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Old 05-21-2019, 03:47 PM   #1
jazzman
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Default NH Commercial Boating License?

Has anyone taken the NH commercial boating license test?

The entire study guide is 5 pages of things that mostly apply to all boats (buoys, flame arresters, lighting etc).

https://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/...Supplement.pdf

There are a few unique requirements (type 1 PFDs, engine fire suppression, manual fuel shutoff and of course a bell for boats over 26 feet)

Is it mostly a more in depth standard recreational boater test?

No on water test unless you want a license valid for over 34 feet.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:26 PM   #2
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I took the course and have the Commercial License. It is good for 5 years. The test is just a little more in depth than the standard test.

The law is that anyone operating a boat for commercial purposes or pay needs that license. That means that if you are delivering boats for a dealer or you are a realtor, in your own boat, showing property to prospective buyers, you need the license.

I would assume that many people the Marine Patrol would say should have the license, do not have it.
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:20 AM   #3
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The commercial test is similar to the recreational boating certificate test only 85 instead of 60 questions. I highly recommend you take the classroom or online Boating Education course first if you haven't already.
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:42 AM   #4
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Default Clarify

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I took the course and have the Commercial License. It is good for 5 years. The test is just a little more in depth than the standard test.

The law is that anyone operating a boat for commercial purposes or pay needs that license. That means that if you are delivering boats for a dealer or you are a realtor, in your own boat, showing property to prospective buyers, you need the license.

I would assume that many people the Marine Patrol would say should have the license, do not have it.
If, say, following medication, my doctor says "Don 't drive" can I hire a driver? Does/he need a commercial license? I asked the driver who took me to the airport and he said no special license needed. Wouldn't cars and boats be the same?

A few years ago a business focused on island jobs changed hands. In business for many years, the boats and drivers had never been "commercial" The new owner was shut down for a couple of weeks, unexpectedly, while he re-registered the boats and got commercial licenses for employees. As far as I know, if these had been pick-up trucks instead of boats, there would have been no such problem.
A Realtor can drive me in his car, why not his boat?
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:51 AM   #5
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If, say, following medication, my doctor says "Don 't drive" can I hire a driver? Does/he need a commercial license? I asked the driver who took me to the airport and he said no special license needed. Wouldn't cars and boats be the same?

A few years ago a business focused on island jobs changed hands. In business for many years, the boats and drivers had never been "commercial" The new owner was shut down for a couple of weeks, unexpectedly, while he re-registered the boats and got commercial licenses for employees. As far as I know, if these had been pick-up trucks instead of boats, there would have been no such problem.

A Realtor can drive me in his car, why not his boat?
To me cars and boats are apples and oranges for operations and safety. Although I agree I realtor should not need a commercial license to take prospects around the lake.


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Old 05-23-2019, 11:54 AM   #6
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Default If you take any compensation it's commercial use

If an operator of a boat accepts any kind of "consideration" for taking anyone anywhere on a boat, it's commercial use and requires a commercial license and the boat needs to be commercially registered. This could be $, fuel, a six pack of beer, whatever.

Just make sure that beer isn't consumed until after you made it to your destination.
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:01 PM   #7
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If an operator of a boat accepts any kind of "consideration" for taking anyone anywhere on a boat, it's commercial use and requires a commercial license and the boat needs to be commercially registered. This could be $, fuel, a six pack of beer, whatever.

Just make sure that beer isn't consumed until after you made it to your destination.
If that in fact is what the law says then I would think there is a very gray area for real estate agents taking prospective clients around the lake looking at homes. They really are not being given "consideration" transport people
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:20 PM   #8
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FWIW, the test was quite easy. Basic boating questions with 5-6 about the rules that pertain to commercial boat rules. A couple badly worded questions to which I believe the answer was pretty ambiguous.

2 power boats are approaching. Does the one to starboard always have the right of way?

