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Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Powerboat Driving Courses, Lessons & Experiences

Do you want to learn to drive a speed boat? Want to gain the motor boat driving licence (ICC)?

Westminster Boating Base is a RYA approved centre offering RYA Powerboating Levels 2 and Safety Boat Certificates and the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) with CEVNI (Code Europeen des Voies de Navigation Interieure) endorsement. The CEVNI is a required endorsement for anyone using a boat on inland European waterways.

The following information applies to both young people and adults. All courses are run in our own powerboats which are light alloy assault craft with Yamaha High Thrust 60hp outboard engines and Humber Destroyer 5.8m RIBs with 100hp Yamaha outboards. Certificates will be endorsed for planing craft. All our courses take place at our centre on the tidal Thames in London which allows us to issue a coastal endorsement on your certificate.


RYA Level 2 National Powerboat Certificate

This two-day course provides the skills and background knowledge needed to drive a powerboat and is the basis of the International Certificate of Competence (ICC). It includes Close quarters handling, high speed manoeuvres, man overboard recovery and collision regulations.

There are no pre-requisites for this course other than age. We can teach young people from 10 years upwards but they will not be able to gain the RYA Level 2 certificate unless 12 years or over. The course is suitable for complete novices.

There is not a test at the end of the course. The students are continually taught and assessed throughout to the required RYA standards. On successful completion of the course, you will be awarded the RYA Level 2 certificate.

Our instructors will make every effort to ensure you have a fun and relaxed time in the boat - and most importantly help you to pass the course - but there are occasions where you may need a little extra tuition. If this is the case, it will be charged on an hourly basis - your first hour free.

Certificate can be directly converted to an ICC (International Certificate of Competence, min age 16yrs).


Price: £375 for a 2 day course. Courses run 10am-6pm each day with a break for lunch. Can also include CEVNI test (see below). Please read carefully out terms and conditions when booking a course.

Dates: In the activities calendar to the right.


International Certificate of Competence (ICC) (pleasure craft)

This is often thought of as the driving license for boats.

The RYA is authorised by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to issue a UK ICC to the nationals of ANY country EXCEPT:

  • individuals who are a national of another UNECE member state which has accepted Resolution 40
  • individuals who are also resident in another UNECE member state which has accepted Resolution 40

UNLESS the RYA has been given written permission to do so by the Government of the relevant country.

The countries that have accepted Resolution 40 but have NOT given the RYA permission to issue a UK ICC to their nationals are:
Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland.
This list (correct at 01.11.2014) is subject to change without notice.
Please visit www.rya.org.uk/go/icc-no to consult the latest list.
You must send evidence with your application which proves that you are not a national of and resident in a country on this list.
Option 1: If you are a national of a country which is not on the list you can send a copy of the photo page of your passport or a recognised national identity card showing your nationality;
Option 2: If your address above is in a country which is not on the list you can send proof that you are resident at this address. Send a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, driving licence or recognised national identity card showing your address. Further authenticated evidence may be requested.
Across Europe, the ICC is acceptable as the licence to use a British flagged vessel for leisure. The ICC may be accepted for their native flagged vessels, eg. if you were to rent a boat in Europe, but you should seek confirmation from the hirer.

The ICC we issue allows the holder to drive powerboats up to 10 metres in length on coastal water. If you want to be able to drive on inland waterways too, see CEVNI test below

"I have an RYA Level 2 Powerboat certificate"
If you hold an RYA Level 2 National Powerboat Certificate you can apply directly to the RYA for the ICC.

"I don't have an RYA Powerboat Level 2 certificate"
To get an ICC: Book an RYA Level 2 National Powerboat Certificate course. The price includes the Level 2 certificate.

On successful completion of the course you will be given your Level 2 certificate and the ICC paperwork (signed by the instructor) that you need to send to the RYA (with an administration fee - currently £40 for non-RYA members, free to RYA members). Once you send your paperwork to the RYA, you should receive your ICC within 21 days, although there is a 2 day fast-track service also available.

"I'm an experienced powerboat driver - without an RYA Level 2"
If you are an experienced powerboat driver you can undergo a one-day assessment of your abilities by arrangement with us. For those that have significant experience in driving boats and a thorough knowledge of navigation, a pass can usually be achieved in one day.

Price: A one day direct assessment for experienced helms can be made on a one-to-one basis for £375 (plus administration fee payable to the RYA for the ICC certificate).


CEVNI (Code Europeen Des Voies De Navigation Interieure) Test

This enables legal navigation of inland waterways in many European countries and tests your knowledge of signs, lights and symbols that are commonly used. Its a 30 question multiple-choice paper with a pass-mark set at a minimum of 22 correct answers. You will need to be well read on the signage before taking the test.

If you are booking a RYA Level 2 Powerboat course and want to take the CEVNI test at the same time, we will make time for it during the course. You will need to know your waterway signs, symbols and lights and we advise that you purchase the RYA Cevni Handbook (available from RYA website HERE) to aid with your revision.


Marine VHF Radio (SRC)

The Short Range Certificate is the minimum qualification required by law to control the operation of VHF and VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) equipment on any British flagged vessel voluntarily fitted with a radio. This includes both fixed and hand held equipment using International channels.



RYA Safety Boat Certificate

This certificate is a requirement of the RYA Senior Instructor award. A prerequisite of the RYA Safety Boat course is to hold the RYA Level 2 powerboat certificate.
The aim is to introduce the techniques used in powerboats escorting racing fleets of dinghies, windsurfers and canoes; providing safety and rescue cover for training fleets; and assisting in race management.

Due to unpredictable weather conditions, there may be little or no need to undertake an actual rescue and simulating this is difficult. You can learn the theory but it is another matter doing it for real! Those wishing to offer their services on a voluntary basis by crewing our safety boats on actual sessions will get the chance to log many hours of driving and gain first-hand experience of how to manage fleet safety and assist troubled sailors and kayakers. You will not be charged for this!

Contact us for details of ideal times to attend.

Currently in winter season

The season begins on 01st April 2016. Kayaking and sailing continues throughout the winter on Sundays. Winter clothing regulations apply.

Powerboating activities schedule

February 2018

A Royal Yachting Association (RYA) & British Canoe Union (BCU) approved training centre, regulated by the Adventure Activities Licensing Service (AALS).

Westminster Boating Base is a Sport England Clubmark accredited 'Top centre'.

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