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Guest Article: Onboard Water Sports Training VS Land-based
How to Train and Qualify your crew as RYA Jet ski Instructors either onboard or from a land based RYA Centre.

In this article we take a look at the two different options for getting Crew trained to run Jet ski operations on board a Superyacht.

As of January 2019 there are over 350 Superyachts worldwide that have signed up to the RYA Training Centre Scheme. Whilst this has helped install safer operating procedures with regards to running PWCs onboard for Crew and Clients it has also added further considerations and logistics for senior crew to consider.


The two main considerations being :

1)    Does at least one of the Crew hold the RYA Personal Watercraft Instructor Qualification.

2)    Since gaining RYA recognition have any other variables changed such as PWC’s being used, change of Principal (often the Captain) or change of chief Instructor.

If you have lost your PWC Instructor or have moved to a rotation shift pattern for staff and need more crew trained up to make sure you have cover at all times onboard what are your options to make sure you stay compliant with the RYA Operating Guidelines.

Option 1 : Onboard Training
Advantages :

–       No need for Crew to travel

–       Ability to train up to 6 crew on one course

–       Minimum disruption to Yacht’s agenda

–       Crew are trained on the equipment they will be training guests on

–       Ability to add additional training such as Flyboard Operator Course delivered by our sister company Aquatic Jetpacks

–       Trainers can fly to Yacht’s location anywhere worldwide assuming PW operations are allowed in the area planned for training

–       If the option of choosing us to help you setup your Yacht as RYA Centre, time can be spent whilst onboard for the Trainer to familiarise crew operations manual and preparation for Inspection.


–       Trying to find a 4 day window that Trainer and Crew can access PWs, Tender and a teaching area during a busy charter season can be very hard

–       Accessing equipment out of garage in certain berths is not possible so will need to consider where training takes place.

What are the requirements for running a RYA PWC Instructor Training onboard a Superyacht:

–       Need a minimum of 3 Crew to Train but can be up to 6 Crew

–       Yacht has permission to use Jet skis in area proposed for Training

–       Yacht has Insurance which covers Jet skis and crew to be trained on them

–       Yacht must either be an existing RYA Training Centre or must have applied for RYA Recognition before course commences (Jetski Safaris can assist with this)

–       A minimum of 2 x Pw’s (Jet skis) are available for Training

–       A Tender or Rescue boat with the relevant safety equipment

–       Charts of local area and plotting equipment for Navigation exercises

–       4 x visible marker buoys

With regards to the crew themselves that are to be trained the following pre-requisites will need to be met prior to onboard training taking place

–       Jet ski riding experience

–       First Aid Qualification (STCW or similar)

–       RYA Proficiency Certificate (Can be arranged as part of onboard training, see below example of onboard Training schedule)

–       Personal RYA Membership (Will be paid directly to RYA)

–       Passport photo

Understanding the Logistics of Onboard Jet Ski Training and Course Content for 1 Day RYA Jetski Proficiency Course and 3 Day RYA Jetski Instructor Course:

Day 1 : (Trainer) RYA Jetski (PWC) Proficiency Course

Day 2 : (Trainer) RYA Jetski Instructor Course (Day 1) Morning Theory session looking at teaching skills, PW course structure planning and Content, Afternoon practice teaching sessions afloat on PW’s

Day 3 : (Trainer) Presentation techniques, further course structure work, further sessions afloat to practice teaching and handling

Day 4 : (Trainer & Moderator) Practical sessions afloat and further shorebased teaching,

Option 2 : Train crew at a registered RYA Training Centre

Whilst onboard Crew training can work well there are plenty of situations where it might suit a Yacht better to send just a single member or pair of crew off to complete their training at a land based RYA Training Centre.


Advantages of Crew attending Training at a land based Centre:

–       Crew can undertake training whilst on break from Yacht

–       Training will not impact on Yacht’s operations. Ie if during charter season and you maintain one PWC Instructor onboard further crew or future joining crew could attend training elsewhere.

–       If Yacht is out of the water having refit then crew can be trained elsewhere.

–       It is a more cost effective option if only one or 2 members of crew need to be trained.

–       Dedicated course dates can be set at Land based Centres if training 3 or more crew at once.

–       Jetski Safaris UK’s centre in Poole is perfectly positioned close to Southampton and Bournemouth Airports with many flight links to Mediterranean. An on-site hotel means students can have a hassle free course with immediate access to facilities.

–       UK based Training can often be more cost effective taking into account flights and accommodation compared to med based Schools.

The same Pre-requisites apply for crew attending PWC Instructor Training in the UK as above. Like onboard Training we often run the 1 day PWC proficiency course the day before the 3 day Instructor Course at our Base in Poole Harbour to minimise the time crew spend away from the Yacht.

When looking into booking courses at land based RYA centres be aware that they are under the same restrictions as mentioned above, so will need a minimum of 3 students for a course to run. In the past we have often had crew join us that have been let down last minute as the centres have not reached the minimum of 3 students required or been able to locate a trainer to run the course. Therefore be sure to ask whichever school you decide to go with if the course is definitely running before committing a deposit and booking travel arrangements for your crew.

This article has focused on training and qualifying your Crew to run RYA PWC operations onboard. Should your yacht not already be registered as an RYA Training Centre and you would like further information on how this process works then please see click here or call one of our team for further advice.

Further resources for running Jetski Operations onboard a Superyacht can also be found by clicking here.

This article was written by Ross Ceaton – RYA PWC Trainer

Guest Article: Onboard Water Sports Training VS Land-based

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