The RYA's Personal Watercraft course is designed for first time and experienced riders alike. Increasingly our certificate is required for launching in UK harbours but is also needed if you want to use your PWC abroad. All new PWCs are sold with a voucher towards the cost of this course and, once passed, you are issued with a certificate of proficiency. Most courses take place over one day. By taking your course at a RYA recognised training centre you can expect to be taught by an experienced, qualified instructor on a suitable PWC with a maximum of six trainees. Courses can be taken either on a centre's craft or your own. The course teaches you how to use your PWC safely, responsibly and with confidence, ensuring that you get the best out of your craft. It covers high and low-speed riding skills, essential safety information, collision avoidance and orientation at sea. Children aged between 12 and 16 can take the course. Their certificates will be endorsed to show that they must use PWC's only under the supervision of a responsible adult.


  • The layout of a PWC (Personal Water Craft), controls, propulsion and steering, fuel and oil, stowage compartments.

  • Personal equipment, wetsuits, drysuits, personal buoyancy, head and eye protection.

  • Checks on PWC prior to launch, essential safety information, local hazards.

Launching and familiarisation

  • Launching from a trailer, boarding and starting PWC, balance and trim controls.

  • Control at speed and stopping distances.

Stopping Distance's

  • Control at speed and stopping distances.

PWC control at speed slow and fast

  • Box exercise.

Recovery of a PWC

  • Recovery of a PW from the water.

Collision Avoidance (IRPCS)

International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea:

  • Rules of the road applied to PWC's.

  • Safe speed.

  • Priorities between different vessels.

  • Overtaking.

  • Crossing.

  • Approach rules.

  • Local rules, speed limits and prohibited areas.

  • Recognising potential collision situations taking correct avoiding action.


  • Towing a disabled PWC.

  • Knots, bowline and round turn and two half hitches.

  • Communication, VHF radio, mobile, flares, distress signal.

PWC control at speed

  • Slalom exercise.

Orientation at sea

  • Charts.

  • Direction and distance.

  • Shallow and deep water.

  • Buoys, lateral and cardinal markers.

  • Make and plan a route, identifying buoy and marks.


  • Sources of significance of weather forecasts.

  • Safety and emergency equipment.

  • Courtesy to other water users and avoiding pollution.


  • Tides, high and low water tidal streams.

Overview of the course with questions

The 1 full day course will be £150 per person, which includes a light lunch and refreshments. Jet Bike hire for the course only £70 per craft per day.

Please note that you must bring a passport-sized photograph of yourself on the day.