Click for Nordhavn Click for Walker Click for CL Yachts Click for Nordhavn Click for Northern Lights

Advice for New captain 128ft yacht

Discussion in 'Yacht Captains' started by McLovin, Sep 11, 2021.

You need to be registered and signed in to view this content.
  1. McLovin

    McLovin New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2021
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Boston
    Tips and tricks for a new captain/general manager of a charter yacht.

    biggest question is what kind of endorsements band licenses do I need to meet all regulations? I currently have my 100tn masters (I’ll upgrade to 200tn next year) and cpr. But the guy training me has so many different endorsements and safety certificates that I’m wondering if I need to start training on other aspects to take over in a couple months as head captain.


    Also what kind of spare parts would you guys say is essential to always have on board? Like a spare prop? Spare zinc? Fire hose? Etc
  2. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,544
    Location:
    Somewhere Sunny
    What type of trips will you be doing? And what cruising area? What's the tonnage of the boat? Lots of variables to be known before any of those questions can be answered.
  3. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,816
    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    Your training captain probably has a tall tonnage ticket. Past 200 does require endorsements on lots of topics. Not just for USCG but SOLAS & IMO while in open-international waters.
    Your going to luv your first fire fighting test. Bring extra underwear.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2021
    McLovin likes this.
  4. McLovin

    McLovin New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2021
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Boston
    Boat tonnage is 99tn in the US.
    We do ticketed booze cruises once a week along with corporate charters, weddings and other events. Max capacity of about 400. Cruising inland around the Boston area.

    I believe either my 100tn masters I am qualified for everything that we do. But I want to make sure and if we went near costal or brought the yacht down to Florida I want to make sure I’m not missing anything. Like the head captain now has his fire fighting course and a food and beverage certification. Is that needed for the general manager on a boat serving food and drinks?
  5. McLovin

    McLovin New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2021
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Boston
    that makes sense! He did have a larger license and downgraded to a 200tn.
    If I wanted to upgrade my license last 200tn what kind of endorsements do I need? Like for SOLAS and IMO? I just want to keep my options open and this winter I’ll have a lot of downtime to take courses that my boss will pay for.
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    6,565
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    In the US on a US flagged boat all you really need is the appropriate tonnage license. If the boat is 99 GT your 100GT master is enough. AFAIK you don’t need any additional information endorsements unless required by the vessel COI.

    if you have the sea time on boats that are big enough, getting your 200GT is easy and a good idea.

    Spares I always keep on board since we spend quite a bit of time in the Bahamas.

    mains and gens impellers
    gens raw water pumps
    Belts
    Primaries and secondaries
    Oil filters
    Generator shut down sensors
    Gen fuel pump

    And others depending on the specific type of gens and mains. Discuss that with your mechanics


    In your case, most would be good to have even though you do short trips so a failure can be fixed quickly to avoid cancellations

    zincs are a scheduled item so no need to stock on board. Spare props... I don’t carry mostly because of space required and cost. Fire hose? Either it is a good shape or it is not. Why would you carry a spare
    McLovin likes this.
  7. McLovin

    McLovin New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2021
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Boston
    awesome response! Thank you
  8. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    6,812
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Shouldn't you be having this discussion with your employer? Especially the aspects of food and beverage which may be governed by locale? You need to be sure those providing the food and beverage have adequate certifications.

    You also need a heck of a lot of insurance coverage and need to be sure employer's policy fully protects you. And you need full knowledge of staffing requirements for a boat carrying so many passengers.

    And for practical purposes your job is only barely captaining and heavily hospitality. What is your training there?

    What makes you say take over as head captain in a couple of months? Is that happening?

    I'll be honest, you scare the heck out of me. Can I yell "Duck Boats" just to get attention? Big tour boats with captains with very little experience.

    Are you prepared to cancel the cruise due to conditions with 400 angry customers aboard? Are you prepared to rescue the customer who decides to leap into the water? Basically, are you prepared to choose safety when it means losing your job?
    d_meister, captainwjm and McLovin like this.
  9. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    6,565
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Re reading your posts I m a little confused. Are you going to be the captain or the general manager. I understand full well that a captain is also a manager but then you are asking about food certification and serving drinks. Which one is it. I can’t imagine the captain one one of these tour boats doing anything but being the captain

    to expand on what OB mentioned, as the captain you are in charge and you are responsible. In your case for a large number of passengers. If anything happens, as was the case with the duck boat, it is your license on the line and your behind facing criminal charges as in the duck boat case.

    Better make sure every tee is crossed and every I dotted when it comes to crew training, crew numbers and whether or not you have complete freedom to call off a sailing if the weather forecast is bleak or if you have some mechanical failures on board especially with safety systems. Sail with safety gear inop or not inspected in time, and you won’t be able to blame the company owning the vessel.

    not an easy job. Hopefully the outgoing skipper will be able to assist
    captainwjm and McLovin like this.
  10. McLovin

    McLovin New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2021
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Boston

    I know we have all of the licenses to serve alcohol/food along with local permits to play music etc.

    The owner has less experience with boats than I do, so I take his advice with a grain of salt. I’m also a contract worker so I’m sure his insurance covers the boat but won’t protect me much. I’m in the process of getting liability insurance and stuff, I just don’t know what to get yet.

    I know the coast guard requirements for crew needed on board. I also have a general idea of additional staff required to cook, bartend, dj, etc. I have about 5 years experience as a first mate on other boats that ran much more consistently with 3-500 passengers. So I have no worries about cancelling trips, running man over boards, or general customer service.


    The owner lives on the boat so I’m much more worried about doing day to day tasks to make sure the boat is always in good running condition for the owner and his family.

    I also say take over as head captain as I believe the current captain plans on retiring soon. Maybe it’ll be longer than a few months. But I doubt it’ll be much longer than that, he knows that he’s training me to rise to his position when we’re both ready. The longer the better, he’s very experienced and I want the training. But I also want multiple opinions on what to do since I don’t really think any company will have my best interests involved.
  11. McLovin

    McLovin New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2021
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Boston

    From my understanding of what the owner wants, I am to be both the captain and general manager. I would be in charge of the ship of course, but also booking charters, planning events, applying/renewing licenses and hiring/managing not just the crew but the service staff as well.

    I’m trying to find resources to help me figure out the job better, but I’m not really sure where to look.
  12. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,816
    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    Look for a safer job.
    :cool:
    It will take some grit and many sleep-less nights to run a boat and be responsible for over 400 strangers, crew, business and the boat.

    OTOH, what a HO when you can do it..
    :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2021
    McLovin likes this.
  13. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,544
    Location:
    Somewhere Sunny
    It sounds like your best source for all this info is the current captain. I have extensive experience in this kind of operation, as I grew up running a similar operation (except the owner living aboard, which I find extremely odd). In addition to the questions you are asking, you'll also need to know the ins and outs of maintaining all the food and beverage operations as well. Without those, it's very tough to make a tour boat business viable.

    As OB points out- this is more of a hospitality management position than a captain position. That being said, the captain responsibility is the most important facet for the aspect of keeping the vessel and passengers out of harm's way.

    If you can learn to do well in this position, and excel at it, you'll be well on a good start to becoming an effective Yacht Captain.
    McLovin likes this.