How do I Become a Commercial Skipper? 

If you have arrived at this page you have probably realised that this can end up being a bit of a mine field. In short, if you are looking to work in the marine industry and will be carrying fare paying passengers or getting paid to skipper a boat then you will normally need to be commercially endorsed. For example, this could be skippering a boat from a Super Yacht, operating a dive, fishing charter, carry out some bridge safety boat work or maybe skippering a small wind farm vessel. If you fall into one of those categories then you will need recognised qualifications to gain employment and insurance. As you have probably already guessed there are quite a few routes for this! 
Essentially there are 3 main routes into the Maritime Commercial Sector: 
The MCA's Standard Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) qualifications, which are normally associated with larger vessels (over 24mts), Ships and a ships boats, e.g. liferaft coxswains. 
The Boatmaster or Boatmans License. This is more of a locally awarded qualification controlled by local councils but issued controlled by its local Harbour Authority, for example, local tugs, ferries etc. 
The RYA path is the most common route for smaller vessels (normally under 24mts/80 Tonnes) as it is fairly quick and the most cost effective and shortest route to a skippers qualification. Types of jobs associated with this range from operating a safety boat under a bridge to skippering a luxury motor cruiser in the UK or abroad. Here are a few examples: 
To operate commercially no more than 3 miles from a Nominated safe haven you must hold an in date: 
RYA Level 2 
RYA VHF SRC 
RYA First Aid or Equivalent 
RYA Sea Survival or Equivalent 
RYA PPR 
ML5 or ENG1 Medical 
If you wish to skipper vessels up to 200 Tonnes this can also be achieved via the Yachtmaster qualification. So if you do choose to follow the RYA route to obtain a commercial skippers license , or need the STCW95 to be able to serve on a commercial vessel as crew then Boatability can help you obtain these qualifications. 
To Operate commercially up to 20 miles from a safe haven (could be a ship) by day and by night you will need the following: 
RYA Advanced Powerboat 
RYA VHF SRC 
RYA First Aid or Equivalent 
RYA Sea Survival or Equivalent 
RYA PPR 
ML5 or ENG1 Medical 
An independent Direct Assessment 
Please note: Once you are a commercial skipper you will be required to renew your endorsement every five years. However you will need to renew your PPR annually and first aid 3 yearly, and if over the age of 65 you will also need a medical annually. If some or all of your qualifications have already lapsed please contact us to see if we can help. 
Telephone 02392 346075 / 07985 089973 Email: boatability@gmail.com