Florida – October 28, 2020

How to become a yacht captain?

A person only needs a captain’s license if he or she intends to be paid to operate an auxiliary powered boat in waters that are patrolled by the United States Coast Guard. Captains of luxury yacht charters fall into this category and must have a license to operate the vessel.
In order to become a boat captain you need to attend a training session and pass an examination administered by a certified United States Coast Guard instructor, among other requirements, like a drug test.

The Boat Charter Captain Lifestyle

The life of a boat charter captain has its perks (as you might imagine). Captains, mates, skippers, deckhands and other boat crew report flexible schedules, fascinating people, interesting scenery and work opportunity among some of the best benefits of the job. Especially in a coastal town like Fort Lauderdale and Miami the opportunity for employment is at an all-time high.

  • Steps for Obtaining a Captain’s License
  • Criteria for Applicants
  • Applicants for a boat captain license must:
  • Provide proof that he or she has logged 360 days on the water (at least four hours a day).
  • Pass a drug test, physical exam and background check.
  • Provide three character references.
  • Provide certifications proving he or she has completed First Aid and/or CPR training.
  • Complete an application and submit all materials within one year of course/examination completion.
  • Provide proof of U.S. citizenship.
  • You can use the list above as a checklist to ensure you have completed each task and are ready to move forward with the training and testing portion of the application.


Finding a Training Session

The United States Coast Guard maintains an updated list of course providers. (PS: You can also find helpful forms on the same website). The courses will vary depending on your license goals. They run from one week to three weeks of training and the cost of the class varies from a few hundred dollars up to $2,000.

Other helpful resources include:

FAQS about the training session
Drug test requirements
Information about mariner fees
National Maritime Center announcements
The Marine Safety Manual
Helpful forms

Submit the Application… On Time!

Once you’ve successfully completed the course you have one year to gather all the requirements of the application (listed above) and submit your completed application to the United States Coast Guard.
Luxury Yacht Charters Captains for Hire

If you choose to hire a professional captain and crew for your boating vacation, FGI Yacht Group can assist. Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (aka the boating capital of the world) we help you find, plan and execute the yacht vacation of your dreams. Finding the perfect captain and crew is part of the planning process.

We invite you to view our fleet and begin planning and dreaming of your next luxury trip on the water.