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Old 28-02-2011, 21:46   #1
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License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

can anyone tell me exactly what licenses i would need to acquire to own a boat and sail frequently?
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Old 28-02-2011, 21:54   #2
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Re: License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

Well, that might depend on where in the world you live. You don't mention where you are located.

In the USA, nothing is required in FL or any of the states I visit. There may be some states that require a boating class of some kind or have a minium age to operate a boat.
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Old 28-02-2011, 22:01   #3
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Re: License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

In my part of the world for as long as your are not carrying paying passengers, you only need a recreational boat license. There are no practical sailing requirements to it.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:03   #4
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Re: License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

If you sail outside the US, you would likely need a license for your VHF or SSB radio. A ham (amateur radio) license may be useful. Cruising permits are a requirement in many countries for foreign visitors. Guns are strictly regulated or prohibited in many countries and may require permits and paperwork where legal.
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Old 26-03-2011, 17:29   #5
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Re: License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

Complete rookie here, trying to get my brain around this cruising thing. DidI understand correctly that there is no liscense neccesary to pilot a sailboat. To sail abroad I need only boat registration, passport, and sufficient funds (funny little term)?
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Old 26-03-2011, 17:47   #6
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Re: License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

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Originally Posted by Astro View Post
Complete rookie here, trying to get my brain around this cruising thing. DidI understand correctly that there is no liscense neccesary to pilot a sailboat. To sail abroad I need only boat registration, passport, and sufficient funds (funny little term)?
More or less. A lot of people have a tough time wrapping their head around the fact that you need a license to drive a tiny car but anyone can push a 200 foot yacht around a busy harbor. Generally you only need a license if you carry passengers.

Having some form of formal training can really speed up your skills and make you a better mariner though. No matter how good you are you're better with more training and experience.
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Old 26-03-2011, 17:59   #7
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Re: License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

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Complete rookie here, trying to get my brain around this cruising thing. DidI understand correctly that there is no liscense neccesary to pilot a sailboat. To sail abroad I need only boat registration, passport, and sufficient funds (funny little term)?
Hull and liability insurance are really good ideas. Of course, they may have been part of your "sufficient funds" definition.
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Old 26-03-2011, 18:00   #8
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Re: License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

In Canada you need an operators license which can be easily aquired by anyone. In other words, any idiot with money can get a huge boat and go out to terrorize the general boating population. For proof just go out to any popular anchorage on a long weekend in the summer.
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Old 26-03-2011, 18:01   #9
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Re: License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

In the US you can carry passengers, just call them crew and don't receive any money from them.

But they damn sure better bring the refreshments and take you to dinner later!!
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Old 26-03-2011, 18:09   #10
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Re: License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
More or less. A lot of people have a tough time wrapping their head around the fact that you need a license to drive a tiny car but anyone can push a 200 foot yacht around a busy harbor. Generally you only need a license if you carry passengers.

Having some form of formal training can really speed up your skills and make you a better mariner though. No matter how good you are you're better with more training and experience.
Eric’s got it right. At least in the US there is nothing nation wide that prevents anyone from putting himself and others in risk. Some states have an almost worthless test to obtain a permit (aka cert. or lisc.) but formal or particle training is better.
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Old 26-03-2011, 18:09   #11
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Re: License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

I wasn't gonna swim with those papers, but am definitely suprised. Headed to Seattle this summer for ASA 101. I consider that as a very preliminary test for my INTEREST. If that doesn't put a sensible stop to the fantasy, I'll just move forward step at a time. Been reading voraciously, and finally decided to give it a try. Thought it was a passing mental distraction, but after a few years of reading, it just gets worse, so Shilshole Bay in June. Anyway, in the research phase, I see all these refrences to various red tape, and just assumed there were libraries worth of neccesary paperwork. Amazing! Thanks for this and future insight. K
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Old 26-03-2011, 18:15   #12
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Re: License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

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Thought it was a passing mental distraction, but after a few years of reading, it just gets worse, so Shilshole Bay in June. Anyway, in the research phase, I see all these refrences to various red tape, and just assumed there were libraries worth of neccesary paperwork. Amazing! Thanks for this and future insight. K
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Old 26-03-2011, 19:18   #13
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Re: License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

Don't forget that the fact that there are no licenses required to sail a boat does not mean that you need no knowledge. The sea does not tolerate fools.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe it was a principle introduced by Britain a long time ago (when we were a power to be taken seriously) that the seas are free, thus negating a requirement for licenses. This does not apply to some territorial waters.
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Old 26-03-2011, 19:56   #14
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Re: License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

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In Canada you need an operators license
Strictly speaking, the Pleasure Craft Operators Card is not a license.
From Operator Card (PCOC) - FAQ - Transport Canada

Isn't an operator card just another word for a licence?
No, unlike a driver's licence, the operator card cannot be revoked and is good for life.

IE, even if you commit an offence, such as boating while intoxicated, you can't lose your PCOC (although your regular driver's license would be suspended).
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Old 26-03-2011, 20:08   #15
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Re: License to Own and Sail a Boat ?

In the state of Washington they are phasing in an operators card. You have to show an elementary training certificate and $10 to satisfy the requirements. It is being phased in in stages for people born 1955 or later and will be fully instated in 2014. The one exception is if you have a CG license. It has nothing to do with vessel operation imo I'm not sure if your asa 101 license will satisfy the requirement, but one day in a boaters safety course will, unless you're over 55, in which case it's irrelavent.
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