Re: captains license
Especially suitable for less experienced boat skippers or crew are the classroom or on-line "boating basics" courses offered by state agencies in the USA or commercial on-line schools. Some of the state-offered classes are free. These will give people an introduction to rules and regs, navigation (charts, buoys, sound signals, lights, rules of the road), and avoiding and handling basic emergencies. It's a good starting point, and could be followed up on with evening or weekend Power Squadron or CG Auxiliary classroom classes, also very inexpensive.