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Old 23-04-2020, 08:31   #1
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Do I need a license to sail?

hello everybody! first post here!

just want to go sailing and have a question.


We're American, but right now, we're stuck in France.


I want to buy a small sailboat for family trips this summer- something +/-9m

do I need any kind of license or cert to sail around the med this summer? Croatia, France, Italy.... Coronavirus aside--- Do I need any certification? No paying passengers- just family- I sailed as a young man long ago.

I'm only asking small boats here-



anyone know?

thanks in advance
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Old 23-04-2020, 08:45   #2
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Re: Do I need a license to sail?

If it has more then 6HP you need a license. If it has a VHF aboard then you need at least a SRC license.

As a foreigner you might be able to use whatever U.S. paperwork you have, and I gather that the VHF-license for the U.S. is just a matter of paying a fee rather than taking an actual test as is required for the international SRC (Short Range Certificate).

If you are chartering the charter company will tell you what paperwork they need.

p.s. I forgot to add "Welcome to Cruisersforum!"
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Old 23-04-2020, 08:52   #3
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Re: Do I need a license to sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
If it has more then 6HP you need a license. If it has a VHF aboard then you need at least a SRC license.

As a foreigner you might be able to use whatever U.S. paperwork you have, and I gather that the VHF-license for the U.S. is just a matter of paying a fee rather than taking an actual test as is required for the international SRC (Short Range Certificate).

If you are chartering the charter company will tell you what paperwork they need.

p.s. I forgot to add "Welcome to Cruisersforum!"

thank you! that's helpful-

6hp+ needs a license- would that just be a 'regular boating license' from the US? I have one of those for motor boat operation Missouri- do I need any sailing certificate here though, do you know?


from what I've gathered quickly in other threads here, if I buy a sailboat locally I can sail it right away? (or after getting the VHF from the US)

** and thanks for the welcome -glad to be here
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Old 23-04-2020, 09:24   #4
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Re: Do I need a license to sail?

https://www.angloinfo.com/how-to/fra...g-boat-permits
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Old 23-04-2020, 10:36   #5
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Re: Do I need a license to sail?

I think it is very dependent on your location. Here in the USA it can even vary a bit by state. https://americanboating.org/boateducation.asp

That said I often find myself wishing there were something in place for mandate more education for seamanship. This will usually when I am in a crowded inland area.

Cheers,
Peter
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Old 23-04-2020, 12:51   #6
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Re: Do I need a license to sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift_923 View Post
hello everybody! first post here!

just want to go sailing and have a question.


We're American, but right now, we're stuck in France.


I want to buy a small sailboat for family trips this summer- something +/-9m

do I need any kind of license or cert to sail around the med this summer? Croatia, France, Italy.... Coronavirus aside--- Do I need any certification? No paying passengers- just family- I sailed as a young man long ago.

I'm only asking small boats here-



anyone know?

thanks in advance
Licensing requirement are dictated by flag state



If you fly the French flag you need a license

https://www.angloinfo.com/how-to/fra...g-boat-permits
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Old 23-04-2020, 15:10   #7
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Re: Do I need a license to sail?

Each country has its own requirements. Some require a license others not.


There is luckily a pan European license. Get this one.

And yes if the boat is registered in say France, then you need French licence, if such a requirement exists in France.



b.
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Old 23-04-2020, 15:26   #8
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Re: Do I need a license to sail?

I live in France and I just checked, a sailing vessel equipped with an engine, you do not need a license. The regulations in France in this area have undergone quite some modifications in the last years.

But in France depending on the distance to the coast (less then 2 miles, less the 6 or more then 6) you have to have different safety equipment on board and they come and check for french registered vessels.

See the screencopy attached from the french government site updated in jan this year.
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Old 24-04-2020, 09:17   #9
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Re: Do I need a license to sail?

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I live in France and I just checked, a sailing vessel equipped with an engine, you do not need a license.

This is correct. The definition of a "voilier" (sailboat in French) is that the sails are the primary means of propulsion, so in France you can sail a 50+ foot sailboat with, say, a 75 hp motor without a license, but you can't navigate with a 10ft dinghy with a 6 hp motor unless you have a (motorboat) license.


Not that you should...
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Old 24-04-2020, 09:26   #10
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Re: Do I need a license to sail?

