Dun Laoghaire
Powerboat School

Located in Dun Laoghaire harbour, we provide a range of powerboat training courses for all ages.

All courses are part of the Irish Sailing’s National Powerboat Training Scheme and are recognised by the Department of the Marine.


Our training courses…

We are very fortunate to have our Powerboat school situated in Dun Laoghaire Harbour with its large area of sheltered water which is ideal for year round boat training. It is the perfect location to carry out the many scenarios that are required in powerboat training such as moorings, pontoons, fairways, slipways, commercial and leisure traffic, etc.

If you have a little experience, our National Powerboat Certificate (driving licence) will give you the basic skills. You start your training in a small 3.6 metre RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) and then progress up to a 5.85 metre RIB. This allows you to be certified for both tiller and console type boats. If you are experienced and require the Certificate, a direct assessment is also available.

When you have been certified with the above courses, you can automatically apply for your ICC International Certificate of Competence.

Once you have completed your National Powerboat Certificate and have some experience logged up, you might like to further your training with Safety Boat (rescue boat work), Advanced Powerboat, Dive Coxswain (skippering a dive boat) or Sports Boat (everyday boating).

All courses are part of the Irish Sailing ’s National Powerboat Training Scheme and are recognised by the Department of the Marine.

Dun Laoghaire Powerboat School Training Courses

National Powerboat Certificate (Boat Licence)
This is where to start if you have a little experience. The National Powerboat certificate is the equivalent to your road driving licence. Courses can be run over a weekend, weekdays or evenings. We can make the course available when you are.

This two day course starts in a small boat (tiller controlled rib with 15 horse power) and progresses onto a larger boat (console controlled rib up to 125 horse power).

The type of skills you will be learning are launch and recovery, boat preparation, basic boat handling, securing to a buoy, anchoring, leaving and coming alongside, man overboard, high speed manoeuvres, introduction to navigation and a lot more.

All courses include Log books, course notes, certification with coastal endorsement.

Duration: 2 days
Price: 1 person Inc VAT €320pp / 2 persons booking together Inc VAT €295pp / 3 persons booking at the same time Inc VAT €270 pp

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Powerboat Crew Certificate
This course is ideal for a look at what is involved as Crew of a powerboat assisting in launch and recovery, approaches, securing the boat, man overboard duties and rope work. Recommended for crew, school Transition Year projects and youth groups.

Course duration: 1 day
Price: Including VAT € 220

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Safety Boat Training
Safety Boat provides you with the skills required for rescue work. These skills include race management, mark laying, dinghies, windsurfer and kayak rescue, towing, communications, rescuing other water users and search procedures. We can put this course on any time if you have a second person to do the course with you.

If you have 6 people you can book your own course.

Duration: 2 days
Price: Inc VAT €320

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Private Tuition
The National Powerboat Certificate training course with our, own one to one training is possible. This allows the start times and finish times adjust to your schedule. More time on the wheel training and more attention to elements of the course deemed needed. Lunch time longer or shorter or skipped completely. Having your own trainer for the two days sets the course at your
own pace.

This can run weekends or weekdays normally both days back-to-back is preferred.

IMPORTANT: Before you place an order online, call us first to agree dates and we will schedule it up here for you to book and pay. Landline 01 2804422 mobile 087 6494977

Remember once you have achieved your National Powerboat Certificate it is valid for life and on the strength of having
it if your resident in Ireland, you are entitled to send it to the authorities and upgrade it to an International Certificate,
called the ICC International Certificate of Competency. This is a big plus if you’re traveling abroad and want to rent or
use a boat while overseas.

Price: €590

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Advanced Powerboat Certificate
Advanced Powerboat: Before booking this course you must hold your National Powerboat Certificate and a Small Craft Navigation Course Certificate.

( A navigation course is available the week before this course , book it separately first)

Advanced Powerboat sharpens your skills so that you can take a planing boat on a passage by day and night, preparation for sea, steering to transits, meteorology, emergency situations, heavy weather handling and search procedures.

Ask about our Navigation and Advanced Powerboat Combined course.

Course duration: 2 days
Price: Including VAT €385

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VHF Radio Certificate
Our VHF courses are audited to the highest international standard and are approved by the Department of Transport Marine Radio Affairs Unit. We run both the Certificate of Competency in Radiotelephony (Module 1) and the Radio Operator’s Short Range Certificate of Competency (Module 2). VHF courses are run from September through to March. To receive updates on our upcoming courses, please be sure to sign up to our newsletter.

Please remember that you need to book as our courses are restricted to six places only. Payment is required to secure a place.  Courses for groups of six can be provided at any time during the year. e-mail vhf@powerboatschool.ie.

