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Pleasure boats

Anyone who wishes to be in charge of or navigate a pleasure boat or vessel for the purpose of letting it out for hire to members of the public or to carry passengers for hire must obtain the appropriate licences from either the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) or in some cases the council.

Medway Council issues pleasure boat licences under the Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1907 section 94.

This covers vessels carrying no more than 12 passengers on voyages that are at no time outside categorised waters, as defined in the relevant Merchant Shipping Notice (MSN 1776 (M)).

It also covers the hiring out of water-bound pleasure craft, including sailboards, rowing boats, canoes, motor boats, pedalos and larger boats.

Please note that:

  • the boat must be in the charge of a duly licensed boatman
  • licences will not be issued to people under 18 years of age
  • all licences expire on 31 March each year.

Pleasure boat operators who wish to go outside categorised waters or carry more than 12 passengers should contact the MCA for advice.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard about your application within the 10-day target period, please contact it. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or by using the contact details below.

Apply online

Failed application redress

Please contact the council in the first instance, using the contact details below. If you wish to appeal against a decision, you may do so two days after the decision to a magistrates' court.

Licence holder redress

Please contact the council in the first instance, using the contact details below. If you wish to appeal against a decision, you may do so two days after the decision to a magistrates' court. You must give 24 hours' notice of your intention to appeal.

Other redress

If there are problems such as noise or pollution or if one licence holder complains about another, please use the contact details below.

Fee

The fee for an annual pleasure boat licence is £125.

Trade association

Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA)

For more information contact Regeneration, Community and Culture - Safer Communities by telephone: 01634 331349

Write to: Safer Communities, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR