Boatmasters Licence Requirements
The requirements for the issue of Boatmaster’s licences (BML) in the UK is governed by the Merchant Shipping (Boatmasters’ Qualifications, Crew and Hours of Work) Regulations 2015. In support of these Regulations, Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1853 provides in depth explanations of the processes involved when applying for a BML.
Boatmaster licences comprise two different categories; Generic (national licence) and Specific (restricted licence).These are further broken down into two separate tiers and levels:
- Generic Tier 1 Level 2 – for operating a vessel anywhere on the UK’s inland waterways, categories A-D and limited coastal areas, except where local knowledge requirements apply
- Generic Tier 1 Level 1 – for operating a vessel anywhere on the UK’s non-tidal waters, categories A and B and non-linked C, except where local knowledge requirements apply
- Specific Tier 2 Level 2 – Restricted licence valid for specific areas of category A-D waters and limited coastal areas (excluding the River Thames below Teddington)
- Specific Tier 2 Level 1 – Restricted licence valid for all category A canals, specified areas of category A and/or B waters or specified areas of non -inked category C waters
There are numerous eligibility requirements to be satisfied to qualify for a BML, these are:
- Applicants must be aged over 18 years old
- Completed the required Qualifying Service Time, as evidenced in a Work Record Book
- Be examined to exhibit competency in underpinning knowledge
- Provide certificates of successful completion of ancillary safety training in Personal Survival, Fire Safety and First Aid
- To be examined on local knowledge where the applicant will be working on waters where its features and characteristics can present a hazard to safe navigation
- Be in possession of a valid medical certificate either an ML5 or ENG1 whichever is appropriate in the circumstances
- Undertake a practical boat handling test
Applicable fees are available here.