Need to know how to be a yacht captain? Do you dream of buying a yacht but have no idea of how to get properly licensed to be a captain? Obtaining a commercial yacht license can be the first step towards a very lucrative career as a yacht captain, though undertaking this endeavor requires, among other things, proper training, suitable resources and enough time to allow all the documents to be fully processed.
To become a yacht captain, you will need:
- Proper documentation (your Social Security card, proof of citizenship, etc.)
- A drug-free cardiovascular system (you must submit to and pass a drug test)
- Three letters of recommendation
- A body in relatively good health (you need to be able to pass a physical exam)
- Preparation materials for the licensing exam
- Find your local United States Coast Guard regional exam center. The Coast Guard's official website has a listing of all the exam centers across the nation. Use the map linked below to find the center closest to where you want to sail your yacht out of.
- Fill out a Merchant Mariner's application. Go to the link below and either fill out the forms over the internet or print them out and bring them to the exam center. This step is the most time-consuming, as it involves getting a drug test, physical exam, three letters of recommendation and proof of professional training. These are all required to become a yacht captain.
- Study for and pass the licensing exam. Once you complete your application and have submitted all the materials, you should start studying for the actual exam. The Coast Guard's official site offers resources and materials, though there are many books and courses tailored specifically for test preparation as well. Choose whatever fits your learning style and sit for the exam. The exam takes the majority of the day, so keep your schedule clear of any other engagements.
That's it! All you have to do is wait for your results and, if you passed the examination, you're officially a licensed yacht captain.
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