Ski Boat Driver 2 


Recreational water skiing and wakeboarding is great family fun and can be done using most power boats. This is popular using all manner of powerboats, including ribs on coastal waters.

The SBD suite of driving qualifications are about manoeuvring a boat, with a propeller and a tow line in close proximity to a person or persons in the water, these are the only driving qualifications which prepare a boat driver to do this safely.

A boat driver, towing water skiers or any other towed sport, has a duty to be qualified and insured.

The purpose of SBD2
The Ski Boat Driver 2 is designed for anyone who wishes to drive unsupervised for water skiing and/or other associated disciplines on coastal waters.

It is for many, the starting point on the ski boat driver pathway. It is considered the benchmark standard to drive at clubs throughout the UK on coastal waters.

SBD2 is a pre-requisite to becoming a qualified water ski and wakeboard coach. SBD2 is formal proof of boat driving ability for driving on coastal waters. Some of the benefits of taking the SBD2 include being issued with an International Certificate of Competence (ICC), which is recognised for driving a ski boat in European coastal and inland waters.

What is involved?
First of all, you will probably need to arrange boat driving lessons, unless you already have boat driving experience including towing skiers/riders. The examiner may agree to a pre course driving assess your driving experience.

Following boat driving lessons, unless you have the required experience, the Ski Boat Driver 2 is roughly a day long program consisting of a coastal and boat driving theory course, designed to develop understanding of a number of key topics relating to driving a ski boat on coastal waters, this will take approximately 4 hours and includes;

  • Boat hulls and engines.
  • Propellers.
  • Buoyancy aids and Life Jackets.
  • International Rules for the prevention of collisions at sea.
  • Channel marks.
  • Nautical Charts.
  • Tides.
  • Launch and recovery.
  • Boat driving skills, including slow manoeuvring, and towing a water skier and wakeboarder.

Following this, candidates will complete a 30-minute multiple choice question paper followed a practical assessment of boat driving skills.

After arranging to attend an SBD2 course, The Principal (SBD2 examiner) will provide assistance and more information, including a workbook for the theory course and details of the driving assessment.

After successfully completing the SBD2 examination candidates can access the International Certificate of Competence for coastal waters (ICC), if you require an ICC for European Inland waters (CEVNI Regulations) you can arrange an additional tutorial before taking a 20 minute multiple choice Inland Waters examination leading to an Inland endorsement on the coastal International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

The practical boat driving assessment consists of a 30 minute familiarisation session (to familiarise with the boat, the site and the assessment procedure) followed by a 15 minute slow manoeuvring skills assessment, and a 15 minute water ski/wakeboard driving assessment. 

How much does it cost?
RRP £250 - Note, the cost of the SBD2 may vary slightly from centre to centre. Many voluntary clubs have lower fees if you join the club and wish to take the test as a club member.

Additional costs are:

  • BWSW Membership - fees can be found here
  • SBD2 registration fee £40
  • ICC £40 (renewable every 5 years)
  • SBD2 and ICC applied for together £70

Where can I take the SBD2?
We have a number of centres around the UK that deliver the Ski Boat Driver 2: – Click here to find a SBD2 centre in your area.

Note, some BWSW affiliated clubs like to operate as a ‘closed SBD2 centre’, which means they only offer the SBD2 to their own club members and will therefore not appear on the above link. As such, if you are already a member of an affiliated club that is a designated SBD2 centre, speak to your club representative about availability and cost.

The ICC issued by BWSW is the only qualification recognised by the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency for towing water skiers on coastal waters.

What do I need before applying for the SBD2?
Before applying to complete a Ski Boat Driver 2 all candidates must meet the following pre-requisites:

  • Be a current member of British Water Ski and Wakeboard.
  • Be aged 16 years or over.
  • Have some experience of driving water skiers (under supervision) or arrange to take lessons.

What can I do next?
Once qualified, Drivers may wish to develop further by undertaking the following:

  • Ski Boat Driver 3 Qualification
  • BWSW Level 1 Water Ski & Wakeboard Coaching Qualification
  • BWSW Level 2 Water Ski & Wakeboard Coaching Qualification