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Old 26-04-2019, 08:30   #1
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Do I need certification to sail?

My main goal is sail in the U.S maybe in another country, Not looking to profit. Just me and a friend.
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Old 26-04-2019, 08:40   #2
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Re: Do I need certification to sail?

If by certification you mean some sort of class and a certificate showing successful completion then no. A few states do require you to have a boating equivalent of a driver's license if you are a resident in that state and boat in that state.
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Old 26-04-2019, 08:42   #3
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Re: Do I need certification to sail?

At times it seems to me that one should be certifiable to own a sailboat, especially a larger one. To answer you question, you don't need certification but it would be helpful to take an introductory course or two. Check in the area where you live to see what is available.
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Old 26-04-2019, 08:43   #4
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Re: Do I need certification to sail?

In the US, no certification is required, you can just buy a boat and go sailing. Some states have a 'Boater Certification' (mostly safety oriented, they don't teach you to sail) that are required if the boat has a motor.

Depending on where you keep the boat, insurance may be needed.

If your going to charter, it's up to the charter company what is required.
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Old 26-04-2019, 08:44   #5
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Re: Do I need certification to sail?

Generally speaking you will need a USCG Masters license if you operate a vessel for hire (take money in almost any form). That of course is commercial.

For recreational boating each state has their own Educational requirements. In Kentucky adults are not required to have a boater education card.

Quote:
Kentucky Boating Education Requirements
Anyone under the age of 12 years may not operate any vessel, including a personal watercraft (PWC), powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower. Anyone 18 years of age or older may operate any vessel on Kentucky waters without restrictions.
If you visit another state you will fall under their educational requirements - But Their requirements make provisions for out of state boaters for some time period.

International boating is more complex - It pays to look up the requirements.


But on another topic - Boating is (as I am sure you know) a "deep" subject that requires a bunch of skills, knowledge and experience to do in reasonable safely. Simply knowing the various rules and laws that apply is a major subject by it's own.

The recommendation therefore is to get some training. Taking a few local Power Squadron classes is an option. Even if you are an old hand the learning never stops for the wise.
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Old 26-04-2019, 08:45   #6
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Re: Do I need certification to sail?

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Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
At times it seems to me that one should be certifiable to own a sailboat, especially a larger one. To answer you question, you don't need certification but it would be helpful to take an introductory course or two. Check in the area where you live to see what is available.
most sailboat owners are definitely 'certifiable'
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Old 26-04-2019, 10:27   #7
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Re: Do I need certification to sail?

'A few states do require you to have a boating equivalent of a driver's license if you are a resident in that state and boat in that state."
In most states, older boaters are exempted from the need for certification. In New Jersey, EVERYONE including visitors from across the Hudson, is required to have certification if there's a motor and the vessel is over a certain length.

The USCG Auxiliaries and the USPS (Power Squadrons) both offer low cost classes to teach basic skills, and there are free courses online that will test you and award the necessary certificate. But. That's all basic, and there are still a lot of ways to get maimed or killed on the water, or run up a huge bill, if you have no experience.

So certificate, by all means. But that's like reading a book about cars--you still might want to take some courses to come up the learning curve.
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Old 26-04-2019, 10:38   #8
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Re: Do I need certification to sail?

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In New Jersey, EVERYONE including visitors from across the Hudson, is required to have certification if there's a motor and the vessel is over a certain length.
Really? So if I stop off in NJ on my next trip north and anchor overnight at Cape May I am required to have some kind of certification? That seems a bit unreasonable.

Any idea what is acceptable?
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Old 26-04-2019, 10:42   #9
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Re: Do I need certification to sail?

A quick look at the NJ MVC website yielded this.

A boat license and New Jersey Boat Safety Certificate are required to operate a power vessel or personal watercraft - jet ski or wave runner - on non-tidal waters of New Jersey. A boat license is not required for non-powered vessels.

