Pleasure boats licence

Any person who wishes to be in charge of or navigate a pleasure boat/vessel within the Borough of Poole, including Poole Harbour, for the purpose of letting it out for hire to members of the public, or to be used for carrying passengers for hire, must obtain a licence from us.

There are different categories of pleasure boat licence:

  • class B are boats that are crewed by a bosun and take no more than 12 paying passengers, the terms and conditions are on the application form and will be printed on the licence
  • class C are boats that are 'self drive' and hired out, the terms and conditions are on the application form and will be printed on the licence
  • other pleasure boats may need to be licensed depending on the nature of the vessel. If you are running a business and think that your boats may need to be licensed, contact us by email (environment@bcpcouncil.gov.uk) or call us on 01202 261700

Who can apply for a licence

Any person who wishes to be in charge of or navigate a pleasure boat/vessel within the Borough of Poole, including Poole Harbour, for the purpose of letting it out for hire to members of the public, or to be used for carrying passengers for hire, and is over the age of 18 can apply for a licence. Applications must be endorsed by one of the council’s authorised boat inspectors. The pleasure boat must also comply with any authority or statutory conditions.

Exemptions apply to those whose vessels have been approved by a Certifying Authority authorised by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

How to apply

Application forms for pleasure boat class B and pleasure boat class C are available together with the current fee information. For boats that are required to be licensed but are not Class B or Class C, please contact us.

You will need a qualification in order to operate a pleasure boat licensed by the Borough of Poole.

If you do not already hold a qualification recognised by the MCA as being appropriate for a Category C water such as Poole Harbour, you will need to apply for a waterman's licence.

Further information can be obtained from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Contact our Authorised Boat Inspectors:

Page last updated: 21 November 2019
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