What type of boating license is needed abroad?

What type of boating license is needed abroad?

Acceptable boating license abroad

So, you want to rent a boat abroad? Well just like renting a car or a plane (as we casually do), a license is needed. This license confirms your ability to operate a vehicle. However, it’s a very big world out there, not every country or even continents operate in the same way. Therefore a license is certainly needed!

driving a boat

Boating license? I see them do it on TV all the time, looks rather easy..

I know we’ve all seen it done before, but like most things, simply watching it doesn’t mean it is will be easy.


The ICC (AKA International Certificate of Competence) is the most broadly accepted boating qualification. It is accepted in most countries within Europe and along the Mediterranean water way. This qualification gives formal proof that the holder has taken the necessary training to demonstrate adequate boating skills. This training also consists of VHF radio operator and first aid certification.

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Is the ICC acceptable everywhere?

Though the ICC, is accepted in most European countries, there are of course some countries that do not accept it. These countries include; Ukraine, Spain, Moldova, Portugal, Serbia, United states, Sweden and Greece.

The exceptions

In the US-

Different regulations are set concerning boating qualifications around the United States. Some require that a Skipper/Captain is on board, whilst others require a boating license that can be requested online. Prior to your trip, be sure to ask about the requirements for a boating license or skipper. Should you desire to rent a boat in Miami, read my blog post “How to rent a boat in Miami”. This blog should give  you the necessary information to rent a boat in Miami.

In the Caribbean-

Usually, chartering in the Caribbean requires the ICC or the IYT Worldwide.


PER (skipper license) is needed for boats of 15 meters (50 ft). Boats this size can be driven up to 12 nautical miles away front the coast. However, boats of up to 6 metres (20 ft) do not require any form of boating license. For more info on boating licenses in Spain, check out Angloinfo.

The Alternative – A Skipper

The most appropriate alternative to having to have these qualifications is hiring a skipper/captain for your rental. This is a great option if you don’t have the time to get the appropriate boating license. Also, if you’d rather just enjoy the ride without having to worry about its actual movement, a skipper will be great. If you’d like to know more about skippers and their prices, take some time out to read my post called “How to rent a boat in Miami”.

Visit us at Nautal.com and send us an email at info@nautal.com should you need any further help.

Smart Sailors Sail Smart

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