Power Yacht Training – Boat Master Commercial

Experience required prior training:  None
Certification required prior training:   VHF/SRC
Validity:  5 years (Subject to refresher before renewal)
Minimum age required:  21 years old
Equipment requirements: Power boat up to 15 m long, able to plane
Suggested number of training hours:  50 hours
Who can run the training: ISSA Instructor
Who can do the examination:  ISSA Instructor
How to submit the application:  To authorised ISSA school only
Qualifications obtained after the course:  Skipper power boats:
– up to 15m long (with inboard our or not our outboard engine)
– Day and Night
– Up to 20 nautical miles offshore

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Skills and knowledge required for a Boat Master

Boat’s construction

  • Knows the basic terminology of a power boat:
    ° Bow;
    ° Stern, aft, etc.
  • Can fill up the water and fuel tanks;
  • Can operate the engine;
    ° Start is;
    ° Switch it off;
    ° Check operation of cooling system;
    ° Check oil level;
    ° Top up engine oil;
    ° Check cooling fluid level;
    ° Top up cooling fluid level;
    ° Find bottom valves;
    ° Recognize the breakdown of impeller in cooling system and possibly replace it;
    ° Check whether alternator is charging batteries when engine is working.
  • Knows elementary equipment of yacht:
    ° Echo-sounder (location, operation, typical errors);
    ° Log;
    ° Steering system;

Line and spring handling

  • Can combine two lines of the same and different diameter;
  • Can make:
    ° Bowline;
    ° Fast a line on a cleat;
    ° Fishermen’s bend;
    ° Coil mooring lines;
  • Can:
    ° Pass, take, make fast on cleat, let go mooring lines;
    ° Throw mooring lines;
    ° Describe different ways of taking a mooring.

Handling fenders

  • Can:
    ° Fix the fenders using adequate knots;
    ° Effectively apply the manouvering fender;

Operating the anchor

  • Can:
    ° Prepare the anchor for weighing;
    ° Select safe location for staying at anchor;
    ° Apply rules for safe anchoring (4xdepth, anchor alarm/watch);
    ° Distinguish different types of anchors and their characteristics.


  • Can:
    ° Perform the safety briefing:
    – How to move on deck;
    – How to apply personnal safety equipment (harness, jackstay, etc.);
    – Apply distress signalling equipment (pyrotechnics, flags, etc.);
    – Different methods to send distress signal;
    – Make a distress call with help of VHF;
    – Knows procedures to be applied in restricted visibility;
    – Basic knowledge about SAR procedures (RIB, helicopter);
    – First Aid Kit (location and content).

Handling boat under power

  • Can:
    ° Launch and recover a boat;
    ° Manouver a boat under power;
    ° Approach a MOB;
    ° Take a berth/leave a berth (longside, stern-to, bow-to);
    ° Weigh anchor.

International Rules for Preventing Collisions at Sea

  • Knows the navigation shapes and lights:
    ° Vessel not under command;
    ° Vessel restricted in ability to manouver;
    ° Vessel engaged in fishing;
    ° Vessel aground;
    ° Pilot vessel;
    ° Towing set
    ° Sailing yacht;
    ° Power driven vessel;
  • Knows the vessels’ priority at sea;
  • Knows how to proceed in a „close encounter” situation;
  • Is familiar and complies with the requirement for continues observation;
  • Is familiar with other legal obligations of a skipper and crew;
  • Is familiar with and understands after-collision rules applicable at sea.

Navigational Aids

  • Knows, understands and is able to recognize lateral and smaller channel marks at day time in system IALA A and B;
  • Knows, understands and is able to recognize cardinal marks and other navigational marks (safe water mark, isolated danger mark) at day time;
  • Is able to use the list of marks and symbols used on charts (eg. Chart 5011);
  • Is able to apply navigational publications when planning a port’s entry (pilot books, almanacs, navigational plans);
  • Knows and can recognize light characteristics of Lighthouses/navigational marks.

Terrestrial navigation

  • Knows and understands the basic terms from geography:
    ° Latitude;
    ° Longitude;
    ° Magnetic pole;
    ° Geographic pole;
    ° Earth’s magnetic field;
  • Knows the basic types of sea charts, their construction and application:
    ° Mercator’s projection chart (how is it constructed, spreading of parallels, construction parallel)
    ° Passage charts, coastal charts, plans;
  • Can read elementary information from a chart that is crucial for safe sailing:
    ° Depths;
    ° Distance;
    ° Navigational obstacles
    ° Navigational marks;
  • Can read charts/ plot latitude and longitude;
  • Knows and understands the phenomenon of Earth’s magnetism, variation and deviation;
  • Can use a compass;
  • Can make use of various bearing lines;
  • Has general information about tides and tide-related dangers.

Electronic-based navigation

  • Knows how the GPS system works;
  • Can enable and check the elementary settings of GPS and plotter;
  • Can set and read adequate course on GPS;
  • Can plot a position on a chart taken from a GPS;
  • Knows what is AIS, ARPA, VTS.


  • Knows the Beaufort scale and its meaning for small craft;
  • Knows sources of meteo information and how to use them;
  • Has the basic knowledge about high, low pressure areas, fronts;
  • Can recognize cumulonimbus clouds;
  • Understands meteo messages (including those broadcast by radio coastal stations)
  • Can take meteo factors into consideration when planning a passage in a coastal zone:
  • Has the habit not to leave harbour without valid weather forecast.


  • Environmental friendly approach and respect to other yachtsmen and women;
  • Knows and applies basic pro-environmental rules;
  • Knows and applies social friendly approach at sea and in harbour.