Powerboating is a leisure activity almost all of us wish to indulge in at some point. Some of us adventurous spirits also wish to explore powerboating for thrill and adventure. If you are a novice boater who knows his or her basic ropes around boating, then how about taking your experience to the next level? In this article, we will discuss some advanced powerboating tips to improve your experience in South Africa.

Advanced Powerboating and SAMSA Skipper’s License

If you have been boating for a while, there’s a good chance you already have a skipper’s license. However, if you wish to improve your boating skills, it is also a good idea to get a higher category skipper’s license. For example, as a novice, there’s a good chance that you may have a Category E license at best.

Thus, if you are enthusiastic about boating in South Africa. Do consider upgrading your skipper’s license. For more information on the categories, you can read this article.

Advanced Powerboating Tips in South Africa

Feel like a professional boater with these advanced boating tips. They will most certainly improve your boating experience as well as bring a dynamic feeling during your trips. Not only that, but it will also improve your safety level.

Here are three advanced powerboating tips to improve your boating experience in South Africa

a. Using the trim tabs

In a nutshell, trim tabs are a mechanism that displaces water in such a way that it helps stabilise your boat. It will keep your bow grounded, which improves your stability and helps to plane at lower speeds. What’s more? It will also help you stabilise your boat on rough waters.

So, how do you use trim tabs? It is simple, really. You will specifically have controls to lower the trim tabs on your control dashboard. They may be located differently for each boat, but they function in a similar manner. Now, different situations call for different usage of trim tabs, which can be a whole article itself. But generally, do remember to use trim tabs and get a feel of it. You can practice using them on calm waters and understand how the adjustment works.

BoatingMag has a great article about it. We highly recommend giving it a read.

b. Learn your knots

Knots are important if you are always going out on the sea. Learning the right knots can make the situation easy for you while securing your boat and other necessities appropriately. Imagine you do a rough knot which can be either too tight or too loose. A too-tight, complex knot may not come off as easily as well. This is effectively serious in an emergency situation.

There are some useful knots listed on the Maritime Museum website, along with video demonstrations. We advise you to learn these knots thoroughly and master them.

Related: 10 Essential Knots Every Sailor Should Know (Maritime Museum)

c. Close-Quarter Manoeuvres

Mastering close-quarter manoeuvres is one of the essential skills to master. It comes in handy, especially around a crowded pier where you have to precisely dock your boat without bumping into any pillars or other boats. When we talk about powerboats, there are usually two types of engines: single-engine and twin-engines or double-engines. Close-quarter manoeuvres may differ in accordance with the engine type.

Gale Force Twins on YouTube have a pretty neat video about it. Make sure to give it a viewing!

Also, we have talked about some useful tips for docking a boat safely around a pier in this article.


When we talk about any kind of tips and tricks, just reading about them is never enough. The purpose of this article was to introduce certain advanced tricks so that our readers may feel excited about trying them out. Excited or not, these are essentials and you must learn these at some point. These are the three advanced powerboating tips you should master in South Africa.

If you are looking for further tips or a training course to master your boating skills, feel free to drop a message to us.

Advanced Powerboating Tips in South Africa