I believe the answer was true, but I'm pretty sure it's not true if I'm the captain of NH 0001 MT
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:41 PM   #9
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No on water test unless you want a license valid for over 34 feet.
Interesting. I have had a NH commercial boat license for 35 years, and I have never before heard of the requirement to pass a practical examination if operating a commercially registered vessel 34 feet or longer. Sure enough, that requirement is mentioned in the document you provide a link for. From the first license I was issued, after passing the written test only, while completing the license form I have always written the word "any" in the spaces noting "Limited to not over _____ feet in length or _____ horsepower" and the state employees processing the licenses (first time and renewals) have never had an issue with that. In 35 years I have never been asked what size commercial vessels I would be operating.

Can I legally pilot the Mount?
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Old 05-23-2019, 01:13 PM   #10
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Hmmm, the guy wrote limited to not over 35 feet or 80 hp on mine. Looks like more Dept of safety vague wording. I assume that means I drive a boat over 35 feet if it doesn't have more than 80 hp, otherwise it's a pretty useless license.
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:44 PM   #11
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If an operator of a boat accepts any kind of "consideration" for taking anyone anywhere on a boat, it's commercial use and requires a commercial license and the boat needs to be commercially registered. This could be $, fuel, a six pack of beer, whatever.

Just make sure that beer isn't consumed until after you made it to your destination.
The boat can be registered to anyone. It does not need to be registered to a commercial operation. However, I would make sure that the boat insurance company knew that it was being used for other than recreational purposes if you are hiring it out.

One example of someone operating a boat for "consideration" would be the employee of a boat dealer picking up or dropping off a customers boat. That would require a commercial license but the registration and registered owner of the boat would not come into play.

The beer can be consumed at any time, including while underway. The boat operator may consume the beer while operating the boat. He just cannot consume enough so that he is impaired according to the law.
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:52 PM   #12
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Default Rsa

I'd like to see the RSA or rule reference. When I worked for a marina, several employees drove boats while "on duty". Salesmen for example doing demos, mechanics water testing. I recall one mechanic who took the boat out in the bay and drifted while he worked because the owner was hanging over his shoulder. That was a long time ago, so when did the law change? Let's be specific, not an opinion please.
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:59 PM   #13
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To me cars and boats are apples and oranges for operations and safety. Although I agree I realtor should not need a commercial license to take prospects around the lake.


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That specific example, a realtor taking people out in his own boat to show property, was given by the instructor when I took the course. It was cited among many other examples of when a commercial license is required.
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:04 PM   #14
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I'd like to see the RSA or rule reference. When I worked for a marina, several employees drove boats while "on duty". Salesmen for example doing demos, mechanics water testing. I recall one mechanic who took the boat out in the bay and drifted while he worked because the owner was hanging over his shoulder. That was a long time ago, so when did the law change? Let's be specific, not an opinion please.
Field Operations Bureau
Marine Patrol Unit
Commercial Boating

Commercial Registration

All commercial boats must be commercially registered and inspected by the State of New Hampshire in compliance with RSA 270-E: 22

Any boat used as a common carrier of passengers or property; operating on a regular schedule.
Any vessel propelled by electric or mechanical power carrying passengers for hire.
Any boat or outboard motor used by the proprietor of any school or camp in which minors attend.
Any boat used in conjunction with any form of enterprise where money or other compensation is received, whether actual or implied, for employment of the vessel.
Any description of watercraft utilized by an employee of any enterprise in the performance of the employee’s duties.
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Old 05-24-2019, 05:52 AM   #15
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I would be willing to bet most of the realtors don't know this.
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:16 AM   #16
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That specific example, a realtor taking people out in his own boat to show property, was given by the instructor when I took the course. It was cited among many other examples of when a commercial license is required.
I believe it but I think in my opinion they are stretching the law a little too far, they are not really providing a “transportation “ type service. By this logic they would need a CDL to take people around on the land.

I absolutely understand marinas shuttling boats, services to and from ports and the islands basically anyone getting paid for the actual transportation service.


