Boat & Boatman Licence guidance
Section 94 of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1907 ( as amended ) authorizes
Local Authorities to grant licences for pleasure boats and for pleasure vessels
let for hire or to be used for carrying passengers for hire, and also for persons
in charge of navigating such vessels.
The Solent and Southern Harbour Master Association (SASHMA)
have also issued a guidelines.
Portsmouth City Council issues boat licences under this Act in accordance with
the Solent Harbour Master's Association guidelines. The guidelines concern the
safety of craft and their passengers and incorporate the MCA
Inland Waters and Small Passenger Vessel Code, and are limited to vessels
under 24m in length, carrying no more than 12 passengers, on voyages that do
not exceed MCA category D waters.
Portsmouth City Council will licence boats operating from Portsmouth Harbour
up to MCA category D waters. Which
for the Solent covers the area.......
Inside the Isle of Wight within an area bounded by a line drawn between
church spire, West Wittering, to Trinity church, Bembridge in the eastward,
and the Needles and Hurst Point in the westward.
Application for a boat licence should
be made on the form on this web site or on the form contained in the information
pack available from N. Hardesty, Pilot/AHM, at Harbour Offices, Continental
Ferry Port, George Byng Way, Portsmouth PO2 8SP. Telephone: 023 9285 5937. Once
completed the form should be sent to the above address.
Licences are issued after inspection, the fee for which ( currently £100)
should be submitted with the application.
A checklist of requirements is included
in the information pack but in order to minimize delay in the issue of a licence,
applicants should note the following:
- On first application, a copy of the owners manual including the
declaration of conformity, stability/loading data safe operation of
boat information and position of equipment information will need to
- For boats over 5 years old, documented evidence of out of water
examination of the hull, shell fittings, steering and propulsion at
intervals not exceeding 5 years must be provided.
- Boats built before 1998. An independent survey must be provided to confirm
that the boat has been constructed to the relevant standards. In addition,
the boat must also be able to demonstrate a history of safe operation in areas
similar to that intended for use.
- A copy of third party liability insurance for a minimum of £5,000,000.
- Except in the case of a bareboat charter, the skipper must be
appropriately qualified. The following are considered
- MCA boatmaster 2
- RYA Coastal Skipper + commercial endorsement
- RYA power boat level 2 + commercial endorsement
- A Waterman's licence.
- Local authority issued Boatman's licence.
- Skippers to have a medical certificate. The following are
- CAA commercial pilots licence medical certificate.
- DVLA group 2 drivers licence medical certificate
- HSE diving medical certificate.
NB Evidence of satisfactory colour vision , if not a marine
- Skippers to be in possession of a valid First Aid certificate. The following
are considered acceptable.
- RYA Small Craft First Aid Certificate
- Elementary First Aid Certificate.
- Certificate issued by the Ambulance Service, or other First Aid course approved by the Heath and Safety Executive (HSE).
- Vessels must be in possession of a valid VHF radio licence and there should
be at least one person on board holding an appropriate operator's licence
for the equipment carried.
- Lifejackets should comply with EN 396/150N or EN 399/275N as appropriate,
not rely solely on oral inflation and be serviced according to the manufacturers
instructions. Proof of service is required. For a boat licensed for
night time use lifejackets must be fitted with approved lights. Children's
lifejackets should be provided as appropriate. NB the requirement is for
lifejackets - buoyancy aids are not acceptable.
- In addition to the required Safety Brief, emergency procedures and safety
equipment instructions including lifejacket donning, liferaft launching, and
use of VHF must be readily available to passengers. There is no fixed format
for this but it may take the form of a display book containing the appropriate
instructions and information, available in the passenger area. For RIBs this
might take the form of laminated instruction cards secured to the passenger
- During the inspection, skippers will be required to demonstrate the correct
donning and operation of the lifejackets, and to explain the launching of
the liferaft and VHF procedures. (This should take the form of an example
Safety Brief to passengers).
- Flares and Smoke floats must be in date.
- Fire extinguishers should be checked for the expire date or serviced in
accordance with the manufacturers instructions.
- First Aid kits should contain no time expired items.
- A RADAR reflector is required, mounted if possible at least 3m above the
Application for a Boatman's licence
should be made on the form on this web site or on the form contained in the
information pack referred to above.
The minimum age for the granting of a licence is 18.
A licence is granted following successful examination, which consists of a
written examination and a practical assessment.
The licence is valid for 3 years. Thereafter, the licence may be renewed on
payment of the appropriate fee ( currently £35.00 ) and evidence of a
valid medical certificate.
Examinations are conducted by appointment. The fee ( currently £80.00
) should be submitted with the application.
In the event of a candidate failing the examination, a re-sit is possible after
a minimum period of 30 days. There is a fee for a re-examination ( currently
Persons with a MCA boatman's certificates, RYA Coastal Skipper certificate
or above, or other higher qualification are exempted from all parts of the examination
except for the section on local knowledge.
Licensed boatmen will be required to be in possession of an appropriate VHF
operators licence, an approved medical certificate, a Basic Sea Survival certificate,
and an approved First Aid certificate.