The USCG requires a captain’s license when a boater is operating professionally and taking on paying passengers-for-hire! The USCG does NOT require a captain’s license for personal boating.  

Over the last 20 years Mariners Learning System has helped over 100,000 students obtain their captain’s license.

Based on our experience, there are a few other reasons you may want to consider for obtaining a captain's license... 

Turn Your Passion for Boating Into Profit 

A few professional opportunities that exist for a captain are: 

  • Charter trips: taking a passenger-for-hire or *consideration, out for a fishing trip
  • Sunset cruises: taking a passenger-for-hire or consideration, to watch the sunset
  • Operating commercial vessels such as a dive boat, tour boat, dinner cruise, ferry, etc. 
  • Be hired to move someone else’s boat

*Consideration: can be a payment or economic benefit (money, fuel, food etc.) for the service using a boat.

Become a Safer More Knowledgeable Boater

If you’ve ever had to make a hasty decision on the water to avoid imminent danger, then you may want to consider these reasons for brushing up on your skills and not leaving room for chance:

  • Learn the basics from Chart Plotting, Aids to Navigation (AtoN), Deck General & Safety, Rules of the Road
  • Thankfully the president of our company avoided a situation that almost cost him and his crews their lives because he understood the Rules of the Road...READ BLOG
  • Have the pride and recognition that comes with being a license USCG captain

Lower Insurance Rates

There are instances where your insurance provider may require you to obtain a captain’s license: 

  • Due to the nature of the business or the size of the vessel
  • Year/Make/Model can determine whether you need a license according to your provider
  • Our students have reported saving 10-30% on their yearly premium. However, everyone’s situation may be different.  

Seeking Tax Advantages/Breaks 

When using your own vessel for business purposes, these items may be recognized as a tax write-off for the IRS: 

  • Fuel 
  • Monthly payments 
  • Dockage fees 

Risks of Not Having a Captain’s License

Lastly, some major fines for charging passengers a fee (consideration) to go out on your boat, without having a captain’s license are: 

  • A $10,000 fine per occurrence  
  • If not enrolled in an approved random drug testing program the USCG may add $5,000 for each day
  • Check out this blog regarding more risks to mindful of...READ BLOG 

Who is considered a passenger? 

Passenger can be defined as an individual carried on a vessel, EXCEPT: 

  • The owner  
  • Individual representative of the owner 
  • The master 
  • A member of the crew engaged in the business of the vessel who has not contributed consideration and who is paid for on-board services 

I hope this blog provided some helpful information that you have not read before. When you are ready to become a part of the 10,000 plus students that are currently enrolled in our course, do not hesitate to check out our Captain’s License online coursesStudents utilizing MLS have seen a 98.7% success rate since 2002, this can be attributed to the learning tools at our student's disposal.

We look forward to having you aboard!  

Select Different CTA for each Post from Blog Editor

New Call-to-action

Subscribe Here!

Let Us Know What You Thought about this Post.

Put your Comment Below.

Thanks for subscribing!