The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) requires all operators of for-hire vessels to have a Captain license/Merchant Mariner Credential. Charter, head boat and saltwater fishing guide operations must have an FCC charter captain or boat license to cover their passengers, who are not required to hold a recreational saltwater fishing license.
The number of customers specified on the FCC vessel license to take, attempt to take, or possess a limit of saltwater fish or organisms for non-commercial purposes without purchasing a recreational saltwater fishing license. Additional restrictions on charter boat captain and crew and for-hire guides on a keeping their limit of fish under their own valid recreational saltwater fishing licenses are species specific.
For-hire guides may also keep a legal limit of fish while on duty except shook, grouper and red snapper in federal waters. Shook: The Florida Administrative Code (FAC), Chapter 68B-21.006 (3) for shook states: On any vessel licensed to carry customers wherein a fee is paid, either directly or indirectly, for the purpose of taking or attempting to take marine fish, the applicable bag and possession limit specified in this rule shall not extend to the operator of such vessel or any person employed as a crewman of such vessel.
Grouper: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council regulations prohibit the captain and crew of for-hire vessels from retaining a federal recreational bag limit of any grouper while under charter in the Gulf of Mexico. The FCC established a zero bag limit for Gulf gag, red and black grouper for captains and crew on for-hire vessels in or on state waters.
Current information about grouper rules is available from the FCC Division of Marine Fisheries Management. Red Snapper: In 2008 new regulations were implemented for red snapper in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico that, among other restrictions, prohibits the captain and crew of for-hire vessels from retaining the federal recreational bag limit.
More information on federal action is available from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. The FCC also established a zero bag limit for captain and crew of for hire vessels in Gulf state waters for red snapper.
There's no doubt about it: Whether you're buying or selling, Florida is the epicenter of the boating world. Willy Sutton told authorities he robbed banks because that’s where the money was.
Want a little flats boat to fish the shallow waters of the Keys or perhaps the Indian River in east central Florida ? If a deck boat to take family and friends out for an afternoon cruise is more your style, there are plenty of those, too.
Even if your tastes run toward multimillion dollar mega yachts capable of roaming the globe, Florida ’s got ‘em. Fort Lauderdale, home to the world-famous annual boat show, is one of the premier mega yacht centers of the world.
Eventually they figure it out and get what they want and need, but not before spending a small fortune owning boats that disappoint them. But my wife Jane and I wanted to do some cruising that included stays of a week or more aboard a boat.
We used it for a few years, then decided that we might eventually want to sail the length of the East Coast, from Miami to Maine and back, and perhaps spend extended time in the Florida Keys. We sold the Sabre 28 and bought a custom 46-foot aluminum ketch, Galaxies, the boat that we’ve had for almost 16 years now.
My friend Bill spends on average about $200 for a day’s worth of fuel to power his twin-engine Pursuit. Another neighbor spends four times that amount to run his much larger Hatteras, and they both wind up catching about the same number of fish.
My sailboat burns a gallon an hour of diesel fuel when the wind abandons me and I have to power. One of the big twin-engine motor yachts I help move up and down the East Coast burns 32 gallons of diesel per hour at full speed.
But that 70-footer weighs many tons and isn’t so easy to maneuver despite twin props and a bow thruster. The owner of said boat just spent several thousand dollars repairing a teak toe rail that he accidentally smashed against a piling.
Don’t buy a boat bigger than you need and take the time to practice maneuvering it in tight spots. The bigger the boat you want to buy, the more you need a surveyor to go over all the vessel’s complex systems and give you an evaluation.
The National Association of Marine Surveyors can give you the names of members both by type of boat you want to buy and the state in which you’re making the purchase. And while you are certainly welcome to set up your new vessel any way you please, it might pay in the long run to keep resale value in mind.
A similar mishap on a new boat might very well be covered by the warranty and cost you nothing, at least for the first year or two. Smaller boats, whether power or sail, are often advertised in the classified sections of local newspapers.
Search the classifieds in the newspapers of the biggest nearby cities, such as Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami/Fort Lauderdale and Tampa/St. It’s much easier to go take a look at and possibly take a test ride in a boat located close to where you are than on the other side of the state.
A final word of advice: If, after all your careful thinking about and searching for a boat, you wind up with one that you realize after a few years isn’t really what you want or need, don’t hesitate to pull the trigger and sell it. Better to get rid of the maintenance, insurance and operating costs quickly and start your new search for the right boat than to keep spending that money on something you aren’t using.