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Old 14-06-2016, 12:55   #1
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Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

Hi,
I may purchase a 35 foot sailboat in Lesvos Greece. Is there any boat driving license required for USA citizens?

Is the only license required a radio license (what type?), legal registration of the boat, and liability insurance?

Thanks!
Karl
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Old 14-06-2016, 18:14   #2
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Re: Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

Hello Karlrad,
The answer is No 99.8% of the time. Once on Milos the Captain of the Port Authority asked if I was a licensed captain and if not, he could prevent me from leaving until I got one. It was BS and we went around for a bit until he approved my transit log. Otherwise I've never had to produce my ASA Certificate of Competency anywhere.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.
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Old 15-06-2016, 05:17   #3
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Re: Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

Been in the Med going on year 4 now -- only time I was asked for one was Montenegro and they finally accepted my ASA book with the stamps - Once the Port Captain found I had sailed across the Atlantic he really did not care.

We got 5 new countries coming up this year so we will see.
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Old 15-06-2016, 07:13   #4
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Re: Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Karl.
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Old 15-06-2016, 09:27   #5
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Re: Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

In Croatia you will need a valid Certificate of Competency to skipper any vessel be it a charter boat or your own. This can be an approved national certificate, recognised commercial licence or just the International Certificate of Competency (ICC). I have the RYA Day Skipper, my wife the RYA Coastal Skipper and we both got the ICC free from the RYA.

Some countries don't have any requirement for formal qualifications or competency. Which I find staggering as no one lets you drive on the roads without a licence or an understanding of the rules so why let someone skipper a boat without an understanding of the Collision Regs at least.

As for other certificates etc you will also need the certificate of registration, ships radio licence and radio user certificate (Short Range VHF Certificate or equivalent) covering all radio transmitter/receivers on board (including EPIRB, Handheld VHF, fixed VHF etc), certificate of insurance for the vessel (not just 3rd party liability in some cases) and a certificate of import or VAT Paid status. You may also need to provide other proofs and certificates depending so always check with the relevant authorities to be sure.

I know that's not Greece but we're only a few days sail up the Adriatic

Keiron
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Old 15-06-2016, 09:54   #6
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Re: Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

when leaving Marmaris in Turkey recently (April) to head to Greece, the captain had to show his licence along with the boats documentation.
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Old 15-06-2016, 10:34   #7
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Re: Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

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Originally Posted by karlrad View Post
Hi,
I may purchase a 35 foot sailboat in Lesvos Greece. Is there any boat driving license required for USA citizens?

Is the only license required a radio license (what type?), legal registration of the boat, and liability insurance?

Thanks!
Karl

Times change I know; however, many years ago in one of the Greek Islands I was asked for my captains papers. I was busy and gave him my Video Easy membership card from my wallet and watched him diligently record the number. Doesn't help you much but shows that some in authority cannot understand English anyway.
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Old 15-06-2016, 10:58   #8
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Re: Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

Greece is that much in need of money that they will happily fine you if you cant show a license but as glad accept a big baksheesh.
Same procedure applies to Turkey.
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Old 15-06-2016, 12:03   #9
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Re: Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlrad View Post
Hi,
I may purchase a 35 foot sailboat in Lesvos Greece. Is there any boat driving license required for USA citizens?

Is the only license required a radio license (what type?), legal registration of the boat, and liability insurance?

Thanks!
Karl
In Turkey they now insist on a boat licence in some ports, in Greece it seems to be coming more common to ask. Greece very different this year, at least in the areas near Turkey the laid back attitude has gone out the window presumably because of the refugee problem. They both seem quite happy with my powerboat licence plus VHF licence.

For peace of mind I would recommend having one.

