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Old 03-06-2013, 13:36   #1
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License requirements to skipper charter with paying customers in the caribbean

I'm contenplating to buy a suitable catamaran (like Lagoon 440, 420, etc) and run captain only or crewed charter in the caribbean. What are the license requirements to be allowed to do it as captain of the boat.

My potential issue is that I have a defect color vision which prevents me passing the medical requirement for any commercial captain license in most contries. I'm not color blind but its defect and about 10% of the male population has my level of defect.

I seen some broker pages with captain only charter catamarans. If looking at "the crew", some do list that they have a commercial captain license and some not. Presumably (or hopefully) when its not listed it means they don't have it.

I think this might be country specific. I'm Swedish, and in Sweden the captain has to have a commercial license. Probably in the US to. A friend was hired by a charter company to run a Lagoon 400 in Croatia and he has no official license. What about in the caribbean.

Tried to google above, but cannot find any information.
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Old 03-06-2013, 13:51   #2
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Re: License requirements to skipper charter with paying customers in the caribbean

You are correct that the requirements will be specific to each country.

You will also need to research the regulations regarding a work permit for each country as this is also a requirement in most places.
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Old 03-06-2013, 14:13   #3
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Have you looked at the alternate color vision tests. I have the same issue with the color vision tests where you look at pictures of dots and see things in the colors.

So what I did is found a local optometry school and took the Farnsworth Lateran test and passed. All it does is project two dots of light one over the other (red, green, white). And you have to identify the two colors quickly.

This type of test most people with color vision defects can pass and in all honesty if you cannot pass the Farnsworth Lateran test you don't have any business with a captains license.

I don't say this to be rude but all the test consists of is identify red, green, or clear lights and if you cannot then you won't be able to correctly identify channel markers or other ships.
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Old 03-06-2013, 16:35   #4
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Re: License requirements to skipper charter with paying customers in the caribbean

Thanks for the replies.

I only done the color dots test in my youth in where you can read a number which I fail except the first ones. When I searched for info I did se that in the US there were are number of different approved color vision test to chose from, but I'm not sure we have that flexibility in Sweden. I guess one avenue would be to take a license (if required) in a foreign country, but it would be somewhat cumbersome.

On the cruises I done with my own private boat or boats I chartered, I never felt that I put myself or people on the boat in danger due to my not perfect color vision.

Recognize a work permit will/might be needed, but other people are doing it so it will not be a show stopper. I have had a professional career in England, Germany, Sweden, and US. I even had a green card for a while but I did surender it due to tax reasons.

Does anyone know if doing a charter with lets say 4-6 paying customers require you to have a captain license in the most popular charter destinations in the caribbiean.
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Old 03-06-2013, 17:30   #5
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Re: License requirements to skipper charter with paying customers in the caribbean

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Does anyone know if doing a charter with lets say 4-6 paying customers require you to have a captain license in the most popular charter destinations in the caribbiean.
Almost every island in the Caribbean is a separate, independent country and each country has their own laws and regulations and there must be at least two dozen different countries.

To get the answer you really have to pick a specific island and ask the rules for that island.
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Old 03-06-2013, 17:48   #6
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Re: License requirements to skipper charter with paying customers in the caribbean

Yep, gotta pick a country. In many color blindness is a non-issue...getting set-up to do business legally (depending upon venue) can be a much bigger issue.
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Old 04-06-2013, 15:02   #7
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Re: License requirements to skipper charter with paying customers in the caribbean

Got it. Thanks for putting me in the right direction.
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Old 04-06-2013, 18:40   #8
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Re: License requirements to skipper charter with paying customers in the caribbean

And dont forget insurance
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Old 04-06-2013, 18:57   #9
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pirate Re: License requirements to skipper charter with paying customers in the caribbean

Colour can be an issue in some countries.... however I've considered this silly... its like saying if your colour blind you cant drive...
If your driving there's 3 vertical lights... if the top ones on stop... if the bottom ones on... go... in between... play for time... its only a couple of seconds...
Sailing... Port bouy No.1 has a certain sequence... PB 2 a different sequence... etc... same for Stbd... so no worries there... your chart will tell you what's what
Ship at night... no worries... white light low at the front gives you the direction of its course... but... vessel towing... fishing boats trawling... starts getting a tad more complicated...
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Old 04-06-2013, 19:13   #10
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Re: License requirements to skipper charter with paying customers in the caribbean

Here's some place to start:

Immigration & Work Permit BVI | BVI Newbie Guide

In order to work in the BVI, an employer must first offer you a BVI job. The same employer also must prove that he or she has taken the necessary steps to find a qualified BVIslander to fill the position, through two consecutive weeks of advertising the vacancy in one of the territory’s three print newspapers. Vacancies can also be submitted to the Labour Department to post on their employment notice board. If no suitable local applicants are available, an employer may seek a work permit for an expatriate worker. This process takes on average approximately 7-10 weeks from when the application is submitted to the Labour Department to when the immigration clearance forms are issued. For details on the law aspects of the permit, seek advice with a BVI law firm....
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:58   #11
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Re: License requirements to skipper charter with paying customers in the caribbean

Thanks for the link. Once/if I get going, I probably cruise the area for one year before trying to do any sort of charter. I will not have any financial pressure to do charter at any time in the future, but I see it as fun thing to do recognizing its also hard work.
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:31   #12
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Re: License requirements to skipper charter with paying customers in the caribbean

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Originally Posted by Charter Cat View Post
Thanks for the link. Once/if I get going, I probably cruise the area for one year before trying to do any sort of charter. I will not have any financial pressure to do charter at any time in the future, but I see it as fun thing to do recognizing its also hard work.

If it suits your personality then charters can indeed be fun, but it is easy to get burnt out....for example try multiple weeks of back-to-back charters with 24 hour turn around times between charters...formula for burn out. This is why many charter crews don't last more than a season or two.
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Old 07-06-2013, 15:40   #13
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Re: License requirements to skipper charter with paying customers in the caribbean

I could see that happen. I remember when I first moved abroad, everyone wanted to come and visit. At one stage, we had guests in the house for 9 out of 13 weeks. It was tiresome. The hardest thing of running charters might be the 24 hour aspect, that they are in your "house", and its a small one. No privacy.
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