me?

This training course and exam is specifically aimed at the commercial sector (i.e. those wanting to drive powerboats for a living). The Advanced Certificate of Competence will qualify you as skipper (master) of powerboats up to 24m in length, up to 20 nm from a safe haven and to carry up to 12 passengers. The Advanced CoC is popular across the industry from corporate entertainment RIB drivers, through wind farm transfer crew and onto parts of the offshore industry. It is a good stepping stone on the way towards Yachtmaster Power and probably the most appropriate Certificate of Competence for drivers operating RIBs.

Why choose Stormforce Coaching for this course?:

We want you to pass the final exam so we will push you hard during your time with us. Our Instructors will give you 100%. Our approach to your exam preparation is second to none and as a result we have an excellent pass rate.

Dates & Booking

Dates & Prices will load below shortly, and you can book online, call the team in the office on +442380 231122, or e-mail If you cannot see dates you require, please do get in touch as we may still be able to assist. VAT is included in all our course/charter/race fees where it is applicable, most products are charged at the standard rate, however some are at the reduced rate, zero rate or not eligible for VAT at all. Any way the price below is the price you pay.


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Shamrock Quay Marina, William Street, Southampton, Hants, SO14 5QL, UK

Telephone: 02380 231 122
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