Pleasure Boats


Pleasure Boats

If you wish to hire out boats to customers or carry customers as passengers then you must apply to the Council for a Pleasure Boat and a Boatmans Licence.

Pleasure Boat licences

A Pleasure Boat Licence issued by the Council applies to specific individual boats including sailboards, rowing boats, canoes, motor boats, pedaloes etc which are hired out for customers to use, or boats run by you to carry paying passengers.

A licence from the Council is required for anyone wishing to use a vessel for commercial charter as a pleasure boat that is under 24 metres in length, does not carry any more than 12 passengers and does not undertake voyages which go out to sea.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency licence boats carrying more than 12 passengers.

Boatman licences

To hire out boats or other craft you must also apply to the Council for a Boatman Licence.

Application process and fee

The fee for a Pleasure Boat licence is £240 for one year or £700 for three years. The fee for a Boatmans licence is £30.

For new applications only, applicants may pay 5% less when making an application. If you do, you would then be invoiced for this amount plus £20 for the additional administration cost, when the licence has been issued.

We have also produced a set of pdf icon Standard Conditions for Pleasure Boats [20kb] which will be attached to your licence.

How to apply

You can apply for a Pleasure Boat licence in two ways:

Along with your application you will need to submit an Engineers Report concerning the condition of the boat(s).

Boatmans licences are not covered by the EU Services Directive so you must apply for your Boatmans licence by downloading our pdf icon Boatmans Application Form [80kb] and returning it to us with the correct fee.

Both licences are renewable annually.

If you sell your boat(s) to someone else who intends to hire them out please let us know.

Tacit consent

Tacit consent does not apply to Pleasure Boat licences or Boatmans licences.

Failed application and licence holder redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court.

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 can offer advice on Consumer Protection Rights.

Trade associations

You may find the following organisation useful:

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