RYA PowerBoat Commercial Endorsements & Marine Training

Commercial endorsements are the gateway to a working life at sea. From a summer job as a rib skipper on the Solent, a water taxi through to survey work and superyachts skippers in the Med, an RYA boat training course is the place to start.

You must hold the correct commercial endorsement for any type of paid work or where passengers or customers are paying for their passage onboard. So even the skipper a complimentary water taxi in a small harbour should hold a suitable commercial license.

In summary, if you take up to 12 paying customers to sea on boats under 24 metres you are required by law to hold a RYA Certificate of Competence with a Commercial Endorsement. For more than 12 persons and vessels over 24 metres then you require MCA qualifications.

The higher your qualification then the larger the vessel and further out from land or a "save haven" you will be allowed to travel, the table below explains the differences very clearly.

Areas of operation :-

Category 0 :- Unrestricted

Certificate required: RYA Yachtmaster® Ocean certificate of competence or certificate of service.

Category 1 :- Up to 150 miles from a safe haven

Certificate required: RYA Yachtmaster® Offshore certificate of competence or certificate of service, or RYA Yachtmaster® Ocean certificate of competence or certificate of service. With ENG 1 medical rather than the ML5 medical which is accepted for categories 2 to 6.

Category 2 :- Up to 60 miles from a safe haven

Certificate required: RYA Yachtmaster® Offshore certificate of competence or certificate of service, or RYA Yachtmaster® Ocean certificate of competence or certificate of service.

Category 3 :- Up to 20 miles from a safe haven

Certificate required: RYA Advanced Powerboat certificate of competence, or RYA Coastal Skipper certificate of competence or certificate of service, or RYA Yachtmaster® Offshore certificate of competence or certificate of service, or RYA Yachtmaster® Ocean certificate of competence or certificate of service.

Category 4 :- Up to 20 miles from a safe haven in favourable weather and daylight

Certificate required: RYA Advanced Powerboat certificate of competence, or RYA Coastal Skipper certificate of competence or certificate of service, or RYA Yachtmaster® Offshore certificate of competence or certificate of service, or RYA Yachtmaster® Ocean certificate of competence or certificate of service.

Category 5 :- To sea, within 20 miles from a nominated departure point in favourable weather and daylight

Certificate required: RYA Day Skipper practical and shorebased certificate, or RYA Advanced Powerboat certificate of competence, or RYA Coastal Skipper certificate of competence or certificate of service, or RYA Yachtmaster® Offshore certificate of competence or certificate of service, or RYA Yachtmaster® Ocean certificate of competence or certificate of service.

Category 6 :- To sea, within 3 miles from a nominated departure point & never more than 3 miles from land in favourable weather and daylight

Certificate required:RYA Powerboat Level 2, or RYA Day Skipper practical certificate, or RYA Advanced Powerboat certificate of competence, or RYA Coastal Skipper certificate of competence or certificate of service, or RYA Yachtmaster® Offshore certificate of competence or certificate of service, or RYA Yachtmaster® Ocean certificate of competence or certificate of service.

What other qualifications will you need?

 Commercial skippers must have a First Aid qualification. The qualification you have must have addressed water related issues so logically if you need to take a course you should consider the 1 day RYA First Aid Course - although others will suffice.

You will need a Sea Survival qualification and your VHF/SRC qualification.

You will need a ML5 Medical report (for categories 2 to 6 operation) or an ENG 1 for Categories 0 or 1.

ENG1 medicals can only be undertaken by a MCA Approved Doctor. ML5 medicals are valid for 5 years whereas ENG1 are only valid for 2 years.

Those operating diesel engine craft should consider the RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance course or the MCA Advanced Engineering Course. Since April 2012 those wishing to apply for their Commercial Endorsement must also undertake the RYA Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR) Course online. Click the link for more information.