lots of places to see and areas to play in Beautiful Saginaw Bay
Saginaw Bay Area

Special Report
You want to be a charter captain!!

Now, a brief synopsis on what one has to do and what is required (by law) to become a charter boat Captain. I will use my own experience and what I had to do, along with the requirements.

First you have to take the Coast Guard License exam to get your CG license. This involved taking a week off from work to actually take a Coast Guard Class, which gets you ready for the possible 2,400 questions that could possibly be asked by the CG examiner. Cost of the class was $500.00. Loss of a weeks pay, whatever one makes.

Also add the cost of another days work as you have to travel to Toledo, and pay for a motel room, as the exam starts very early. While taking the exam nobody is allowed to leave the room until all have finished.

One guy I went down with the first time had a nervous stomach reaction and forfeited one of the three chances you have to pass this test.

If you fail to have the minimum test Grade in all the required test subjects, that subject is retaken on your next visit, until all the subjects are passed. Fail to meet the grade on any one subject in 3 visits and you start over. And there will be questions my friends that a captain of a ship will not know the answers to off the top of his head.

Now your ready to charter. Now get a boat. You are now licensed to carry up to 6 people. I won't mention all the money involved for the upkeep, storage, gas, marina fee's and all the particulars involved in having a nice boat.

Now the DNR has to inspect your boat from stem to stern. This fee depends on the (class) of your boat. My 25' Grady White is a class (A) vessel and my 18' Jet Boat is a class (E) vessel. A CG license, along with proper liability insurance is required to charter both boats, but the (restrictions on inspection qualification) are different.

My class (E) is (Mainly) used to charter on the inland rivers. But under the law can be used to charter on the Great Lakes, with the only stipulation that all the laws that govern maritime use of a registered boat are met.

I personally have this boat inspected anyway, but is more a formality with me and (Not) required by the existing laws. The DNR head of charter boat inspections sited me these laws. Oh, did I mention that these inspections are not free and are done every 2 years.

Well, I'm out of space. Lastly, being a charter captain in my eye's don't put you above anybody else (Fact is, we are subjected to, watched and scrutinized a lot more than Joe blow fisherman and rightly so.

We are intrusted with the lives of all we welcome aboard our charter boats, rather it be big or small, Bay or River. No rules are bent for us either pro or con, nor would I wish it so.

Some people, for reasons I cannot fathom, think we do get these special breaks. To those people I say, take the tests, do the inspections, spend the time and money and walk a mile in my shoes.). Doing what I do, involves a lot of work and time. I don't do it to make a living, nor do I think I could, as 90% of the charter captains will tell you. I love the sport and the people.

Captain: Dan.

for more information contact:

United States Coast Guard
Regional Examination Center
phone: 419-418-6010

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