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 Highlands & Islands Marine Training


MCA Boatmaster

BML Exemption Training

We are currently looking to run a T2L2 course sometime in late January/early February 2017and other modules to cover Tier 1 Level 2. If you are interested please contact David Leaver ASAP.

BML Tier 1 Level 2


Vessels operating commercially in UK waters are required to have a master who is suitably qualified.  Vessels operating in Inland waterways areas A, B, C and D plus Limited Coastal waters (to Sea) are a special case.  Limited Coastal waters are defined as no further than 5 miles from land and 15 miles from the point of departure.

These areas are covered by the Boatmaster qualification.

For vessels under 24 metres and carrying less than 12 passengers, as well as the Boatmaster qualification, there are alternative qualifications available under the RYA Yachtmaster & Powerboat schemes.

Operating in Limited Coastal waters, skippers of vessels carrying more than 12 passengers, are required to hold the relevant Boatmaster qualification or higher.

There are two Boatmaster qualifications:

Tier 1 Level 2

This qualification allows the holder to skipper vessels in inland waterways under categories A, B, C and D and limited Coastal waters (up to 3 miles offshore and 15 miles from departure point, exclusive of any categorised waters) throughout the UK.  It may require an endorsement for local knowledge in certain areas, and will require a passenger endorsement for the carriage of passenger numbers greater than 12 and up to 250.

Tier 2 Level 2 (to include Limited Coastal waters) This qualification is similar to the Tier 1 Level 2 but will be for a restricted area of operation. It will be possible to add areas to the ticket.


A Boatmaster Exemption  is available on application to the MCA. This exemption applies to the vessel not the skipper and allows the vessel to be commanded by a named person who has passes an examination by the MCA applicable to the exemption.


We are able to offer a 5 day course (plus homestudy) which covers the requirements for this licence.  Candidates will only be able to take the Oral and practical examination by arrangement with the MCA.    This is currently the best option for those candidates who do not wish or need to undertake the more onerous Tier 1 Level 2 (unlimited) qualification.


BML Tier 1 Level 2

We are able to provide the training for the underpinning knowledge which will ready the candidate for the Oral and practical examination for BML Tier 1 Level 2.  This is conducted over a period of three weeks, which may not be consecutive.  The training is in three modules, each taking five days.  To help with manning criteria for commercial companies, we can conduct these modules at dates and venues to suit requirements.


BML Tier 2 Level 2

We are able to provide the training for the underpinning knowledge which will ready the candidate for the Oral and practical .  This will involve a five day shore based course which is basically the 1st module of the Tier 1 Level 2 course and counts as such for further training.

Further ancillary courses relevant to the Exemption that we can provide  SRC/DCS Radio (if reqd).  For passenger vessels, a passenger endorsement is required for which we can provide the training.

We cannot provide Sea Survival training at present nor Fire fighting, but can suggest alternative training establishments that can.

Courses are held at various venues including Oban and Skye.  Some courses may be held throughout Scotland subject to demand.

Please contact us to discuss BML training for Tier 1 Level 2 and Tier 2 Level 2 training.


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