Is a US flagged 333 INTL GT, private, NON chartered, cruising yacht required to have a licensed mate or only a licensed captain? She is 40m long. Can’t seem to find a safe manning requirement and it’s not an inspected vessel. I am a former cruise ship guy who’s moving over to the yachting industry and basically unsure if my MMC even matters at this point since we are non commercial

Check the CFR’s online. You should probably know this though.

Ya know I don’t really need the sarcasm. Obviously I have checked CFR. Again. It’s a private yacht and uninspected

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The owner’s insurance company usually determines the manning requirements for private yachts.


Last I knew (possibly things have changed), private yachts under 300 US Domestic GRT (that’s probably an older 100’ boat or a newer 150’ of about 500 ITC GT) do not require any licenses at all.

There is still a little bit of freedom left in the US.

Some insurance companies prefer hired yacht captains to have some sort of license. I’m not current on that at all

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I don’t think there’s any license requirement at all. The owner can run it himself if he wants and he can hire anyone he wants to be his “captain”. His insurance company may have their own stipulations though.

Here is what one of the major P&I Clubs recommend:

That’s not very helpful. “Contact the flag state”…


Once saw an owner take his own Lürssen yacht off the drydock, thru the locks at Kiel Kanal, sea trial it and return it back to the yard.

No license but pretty cool to see it happening.

So, private yachts no license in USA. In most EU countries one will need a pleasure boat drivers license ie Sportbootfuhrerschein and they’re pretty strict about it

All Nordic countries have similar licensing requirement and standard for recreational boats:

The Norwegian licensing requirements are set by NMA:

European countries require an International Certificate of Competence (ICC) for anybody operating recreational boats/vessels within their waters. This applies to US citizens as well, although US is not a signatory to UNR40:

Yes I know: this has nothing to do with manning of recreational vessels under US flag operating in US waters.
Just thought it may be helpful to know what others are doing.

Tried a while back to rent a boat in Germany together with the ships skipper and chief mate. We were all certificated up the wazoo to the last man … but of course our tix were onboard in the pursers safe.

No Sportbootfuhereschein meant no 6m sailboat for us. :joy: