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Pleasure Boat Licence

Find out more about Pleasure Boat Licences and how to apply

IN THIS ARTICLE

  • Do I need a Pleasure Boat Licence?
  • What do I need to know before applying?
  • How much does it cost to apply?
  • How long will my application take?

Do I need a Pleasure Boat Licence?

Yes. If you intend to hire out water-bound pleasure crafts (including sailboards, rowing boats, canoes, motor boats, pedalos and larger boats) that are for personal use or carrying passengers, you will need a licence.  You must also not carry more passengers that you are licensed to carry.

A licence is also require for anyone wishing to use a vessel for a commercial charter as a pleasure boat that is under 24 meters in length, does not carry any more than 12 passengers and does not undertake voyages which go out to sea. This boat must be under the command of a person holding a Boatman's Licence.

Please note the definition of a 'pleasure boat' or 'pleasure vessel' is a boat or vessel that is let out for hire to the public or is used for carrying passengers for hire.  

What do I need to know before applying?

If you wish to apply to operate a pleasure boat, The Council must be satisfied your boat is safe. Therefore your boat and its fittings will need to be examined on an annual basis by one of the authorised marine surveyors. In addition you will need to have public liability insurance no less than 5,000,000.

All pleasure boats will be under the command of licensed boatmen, which is now applicable for people that assist and navigate the boat. To become licensed you must be over 18, obtained at least RYA powerboat level 2 with 12 month's experience and documentary evidence of medical fitness.

The preferred medical forms to be completed are either ML5 (DOT Medical report) or ENG1 (DOT Medical Fitness Certificate). We will also accept DVLA Group 2, HSE and CAA certificates. If you have another medical form you think could meet same standards please email licensing.team@colchester.gov.uk to see if it would be acceptable.
 
The forms for the ML5 are available to download from the government website (they can be found by Googling MSF 4112). These can be completed by your GP.
 
Approved doctors who can complete the ENG1 certificate are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mca-approved-doctors-uk-based
 
For Colchester the one listed there is:
Dr S Stacey Room 10 Abbeyfield Medical Centre Ypres Road Colchester CO2 7UW
Tel: 07968 250305

For further information please email licensing.team@colchester.gov.uk.

Pleasure Boat Licence conditions

How much does it cost to apply?

See our licensing fees and charges

How can I apply for a licence?

Download a Pleasure Boat Licence Application Form

Download a Boatman Licence Application Form

How long will my application take?

We aim to have a Pleasure Boat Licence completed within 28 days.

Will Tacit Consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period then please contact us. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details below – need to check this info.

What can I do if my application is unsuccessful?

Please contact us in the first instance. If you wish to appeal against a decision you may do so two days after the decision to your local Magistrates Court.

What can I do if I am unhappy with the conditions regarding my licence?

Please contact us in the first instance. If you wish to appeal against a decision you may do so two days after the decision to your local Magistrates Court.  You must give 24 hours notice of your intention to appeal.

What if I want to complain about a licence holder?

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint you contact the licence holder first – preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery).  If this does not work and you are located in the UK, Consumer rights - GOV.UK will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.