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Old 16-10-2020, 14:37   #1
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Certifications for a skipper

In NSW Australia it is not the size of a private boat that requires the skipper “licensed” it is the speed. So one can build his/ her 60ft boat out of chipboard take his wife and 4 kids around the world as long as his/her boat is not capable of doing 10 knots. He is also referred to as “Captain” which suggests he knows what he is doing, yet he maybe be a moron endangering his and other peoples lives. To make matters worse if something went wrong the “captain” is not culpable, he can plead ignorance in his defense. This situation has repeated itself many times in the past.
When it comes to commercial vessels particularly ones that carry passengers different story, the skipper has a lot of hoops to jump through they are termed as “Master” of the vessel. The authorities ensure they are competent and they issue a ticket to say so. It called a Masters ticket, they give that out so they have someone to blame when the sh*t hits the fan and because he jumped through the hoops and proved that he was “competent” he cannot plead ignorance and can be jailed.
I’m not sure of the situation in the US, what is required to be a “captain” of a private boat.
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Old 16-10-2020, 16:06   #2
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Re: Certifications for a skipper

A few misconceptions.


NSW boating licences are for operating a vessel in NSW waters. Nothing to do with "around the world".


The licence is require if you drive at more than 10 knots, nothing to do with the speed the vessel is capable of.
https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/...pwc/index.html


Use of the word "captain" has been discussed here ad nauseum
In this case, who "refers to him as 'Captain'" ?



Get involved in an incident and "claiming ignorance" certainly doesn't make the operator "not culpable".



To get a licence, you need to sit a test based on course material and provide evidence of boating experience.
https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/...edge-test.html
https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/...xperience.html
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Old 16-10-2020, 18:18   #3
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Re: Certifications for a skipper

Are you aware of exactly what you would learn when you go for a boat license. Incidentally for seatime required you simply get a mate to say you having been on his boat any number of times
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Old 16-10-2020, 21:26   #4
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Re: Certifications for a skipper

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
A few misconceptions.


NSW boating licences are for operating a vessel in NSW waters. Nothing to do with "around the world".


The licence is require if you drive at more than 10 knots, nothing to do with the speed the vessel is capable of.
https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/...pwc/index.html


Use of the word "captain" has been discussed here ad nauseum
In this case, who "refers to him as 'Captain'" ?



Get involved in an incident and "claiming ignorance" certainly doesn't make the operator "not culpable".



To get a licence, you need to sit a test based on course material and provide evidence of boating experience.
https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/...edge-test.html
https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/...xperience.html
Stu, I bet you cringed whilst reading the NSW stuff, with its frequent use of the term "right of way"... I sure did.

And I was surprised to fail the test, mostly due to my lack of knowledge of rules for water skiing and bow riding (who knew that I shouldn't let my arm extend past t he gunnel in my dinghy?).

Oh well, some day I'll become a competent skipper! Maybe.

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Old 17-10-2020, 11:23   #5
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Re: Certifications for a skipper

To the best of my knowledge there is no governmental criteria/licensing for operating a boat recreationally in the US. The purchase of insurance covering said boat may very well trigger the requirement (mandated by the insurer) for some level of qualification by an owner/operator. Seems to work out alright most of the time.
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Old 17-10-2020, 11:49   #6
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Re: Certifications for a skipper

In the US, there is no specific qualification to be a "captain" of a private boat (at least, I think, up to 60 feet, if I am not mistaken). Some states require a "safe boating license", which one can obtain by taking a course online and passing a simple test (answers are available online as well). No specific demonstration of seamanship required.

We often wonder how this could even be possible (after all, to operate a car, you have to pass at least a basic driving test; arguably, a boat is much more difficult to "drive" than a car, so why no test?), but that's the way it is and likely will always be.

Everything changes if you take paying passengers aboard, then you need a proper license, but as long as your guests are not paying, no license needed.

I think the reason why all this somehow works at the end is that boats have their own way to put morons in their own place by embarrassing them in front of others (unfortunately, sometimes boats go even too far on the embarrassment factor, and make you humble even if you have plenty of skills and experience, but that is a different story). Especially with sailboats, people tend to acquire at least some knowledge before becoming a "captain" of their own boat.