Slightly ambiguous but my take is that the license is not required on tidal waters.
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Old 26-04-2019, 10:42   #10
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Re: Do I need certification to sail?

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Really? So if I stop off in NJ on my next trip north and anchor overnight at Cape May I am required to have some kind of certification? That seems a bit unreasonable.

Any idea what is acceptable?
I found this at https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/vehicles/boating.htm

"The Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) issues motorboat and personal watercraft licenses for use on fresh, non-tidal waters or lakes, creeks or rivers not affected by tidal conditions. A boat license and New Jersey Boat Safety Certificate are required to operate a power vessel or personal watercraft - jet ski or wave runner - on non-tidal waters of New Jersey. A boat license is not required for non-powered vessels."

I looked, but found nothing about tidal waters
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Old 26-04-2019, 10:51   #11
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Re: Do I need certification to sail?

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Originally Posted by Pete17C View Post
I found this at https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/vehicles/boating.htm

"The Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) issues motorboat and personal watercraft licenses for use on fresh, non-tidal waters or lakes, creeks or rivers not affected by tidal conditions. A boat license and New Jersey Boat Safety Certificate are required to operate a power vessel or personal watercraft - jet ski or wave runner - on non-tidal waters of New Jersey. A boat license is not required for non-powered vessels."

I looked, but found nothing about tidal waters
I've done a little more digging and also found nothing official that indicated a license needed for tidal waters. I think we're safe passing through.
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Old 26-04-2019, 12:03   #12
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Re: Do I need certification to sail?

States can make any rule for waters in the state that they want (within limits I suppose) that are not "Navigable Waters of the United States" which are subject to federal law and likely limit what the state can do. An "easy" way to figure out which is which is to claim which is state and which is federal is to use non-tidal at least in New Jersey.

Other States have Navigable Waters that are not tidal - Mississippi River States, Columbia River States etc.

I am guessing that NJ cannot require non-residents (who have been in NJ waters for less than XX days) to have NJ issues certifications to operate a boat.

I'll dig a bit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wikipedia
Navigable waters included in legal definition
Title 33 of the United States Code and 33 C.F.R. define the "navigable waters of the United States" and apply certain laws and regulations to those waters. This determination is made by a combination of waters explicitly listed in the law, and general definitions that mean certain waters might or might not be included depending on various factual determinations (such as being "navigable in fact" and the history of use) by the Army Corps of Engineers. Not all waters have had these facts determined, and so are of uncertain status. All water subject to tides are included.

Note that the "Navigable Waters of the United States" listed in 33 C.F.R. 329 are different than those listed as "Waters of the United States" in 33 C.F.R. 328, which is the Clean Water Rule. However, all Navigable Waters, plus those considered navigable-in-fact are included in the general "Waters" definition.[1]
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Old 26-04-2019, 12:08   #13
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Re: Do I need certification to sail?

Take a look here (bottom of page 2): https://www.boat-ed.com/abc/abc_spec...dfs/nj_law.pdf

Out of state boaters are not required to have a NJ non tidal boating license if they carry written proof of completion of a safe boating education course like New Jerseys. (This would fall under the Full Faith and Credit Clause...)
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Old 26-04-2019, 12:26   #14
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Re: Do I need certification to sail?

A certification may lower your boat insurance or make it possible for you to obtain insurance.

I met people on a million dollar cat who had to get 50 hours sailing instruction from a captain on their boat before they could get insurance. They were newbies and had not sailed before.
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Old 26-04-2019, 12:35   #15
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Re: Do I need certification to sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph221980 View Post
My main goal is sail in the U.S maybe in another country, Not looking to profit. Just me and a friend.
In a word, No, unless you plan on sailing in Europe where certifications and regulations are welcomed.
In Canada and the US, you may be required to obtain a "Boater Card" in some states or provinces. Possession of the card does not indicate your skill at handling any kind of boat (sail or power).
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