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What qualification is recommended ?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Jon McClean, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. Jon McClean

    Jon McClean New Member

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    Hello all

    I am an experienced yachtsman with many ocean races under my belt ( 7 Fastnets, 2 Sydney Hobarts, thousands of other miles) however I don't have any formal yachting qualification.

    I plan on making a passage in the next 5 years from Miami thru the Caribbean to Trinidad , and back. I will take 5 years +/- and will leave the boat in marinas en route. The boat will be a fast deep V 55 ft or 65 ft motor yacht.

    What qualifications do the members recommend that I obtain before I head off? I want to make sure I don't have any issue with the authorities , and if possible get better insurance terms. I won't be carrying fare paying passengers, just family and friends.

    I appreciate any insight . Jon
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    A captain's license with the highest tonnage your seatime will allow.
  3. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Member

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    For USA authorities you need nothing. Ins will demand experience on similar vessel but don't really care much about a lic.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Most companies will give a discount if the owner has a license, or they'll let an owner jump a little further (length) between boats if the owner has say a 100 ton master......normally might only allow 45'-55' and with a 100 ton they may let an owner go from 45'-65'.
  5. Knight

    Knight Member

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    How does the length jump work with the insurance companies? 10ft is what I heard.
  6. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Member

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    I jumped from 35 to 62 and ins required captain for 4 months until they signed off. Which was a good deal on all fronts.
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Usually 10' but it depends on owner. An owner holding a Captain's license goes a long way to make the jump a little further in between. It really depends on the insurance company, the owners resume, and many other factors. Having a Captain train you for a period of time also helps like in other posters situations.
  8. GFC

    GFC Senior Member

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    I went from 33' to 60' and the only thing the ins company required was a checkride with a licensed captain, then for him to sign off acknowledging that I new how to manage the boat, knew about navigation, etc. That was all done in an afternoon.
  9. Fletcher500

    Fletcher500 Member

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    The Op will be doing some hard core cruising, so a license may make sense for reasons noted.

    However, for the typical recreational boater, myself included, I don't think the liability aspects that come along with the license make sense.

    This has been covered ad nauseum on other forums, and I realize it's a personal decision. personally, I wouldn't do it.
  10. rocdiver

    rocdiver Senior Member

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    This subject has been discussed on this forum as well. From what I gather, there is no increased liability by having a license. Only good things such as discount on insurance, ability to jump to a much larger vessel with the blessing of your insurance company, ability to charter for pay, etc. Can you elaborate as to the increase in liability about which you are referring? Many thanks in advance.
  11. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    This liability question comes up all the time but every time I ask for an example where a private boater was held up to a higher standard because he held a license, all I hear is silence.

    You don't need any license to run your own boat privately but indeed insurers are going to request some experience. A license would help but it all comes down to your experience.
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Nycap was the strong proponent of that argument. I never bought it and have never seen any evidence it's true.
  13. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    I've never heard any evidence either

    When I took the Captains course, the teacher there taught that the licensed Captain had a responsibility to " Take over" if the owner/operator was not operating the boat correctly.

    That's pretty subjective, number one and number two, as I think it was pointed out here, that could be piracy !!
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I think the increased liability is if the owner/Captain is drinking or there are drugs on the boat, illegal activity sort of thing. I also think the USCG would hold a licensed Captain to a higher standard if there was an accident. But again, I haven't really seen proof of it. I also think it's a good idea for an owner to get his USCG license.
  15. d_meister

    d_meister Member

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    I agree with CaptJ, especially since incidents involving injury or property damage subject the licensed personnel involved in the operation of the vessel to an immediate alcohol test and a blood test at the first opportunity. It bears noting that licensed personnel are presumed intoxicated at 0.04%, and non-licensed are subject to the standard of the state's waters. That could impact the enjoyment of a day on the water for many operators. According to the BA chart supplied by the DMV, it doesn't take much to hit the 0.04% level.
  16. Fletcher500

    Fletcher500 Member

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    Actually, yes I have heard of situations where the licensed person was held to a higher standard in court after an incident.
    Do I have proof, or a specific case to reference? No, just personal accounts from others on websites - anecdotal, so I take it for what it is worth.
    I once held an unlimited HP/Tonnage license, but that was 30 years ago so I am familiar with the process.
    Now I drive a 44 ft. boat around on the weekend, and longer in the summer when I can get away from work.
    I stay on top of the rules, practice good seamanship, and come on forums like this periodically to learn from others.
    To each his own, personal decision imo.
  17. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Yep... all hearsay on the web.

    I guess you can call it fake news :)
  18. Fletcher500

    Fletcher500 Member

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    Nope, I actually leave that category to another group of folks, and the middle red states. Point being, web forum info can be fairly good, but also worth what you pay for it. 0. I always find the web stuff interesting. If someone one doesn't like another's point of view, its fall back to an insult, passive aggressive included. Fletcher out.
  19. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Fairly good and intersting, sure... I agree.

    In all these years nobody has posted a link to an actual case or report where a licensed captain was held to a higher standard while operating his or her private vessel.

    It's not insult, it's not passive agressivité (whatever that is, I don't speak shrink :) ), it's just fact.

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