Powerboat Instruction

Powerboat Course Dates

2024 Course Dates TBA

Course Registration

Registration link coming soon

Important Information

Packets for class will be in the CYC office. The office is open Monday through Friday from about 9 am - 3 pm. Please pick up one packet per person prior to the first class. (A digital textbook may be available. Please contact Meg if that is the best option for you.)

Powerboat class uses CYC's powerboats which are 15-17' whalers and inflatables. We focus on outboard engines for the most part. We do not really go into the mechanics of engines, but do cover the basics along with some troubleshooting of what to do in certain situations. We will focus on and cover how to safely and competently drive powerboats, building good habits and instincts. We will also cover the rules of the road are, driver responsibilities, etc... Safety is huge focus throughout class.

For the first class, please read and be comfortable with the information in the RI Supplement. Complete the 185 review questions prior to the start of the second class. There is no need to read the entire textbook, though you are welcome to if you want to. The best way to tackle the information is by completing the review questions. You can also complete the end of chapter question in the textbook if you want more.

There are 2 tests during class. The RI exam is taken at the end of the first class, and a 50 question US Powerboating exam is taken at the end of the second class.

Class is two 8-hour days;
this includes an hour lunch break for each class day. In order to receive a Safe Boating license, all class hours and both exams must be successfully completed.

What to bring:
Life jacket (if you have one), sunscreen, water, snacks, powerboat packets, notebook, pencil/pen, sense of humor, caffeine (if needed), layers of clothing (it will be colder on the water, you may get wet, and if raining, we will go out on the water anyway), & a good joke. We will go on the water both days and in the rain, though not if there is thunder and lightning.

The cost for CYC members is (TBA)/person and may be charged to your member account by indicating your member number above.

Those who are not members of CYC, the cost is (TBA)/person. Please mail a check or bring it with you to the first day of class.

Mailing address:
PO Box 257
40 Bay View Drive
Jamestown, RI 02835

Hours of class are generally 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.

Safe Powerboat Handling Classes

Who needs a Safe Boating License?

  1. Anyone born after January 1, 1986, who operates a vessel with a motor that exceeds 10-horse power.
  2. Anyone who operates a personal watercraft (jet ski) regardless of age.

Safe Powerboating Course at CYC

2024 Dates:



$300 for members, $325 for non-members




None, BUT, there is material that needs to be sent to you for review ahead of class. Please complete the 100+ review questions prior to class. Additionally, the RI Safe Boating Regulations should be read and reviewed. A packet will be prepared for you when you register. Packets can be mailed for a slight additional cost or can be picked up in the CYC office.

Suggested Age


Certification(s) Earned

NASBLA certificate, RI state boating education certificate, Safe Powerboat Handling certificate

Two-Day Course: Safe Powerboat Handling, US Coast Guard & NASBLA Approved Course

A 16-hour hands-on, on-the-water course that is for anyone who wants to learn how to safely operate a small motorboat and improve their boat-handling skills on actual boats. The US Coast Guard and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) have approved this course and an increasing number of states have recognized it as meeting their requirements for a state boating safety education certificate. These national and state approvals call for the course to include a total of eight hours of classroom sessions covering required education topics. Powerboats are provided.

On-the-Water Sessions Include:

  • Starting procedures
  • Engine & electrical systems (very basic overview for troubleshooting)
  • Docking
  • Leaving & returning to a slip
  • Close-quarters maneuvers
  • Anchoring
  • Steering a range
  • Proceeding to a destination
  • Person in Water rescue

Classroom Sessions Include:

  • Safety, preparation, & weather
  • Maneuvering concepts
  • Registration & capacities
  • Equipment requirements
  • Preparation & fueling procedures
  • Navigation rules of the road
  • Aids to navigation
  • Environment regulations
  •  Trailering

This course is very hands-on and taught in an open style, with class participation highly encouraged. Truly all ages and variety of boaters can learn something.

Students are given course materials ahead of time - they can be picked up in the CYC office or mailed. Review questions should be done ahead of class (there are 185 review questions), and they are the best way to start studying.

Students will take the RI License exam at the end of the first day. (This is a ten question test.) At the end of the second day, students will take a 50 question US Powerboating exam. Students must pass both exams to get their RI License.

The course is rigorous, but well worth the time and effort. Students of all ages come out with a great sense of confidence and knowledge, both of which are critical when boating. (Additionally, mention your Safe Powerboat Handling certificate to your insurance company as they should give you a discount for having this.)

Each participant must complete and submit a Medical Form. 

*RI does not have an age limit for getting your boating license, confirmed by DEM.