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Motor your way effortlessly through the water and kick up some spray in this power-packed adventure.
Plan a session with this activity

What to expect

Powerboating is a fun-filled water activity using engine-powered boats of varying sizes. These boats can be used for everything from calm river trips to high-speed aquaplaning. Younger groups could participate in powerboating to get some experience with the craft, enjoy the ride and take in the surroundings. Meanwhile, older groups would get the chance to learn the skills that enable them to take the helm and control the powerboat.

Get in touch with your local Scout Adventures centre – they run sessions with powerboats and provide training. It’s always worth chatting to local sailing clubs, powerboating enthusiasts or your District Commissioner to see if they know of any local activity providers too.

What you’ll learn

Powerboating is about guiding the boat around the water, whilst looking out for other boats and keeping everybody on board safe. You’ll learn how to navigate on the water, how to control the boat and see more of the great outdoors.

Fun facts

The first major powerboat race was in 1903 across the English Channel.

Handy hints

  • Dress for the occasion. Centres may need you to bring along specific things, like certain types of clothing or shoes. Always double check this before running the activity, and make sure everyone knows in advance what they need to bring on the day.
  • Navigational skills. On top of the challenge of controlling the cruiser, powerboating also requires nifty nautical navigation skills. It might be useful to work on your Sea Navigation Activity Badge before you set sail.
  • Make sure your camera has a strap. Travelling on the water offers some great photo opportunities, but you need to keep your camera safe. A camera strap might be the best way to do this.
  • Swishing and swaying. Some people suffer from motion sickness when doing activities like this. Make sure you have everything with you to cope with this and have conversations with people to see how they can manage it, if they need to.

We’re reworking our safety guidance for adventurous activities to make it easier to understand and follow.

In the meantime, before you try powerboating, review the safety information here.


Powerboating gave you the opportunity to travel along the waterways, lakes or coastline of the UK, while controlling your own boat. What other ‘on the water’ activities has everyone participated in? If this was the first one, how was it? Is it something you’d like to do again someday?

During the activity, how did everyone feel? Did you feel relaxed while gliding through the water at a slower pace, or perhaps excited when traveling at speed through the water? Did anyone feel anxious at first, but safer once they got to grips with the controls?


All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.