Power boating
What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


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What is it?

  • Boating divides into two distinct types, sailing where the wind provides the main force to move the boat, and power boating where a motor or engine is used as the power source.   

  • Within power boating, the craft can range from large, luxury motor yachts on which many people can sleep, to small rubber or plastic dinghies powered by a small outboard motor.  

  • Power boating is also often linked with water skiing while jet skiing using personal water craft is a new variant on this activity;  more details on these are available from the specialist organisations listed below.  

  • Power boating is carried out on both inland and coastal waters.   Although much boating is done purely for fun, there are many competitions as well. 

Find out more


Royal Yachting Association  www.rya.org.uk/
British Water Ski Federation  www.britishwaterski.co.uk/



Practical Boat Owner 
RYA Magazine 
Canal Boat 
Jet Skier & Personal Watercraft Magazine 
Motor Boat and Yachting 
Motor Boats Monthly 
British Waterskier 

Getting started

  • Find a local boating group or club (see organisations above).

  • See if there are introductory sessions or classes at your local club, AE centre or nearest water area.

  • Consult books or magazines on different types of power boating.

  • Check in your local library/paper for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • Power boating is done by people of all ages and both sexes.  It does not require any great degree of physical fitness but some knowledge of boat handling, the rules of water craft, navigation and the hazards of water are essential.

  • Power boating is something that you can do on your own, providing that the boat you are using is not too big for one person to handle;  personal water craft have been designed especially for individual use.  

  • But many people like to go boating with family or friends in groups of mixed ages and sex;  with larger boats the activity is often part of a weekend trip or longer holiday.     

  • Some power boaters, water and jet skiers belong to local clubs, where their craft are kept, and the social aspect of club life can be important.

Equipment or clothing
  • Waterproof and windproof gear are generally required for boating in the UK, and suitable non slip footwear is essential.  

  • So too is the craft or boat, which may be hired, especially at holiday locations or water sports areas.  

  • Where boats or craft are individually owned, special trailers may be needed to take them from one boating location to another.

A place or facilities
  • A large enough area of water is an obvious essential for this activity as well as a place at which to moor or launch the boat or craft.  

  • Boats have also to be stored or moored when not in use.

Have a go - get started now


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