POWERBOAT ADVANCED POWERBOAT COMMERCIAL EXAM (COC).
RYA Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competence (Exam)
The Advanced Powerboat Exam is the qualification needed for almost all skippers looking to drive commercially powerboats whether RIBs or hard boats. It qualifies you up to 20 miles from a safe haven. The minimum age is 18.
The exams duration will depend on many things and his can only be a rough guide and a whole variety of factors affect how long each examination lasts. As a guide though – 1 candidate 4 – 5 hours, 2 candidates 5 – 6 hours, 3 Candidates 6 – 7 hours
You should have at least 2 years relevant experience including night pilotage. (As a guide 30 days, 2 days as skipper, 800 miles, 12 night hours). If you hold an RYA Advanced Powerboat Course Completion Certificate the seatime is reduced to: 20 days, 2 days as skipper, 400 miles, 12 night hours. Your theory knowledge should be at the level of RYA Yachtmaster Theory.
It is easy to underestimate the level that you need to be at for the Advanced Examination. The common mistake to make is to assume that because you have taken the Advanced Powerboat Course that you are at the right level. The Advanced Powerboat Course is a really good work-up to the exam and certainly most people should undertake it. However by way of example the Advanced Course may introduce you to night navigation whereas the exam requires you to demonstrate a high degree of competence at night way above the level you would have been at if the Advanced Course was your first trip out at night. In short the advanced course introduces techniques and methods whilst the exam tests that using those techniques and methods is second nature to you. This will only be the case if you have invested plenty of time practicing the methods and actually put them into practice on real passages.
Make sure that ahead of the exam that you ensure that your theory is fully up to scratch (you need to be at the level of RYA Yachtmaster Theory) and put time in ensuring your close quarter boat handling is very good in any conditions. You should be able to put a RIB into almost any marina berth the examiner chooses either bow or stern first in any conditions. Practicing the various pilotage techniques you will use day and night to ensure you are totally happy with their use is of course essential.
Overall the key thing is to ensure that you have enough experience and time afloat as you need to evidence a high degree of competence and confidence to the examiner. The examiner has to judge whether to recommend that you are capable of being responsible for 12 passengers so he/she has to be sure that you have the necessary skills.