Boat Licensing
Boat Licensing
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Licensing of Boats and Boatmen

Cornwall Council  is a licensing authority under Section 94 of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1907 (as amended) and by Act of Parliment in the Ports of Truro and Penryn for boats that carry up to 12 passengers in catogorised waters. Those carrying over 12 or operating outside of categorised waters require certification via the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Boats are licensed in accordance with the SOUTH WEST REGIONAL PORTS ASSOCIATION (SWRPA) LICENCES FOR BOATS & BOATMEN GUIDELINES (Version 1.3 Dec 2020).  The standard can be viewed here.

Our licences are issued on an annual basis and follow inspections and, in the case of new applicants for boatmen’s licences, an oral and practical examination.  A number of smaller craft, both self-drive and skippered, register as licensed craft each year and these boats are inspected annually to ensure that the equipment carried, hull and engine (if fitted) are fit for use. This group includes sailing schools, self-drive hire, yachtsmen taking out tourists and even craft used for filming.  Boatman Licences are also provided for anyone operating the vessels.

Boat and Boatman Licence Applications

Application forms can be found on the links below, please complete the application forms and email to along with a copy of your insurance documents.  Payment will need to be made for the application by contacting our Truro Office on 01872 324216, this all needs to be done before any examination of either boat or boatman will be carried out.

Upon receipt of the relevant paperwork and payment we will contact you to schedule a convenient appointment for the examination.

Please be aware that your insurance policy should meet the minimum requirement of £3,000,000 for third party liability, please ensure that your insurance cover is adequate.

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