Upcoming Course Dates

Evening Courses 5 Consecutive evenings
7.15pm to 10pm Nightly (Fri 6.30pm start)

Weekend and Weekday Courses,
10 am to 5 pm Sat and 10 am to 7 pm Sun.

Private courses of 6 persons available.

Our VHF courses are in accordance with the standard set down by the Department of Transport Marine Radio Affairs Unit and other international bodies. Don’t let yourself be caught out with other courses that don’t carry the Irish government standard as licences (which give you your MMSI number and call sign) will not be issued by the Irish authority.

Course duration: 5 Evenings or 2 days
Course cost: Training / Exams / COM Reg / Examiner / all included € 295. plus VAT.

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Navigation Certificate
Our ISA Navigation Course provides you with the navigation skills that cover chart work, instruments, plotting, buoyage, lights, tide and tidal vectors, position fixing, etc.

Upcoming Course Dates for 2024

Course A.Course
Small Craft Navigation Course:

3 evenings

Monday 12th Feb , Wednesday 14 Feb and Thursday 15 February 2024.

You needs to book your place well in advance as our courses are restricted to 6 places only.

Course Duration: 3 evenings from 7.15 pm to 10pm nightly

Course Cost:
 Including VAT €185

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International Certificate of Competency
International Certificate of Competency (ICC)

What’s It For?

This certificate provides people wishing to charter boats abroad with an internationally recognised document certifying their competence to skipper a boat for recreational use.

What Size Boat Can I Use With My ICC?

Your ICC Certificate is valid for recreational use on vessels up to

  • 80 Gross Tonnes
  • 24 Metres in length

Who Can Get It?

  • Irish Nationals or persons resident in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Persons over the age of 16

Types Available

  • Inland Waterways (CEVNI)
  • Coastal Standard
  • For Powerboat
  • For Sailboat

How Do I Get My ICC?

  • A.You can do a two day training course
  • B.Or a direct assessment

Direct Assessment

Direct Assessment of Boat Handling Skills

Section 1 (Tasks to be completed under power by all craft)


The candidate must at all times during the assessment:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of other water users.
  • Use a safe and appropriate speed.
  • Keep a proper and effective look out.

1. Start

The Candidate must:

  • Give a safety briefing including use of safety equipment including lifejackets.
  • Describe how the forecast weather is likely to affect the conditions afloat.
  • Conduct appropriate pre-start checks on the engine(s)
  • Start engine and conduct appropriate post start checks.
  • Be able to correctly identify the range of the boat with fuel aboard.

2. Depart from pier or pontoon

    • The candidate must be able to describe how to use springs to depart from a lee berth.
  • The candidate must safely manoeuvre the boat from its berth.
  • While doing so they must:

Communicate effectively with the crew. Use fenders correctly.

3. Turning the boat in a confined space
The candidate must turn the boat though 360 degrees in a confined space. While doing so they must;
Demonstrate effective use of forward and reverse gears and rudder positions.
Remain in full control of the boat at all times.

4. Pick up a mooring
The candidate must pick up a floating mooring buoy. While doing so they must;
Communicate effectively with the crew. Ensure appropriate preparations are made. Use the correct angle and speed of approach. Ensure the boat is adequately secured to the buoy. Depart the mooring in a safe and efficient manner.

5. Pick up a Man Overboard
The candidate must pick up a Man Overboard dummy. While doing so they must;
Communicate effectively with the crew and MOB.Ensure visual contact with the MOB is maintained. Use the correct angle and speed of approach. Make suitable contact with the MOB. Recover the MOB into / onto the boat.Describe appropriate care of recovered MOB.

6. Anchor the boat
The candidate must anchor the boat. While doing so they must;
Communicate effectively with the crew. Ensure appropriate preparations are made. Use the correct angle and speed of approach. Set the anchor. Raise the anchor and depart the anchorage in a safe and efficient manner.

7. Come alongside a pier or pontoon
The candidate must come alongside a pier or pontoon. While doing so they must;
Choose an appropriate berth. Communicate effectively with the crew. Ensure appropriate warps & fenders are prepared. Use the correct angle and speed of approach. Use fenders correctly. Ensure the boat is adequately secured to pier or pontoon. Stop the engine.

Section 2 (Tasks to be completed under sail by sailing boats only)

8. Sail a triangular course
The candidate must sail the boat around a triangular course that has one leg to windward. While doing so they must; Raise and lower the sails safely and effectively. Choose sails / sail area appropriate to the conditions. Demonstrate awareness of wind direction. Trim the sails correctly on each point of sailing. Demonstrate awareness of other water users. Communicate effectively with the crew. Maintain an effective lookout through all manoeuvres.

Section 3 (Tasks to be completed under motor by high speed motorboats only)

9. High speed manoeuvres
The candidate must complete a series of S and U turns while at speed. While doing so they must; Use a kill-cord if appropriate. Choose a suitable area for the manoeuvres. Demonstrate awareness of other water users. Communicate effectively with the Crew. Maintain an effective lookout through all manoeuvres.

