Boat Driving Licence/SBD2


We take driving standards very seriously and have re-vamped our current course. Below is a video for our local ski area but there is lots more to learn.  Please contact us if you require a refresher, tips or the full course.

From 2016, it is necessary to hold the SBD2 qualification (or equivalent) if you wish to have a ski permit issued to your vessel in the Camel Estuary. At the Ski School, we are aware that some people have been driving boats for many years and we will take this into consideration when booking a course, however if you have any queries as to the type of course you need, do not hesitate to contact us.

The RYA Powerboat 2 is not acceptable on its own but at the Ski School, we can provide a ‘top-up’ course to bring it up to SBD2 level. The MCA recognize the SBD2 as the equivalent of the RYA level 2.


These courses include your ICC (International Certificate of Competence).

Within the course, you will cover all the necessary theory of this internationally recognised qualification, as well as getting involved with the practical side of boating, including maneuvers and towing a skier.

You will need to join the BWSW but thankfully you receive x4 glossy magazines throughout the year.  Even better than that when you pass your exam you receive a discount on your boat insurance.

Boat Driving Courses RATIO 1:1(Price per person) RATIO 2:1/3:1(Price per person)
1 Day £175 £150
2 Days £320 £250

Other Courses/Boat Driving Options Prices




Downloads – (Click to download)


British Water Ski & Wakeboard aims to improve the standard of ski boat driving in the absence of any legislation or licencing system in the UK.  In many parts of Europe a licence is mandatory but not in the UK.  We offer two tiers of award as proof of your boat handling skills – the Ski Boat Driver Level 2 (SBD2) and the Ski Boat Driver Level 3 Award (SBD3).  The SBD2 is now recognised as the benchmark standard of driving skills at clubs throughout the UK and is supported by a network of over 100 test centres.

Where can I take the Ski Boat Driver Level 3?

  • Please note that the test has limited availability at present nationwide. Please contact us for advice on locating a test centre and arranging a course.

Why should I qualify if it is not necessary in the UK?

  • our awards are formal proof of your boat handling experience and skills.
  • if you take our SBD2 we are able to issue you with the mandatory European counterpart – the ICC or International Certificate of Competence.
  • the majority of clubs in the UK require our SBD2 for you to drive on their water.
  • if you wish to take a British Water Ski & Wakeboard Instructor qualification holding the SBD2 is a minimum requirement before you take a course.
  • as an SBD2 holder you automatically receive a discount on our Approved Boat Insurance Scheme operated by RA Carter Ltd.
  • take the SBD2 and you can move up to the next level of Ski Boat Driver Level 3.

What do I need to know to take the test?

  • first of all you must be a member of British Water Ski & Wakeboard.
  • you must also be at least 16 years of age at the time of taking the test.
  • you must have read and be familiar with the content of our SBD2 manual.

Our manual contains all the information required for the written test and includes a comprehensive full colour guide to flags and other signage.  It is available as a free download on our web site in the resources section for members.

What do I need to do in the test and how long does it take?

Practical Test

  • complete a 10 minute driving test.
  • demonstrate to the examiner basic boat handling skills and simple manoeuvres.

Written Test – Coastal Waters (mandatory)

  • complete a multiple choice question paper of 22 questions (approx 30 minutes).
  • correctly answer a minimum of 18 questions correctly.

Written Test – Inland Waters

  • complete a multiple choice question paper of 14 questions (approx 20 minutes).
  • correctly answer a minimum of 11 questions correctly.

How do I maintain my qualification?

  • you must remain a British Water Ski & Wakeboard member.
  • you must renew your ICC every 5 years for the licence to be valid.

How long does it take until I receive my licence?

  • generally licences are processed on the day they are received but allow 2 to 3 days for processing during peak times.
  • you must be a member for your licence to be issued – if your club has not renewed your membership or if you have not submitted a membership this will cause a delay.

If you have any questions that are not answered here please feel free to call 01208 862727