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:
- 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?
A 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 courses. Students 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!