Isle of Wight Council

Licensing - Other

Boats & Boatmen

Service Update

Regulatory Services are no longer based at Jubilee Stores.  Should you need to contact the Licensing team please email your query in the first instance to

An officer will respond to your query as soon as possible.  Please note that emails will be answered in order of priority.

Please ensure that your email contains your full name, address, a telephone number and a detailed description of your query.


Boats Under the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 and the Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1907, local authorities have the power to license pleasure boats and pleasure vessels that:      

  • Are used for hire to the public or;         
  • used for carrying passengers for hire.

For a local authority to be able to grant a licence, the boat or vessel must be less than 24 metres long, carry no more than 12 passengers and operate only in categorised waters.  These licences do not cover waters that are owned and managed by the Canal and River Trust  .

For vessels that are less than 24 metres long and carry no more than 12 passengers that operate outside categorised waters, i.e. at sea, a Small Commercial Vessel Certificate should be obtained from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency website .

The Canal & River Trust license pleasure boats for hire and passenger boats that carry less than 12 passengers that operate in waters owned and managed by the Trust.

Where a licence is granted for a pleasure boat, it shall remain in force for up to one year.


A Boatman’s Licence applies to persons/operators who assist in the charge and navigation of pleasure boats, craft or vessels to be let for hire or be used for carrying passengers for hire.

In order to qualify for a Boatmans Licence various supporting documentation, including an applicastion for must be submitted.

To view what is required as well as the application process please refer to the Council's Pleasure Vessel - Boat and Boatmans Licensing Policy

View the Pleasure vessel/boats & boatman Licensing policy (PDF,190KB,8 pages)

Where a Boatman Licence is granted, it shall remain in place for up to three years.

Apply for a Licence


Fees  (PDF, 97KB, 1 page) must be paid at the time an application is made.

Public Register

The public register of existing licences/consents/permits/registrations can be viewed on the council’s website.

Further Information

Further guidance has been issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and is available the following links:

If you require further clarification please do not hesitate to contact the Licensing Department by phone or email using the details in the 'Contact' tab above.