Over the past few years the crew industry has seen the introduction of a multitude of courses and course paths and progressions, such as the Professional Yachting Association’s (PYA’s) GUEST interior training programme, as well as a number of updates to existing course structures, such as 2013’s introduction of the Human Element, Leadership and Management (HELM) course and 2014’s celestial navigation exam for masters of yachts over 500gt. One area that has seen little progression in this nature, however, is tender qualifications for crew. With the RYA Powerboat Level 2 course having remain unchanged for a long time now, questions are starting to arise as to whether this particular training and certificate is sufficient to meet the demands of driving a tender.


Credit: Mike Jones

Captain Olof Templeman is one of many captains who believes tender training needs to be much more structured. “All drivers should be properly trained and certified in both outboard and jet propulsion. In both cases, the training should be much more stringent and the student taught to understand how a small boat handles in different conditions. Green water might be amusing for the young driver, but it’s not his holiday! Training should include heavy-weather handling.”

“The PYA Continual Professional Development workgroup has been concerned for a while, following feedback in general from all levels of crew, that the current provisions of yacht tender training available to yacht crew do not meet the needs of what is required in practice on board, particularly for entry level crew,” Joey Meen, training and certification director at the PYA, tells The Crew Report.

“Obviously we are not suggesting that any course can replace on-board training and experience, however, with the RYA Powerboat Level 2, for example, do you want to spend your money and time learning how to launch and recover a trailer from the slipway, or would this time and financial investment be better spent learning night pilotage or towing?”


“Do you want to spend your money and time learning how to launch and recover a trailer from the slipway, or would this time and financial investment be better spent learning night pilotage or towing?”



The PYA, as we have seen in so many other areas – notably and most recently, the interior department, with its GUEST programme – is proactively using feedback from crew to mould and evolve the current path of tender training. “Having recently sent out a survey to yacht crew worldwide, and with 553 responses plus a large number of emails with comments, the PYA is now working with the Royal Yachting Association to study the survey and develop a bespoke Superyacht Tender Course. The PYA, along with a number of industry professionals, is also working on promoting best practice on board for all small crafts, with the assistance of the MCA who, we hope, will endorse the guidance with a Marine Information Notice.”

The Crew Report has been speaking with the PYA about its role in improving tender training for some time, and the progress so far has been impressive, and it is fair to expect that in the not-too-far-off future superyacht crew will have a refined and enhanced course that will allow them to operate tenders professionally and, most importantly, safely.