Power and Motor Boating

Are you new to boating? Keen to find out more about how to get started, what kind of training you'll need and to explore the many different options? Read on to find out more about the various options for power and motor boat training.

Operating a power or motor boat is somewhat different to sailing. While some boaters like to train in both fields, it is more common for people to choose either discipline as their preferred method of getting afloat and stick with it. At Stormforce Coaching, we use the term 'powerboating' to encompass the following various types of craft:

  • Powerboats - These tend to be smaller, open powered craft: generally craft under 10m in length. Typically, there are no sleeping or cooking facilities on this type of boat. Our powerboat courses are run aboard our open RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats). Sports boats generally fall into this category and we run powerboat training courses for people who wish to drive dive boats and to tow water skiers and wakeboarders.
  • Motor Boats - These are generally larger powered boats (up to 24m in length) which tend to be fitted with twin diesel engines (although not always). Typically, motor boats are large enough to have cooking and sleeping facilities onboard.
  • PWC - Sometimes known as personal watercraft (PWC or PW), jet skis, wave bikes, wave runners or wet bikes, it all amounts to the same thing! Jet skis are often seen abroad in warmer climes, but are more frequently being used in our own waters. The basic PWC Proficiency course will ensure that you know how to drive one safely.

If you are new to boating and know the kind of boat you would like to drive, you may be wondering if training is necessary and if so, where to start. We run a variety of different training courses, designed to help you drive competently and safely and to teach you how to get the most from your boating. To help beginners get afloat, we suggest the following courses:

For Powerboaters:

RYA Powerboat Level 2 Course

Although called the 'Level 2' course, this 2-day course is suitable for complete beginners and is sometimes known as the 'powerboat licence'. Similar to a car driving licence, the certificate is recognised by many countries and prepares you for driving small open powerboats. You will often see this course linked with the ICC (International Certificate of Competence) - this is an additional certificate which is often required if you wish to charter a powerboat overseas. You are eligible for the ICC once you have passed the RYA Powerboat Level 2 course (although it does come at an additional charge, unless you are an RYA member). Read more about whether the Powerboat Level 2 course is for you here.

For Motor Boaters:

RYA Helmsman's Course

This 2 day course is is ideal for the new motor boat owner who is conscious of the difficulties and potential hazards of boat handling in the marina and covers basic boat handling skills, helming, safety and basic engine checks. We also run a Start Motor Cruising course, which is aimed at helping family members and friends crew a motor cruiser effectively. If you plan to drive a motor boat, you should look to start with the Helmsman's course.

For PWC drivers:

RYA PWC Proficiency Course

Whether you have purchased a jet ski, would like to be able to drive one for holidays abroad or need the qualification for Superyacht work, the proficiency course is a must-have ticket. The course will teach you how to handle the craft safely, to launch, control and care for it. Increasingly, this qualification is being requested in order to launch in UK waters, so it comes highly recommended. 

What is charter?

Charter is when you hire a boat from us. Either with one of our Skippers (skippered charter) to drive you and your friends / family / colleagues around for the day or bareboat (bareboat charter), where you take the boat independently and enjoy all the benefits of boat ownership without any of the hassles! People choose charter for many reasons: a fun family day out, stag or hen dos, to impress or reward colleagues, clients or staff or to test out how they get on with a boat before investing in one. Skippered charter is the most popular option, as you don't have to take on any of the responsibility and can feel safe in the knowledge that the skipper is experienced and competent. For bareboat charter, you do have to be fairly experienced and meet some pre-requisites. To find out more about chartering one of our open RIBS, please contact a Course Advisor.

If you are still unsure as to which type of powered craft you are interested in or which course would be the best place to start, please contact one of our Course Advisors on 02380 231122 or coaching@stormforce.biz


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

Telephone: 02380 231 122
Calls may be recorded
E-mail: coaching@stormforce.biz