Getting the right Skipper’s Licence
Don’t ruin your big deep sea fishing trip before it has begun! Anyone operating a sea going vessel needs to have completed a Skipper’s Course relevant to the category of boat used when heading out to sea.
The categories of small sea going vessels was amended and introduced in the Merchant Shipping (Small Vessel Safety) Regulations, 2002. Originally the categories described the type of vessels, but it was amended to reflect rather the distance the vessel operates offshore.
This categorisation is irrespective of the size. “Category” in relation to a vessel is determined by the following:
• Category A – Vessels operating more than 40 nautical miles from shore
• Category B – Vessels operating more than 15 but not more than 40 nautical miles from shore
• Category C – Vessels operating more than 5 but not more than 15 nautical miles from shore
• Category D – Vessels operating more than 1 but not more than 5 nautical miles from shore
• Category E – Vessels operating not more than 1 nautical mile from shore
• Category R – There is a missing category of vessels, which are ‘restricted’ in some way, usually due to their construction and/or design and operate solely within the confines of a port or lagoon/estuary. This category has been designated as Category R.
Honda Marine, in conjunction with McCrystal Insurance Brokers, are holding a Category C Deep Sea Skipper’s Course and Boat Surveys C.O.F. on October 20-21. Go to www.marineskippers.co.za for more information and details on other skippers’ courses…