Americans spend $49.3 billion annually on boats, marine products, and services.
The human desire for travel runs deep within all of us. One of the most exciting and adventurous ways to travel is by boat. And as an aspiring captain, moving from passenger to captain will open you up to new opportunities.
If you’re wondering how to get your boat captain’s license, our guide will help you steer in the right direction. After all, your first step is starting to learn about how to become a boat captain.
Know the Different Types of License
The type of license you need depends on the size and vessel you hope to operate. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) issues six captain’s licenses.
The OUPV license is the most common. It is a requirement for driving a boat that carries up to six passengers and is less than 100 tons. To get this license, you must be at least 18 years old and have at least 360 days of experience on the water.
The next step up is the Master’s license. This license allows you to carry up to 50 passengers and is valid for vessels up to 100 tons. To get this license, you must be at least 21 years old and have at least 720 days of experience on the water.
If you want to operate a vessel over 100 tons or carrying more than 50 passengers, you will need a Mate’s license. There are also special licenses for sailboats and vessels that carry hazardous materials. To get any of these licenses, you must pass a written and practical exam.
Health Requirements for a Boat Captain’s License
Obtaining a license requires a physical examination. A licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant must perform the physical test.
The physical examination must include a hearing test. You must file the results of the physical analysis and hearing test with the application for a license.
Taking a Captain’s License Course
You can do it through the United States Coast Guard (USCG) or several other maritime academies. There are several different licenses, each with its requirements, so it is essential to choose the right one for the desired purpose.
The USCG offers a variety of courses, both online and in-person, that can help prepare for the exams. Many private companies provide prep courses. The cost of the program and exams can vary depending on the provider, but it is generally around $1,000.
Once the course is complete and you pass the exams, the USCG will issue the license. It is essential to remember that you need to renew the license every five years, and there are continuing education requirements.
After you get your license, the next step is buying a boat. If you are going to have a boating business, you should know when is the best time to buy a boat. You can get some tips in this article when finding a boat that is best suited for your needs.
Operating Your Own Boat Will Be More Fun
If you’re interested in a boat captain’s license, the best way to start is by doing your research and finding a course that suits your needs. Licensing requirements vary by state, so it’s important to find a program that can offer you the right education and prepare you for the state exam. With the proper training, you can be one step closer to your goal of becoming a licensed boat captain.
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