RYA Training

The Neil Holmes Powerboat Training Academy is a unique training facility based on the Itchen River close to the centre of Southampton.

We offer the following courses - click on a course title to find out more details.

RYA Level 2 training
RYA Intermediate Powerboat Course
RYA Advanced Powerboat Training
ICC - International Certificate of Competence
Own boat tuition
Night Navigation
VHF/ DSC course


RYA Level 2 training

This course is designed to teach boat handling and seamanship in powerboats. The training is suitable for both novices and those with more boating experience who will find they can improve some of their skills and add to their knowledge.

We have a maximum of three students per boat and the course runs over two full days.

Level 2 is the basis for an International Certificate of Competence (I.C.C – conditions apply), as well as being a recognized qualification in its own right. The course is mostly practical with a short session ashore each day.


The syllabus includes:

  • Safety equipment and procedures 10
  • High and low speed maneuverings
  • Rules of the Road
  • Man Over Board procedure
  • Mooring - buoys, anchors, alongside
  • Introduction to charts, tides and navigation

The cost for this course is £295 per person. There are no hidden extras such as fuel or Vat

RYA Intermediate Powerboat Course

The Intermediate Powerboat syllabus aims to provide a level of training to those with a level 2 certificate or people with power boating experience.

The two-day course involves a short coastal passage, and covers practical use of daytime pilotage and passage planning skills, using both traditional and electronic navigational techniques on coastal waters.


You will plan and complete a daytime cruise in coastal waters during daylight hours.

The course takes place over two full days with a maximum of three people per boat and is a combination of water and classroom activities
Subjects Covered:

  • Pilotage
  • Navigation
  • Fuel and engine checks
  • Effect of waves and rougher conditions
  • Power trim and trim tabs
  • Berthing in different situations
  • Use of GPS in high-speed navigation and pilotage by day

The cost for this course is £345 per person. There are no hidden extras such as fuel or Vat

RYA Advanced Powerboat Training

This training is suitable for the more experienced boater who wish to develop their driving and navigation skills to a higher level. Held over two days the course covers topics such as:

  • Boat handling
  • Night navigation
  • Rough water handling
  • Advanced navigational techniques.

Course requirements: The ability to navigate to Day Skipper standard and a current vhf and first aid certificate (Minimum age 17). 
Candidates wishing to have a Commercial Endorsement added to their Advanced Powerboat Certificate will need to undertake a separate exam (practical and theory)
Max 3 people per course

The cost for this course is £395 per person. There are no hidden extras such as fuel or vat

ICC - International Certificate of Competence

If you wish to take your boat abroad or want to charter a boat abroad you will need to have an ICC certificate. You can gain this qualification through a level 2 course or take a direct entry exam
£65 (Click here to contact us for further details)


If you wish to cruise the inland waterways of Europe you will need this bolt on qualification to the ICC. Consisting of a short theory exam, you will need to purchase and study the RYA Book of Euro Regulations for Inland Waterways before attending
£20 (Click here to contact us for further details)

Own boat tuition

Any of our RYA courses can be run on your own boat (max 3 people) reducing the cost per head
(Minimum safety equipment required, the vessel must be insured by the owner for loss damage and legal liability to third parties, the owner remains the skipper and legally responsible for the safe management of the vessel at all times even when under instruction).

Own boat tuition can be covered in most areas throughout the UK and Hampshire including Poole, Lymington, Chichester and IOW,
( additional travel costs may be incurred )

£250 per day, (Click here to contact us for further details)

Night Navigation

An absolute must for anyone who wants to operate at night in safety, held over approximately 5 hours, split between theory and practical content, covering:
  • Collision  regulations
  • Vessel and navigational mark lights
  • Navigation
  • Chart work
  • Passage and pilotage Planning

The practical session takes place after dark in the Solent, putting your newly learnt skills into practise

£175 per person (to run this course we need a minimum of 3 people)

VHF/ DSC course

This one-day RYA SRC/VHF Radio course teaches the basics of VHF radio operation, the correct frequencies (channels) to be used and distress, emergency & medical assistance proceduress controls and DSC (Digital Selective Calling) functions. The VHF radio network has undergone great change with the implementation of the Global Maritime Distress System (G.M.D.S.S.) and these changes are discussed in depth. Your instructor can also advise you as to the best equipment for your own boat.At the end of the RYA SRC/VHF Radio course students are prepared to take a short exam. The exam is not difficult and has a high pass rate. After the successful completion of this exam you will be issued with the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Certificate of Competence and Authority to Operate".

Cost £95. There is an exam fee payable directly to the RYA of £30