ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Get a Charter Boat Captain's License

Updated on October 11, 2014

USCG Captain's License Information

This page has information about obtaining your USCG Captains License. Included are suggested DVDs and books on getting your USCG captain's license as well as links to other important products and services.

In the USA, any operator of a boat for hire is required to be licensed. These licenses are issued by the United States Coast Guard Regional Exam Centers. To obtain the contact information for the Regional Exam Center nearest your location visit:

Also included is information about the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program, another mandatory requirement for boat charters and guides.

How to Prepare For Getting a Captains License

In order to obtain an entry level captains license from the United States Coast Guard, mariners will need to complete the following steps:

1. Applicants do not have to own a vessel, but must have at least 360 days of "sea service". A "day" at sea is defined as a trip that lasts 4 hours or more. Of the 360 days, 90 of those must have been logged within the last 3 years. You must have supporting logs to document sea service, so boaters should keep accurate records well in advance.

2. Applicants must be 18 years of age or more.

3. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

4. Applicants must have current first aid and CPR certificates.

5. Applicants must be enrolled in a random drug testing program, or have passed a recent drug test.

6. Applicants must get a physical.

7. Applicants must obtain a TWIC card.

8. Applicants must pass an extensive written exam which covers navigation, safety, seamanship and other subjects.

Depending on the class of license applied for, other requirements may be necessary.

Charter Boat Captains Must Obtain a TWIC Card

The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program was established in the Maritime Transportation Security Act and the SAFE Port Act to serve as an identification program for all Coast Guard credentialed mariners and personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas within a port. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program.

The TWIC program is progressing steadily and has opened more than 100 fixed enrollment centers and dozens of mobile sites nationwide. Workers can pre-enroll online at Pre-enrollment can accelerate credentialing by allowing workers to provide biographic information and schedule a time to complete the application process in person. This eliminates delays at enrollment centers and reduces total enrollment time for each worker.

Additional information can be found on the U.S. Coast Guard's Homeport site,, and on the Transportation Security Administration's web site at

Setting up a Charter Boat or Fishing Guide Website

Setting up a website for your charter boat business is one of the most important decisions of your business. The most important aspect of a charter boat website is its ability to be found by your customers. Before the website is constructed, the business owner should learn the basics of keyword research and create a list of important search terms that relate to their business.

Not all web design companies understand and specialize in search engine optimization, so it is important to review past examples of success when choosing a web design company. Do they have existing clients that rank high in search engine results?

A reputable designer can explain all the factors that influence a website's search engine rankings, suggest which key phrases might be important and offer services to help your site perform well on Google, Bing and other search engines. After all, the most exquisite and artful website in the world cannot put paying customers on your boat unless they can find you.

U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Statistics

90 percent of drowning victims were not wearing life jackets.

The U.S. Coast Guard's 2007 Recreational Boating Statistics show:

685 fatalities, 3,673 injuries, 5,191 accidents and $53 million in property damage.

90 percent of drowning victims were not wearing life jackets.

Alcohol was the leading contributing factor in approximately one-fifth of all boating fatalities.

Only 14 percent of all boating fatalities occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great Lens - Thanks

    • biminibahamas profile image


      6 years ago

      A boatload a great information. Thanks for sharing!

    • BruceStott profile image

      Bruce Stott 

      7 years ago from Sidney BC

      Good lens, lots of valuable information in one place

    • UKGhostwriter profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent lens! - well done

    • northamerica profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @thecomputerfans: According to the USCG, in the USA, any operator of a boat for hire is required to be licensed. Your local Coast Guard station can help you further with questions about boat requirements.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      thanks for share! I not sure if just a 5m boat if need a license?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)