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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

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Whilst the offices are closed to visitors, you are still able to access services and information from this website 24/7.

Information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to access Council Services during this period can be found on our Coronavirus information page

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Boatman and Pleasure Boat Licensing


Boatman and Pleasure boat License
Licence summary
To hire out water-bound pleasure crafts  that are for personal use or carrying passengers, you need a licence. You must not carry more passengers than you are licensed to carry.
Licences may be subject to a fee. Conditions may be attached to a licence.
Eligibility Criteria
No provision in legislation
Regulation Summary
Application Evaluation Process
No provision in legislation
Will Tacit Consent Apply?
No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact it. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details below.
Apply online
Failed Application Redress
Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.
If you wish to appeal against a decision you may do so two days after the decision to your local Magistrates' Court.
Licence Holder Redress
Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.
If you wish to appeal against a decision you may do so from two days after the decision to your local Magistrates' Court. You must give 24 hours notice of your intention to appeal.
Consumer Complaint
We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK,  Consumer Rights will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
Other Redress
E.g. about noise, pollution, etc. Also should one licence holder complain about another.
Trade Associations

 Legislation empowers Local Authorities to grant upon such terms and conditions as it may think fit for licences for pleasure boats and pleasure vessels to be let for hire or to be used for the carrying of passengers for hire, and to the persons in charge of or navigating such boats and vessels and may charge for each type of licence such annual fee as appears to them to be appropriate. The legislation covers any boat or craft with the capacity of up to 12 persons. The Department of Trade and Industry regulate all craft outside this criteria. 

 Associated Legislation - Section 94 of the Public health Act amendment Act 1907 and Local Government (miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

 Boatmans Licence

There is a requirement to be licensed as a Boatman in order to hire out craft.

A Boatmans licence applies to persons/operator who assists in the charge and navigation of pleasure boats, craft or vessels to be let for hire or be used for carrying passengers for hire. In order to qualify for a Boatmans licence an applicant must be:

  • Over 18 years of age

  • Not suffer from any disease or disability which could effect his or her fitness to assist in the charge of pleasure boats, craft or vessels let for hire. A group 2 or ML5 medical will be required with the initial application and every 5 years. After the age of 60 years or if you have a medical condition a yearly medical will be required with the initial and renewal of the application. Castle Point Borough Council reserve the right to require a medical examination at any time at its discretion.

  • Hold a minimum of either RYA Power boat level 2 with commercial endorsement or MCA BML tier one level 2 qualification

      Licences are issued on an annual basis from 1st April to 31st March. They are not transferable and cannot be backdated.

Castle Point Borough Council may suspend, or revoke a licence at any time whenever they deem such suspension or revocation to be necessary in the interest of the public pleasure boats.

There are classes of vessels that this licence allows you to operate, they are the following:

Class A - Under 20ft. in length
Class B - 20ft but less than 40ft in length
Class C - 40ft but less than 85ft in length

The Council may licence any type of craft which has the capacity of no more than 12 persons.

There is a fee for a Boatmans Licence and every individual craft to be licensed.

Fees and Charges 2019-2020[pdf] 545KB

Each craft must be submitted for an annual inspection of seaworthiness by the Port of London Authority (PLA) which the licensing unit will arrange on payment of application. The PLA will pay a visit to the launch site. Testing dates are mutually agreed. Craft may not be used for charter until tested satisfactorily to the MCA small passenger boat code.Please note any remedial visit charges by the PLA (after the initial inspection) will be forwarded onto you for payment.

for application forms and conditions of licences please contact:

Head of Licensing and Community Safety
Castle Point Borough Council,
Kiln Road,

01268 882480