MCA Boatmaster


Who requires a Boatmaster Licence:

All masters operating commercially in UK waters are required to be suitably qualified. Vessels operating on ‘Inland’ Waters or as defined by the MCA as categorised and limited coastal areas must have masters qualified under the BML Regulations or equivalent.

The BML Regulations apply to masters operating on Category A – D waters and limited coastal areas.  Limited Coastal Area is defined as “no more than 5 miles from land and 15 miles from a point of departure BML Regulations apply to masters operating on Category A – D waters and limited coastal areas.  Limited Coastal Area is defined as “no more than 5 miles from land and 15 miles from a point of departure”.

Information on categorised waters can be found in ‘Categorisation of Waters’. See resources below.

Commercial vessels under 24 metres and carrying less than 12 passengers operating in categorised waters,  under the Small Commercial Vessel Code can be operated by masters holding appropriate certificates under that code.

What are the levels of BML?

Tier 1 Level 1 (T1L1)

  • National Licence valid for operating a vessel anywhere on the UK’s non-tidal waters (Category A, B and non-linked C), except where local knowledge requirements apply.

         Qualifying Service time – min 12 months

Tier 1 Level 2 (T1L2)

  • National Licence valid for operating a vessel anywhere on the UK’s inland waterways (Categories A-D) and limited coastal areas, except where local knowledge requirements apply.

          Qualifying Service time – min 24 months

All candidates are examined both orally and practically by an MCA examiner.

We have partnered with SeaRegs Training for Master 200gt and Boatmaster prep courses in Scotland.

The courses are run in 2 parts:

Part 1: Chartwork, IRPCS, Weather, Buoyage & SQA Radar in Code Vessels Course

The first 2.5 days are an introduction to the charts, buoyage, IRPCS, Vessel Lights, Sound signals and chartwork navigation. This will give a solid grounding going forward to the BML Prep course. For the second 2.5 days, we run the SQA Radar Course which will allow BML Candidates to obtain the Radar Endorsement.

Part 2: Boatmaster T2L2, T2L1 Prep Course:

The successful completion of Part 1, will allow the course instructor to spend more time on more challenging subjects such as health and safety intro, safety management systems, vessel paperwork and class vessel intro, COLREGS (working knowledge), handling emergencies, compass work, mooring and unmooring, general publications.

If you are looking to complete your Tier 1, Level 2 course, then please contact us in advance – euan@youandsea.com