Do I Need a Licence to Own a Boat?

Want to explore some of the UK’s beautiful coasts and waterways? This guide will help you figure out whether or not you need a boating licence and teach you how to apply for one.

What is the Boat Safety Scheme?

Boat safety scheme, Towergate

The Boat Safety Scheme tests whether or not boats meet minimum safety requirements, to help minimise the risk of pollution, boat fires, and explosions caused by the condition and equipment of boats. Boats can undergo one of two different checking procedures:

  • The Boat Safety General Scheme Requirements apply to all privately-owned, privately-managed vessels.

  • Boats intended for commercial, industrial, or public use must comply with 2002 BSS Standards in addition to the Boat Safety General Scheme Requirements.

You can find more information about the Boat Safety Scheme—including how to apply for boat examination—at the boat safety scheme website.

How Much Do Boat Licences Cost?

Licensing and registration costs are largely determined by where you plan to boat, how long you plan to boat, and the size and class of your vessel.

If you plan to travel for an extended period of time along Britain’s main waterways, you may want to purchase the “Gold Licence” which allows passage on all Environment Agency and British Waterways waters without the hassle of purchasing multiple registrations.

Gold Licence 2017 Information

What Boat Insurance Do I Need?

All inland waterways require you to have Third Party insurance. Third party coverage gives you liability protection in the event that you’re at fault for injury or damage to another or their property. For example, it’s perfect if you’re accidentally responsible for a boat collision during mooring.

However, in many catastrophes liability insurance alone isn’t enough. What if your boat is stolen, catches fire, suffers weather damage, or capsizes badly? Third party insurance won’t protect you in these instances. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing.

Towergate offers different levels of protection for every kind of watercraft, to perfectly fit your needs. We also insure everything from kayaks to yachts; no matter what kind of watercraft you cherish, you can be sure that it’s protected. You can learn more about our boat insurance policies.

Additional resources:

This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

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