Think you’re cut out to be a boat captain? Test your knowledge.

Do you think you’re cut out to be a boat captain? In addition to general boating and safety knowledge and on-water experience, there are several other qualities that make up a good charter boat captain. Before you hang out your sign and start signing people up for water-based fun in the sun, take a minute to answer a few quick questions to see if a career as a charter boat captain is for you. Can I handle newbie boaters who might be nervous or unaware of safe boating procedures? Many vacationers and first time boat renters just want to get out on the water on a boat. They may not know the first thing about water safety, boating etiquette or safety protocols. It is up to the captain to ensure that everybody on board understands the rules and regulations of the boat. This includes the wearing of life jackets, sitting down while the boat is underway and other basic safety procedures. A good boat captain can calm and reassure the most nervous or seasick guest on board the boat. Do I have the flexibility to host a variety of different boating activities or change plans according to the weather? As a charter boat captain, you may spend one day with a group of guys angling for big game fish. The next day, it may be a snorkeling and swimming excursion with a family of five. Yet the next day, you may be hosting a senior citizen nature and sightseeing tour or a couple’s romantic sunset cruise. A charter boat captain should be able to move seamlessly between activities as well as have the diversity to change plans depending upon the weather and water conditions. Do I have the skills to be a good tour guide? Many charter boat captains enjoy telling their passengers and guests all about local history and area attractions as well as where to find the best fishing and dolphin spotting sites. If you’re able to entertain your audience while providing a great on-water experience, a career as a charter boat captain may be right up your alley. Can I charter my own boat? No, not if you aren't licensed. You may be an expert at manning the boat but to charter your boat or any other, you have to obtain a license from the US Coast Guard. A "6-pack" license can be required fairly easily and makes it legal to charter your own boat. (Beware, there are strong penalties for breaking that rule.) So, how did you do? Do you have what it takes to be a boat captain? Are you a Master that could add a few more advanced tips to this list? Calling all Captains, we'd love to hear from you...


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