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Need for license to pilot a 58+ yacht

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by igloo, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. igloo

    igloo New Member

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    Do you need a license to pilot your own yacht say from 58 foot to 75 foot long (non-commercial) ? I have run smaller boats in the 20 foot range, but didn't know if there was a certain length of boat that was a threshhold for needing a license. Any information would be appreciated as well as any helpful web sites someone may want to recommend.
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    No need for a license, but there is a good chance that your insurance company will require you to have a captain aboard for a period. It'd be a very good idea anyway for the first couple of years even if you want to "drive". You'll find there is a big difference between running a 20 something footer and a 50 footer and a huge difference with a 75 footer. Just today we had a momentary bilge alarm. We have 6 bilge pumps plus 2 manual pumps, plus the main engines can be used as pumps. Having just cleaned the bilges I was surprised to find that I completely missed the bilge area by one of the pumps which is where some water collected to trip the alarm. How does that equate to your experience on 20 somethings? That's the long way to tell a short story.:cool:
  3. VikHatBer

    VikHatBer New Member

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    No requirement for a license in any state, and certainly not at the federal level. However, if you have no experience handling large boats you just might want to pay somebody to teach you. I can't count on both my hands the number of times I have seen someone embarrass themselves trying to back into a slip.

    Also, most "hull" insurance deductibles for 50+ foot yachts are around 10 grand. Know what you are doing before you go banging into a tight marina.

    Last week I ran my 53' Viking for the first time in about 6 months and when it came time to dock, everything clicked; you never really forget.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Actually, I've been seeing 10% deductables. On a new 50 that heads up towards 200 grand.
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I agree with what everyone else is saying but would like to add this. Get yourself a full time Captain at least for the first year. There is a lot of information to learn how to safely navigate and run a 58-75' yacht from a 20'. Also a 75' yacht is twice as much boat as a 58' in almost all aspects. A lot heavier, a lot physically larger, a lot more systems, and a lot less forgiving if you screw up. Also, a yacht needs constant maintanence and you'll need to learn how to keep up with that as well, it's not like a car where you just park it in a garage.
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    license/certification aka taxes vary by state but applies to all vessels, regardless of size.

    there are no USCG or Fed. requirements for licenses based on size for private vessels. You insurance underwriter will have a say though and may force you to have a captain on board for a period of time. It will depends on your experience, the type of boat, size, power, cruise speed, value, etc...

    Personally, I find that, GENERALY SPEAKING, the larger the boat the easier it is to handle. Once you get beyond the 35/40' range, you're not going to manhandle that boat by pushing, shoving, pulling lines or fending off so it doens' matter if the boat is heavier, the larger boats will be less prone to sailing in the wind.

    systems and maintenance become an important part of ownership. as boats get larger and more complicated, there are more things to maintain and it becomes more difficult for an owner/operator to keep the boat to high standard, unless experience and semi retired with a lot of free time. The threshold will vary depending on the boat, the owners experience and available time, but once you get around 60/70' a part time or even full time captain starts making sense to manage the boat and keep this in shape.
  7. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Hmm, not so sure about that:

    Anything over 199 tons needed a licenced Captain the past.

    Agree on the rest however: Take courses AND hire a Captain/Instructor for the first few months.

    You can even take a Coast Guard "Captains" course and the exam, although you may not be able to get the ticket due to lack of experience.
    By taking the course it will force you to learn stuff you would never have to know by just running your own private vessel.

    The course is of the "Cram" type, like drinking water from a fire-hose: 2 weeks of schooling and do 100 to 200 questions after class to practice for the test.

    Not pleasant, but again, it will force some knowledge into your head..:D
  8. 26man

    26man New Member

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    In NC, if you were born after January 1, 1988, you must carry a boating safety certificate to operate any vessel propelled by an engine with 10 horsepower or more on public waters.
  9. 30West

    30West Member

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    Interesting first post, on a fairly old thread.
  10. CNRules

    CNRules New Member

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    I have a question regarding this issue which I just found on this thread: So, leaving aside insurance company requirements for a moment, could I operate my own 110 foot U.S. flagged boat ( say 120 gross registered tons) on U. S. coastal waters, with no passengers for hire aboard, even though I have no captain's license, without violating any regulations (including but not limited to any manning requirements, if any) ? Many thanks for any insight.
  11. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    AFAIK yes but would you want to?
  12. Willthiswork

    Willthiswork New Member

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    As long as the Vessel is not commercial and takes no paying passengers a privately owned vessel does not need a licensed captain but I would still take the courses and try to get a license so you would have more experience, ive sailed a 75ft schooner and with a crew of 3 plus a captain it is still a lot to handle
  13. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    Aside from purely practical considerations it's more than likely that your insurance carrier will be the final decision maker on that.
  14. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Well you can’t compare a 75’ schooner with a 75’ ti n diesel MY...
  15. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    I don't see a single hand question here but does he need a USCG license?
    The answer is still no.
    Power or rags, you will need help with her operation.
    Friends or paid crew; as long as you don't come close to paid passengers, still no.
  16. Fathome

    Fathome New Member

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    > could I operate my own 110 foot U.S. flagged boat ( say 120 gross registered tons) on U. S. coastal waters,
    I get different answers to this question depending on who I ask. Many just say they dont know about private owners regs.
    In the UK I thought I saw something about 24m or more requiring a license, but you cant get anything done in the UK without regs approval, health and safety for days and absurd limitations.

    My guess is that the regs of the flag country apply. It would be great to get the input of a maritime lawyer.
  17. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    A maritime lawyer couldn't advise you on a public forum. If you want the input of one, then I'd suggest calling one.

    In the US, no license is required to operate your own boat. However, getting an insurer to approve you is another thing entirely. In other parts of the world including Europe, the 24 meter rule comes into play.

    Now the very fact that you think licensing and health and safety is absurd, doesn't represent you well.
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    If the vessel is not for hire, privately owned, then the owner legally can run it himself if it's under 200 GRT.
  19. Fathome

    Fathome New Member

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    >Now the very fact that you think licensing and health and safety is absurd, doesn't represent you well.
    Sorry what? Perhaps you should concentrate on putting words in your own mouth, not mine thx

    >If the vessel is not for hire, privately owned, then the owner legally can run it himself if it's under 200 GRT.
    well this is where it is not clear. In the UK is it:
    over 24m OR under 200GRT in the UK, or
    over 24m AND under 200 GRT?

    With the present state of over regulation in many first world countries - that does nothing to actually promote heath or safety - its hard to understand even the stated requirements.
  20. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Oh, here we go again......:D