Teaching Planing Speed on the Powerboat Level 2 course:

Instructor Briefing to cover:

  • WHAT you / your students are going to do?
  • WHERE you're going to carry out the activity? 
  • WHY we take so many considerations before and during planing speed activities?
  • WHEN to speed up, slow down, turn etc
  • HOW to achieve the aim (planing) then give a short demo. 


  • Are the conditions and area appropriate? (Visibility, Sea State, Other craft etc)
  • Are you allowed to 'speed' in the area? 
  • Ensure all gear onboard is stowed away / Secure all loose gear
  • Brief crew on correct positioning, lookout & communications
  • Trim the engine down
  • Ensure area is safe & clear

Crew Briefing:

  • Ensure all crew / students are aware of what will be happening and what to expect
  • All crew to keep a good lookout and make helm aware of any potential hazards / other craft in the area
  • All crew / students to sit or stand in a secure position and hold on


Each student in turn will have a go at all of the following: 


Aim: Good crew communications

  • Carry out good crew communications prior to any action i.e. when speeding up, turning or slowing down so there are no surprises ! 

Aim: Good throttle control

  • Helm to bring powerboat gradually 'just' onto the plane and maintain a fixed speed i.e. 16 knots

Aim: Trim control 

  • Helm to adjust trim (trim tabs and/or power trim) to obtain optimum position 

Aim: Turning (1 hand steer, 1 hand gear)

  • Warn crew and carry out 360º check to ensure safe and clear prior to starting turn 
  • Perform wide, gentle turn/s maintaining a planing speed 

Aim: Slowing down safely

  • Warn crew and carry out 360º check (particularly behind) prior to slowing
  • Trim engine down 
  • Reduce power gradually to reduce possibility of swamping

TOP TIP: Try to avoid engine ventilation

Other Background Information to include:

What is cold water shock?

What is the difference between Ventilation & Cavitation?

What is the difference between wash & wake?