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Old 08-07-2016, 21:09   #1
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Licensing requirement for a charter company

After over 50 years at sea commercially, mostly fishing and towboats dragging barges and logs booms up and down the coast, running my own delivery business on the west coast delivering power and sail up to around 130 tons and up to 90 feet from Alaska to Panama, I have been retired for about 10 years but still drive a 65 footer a couple of times a year for a friend, was licensed as a 100 ton Master in the US and held a Mates ticket for Coastal Inland waters in BC before immigrating to the US in 1981. My 100 ton license expired about 8 years ago and have not had the sea time nor inclination to study for a recert for my 100 ton ticket.
What is necessary to charter a 50 footer, sail or power, for a couple of weeks in the Caribbean?
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Old 08-07-2016, 21:24   #2
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Re: Licensing requirement for a charter company

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What is necessary to charter a 50 footer, sail or power, for a couple of weeks in the Caribbean?
Nothing. You're golden. They'll be upselling you on the biggest boat possible!
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Old 09-07-2016, 03:29   #3
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Re: Licensing requirement for a charter company

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What is necessary to charter a 50 footer, sail or power, for a couple of weeks in the Caribbean?
A credit card?
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:52   #4
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Re: Licensing requirement for a charter company

Thanks , Enrique and Stu... I was curious because 3 inexperienced families want to charter a good size boat and have asked me to drive it for them for a couple of weeks. I am good friends with one of the couples but don't want to go the bother of a recert at this late stage in my life. It would be as a favor and I wouldn't charge them. Cheers, Phil
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:05   #5
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Re: Licensing requirement for a charter company

Chartering in Martinique you are supposed to provide something. They accepted leisure licenses of any grade and nationality (UK, US, Canadian, AUS and NZ as well as all EU states) as well as all sorts of professional papers. Then a passport and a credit card.

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Old 09-07-2016, 08:14   #6
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Re: Licensing requirement for a charter company

No charge = no Uscg license
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:32   #7
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Re: Licensing requirement for a charter company

The key language if asked for your experience is to say: 'I'm a retired marine professional; my last license was [Your Last MM Credential Here]
They care about your experience, not your current license state as you aren't carrying passengers for hire.
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:05   #8
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Re: Licensing requirement for a charter company

I made that decision for a few years and you have one of the best resume's I have seen.
Have fun
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:32   #9
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Re: Licensing requirement for a charter company

The situation is far more complicated than has been so far described. In summary every island nation has a different policy and the fact of your very impressive CV will make very little difference unless you have a current USCG license, certified for offshore cruising In the Bahamas a current USCG license is enough to get a Bahamian license.
In US waters, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix you would be in clear violation of law and subject to significant fines. In countries like the T&C and BVI laws are taken seriously by the British authorities.
The core of the problem is this: you would be in competition or apparent competition with local charter companies, they would be the people who would turn you in. God knows what would happen in Hispanic countries like the Dominican Republic. Confiscation would be a possibility, but perhaps bribes would get you off the hook.
With a strong CV you could easily get hundred ton license, but remember that that is for coastal cruising.
In any place that you intend to go I would find out what the regulations are and obey them. The fact that others have gotten away with it is no assurance that you will.
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:14   #10
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Re: Licensing requirement for a charter company

IN BVI's you only need to show you are experienced which clearly you are. IMHO this is the best choice for people to bare boat for the first time down island. All islands close together so easy navigation for your buddies to learn and play.
Moorings, Sunsail, Footloose all have different rates but are based together. BVI Yacht Charters, Voyage, Conch Charters all do bare boats.
You can captain for any of them. You are going to have more experience than more than half the sailors chartering. I have lots of friends who charter down there and have never had a license. As some said, you need your credit card.
Go have a blast with your friends! I've done same (played captain) for friends and it's great. The charter companies make it easy too. Chart briefings on where to go etc. I have a 100 ton license and they don't care.
No idea of Martinique or Bahamas but if your friends want to go there just call the charter company and ask what they require. In the end it is a business...and for you an adventure.
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:52   #11
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Re: Licensing requirement for a charter company

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdenton View Post
The situation is far more complicated than has been so far described. In summary every island nation has a different policy and the fact of your very impressive CV will make very little difference unless you have a current USCG license, certified for offshore cruising In the Bahamas a current USCG license is enough to get a Bahamian license.
In US waters, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix you would be in clear violation of law and subject to significant fines. In countries like the T&C and BVI laws are taken seriously by the British authorities.
The core of the problem is this: you would be in competition or apparent competition with local charter companies, they would be the people who would turn you in. God knows what would happen in Hispanic countries like the Dominican Republic. Confiscation would be a possibility, but perhaps bribes would get you off the hook.
With a strong CV you could easily get hundred ton license, but remember that that is for coastal cruising.
In any place that you intend to go I would find out what the regulations are and obey them. The fact that others have gotten away with it is no assurance that you will.
PHD
I don't think so. He's not getting paid. Assuming nobody wants to complicate matters by saying they paid his expenses, nobody will care if he has a commercial license because he is NOT involved in commerce.
He's on vacation, and his group of friends have decided he will be the captain of record for the boat being chartered.

Oh yeah, welcome to the forum.
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Old 10-07-2016, 07:55   #12
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Re: Licensing requirement for a charter company

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdenton View Post
The situation is far more complicated than has been so far described. In summary every island nation has a different policy and the fact of your very impressive CV will make very little difference unless you have a current USCG license, certified for offshore cruising In the Bahamas a current USCG license is enough to get a Bahamian license.
In US waters, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix you would be in clear violation of law and subject to significant fines. In countries like the T&C and BVI laws are taken seriously by the British authorities.
The core of the problem is this: you would be in competition or apparent competition with local charter companies, they would be the people who would turn you in. God knows what would happen in Hispanic countries like the Dominican Republic. Confiscation would be a possibility, but perhaps bribes would get you off the hook.
With a strong CV you could easily get hundred ton license, but remember that that is for coastal cruising.
In any place that you intend to go I would find out what the regulations are and obey them. The fact that others have gotten away with it is no assurance that you will.
PHD
We charter in the British Virgin Islands at least once every year. In addition, we charter at other locations at least once every year. This includes the USVI, Bahamas (Abacos), Belize, Sea of Cortez, Tahiti, St. Martin, et cetera.

I have never been asked for a license. In the U.S. no license is needed if I am not paid. I have only been asked about my experience. Basically, you need the credit card and reasonable experience in a similar boat or smaller compared to the one you are chartering.
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Old 12-07-2016, 05:03   #13
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Re: Licensing requirement for a charter company

Apologies to OP, a small drift in the thread, If cruising on a private yacht as owner/master, what licence if any is required while cruising in BVI/USVI/Bahamas and Florida. Australian flagged vessel with Australian owner.
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Rick
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Old 12-07-2016, 05:34   #14
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Re: Licensing requirement for a charter company

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Apologies to OP, a small drift in the thread, If cruising on a private yacht as owner/master, what licence if any is required while cruising in BVI/USVI/Bahamas and Florida. Australian flagged vessel with Australian owner.
Cheers
Rick
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No license required for private yachts cruising for pleasure. Start taking passengers for hire then the situation would change.
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Old 12-07-2016, 05:52   #15
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Re: Licensing requirement for a charter company

Thanks Skipmac, good to know
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