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FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my skippers licence?

Skippers of commercial vessels need an operators licence. Information on how to gain a "Skipper Restricted Limits" licence can be found at www.boatingeducation.org.nz/commercial It is not a legal requirement to hold a licence to operate a recreational vessel in New Zealand, but to ensure the safety of yourself and others, and ensure you know how to comply with all maritime rules, all skippers should complete at least some form of training. Day Skipper is the minimum qualification recommended.


Is it compulsory to sit a skippers course in NZ?

It is not a legal requirement to hold a licence to operate a recreational vessel in New Zealand but to ensure the safety of yourself and others, and ensure you know how to comply with all maritime rules, all skippers should complete at least some form of training. Day Skipper is the minimum qualification recommended.



What if I want to get a commercial qualification?

Information on how to gain a "Skipper Restricted Limits" licence can be found at www.boatingeducation.org.nz/commercial



What if I want to work on super yachts?

Working on Super Yachts is a great way to see the world and get paid to do it. Super Yacht skippers are very picky about the crew they employ, so showing you have at least some boating knowledge and experience will be a good start. Day Skipper, Boatmaster and VHF would be the minimum recommended qualifications, with practical courses such as RYA Powerboat Level 2 and the STCW modules also forming the minimum requirement.


Do you offer practical courses?

Practical on-water training is offered through the practical training centres listed at www.boatingeducation.org.nz/rya

We have bought a new powerboat and want to learn how to use it, can we do a course on our own boat?

All boats handle differently. Learning from a professional, highly experienced practical instructor on your own boat is a great way to accelerate the learning process and to avoid any scrapes, dings or stress along the way. Practical on-water training is offered through the practical training centres listed at www.boatingeducation.org.nz/rya



I need to change my address for my membership

Updating your details is easily done by calling the Membership team on 0800 BOATIE (262 843) or email us at membership@coastguard.org.nz


I have joined Coastguard, what is my membership number?

If you lose your membership card, phone the membership team on 0800 BOATIE (262 843) and we can organise a replacement card to be sent out. If you’re heading out on the water and your membership card hasn’t arrived yet, not to worry, we will be able to look you up in the system based on your other contact details if you require assistance. Don't hesitate to call 0800 BOATIE (262 843) or email us at membership@coastguard.org.nz



How do I join Coastguard??

Go to www.coastguard.nz/join or call 0800 BOATIE (262 843). Once payment is received, your Coastguard Membership pack will be sent out to you in the mail within 10 working days. It includes your personalised membership card, receipt, and membership booklet which gives details to all your exclusive Coastguard member benefits and discounts, and a range of safety information and services available.



How much is a Coastguard Membership?

Go to www.coastguard.nz/membership/. The Individual membership is $115 and covers the member, their partner, and any dependants up to the age of 18, no matter what boat they’re on. The Lifetime membership is $1,725 and is the same as the individual membership but with a convenient one-off payment - it gives peace of mind for a lifetime of boating. A Vessel membership is $400* and is the perfect solution for larger families, boat share situations or charter vessels, covering the vessel no matter who’s on the boat. *Only available in the Northern Region.



I am boating outside my home area, what happens with my Coastguard membership?

You’re covered in all the major boating population areas around the country. We have 64 strategically located units around the country to help you out - head to www.coastguard.nz/units to find your local unit.



Can I use my Boatmaster certificate to charter a vessel overseas?

Different countries have different requirements. Please check with the charter company to ensure you meet any local requirements. 


I am going overseas and want to charter a boat, what qualification do I need?

Different countries have different requirements. Please check with the charter company to ensure you meet any local requirements. An increasing number of European countries require an ICC or equivalent and a GMDSS-compliant radio certificate, such as an MSROC. You must pass an on-water practical "driving test" and theory knowledge test at a recognised RYA Training Centre to gain an ICC. Information on gaining an ICC can be found atwww.boatingeducation.org.nz/courses/42/international-certificate-of-competence-icc

Information on gaining an MSROC can be found at www.boatingeducation.org.nz/courses/62/maritime-short-range-operator-certificate-msroc


What is an ICC?

ICC means International Certificate of Competence - this is like an international driver's licence. You must pass an on-water practical "driving test" and theory knowledge test at a recognised RYA Training Centre to gain an ICC. Information on gaining an ICC can be found at www.boatingeducation.org.nz/courses/42/international-certificate-of-competence-icc


How do I get an ICC?

You must pass an on-water practical "driving test" and theory knowledge test at a recognised RYA Training Centre to gain an ICC. Information on gaining an ICC can be found at www.boatingeducation.org.nz/courses/42/international-certificate-of-competence-icc

What is a callsign?

A Maritime VHF Callsign is a unique identifier for your vessel and holds important information to enable you and your vessel to be identified in an emergency



Do I have to do a course?

Except in an emergency, it is a legal requirement for any person operating a VHF or SSB marine radio to hold an appropriate operator's qualification. To book a Maritime VHF Radio Operator course click here



Do I have to display my Callsign or vessel name on my boat?

