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Old 12-02-2011, 16:59   #1
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Is a Captain's License Needed to Carry Freight ?

If I own a boat do I need a USCG license to carry goods for compensation?

Hypothectical example:
I am planning on visiting an island, I contact residents and ask if they need any good brought over and get paid to bring them (purchased by the residents or sold to them afterwards).

No paying passengers on board.
It would be all on US territory.

Thanks
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Old 12-02-2011, 17:07   #2
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Can say about US but elsewhere you mostly do.

Now US being sort of an over-regulated country ...

b.

PS Will pop in later to see the correct answer. Interesting.
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Old 12-02-2011, 17:12   #3
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No captains license is needed for carrying goods.

You need a 6 pack license to carry 6 or less paying customers.
You need a Master license to carry more than 6 paying customers.

A local launch can carry more than 6 paying customers with a Launch captains license which is the lowest and easiest to get, but has a distance restriction.

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Old 12-02-2011, 17:28   #4
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A license is required if you operate any vessel for hire in US waters, whether it be hauling passengers or cargo. Payment is not limited to monetary reimbursement for services rendered, but can also include shared expenses, gifts , etc...
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Old 12-02-2011, 18:42   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
No captains license is needed for carrying goods.

You need a 6 pack license to carry 6 or less paying customers.
You need a Master license to carry more than 6 paying customers.

A local launch can carry more than 6 paying customers with a Launch captains license which is the lowest and easiest to get, but has a distance restriction.

Mark
I would love to know how beaurocratic minds work.

Surely it should have to do with competence to handle a vessel's size/power or tonnage.

The way this looks, it's ok to risk only 6 customers at one level of competency, but you have to be really qualified if you want to risk losing more customers.
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Old 12-02-2011, 18:49   #6
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As a Masters Captain you would have more crew to handle more than 6 paying customers.
A Six Pack Captain can carry 6 or less paying customers by him or herself with no crew.
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Old 12-02-2011, 19:24   #7
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Quote:
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A license is required if you operate any vessel for hire in US waters, whether it be hauling passengers or cargo. Payment is not limited to monetary reimbursement for services rendered, but can also include shared expenses, gifts , etc...
Uh... I think you may want to look that one up!
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Old 12-02-2011, 19:43   #8
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You may not require a USCG licence but you might just need a vendors one if your selling... stick to transportation...
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Old 12-02-2011, 22:19   #9
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Where would one go to look this sort of question up? (Almost all of the information on CLs refers to number of passengers)
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Old 12-02-2011, 22:44   #10
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When I took my 6-pack courses there was no mention of hauling cargo, just passengers. Shipping is more of the Merchant Marine trade and qualifications.

You would probably be required to have a merchant license, which isn't much different than a tonnage license.

I would contact the USCG. They would probably want to know what your hauling. Rum maybe?
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Old 12-02-2011, 23:40   #11
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It's probably more of an insurance issue than a regulatory one. Say you get $100 from some local to transport a 55 gallon drum (contents unknown) from Guam to some little dot in the Marianas. You lash it securely and the trip is uneventful. When you offload, however, something corrosive has leaked and your deck is damaged. Worse, that corrosive substance is used to cook meth and the cops have asked you to have a seat over there, please.

Who do you call? Insurance? Send lawyers, guns and money?

It's probably better to take a crate of clearly marked Spam or tinned artichoke hearts and charge ten gallons of clean diesel than to get involved in money transactions for actual freight. Just my impression, but I've thought about this because I have a steel boat that could easily take quite a bit of deck goods and "trading" has crossed my mind as a way to dilute costs, make friends and influence people.
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Old 13-02-2011, 00:11   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
When I took my 6-pack courses there was no mention of hauling cargo, just passengers. Shipping is more of the Merchant Marine trade and qualifications.

You would probably be required to have a merchant license, which isn't much different than a tonnage license.

I would contact the USCG. They would probably want to know what your hauling. Rum maybe?
Your 6-pack license IS a Merchant Marine License. Mine is. It reads:

United States Coast Guard
LICENSE
U.S. Merchant Marine Officer
etc, etc, etc

Judy
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Old 13-02-2011, 03:40   #13
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go to

USCG National Maritime Center
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Old 13-02-2011, 04:53   #14
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The link to the National Maritime Center is your best bet.

I think it's a bit trickier than what has been written so far.

You don't need the captain's license for hauling cargo on the surface....but..the vessel has to be documented (built in US) for coastwde trade if being used for "commerce".

If the vessel is required to be inspected, the Cert of Inspection will spell out what vessel requirements including what crew quals are required. Probably a licensed master as stability issues/materials handling fall into play with cargo.
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Old 13-02-2011, 04:55   #15
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Quote:
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A license is required if you operate any vessel for hire in US waters, whether it be hauling passengers or cargo. Payment is not limited to monetary reimbursement for services rendered, but can also include shared expenses, gifts , etc...

old info...specifically spelled out now that sharing expenses is no longer considered as passengers for hire...
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