Section 4

In addition to the above, candidates undertaking this assessment will be required to demonstrate their knowledge of the above section by way of an written or oral assessment using assessment papers and guidelines issued by the ISA for this purpose.

A person must;

  • Be able to describe how to determine if two vessels are on converging courses.
  • Be able to correctly identify who has priority when two vessels meet and describe correct action by both ‘stand on’ and ‘give way’ vessels.
  • Be able to identify manoeuvring signals (1,2,3 & 5 short blasts)
  • Be able to describe how to use and identify visual distress signals.
  • Be able to obtain a weather forecast.
  • Be able to identify the principal causes of fire on board a boat and describe how best to avoid them.
  • Be able to identify those types of extinguisher suitable for use onboard a boat and describe how to use them in fighting an on-board fire.
  • Be able to describe action to be taken is case of collision, engine failure, grounding and holing. Be able to identify the most likely causes for marine pollution from their boating activities and how to avoid them.

Course Cost:

  • Two day training course Including VAT € 320 + Licence Authority Fee €96

…Or Direct Assessment Option

  • Half day direct assessment Including VAT € 225 + Licence Authority Fee €96

IMPORTANT: This couse cannot be booked online – please contact us directly for details.


tim long
tim long
10:46 29 Aug 22
I took the 2 day powerboat course and loved it. Learned the basics and felt comfortable going at high speeds in the sea.
Vinny Lawlor
Vinny Lawlor
21:06 07 Aug 22
Really enjoyed the level 2 course, trainers were superb. A+
nicky mccann
nicky mccann
16:38 06 Apr 22
Really enjoyed course which is very much hands on. Instructors are very experienced and are keen to pass thier knowledge on . Boats are top class and great on the water. Looking forward to training up in the near future
F. P. Etchebarne
F. P. Etchebarne
16:05 15 Mar 22
Extremely recommended. Staff is great. Very professional and with in depth knowledge of all maters. Boats are in really good shape. One really learns in one weekend how to use a powerboat. Also, really nice people! and fun 🙂
Paula Tapias Navarrete
Paula Tapias Navarrete
15:33 19 Sep 21
Highly recomended. Thank you so much for a wonderful experience.
Brian Hannon
Brian Hannon
13:41 18 Sep 21
Highly Recommend! The Dun Laoghaire Power Boat School was my best choice in starting my power boating journey, with highly skilled instructors, great equipment and facilities but most all excellent fun! The instructors and the staff really go out of their way to make the experience incredibly enjoyable.
Adam Geraghty
Adam Geraghty
13:03 09 Aug 21
The staff of the school are great. I did the Powerboat certification over a weekend and the instructors are very clear, knowledgeable and patient. It was a lot of fun, I'd gladly recommend anyone to give it a try!
Peter Tall
Peter Tall
18:37 18 Jun 18
Excellent training and great fun! We did the entry level certificate for powerboats. The coaches are very experienced & professional. We had a great time at the sea!
21:16 21 May 17
What a great Place!With two colleagues from google I did my motor boat licence here over the weekend. Lewis our instructor was super funny and knowledgable!Not a lot of theory, you learn it right away on the boat.
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Commercial Endorsement

We can provide all the courses required and hand you your Commercial Endorsement at the end of your successful training.

If you are perusing a career in the marine sector to skipper a licensed passenger boat, you are required to have the necessary qualifications to do so.

Masters of all vessels holding a Passenger Boat License are required to hold certification indicating an appropriate degree of personal competency. The appropriate courses are available to accommodate the commercial endorsement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What you will need?
We have waterproof jackets, chest-high leggings and personal floatation devices. All you need to have is some warm clothes and footwear that can take a splash.
Are there age restrictions?
Under Irish law there are age restrictions for anyone using a powerboat.
Anyone under 12 years of age cannot use a powerboat with an engine greater than 4 hp.
Anyone under 16 years of age cannot use a powerboat that exceeds 17 knots.
Anyone over 16 years of age is free from age restrictions.
Under Irish law Life Jackets are compulsory for all users on board vessels under 7 meters.
Can I use my own boat?
Yes. Provided the basic boat kit required is on board and your boat has third party insurance. Most clients like to start in the school boats and switch to there own boat during the course this gives an opportunity for training in tiller and console boats.
Just a 2 minutes walk away is the Purty Kitchen restaurant, sandwich bar and the local garage.
Parking in the harbour?
Parking outside is controlled by DLRCC. To cover your car for the day the set day charge is €4. Parking Permits are only valid within Designated Permit Parking Zones, not all surrounding areas or Dun Laoghaire Town.