top of page

What is the Boat Masters?

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

Boat Master Grade One: What It Takes to Earn This License

If you love boating and want to turn it into your profession, obtaining a Boat Master Grade One license will open that world of opportunities for you. This license is a requirement for operating sail or power vessels of appropriate size for commercial purposes in the Caribbean Region, and it demonstrates that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to operate a vessel safely and efficiently.

Here's what you need to know about the Boat Master Grade One license and what it takes to earn it.

Age and Medical Certificate

To qualify for a Boat Master Grade One license, you must be at least 21 years old and have a valid maritime medical certificate called the ENG1.. This certificate indicates that you are physically fit to operate a vessel and can handle the demands of the job.

Practical Instruction

In addition to meeting the age and medical requirements, you must also complete a course of theoretical instruction under a licensed Instructor in a sail or power vessel, of appropriate size as approved by the Administration. This instruction is designed to test the skills and knowledge that you need to operate a vessel and be awarded the license. This is not a beginner's course. You will be refreshing your book knowledge and demonstrating your practical knowledge in the final exam.

Seagoing Service

To validate your knowledge and experience, you must have completed an approved seagoing service of not less than 4 months, in accordance with the requirement to sit the course. This seagoing service proves your hands-on experience and ability to master the challenges of operating a vessel in different conditions.

VHF Certificate and Exam

To demonstrate your knowledge and skills in operating a VHF radio, you must produce a VHF Certificate or obtain one before your endorsement of the Boat Master 1 certificate.

Finally, you must pass the examination for Boat Master Grade One, which tests your knowledge of boating safety, navigation, vessel handling, and regulatory compliance.

Validity and Endorsements

The certificates issued by MSWI are endorsed by the Sint Maarten Maritime Authority and are valid for 5 years. It's important to note that before the Boat Master license endorsement by Maritime & Shipping will be issued, you must have the medical certificate ENG1, and completed the STCW 2010 and VHF license.

Regulations and Equivalencies

The regulations for the Boat Master Grade One license are based on the United States Coast Guard Code of Federal Regulations 46 Sub-Chapter T (certification of small passenger vessels), which are regarded as equivalent to IMO Convention requirements for such vessels, Sub-Chapter C (Uninspected vessels) and The United Kingdom Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Workboats and Pilot Boats. Its validity under the SCV Code is for the commercial operation of small vessels in Caribbean Waters.


Obtaining a Boat Master Grade One license requires significant experience in boat handling and being able to demonstrate those abilities.

Obtaining this captain’s license can lead to a rewarding and fulfilling career for those who are looking for a career in the Maritime Industry.

If you're interested in pursuing this license, be sure to carefully review the requirements and regulations so you are fully prepared to meet the demands of this course.

What else would you like to know?

  • Write an answer

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page