TwT
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Old 15-06-2016, 12:09   #10
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Re: Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

We spent 6 weeks in Greece and no one asked to see my captains license. That said, we were careful to have all docs ready just in case. They need money and you never know who is going to fine you. And btw we LOVED the Greek Islands more than any place in the Med! Spend some time there.
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Old 15-06-2016, 15:22   #11
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Re: Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

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Times change I know; however, many years ago in one of the Greek Islands I was asked for my captains papers. I was busy and gave him my Video Easy membership card from my wallet and watched him diligently record the number. Doesn't help you much but shows that some in authority cannot understand English anyway.
While leasing a boat in Greece a few years ago, they insisted upon seeing my brother's license but that wasn't enough, they wanted to see mine (first mate?) as well. I produced my US sea plane license and that seemed to satisfy since English was limited. Damned boat never made it into the air, however.
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Old 15-06-2016, 15:42   #12
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Re: Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

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Greece is that much in need of money that they will happily fine you if you cant show a license but as glad accept a big baksheesh.
Same procedure applies to Turkey.
Is this from personal experience? In 4 years I've never even come close to thinking a port authority officer would want a bribe. On the contrary, I think they would be offended if you tried to bribe them. It's not a fine anyway, they would just make you get a captain. But that simply isn't going to happen.
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Old 16-06-2016, 00:39   #13
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Re: Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

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Originally Posted by k. michael marquardt View Post
Greece is that much in need of money that they will happily fine you if you cant show a license but as glad accept a big baksheesh.
Same procedure applies to Turkey.
I would be really hesitant to try baksheesh. It will probably backfire and the trouble it would cause would be beyond what you may want to experience. We sailed the Greek waters from Corfu to Samos and checked in at every port and never a question of my needing a license.

In Turkey I did the check in myself and not a word about a license. As we sailed north from Kusadasi to the Black Sea we were checked once by the Coast Guard and all they wanted to see were our boat papers and passports and cruising permit. In the Black Sea we have been checked 4 times and again all they want is our passports and cruising permit. And one open ocean inspection was very complete with showing life jackets, fire ext, ect - everything
The Turkish Coast Guard is very professional and not to be fooled with.
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Old 16-06-2016, 00:45   #14
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Re: Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

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Originally Posted by kas_1611 View Post
In Croatia you will need a valid Certificate of Competency to skipper any vessel be it a charter boat or your own. This can be an approved national certificate, recognised commercial licence or just the International Certificate of Competency (ICC). I have the RYA Day Skipper, my wife the RYA Coastal Skipper and we both got the ICC free from the RYA.

Some countries don't have any requirement for formal qualifications or competency. Which I find staggering as no one lets you drive on the roads without a licence or an understanding of the rules so why let someone skipper a boat without an understanding of the Collision Regs at least.

As for other certificates etc you will also need the certificate of registration, ships radio licence and radio user certificate (Short Range VHF Certificate or equivalent) covering all radio transmitter/receivers on board (including EPIRB, Handheld VHF, fixed VHF etc), certificate of insurance for the vessel (not just 3rd party liability in some cases) and a certificate of import or VAT Paid status. You may also need to provide other proofs and certificates depending so always check with the relevant authorities to be sure.

I know that's not Greece but we're only a few days sail up the Adriatic

Keiron

Generally never had to produce any of the above and we have both vhf and ssb on board - no one has ever asked for our radio licenses anywhere we have been - and we did sail Croatia a couple of years ago from near Montenegro to a northern port across from Venice.

All we have ever been asked for is our boat paper - ie USCG documentation, our insurance and as SoulMates is our floating home we have full insurance, and passports unless we have already checked into a country where we have a cruising permit and then they want to see that.
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Old 16-06-2016, 01:25   #15
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Re: Is a boat driver license required in Greece and Turkey?

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Is this from personal experience? In 4 years I've never even come close to thinking a port authority officer would want a bribe. On the contrary, I think they would be offended if you tried to bribe them. It's not a fine anyway, they would just make you get a captain. But that simply isn't going to happen.
Yes, its from personal experience in the Corfu area. I was a guest on board in 2014 and the skipper had these problems. They first wanted to fine him but then took the fine without a receipt. That's what I call a baksheesh.
I as a guest would not qualify although I got a valid master mariners license (STCW) any ocean any tonnage.
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