So do you actually need a boat license? Unfortunately the requirements for the ICC varies from country to country so as a very general rule an ICC is required for all Inland Waterways in Europe and coastal waters of the Mediterranean. However, in Northern European coastal waters the ICC may not be required. Because of this there obvious confusion and some variations arising; therefore it is always advisable to check to see what is acceptable in foreign states before visiting. If hiring or chartering boats abroad on holiday then the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) will normally be accepted and is therefore advisable to have anyway.
Presently, there are a few general types of license; this is in the form of either power or sail, which is for up to 10 metre or over 10 metre vessels. The up to 10 metre ICC sailing boat license and up to 10 metre ICC power boat license are as they imply. Providing the overall length of the boat does not exceed 10 metres. This license will normally permit you to operate a vessel on most foreign coastal and inland waters. It is worth noting that a Personal Water Craft (PWC) can be driven if you hold a over 10 metre ICC sailing boat license, but is not recognised if you hold the ICC power up to or over 10 metre, meaning you can't operate a small tender off the back of a larger boat unless you have the appropriate endorsement on your ICC!
To put this into perspective, the 10 metre ICC Boat License is mainly aimed at individuals that may be starting out in the boating world, but will still also apply to those that do have experience but don’t have anything on paper to prove their competence, i.e. a boat license.
Many Royal Yachting Association (RYA) qualifications will allow you to apply for an ICC on successful completion of the relevant course. If however you do not hold any of these recognised certificates but have boating know-how, the ICC can also be obtained independently. This can take the form of either a half day assessment or by attending an ICC specific course, which can take a few days depending on experience.
ICC Validity - The ICC currently lasts for 5 years and will need to be renewed via the RYA; you do not need to re-train unless your ICC has lapsed.
Currently, here in the UK anyone can purchase a boat up to 24 metres in length or 80 tonnes in weight, and operate it in and around our coast and on most inland waterways without any sort of training or boat license or certification, or so people believe! Actually everyone on the sea comes under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations. And considering regulations are law this means you can be, and people have been, prosecuted under these regulations!
If this all looks a bit long winded... please give us a call and we can talk you through the process and give you a little more detail on our 1 day direct access and 2 and 3 day course options. Contact us on 02392 346075 / 07985 089973 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org