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Old 05-24-2019, 06:50 AM   #17
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I believe it but I think in my opinion they are stretching the law a little too far, they are not really providing a “transportation “ type service. By this logic they would need a CDL to take people around on the land.

I absolutely understand marinas shuttling boats, services to and from ports and the islands basically anyone getting paid for the actual transportation service.


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A CDL is required because of the vehicle being operated, not the purpose of the operation. Vehicles are in categories by weight and whether they are equipped with air brakes or are two piece units. The exceptions to that are the addition of endorsements to the CDL such as passengers, hazmat, double trailers, or tank truck.

A Commercial Boat License is required because of the purpose of that operation not the size of the vessel.

As someone said above, there is really no parallel from boats to motor vehicles.
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:58 AM   #18
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A CDL is required because of the vehicle being operated, not the purpose of the operation. Vehicles are in categories by weight and whether they are equipped with air brakes or are two piece units. The exceptions to that are the addition of endorsements to the CDL such as passengers, hazmat, double trailers, or tank truck.

A Commercial Boat License is required because of the purpose of that operation not the size of the vessel.

As someone said above, there is really no parallel from boats to motor vehicles.
Yes I know all CDLs I have one and had 50 trucks on the road in my business. Yes I did say there is no parallel between boats and vehicles.

I was just following their logic, in my opinion the broker scenario is ridiculous.


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Old 05-24-2019, 10:24 AM   #19
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Field Operations Bureau
Marine Patrol Unit
Commercial Boating

Commercial Registration

All commercial boats must be commercially registered and inspected by the State of New Hampshire in compliance with RSA 270-E: 22

Any boat used as a common carrier of passengers or property; operating on a regular schedule.
Any vessel propelled by electric or mechanical power carrying passengers for hire.
Any boat or outboard motor used by the proprietor of any school or camp in which minors attend.
Any boat used in conjunction with any form of enterprise where money or other compensation is received, whether actual or implied, for employment of the vessel.
Any description of watercraft utilized by an employee of any enterprise in the performance of the employee’s duties.
Thanks for posting this section. I saw it on my own and thought it refers only to boats being registered commercially, not to requiring licenses. Te certificate requirement is actually under RSA 270-E:22.
I see some possible inherent conflicts here. The quoted passage refers (your bold) to employees. A realtor may or may not be an employee. I would suggest that there is no implied compensation if there is no sale. Just showing a property open to question.
Let's say I'm a Realtor and I decide to register my boat commercially, and get my commercial certification. Now, under 270-E:22 it appears no other family member can use the commercial boat (my visiting sister and brother-in-law) without getting a NH commercial license, even if they have a NASBLA certificate from NH or another state. Trying to make boats all commercial; or all recreational, doesn't fit a lot of circumstances that commonly arise. Perhaps the law needs to be adjusted?
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Old 05-24-2019, 11:04 AM   #20
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Thanks for posting this section. I saw it on my own and thought it refers only to boats being registered commercially, not to requiring licenses. Te certificate requirement is actually under RSA 270-E:22.
I see some possible inherent conflicts here. The quoted passage refers (your bold) to employees. A realtor may or may not be an employee. I would suggest that there is no implied compensation if there is no sale. Just showing a property open to question.
Let's say I'm a Realtor and I decide to register my boat commercially, and get my commercial certification. Now, under 270-E:22 it appears no other family member can use the commercial boat (my visiting sister and brother-in-law) without getting a NH commercial license, even if they have a NASBLA certificate from NH or another state. Trying to make boats all commercial; or all recreational, doesn't fit a lot of circumstances that commonly arise. Perhaps the law needs to be adjusted?
What is your definition of a commercial registration?

I agree that the law can be interpreted in different ways. When I took the course I said to the instructor from the Marine Patrol: "You realize that most people you think need the Commercial License don't have it". He said: "Yes, we know that". Hmmmmm......
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