If buying a boat in France with intention to cross borders -- make sure you have on board the boat clean title showing ownership in the same name as your passport shows, certificate of registration (or documentation as in the States) in same name, and that all crew have valid passports. If you're allowed to cross borders, be sure to check in with requisite authorities in each arriving country so that you can properly meet all entry formalities especially free pratique. In this era of coronavirus, I suspect that every jurisdiction will be highly vigilant on who is arriving in-country. If voyaging with minors and one of the parents is not aboard, you may need a letter from that parent giving permission for the minors to leave France.
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Old 24-04-2020, 11:23   #11
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Re: Do I need a license to sail?

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Originally Posted by rspeiser View Post
This is correct. The definition of a "voilier" (sailboat in French) is that the sails are the primary means of propulsion, so in France you can sail a 50+ foot sailboat with, say, a 75 hp motor without a license, but you can't navigate with a 10ft dinghy with a 6 hp motor unless you have a (motorboat) license.


Not that you should...
So for all you non-francophones, to be absolutely clear, "voiler" is not to be confused with a "voyeur".






Just saying.

Bon voyage.
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Old 24-04-2020, 11:40   #12
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Re: Do I need a license to sail?

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
If it has more then 6HP you need a license. "
Is it the PERSON who must have a license (like the "pleasure craft operators card" we have here in canada) OR is it the VESSEL which much be licensed????

There are some special words that apply to vessels here in North America which have specific legal meanings that are not obvious, especially if it not your home country (or language):

- Licensed (canada, provincial)
- Registered (canada, federal)
- Documented (USCG)

Here in Canada, any vessel with less than 10hp requires no paperwork for the boat. This makes the 9.9hp outboard quite popular!!!

However, the operator of ANY powered vessel requires the PLEASURE CRAFT OPERATORS card...even a sailboat with an engine (of any size) that is turned off. If there is an engine on the boat, you need the card.

This is how it is in Canada. And our water is hard as a rock most of the year.
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Old 24-04-2020, 12:20   #13
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Re: Do I need a license to sail?

also check that the TVA has been paid....
(mandatory valued added tax)...
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Old 24-04-2020, 15:11   #14
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Re: Do I need a license to sail?

Quote:
Is it the PERSON who must have a license (like the "pleasure craft operators card" we have here in canada) OR is it the VESSEL which much be licensed????
Oh boy. Not sure how much detail is required for the OP. You know that 'administration' is a French word right?

The lack of a permit required for a sailboat is one of the few things NOT reglemented; almost everything else is.

So the permit ("permis") is for the person. Minimum is Coastal permit "permis côtier"; if you want to rent a motorboat with >=6 HP this is what you need.

Info on permits here: https://cartebateau.com/fr/permis-bateau-france
(all links lead to French text)

There's also a personal VHF license, called a Certificat Restreint Radiotéléphonique (CRR), required if you operate a maritime VHF with ASN in France, OR if you operate any kind of maritime VHF outside of France and you carry the French boat permit.

More info here: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certif...%C3%A9phoniste

Note this is for French nationals or people normally residing in France only; from another country you need to follow that country's licensing requirements.


For the vessel, it needs to be registered ("immatriculé") if it is <7 meters but has a motor of 22 HP or more OR if it is >=7 meters long.

More info here: https://www.legalplace.fr/guides/imm...lation-bateau/

Finally, there's the question of "francisation" (no equivalent in english I don't think, maybe something like "Frenchify" which sounds fun but isn't really a word). This is the French annual tax for boats and depends on length and motor and age of the boat and is required of all boats flying the French flag. Again only for French nationals or businesses or who normally reside in France.

More info here: https://www.service-public.fr/partic...vosdroits/F833

Really thinking this is more info than the OP was looking for, but hey, we're stuck at home for now, so what else are we going to do.
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Old 24-04-2020, 16:09   #15
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Re: Do I need a license to sail?

As another poster noted, the flag of the vessel determines what operator certification, if any, is required for pleasure vessels. As far as I know, US citizens do not require certification of any kind to operate their own pleasure vessels, though that might have changed now as, indeed, it has in Canada with the Boaters Card requirement.


If you flag the boat US ( Coast Guard documented Vessel) and the US still has no requirement for operator certification, you will not need any, but if you carry a VHF on board, you should have a US radio licence and a ship station licence and call sign, just in case you are asked for it by European authorities.


That, at least, is my understanding of how it works in Spain.
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