To be a Captain, is to be a gentleman of the sea, the star of the royal queen’s navy, and other fancy titles. Who wouldn’t want to be called a Captain? You get to do the cool pose like the guy on the rum bottles, you get to wear a fancy hat, and people on your vessel have to listen to you. Should any one person have that much power? Definitely, I want that much power just so I can have the hat honestly. To be a Captain though, you can’t just take the name and expect people to respect it. There is quite a bit of paperwork to fill out, and that is after you know what kind of business you are getting into and already have the vessel to do it with. You can’t get a license without a coast guard inspected vessel.
We should mention real quick that we are talking solely about a civilian Captain, in contrast to the military rank. However, if you reach the level of Captain in the Navy, it could have some bearing when getting your Coast Guard Captain’s License.
No, Captain is not just a title you can tack onto your name and go into the boating business, least not if you want to have regular passengers. If you are just running around in a small family boat, you can get away with just calling yourself Captain, though don’t expect to get invited to the yacht club for it. For a vessel that you want to turn into a business, like a Sightseer Catamaran, you have to get your vessel inspected by the coast guard, as we said above. After that, you have to get a Coast Guard Captain’s License. From there, you have to apply for an appropriate license. They have ones for businesses of different sizes, and ones for certain activities. They all have their own costs, requirements, and paperwork to file before you can start legally operating your business.
What do these licenses and permits allow you to do? Depending on which you get, they allow you to take a certain amount of customers out on fishing trips without a normally required fishing license. Just be warned, the license only covers a certain number of people. If you have a license that allows 4 customers on your boat, and you take 7 out fishing, at least three of them will need their own saltwater fishing license. You also can not capture commercial levels of fish, meaning you can use your rod all day long, but don’t start throwing nets into the water hoping for a large catch. You are also not permitted to sell the fish caught on the charter.
We should state that it takes more than just paperwork to get all of these. To be approved as an commercial vessel, your boat must meet certain safety requirements, such as appropriately sized life rings, lights, and other safety features. When applying for these licenses, or if planning on starting a boat based business, you should contact your local Coast Guard station. Certain areas, such as the waters around Cape Canaveral, require yet another permit to boat commercially in. By contacting the local Coast Guard, you can learn all the required licenses that best fit your business, and what you need in order to qualify for them.
One step that will make the process easier is visiting Sightseer Boats to obtain your commercial catamaran. All Sightseer catamarans are built to all safety and quality standards. You might have to add a little to reach the commercial safety requirements, since life rings are not a part of boat building, but you will know that your boat is strong enough and safe enough to take customers over the water. Our catamarans feature different sizes, features, and designs so you can pick the perfect layout for your business plans. Don’t want to take people out fishing? We can design one perfect for just taking them on waterway tours, or functioning as a water taxi. These may not require all of the same licenses, since no fishing will occur, but they must still be Coast Guard inspected and approved vessels.