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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-02-2006 03:05 PM
nolatom An actual Coast Guard license is not required for recreational boating, it's required only if you're carrying freight or passengers "for hire". So the charter captain needs one, the recreational skipper doesn't. You need a year of underway time for a "6-pack" (6 passengers or less) license, and two years for a 100-ton license, plus the exam, physical, drug test, background check, etc..

It's only in the last, what, 10-15 years (?) that these private associations like ASA and USSA have been doing the classes and certificates, to show experience for service in which a gov't license isn't required.

On the "private" side, Power Squadron is an excellent course, teaches you all your coastal navigation (though doesn't teach sail). ASA has some mid-level courses that combine the navigation with the coastal/offshore sailing.
10-01-2006 05:32 PM
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Thanks guys...I didn't realize ther had been so much legislative encroachment...must be those damn powerboaters!
Yup...those damn stinkpotters keep doing stupid things and getting people killed... Not to say that sailors don't, but most sailboats don't go fast enough to do much damage to anyone but themselves.
10-01-2006 04:17 PM
camaraderie Thanks guys...I didn't realize ther had been so much legislative encroachment...must be those damn powerboaters!
10-01-2006 12:13 AM
NJ requires a boater safety course

Just a little FYI...NJ now requires a coast guard boater safety course.

Here is a link that takes you to each state's boating/maritime law representative's site. From there you should be able to navigate throught their website to find what you need for your state.
09-30-2006 10:30 PM
sailingdog Cam-

Might want to look at this web page. Currently, it says that only Alabama requires a boating license, but there have been articles in several magazines recently, that have mentioned changes that are being implemented in some other states, so I can't say how up-to-date the web site is. This is an area of law that is currently under transition or discussion in many states.

Might also want to check the boating safety blog:
09-30-2006 10:27 PM
PBzeer I believe Alabama has a state licensing requirement now, and think New Jersey has or is getting ready to have one. Can't say for sure, but seems I remember reading this.
09-30-2006 09:24 PM
camaraderie SD...what state(s) do you know of that require anything of adults to drive a boat?
09-30-2006 02:16 PM
sailingdog No license is required in the United States at a federal level for recreational boaters....some states are starting to require that you pass a test and get a certification or license for them at a state level...I don't believe RI has done that yet though. You don't even have to go to the school or get ASA/USAA certifications unless you are interested in chartering bareboats.
09-30-2006 01:24 PM

Thanks guy's
So as I understand it, I go to the school
and then all I have to do is rack up experience
there is no license I am required to have to go
sailing, just a boat and desire to go sailing. CORRECT?
09-30-2006 11:33 AM
SailinJay It's been a number of years since I took the basic and intermediate ASA sailing courses, but they were three days and two days, respectively. They covered all the basics--the terminology, essential knots, rules of the "road," parts of the boat, use of a tiller, how to set and trim/ease sails, man-overboard drills, docking, anchoring. We would start out in the classroom for a hour or two, then take the boat out to apply the lesson.
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