All types of boating licenses: what they are and what they involve

Obtaining a boating license in Italy allows you to sail, enjoy the sea, make charters and even work with pleasure boats. Let’s see what types of licenses can be obtained and what they involve.

All types of boating licenses

In Italy, in order to sail and practice so-called “boating,” one must possess a special qualification, the nautical license, a document that certifies the ability to command certain types of pleasure craft. According to the Boating Code, there are various types of licenses depending on the type of boating you intend to do and the boat or vessel you use.


Four categories of enablement to navigate in freedom

Currently, the boating license categories are as follows:

  • Category A. It is the qualification for the command and conduct of watercraft, pleasure craft and personal watercraft. This license is in turn divided into two categories: the “within 12 miles” license from the coast which allows sailing exclusively within 12 miles from the coast, and the “unlimited” license from the coast which places no limitations and allows sailing freely away from the mainland without risk of penalty.
  • Category B. It is the qualification for the command of recreational vessels exceeding 24 meters. To obtain it, you must have held a sailing or motor license for at least 3 years without limits from the coast. Those who hold this license can sail without limitation of both motor and sailing units.
  • Category C. Issued to persons with special medical conditions, it is the qualification for the nautical direction of pleasure craft of 24 meters or less in length where there is at least one other person as a guest, not less than 18 years of age, who is fit to carry out the activities necessary for the operation of the craft and the safeguarding of life at sea. The same unit must be equipped with an electronic device that allows in the event of a fall overboard to locate the survivor, as well as to disable the autopilot and turn off the engine.
  • Category D. It is the special qualification for the command of watercraft, pleasure craft and personal watercraft. Limitations may also be indicated for this license related to the type of recreational craft, hull characteristics, power of installed engines, limits of navigation within specific distances from the coast, and weather conditions. Further limitations may be indicated regarding the duration of its validity, as well as prescriptions regarding the use of specific adaptations or assistants and mediators in relation to the specific deficit, consequent to the outcome of the medical examinations of psychophysical fitness at issuance, validation and review.

Which boat license to choose?

Which one to choose among the various categories of boat license? Beyond one’s health status and therefore apart from categories C and D, it depends of course on your aspirations. If your cruising plans include long transfers and crossings, it is best to opt for a category A “no limits” license.

However, it must be considered that along our coasts, given the high number of islands that rise close to the mainland even sailing “within 12 miles” allows for respectable sailing. Then there is the option for those who want to command large ships, so category B. In short there is something for everyone. The important thing is to navigate within the rules.


You may also be interested in: NEW BOAT LICENSE, HOW IT WORKS



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