Boatman and Pleasure Boat Licensing

​Boatman licence

A boatman licence is required if you wish to be in charge of or navigate a pleasure boat which is used for carrying passengers for hire, or is let out for hire to members of the public. Pleasure boats includes sailboards, rowing boats, canoes, motor boats and pedalos.

Fees

Boatman licence £102.28
Boatman licence test fee £102.28

Apply

In order to qualify for a boatman licence an applicant must be over 18 years of age and be medically fit to operate a vessel.

All applicants must pass an assessment of competency conducted by a person appointed by the local authority. The assessment is conducted in accordance with the Maritime & Costal Agency (MCA) and the Association of Inland Navigation Authorities (AINA) ‘sound practice, safer waters’ Inland Waters Small Passenger Boat Code.

Apply or renew a boatman licence

Tacit consent does not apply to boatman licences. It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted. The Council issue boatman licences under Section 94 of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act, 1907. A boatman licence is valid for three years or one year if the holder is 74 years and over.

Pleasure boat licence

If you either own or you are in charge of a pleasure boat that is to be let out for hire to members of the public or to be used for carrying fare paying passengers within the Plymouth area, including the waters of Plymouth Sound and the Hamoaze, you must obtain a pleasure boat licence. Pleasure boats includes sailboards, rowing boats, canoes, motor boats and pedalos. The person in charge of the pleasure boat will also require a boatman licence.

Fee

£272.77

Apply

All pleasure boats must pass a safety check and survey before a licence is issued.

Apply for a pleasure boat licence

 Boat licence renewal form [PDF, 63KB]

Tacit consent does not apply to pleasure boat licences. It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted. The Council issue pleasure boat licences under Section 94 of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act, 1907. Licences are valid for a period of one year only.

Displaying your licence

You must display a copy of your licence in a visible place inside the boat.

If you use a pleasure boat to carry passengers you must also clearly mark it with the name of its owner and the words “licensed to carry persons” plus the maximum number of passengers allowed.

Fines and penalties

If you don’t hold a licence and hire out or use your pleasure boat to carry passengers, you could be fined up to £1,000.

You could also be fined £1,000 if you don’t follow any conditions of your licence.