Also, even if not required, I see plenty of skippers of their own private boats who have certifications, including 6-pack. Interesting enough, even if you have such certifications, if the Coast Guard boards you, they will only want to see the "safe boating card".
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Old 17-10-2020, 12:09   #7
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Re: Certifications for a skipper

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Some states require a "safe boating license", which one can obtain by taking a course online and passing a simple test (answers are available online as well). No specific demonstration of seamanship required.

....

Interesting enough, even if you have such certifications, if the Coast Guard boards you, they will only want to see the "safe boating card".
Indeed, and I think most states now have some form of boater safety card requirement (usually by a simple online or in-person test). California currently requires one of those 35 and younger, next year it will be 40 and younger, and by 2025 it will be required of all.

Odd that the CG only wants to see the boater card, since (at least in California) you're exempt from needing one if you have a coast guard issued license.
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Old 17-10-2020, 14:40   #8
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Re: Certifications for a skipper

One thing I’m not sure the world needs is more rules, more bureaucracy & more box tickers. The early Polynesians, the great European explorers etc learnt their craft in the water. Let’s keep it that way.
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Old 17-10-2020, 18:16   #9
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Re: Certifications for a skipper

Good to know some places are regulated. Last year Queensland legislated to require ANYONE who owns a boat needs to hold a boat license. However the boat license itself is not enough to ensure safety of all onboard. You can get someone with no experience reads up on the rules and gets a boat license in QLD or NSW and buys a Riv with twin 300hp engines, that amount of power in the hands of an inexperience “captain” is dangerous
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Old 17-10-2020, 18:47   #10
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Re: Certifications for a skipper

Yes, it is certainly weird how the (Australian) system works. For a commercial qualification which is a national system under AMSA, the amount of sea-time required is many times more compared to that of a (plane) pilot.

And for a recreational skippers tickets (RST), each state has its own rules: in West Australia one needs such ticket if the boat has an engine over 6 HP.
So, for a sailing ship without an engine no qualification is needed. Completing a one day (? 4 hours') course of RST, qualifies one to command any size (non-commercial) vessel, at any speed.
Rules for WA: https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/imar...have-a-rst.asp
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Old 17-10-2020, 18:50   #11
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Re: Certifications for a skipper

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Originally Posted by Popeye46 View Post
Good to know some places are regulated. Last year Queensland legislated to require ANYONE who owns a boat needs to hold a boat license. However the boat license itself is not enough to ensure safety of all onboard. You can get someone with no experience reads up on the rules and gets a boat license in QLD or NSW and buys a Riv with twin 300hp engines, that amount of power in the hands of an inexperience “captain” is dangerous


I’m a little worried by the relief expressed by yourself regarding government regulations.

I’ll admit that there is great harm that CAN occur from a boat in the hands of the ignorant, but how often DOES it occur?

Is this regulation without cause?
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Old 17-10-2020, 18:55   #12
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Re: Certifications for a skipper

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Originally Posted by Popeye46 View Post
ou can get someone with no experience reads up on the rules and gets a boat license in QLD or NSW and buys a Riv with twin 300hp engines, that amount of power in the hands of an inexperience “captain” is dangerous
So's a Bugatti Veyron in the hands of a 25 year old with a brand new probationary driving licence.

So are many other things in the hands of an inexperienced person. You can't legislate against stupidity
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Old 17-10-2020, 19:09   #13
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Re: Certifications for a skipper

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Originally Posted by Popeye46 View Post
Last year Queensland legislated to require ANYONE who owns a boat needs to hold a boat license.
Reference? AFAIK (and still according to https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/boating/recreational ) you need a licence to operate a boat with more than 4.5 kW (6 HP). You don't need a licence to own a boat any more than you do to own a car.

(BTW in Australia it's a "licence". "License" s a verb)


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Old 17-10-2020, 19:37   #14
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Re: Certifications for a skipper

Maybe someone from NSW can help me out here.

Is the 10 kt speed requirement for a licence only applicable to boats fitted with a engine and does that engine have to be providing propulsion (at least in part)?

I couldn't determine this aspect from the above links.
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Old 17-10-2020, 20:08   #15
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Re: Certifications for a skipper

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Maybe someone from NSW can help me out here.

Is the 10 kt speed requirement for a licence only applicable to boats fitted with a engine and does that engine have to be providing propulsion (at least in part)?

I couldn't determine this aspect from the above links.

"If you drive a powered vessel for recreational purposes on NSW waters, at a speed of 10 knots (18.5 Kilometres per hour) or more, you must have a boat driving licence."
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