There is no requirement for a callsign to be displayed on the exterior of any vessel. However, many Regional Councils require vessels to be identifiable, often with a minimum requirement of lettering size (e.g. 90mm). This can be achieved by marking it with the boats name or callsign. Also, if you are requesting assistance, your name and callsign displayed on your vessel makes you easier to find and identify. 



What is an MMSI/DSC/AIS?

DSC means Digital Selective Calling - this system is perhaps best described as like sending and receiving text messages through your VHF radio. To set up any radio or beacon to send DSC messages, it must have an MMSI (Maritime Mobile Safey Identity) number entered into the menu system of the radio. An MMSI number identifies where any DSC "text" message is coming from - like showing what phone number a phone text message has been sent from. AIS stands for Automatic Identification System. AIS units can be either transceivers (that constantly transmit and receive) or just receivers. AIS transceivers must be registered with an MMSI to activate/identify them. That vessel's identity, speed, course, and a range of other information is then displayed on all AIS receiver screens within range, which helps improve safety between vessels.



Do I need an MMSI number?

You will need an MMSI number if you have a DSC radio, AIS transceiver and/or for some diver beacons.



What is the difference between VHF and SSB?

VHF (Very High Frequency) radios use low power, and the radio waves travel in a straight line (line-of-sight). SSB (Single Side Band) radios transmit at much higher power, at a lower frequency. SSB radio waves can "bounce" off the ionosphere, enabling world-wide communications over enormous distances in the right conditions.



How do I set up my VHF with my MMSI number?

You will need to enter the 9-digit MMSI number into your DSC radio. This is usually done through the radio's menu system. All radios are different, so if in doubt check the user manual.



I need RPL for a course

You'll need to complete a form to apply for RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning). You can download the RPL application form from the resources section at www.boatingeducation.org.nz/commercial



I have lost my certificate, how do I get a replacement?

Click on the link to download the replacement certificate form and e-mail sarah.pengelly@boatingeducation.org.nz. There is a cost of $25 per replacement certificate.



I have not received my certificate?

Please e-mail sarah.pengelly@boatingeducation.org.nz with course details (type of course, date, and tutor if you have their name). Please note assessments may take time to be returned to CBE and be processed. 



I would like to do a home study course, my partner would like to as well, can we share resources?

You can share the resources (books, flash cards, chart plotter) however it can be more helpful if you are studying together to not have to keep passing the plotter! You cannot share the home study pack, and each person must do their own assessment. In order to receive the qualification you must purchase the pack. 



My friend has given me their old homestudy pack, can I use it?

It may be helpful for revision, however in order to receive the best from the course an old pack is not ideal. In order to keep information as current as possible, our manuals undergo revision and changes every so often. In order to receive the qualification you must purchase the pack.



How do I organise my RYA examination?

Practical on-water examinations for RYA/MCA Certificates of Competence (Yachtmaster Coastal, Yachtmaster Offshore) whether sail or power endorsed, must be organised through a recognised RYA Training Centre. All NZ RYA centres are listed at www.boatingeducation.org.nz/ryaExaminations can be organised without completing any preparation training, however this is not recommended. All candidates are recommended to complete pre-exam training through a training centre. Oral examinations for RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean can be organised directly with CBE. Please contact the Manager - CBE Courses & RYA Training.



I need help with celestial navigation, where can I go to get help?

Two formal courses are available regarding celestial/astro navigation; CBE Ocean Yachtmaster and RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased. To enquire about an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased course, please contact the RYA Training Centres listed at www.boatingeducation.org.nz/rya. If you are a CBE Ocean Yachtmaster Home Study student, please contact the Manager - CBE Courses & RYA Training for assistance. If you need further help or one-on-one tuition we can put you in touch with a local tutor who can offer personal tuition.



Is there an age limit for DS/BM/VHF?

There is no minimum age limit to attend Day Skipper and VHF courses. You must be at least 15 years old to complete and attain a Boatmaster certificate.



When does my certificate expire?

Most certificates are for life and never expire. Marine Medic and Advanced Sea Survival certificates do expire (after 2 years and 5 years respectively).



Is my Boatmaster equal to ICC?

Boatmaster is a comprehensive theory course. It covers the knowledge required to gain an ICC but is not a direct equivalent. You must pass an on-water practical "driving test" and theory knowledge test at a recognised RYA Training Centre to gain an ICC. Information on gaining an ICC can be found at www.boatingeducation.org.nz/courses/42/international-certificate-of-competence-icc



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DISCOUNT CODES

To use your Coastguard NZ new member discount for $100 off a Day Skipper course, please in put your membership number in the  "Discount Code field below. This discount code may not be used in conjunction with any other offer, and can only be redeemed once.

To use your Coastguard NZ 15% membership discount on selected courses, input "CGM" and your Coastguard membership number (e.g. CGM78091) into the  "Discount Code" field below. This discount code may not be used in conjunction with any other offer.


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