Tender driving in the dark? Advance your Training!

Here’s the simple fact: If your work requires you to drive the yacht’s tender, or chase boat, at night you should consider advancing your Powerboat training to have the right skills, and level of confidence, for the job.


Many ‘yachties’ hold the Powerboat level 2 course completion certificate, the photocard you proudly receive at the end of your two-day training course. You will have received training in boat handling and seamanship following a superb syllabus carefully developed by the experts at the RYA. With this grounding, you can build on your expertise and confidence. However the syllabus does not include training during night hours.

When dusk sneaks up on you and the nav lights are switched on, it is advisable to be more prepared.

In response to industry demand, the RYA developed the Tender Operator course that was launched towards the end of last year. The syllabus sits between the basic certificate of Powerboat level 2 and the Advanced Certificate of Competence, and is designed to teach tender driving up to a required standard to carry passengers, and other crew, to and from the mother ship by day and more importantly, by night.

Building upon the candidate’s basic knowledge of powerboating, it is important that candidates understand the emphasis of the course being ship to shore transfers and associated skills.  Boat handling will cover berthing and docking skills, with regard to passenger safety and comfort and the additional hazards associated with moving passengers, by water, during the hours of darkness. The syllabus includes night time passage planning prior to practical execution, plus scenario based discussion based on ‘real life’ working on the tenders; passenger management and safety will also be covered practically.

The Level 2 certificate is a pre-requisite and the Powerboat Tender Operator course will run over two days with the night hour navigation run on day one of the course.

Moving onwards and upwards, turn your attention to the RYA Advanced Powerboat course: intensive training over two days including night navigation exercises. Your assumed knowledge of navigation and chart work should be to the level of Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore, so a theory course, or revision of your existing knowledge, is highly recommended.

You have to be on the ball for Advanced: within the practical training you will be identifying lit, and unlit, positions by night and within the exam syllabus you will conduct a night time pilotage exercise, determining your position at night and at speed. Precision required, it’s a demanding course and a worthwhile qualification. Successful completion of this course will see you receive another photocard certificate: RYA Advanced Powerboat course completion.

The gold standard of RYA powerboat training is the Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competence which is achieved by passing an independent examination. The exam will be run by an independent examiner after the course completion date.

Available through Aigua Sea School, the Tender Operator and Advanced Powerboat courses operate with a maximum 3:1 student to instructor ratio with training by an Advanced Powerboat Instructor. Courses run at weekends though weekday training and exams can be arranged on request. €499 per person includes RIB for the training, fuel, RYA Advanced Instructor and course notes. The RYA Advanced Powerboat examination fee is £181 payable directly by the exam candidate to the RYA. Any travel expenses incurred by the examiner will be a shared expense of the candidates. The vessel for the exam can be arranged through Aigua with an additional cost.


Tel: +34 871 230 373



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