Section 94 of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1907 empowers the City Council to “grant upon such terms and conditions as they may think fit licences for pleasure boats and pleasure vessels to be let for hire or to be used for carrying passengers for hire, and persons in charge of or navigating such boats and vessels”.
The only exception to this requirement is for boats or vessels licensed under any regulations of the Board of Trade or a person in charge of or navigating such a boat or vessel.
What is the effect of this?
Any vessel which is available for hire carrying no more than 12 passengers within category C or D waters must be licensed by the local authority within whose area the vessel is based. Likewise, persons acting a boatmen on such vessels must be licensed as such.
Category C waters are those in Southampton Water north of Calshot and category D waters are those in the Solent within lines between Hurst Point to the Needles in the west and between West Wittering church to Bembridge church in the east.
The registration of all other vessels is dealt with by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency - contact them via their web site or at Spring Place 105 Commercial Rd, Southampton, SO15 1EG - 'phone 023 8032 9100.
Further details and forms can be obtained from the individual boats and boatmen pages, links to which appear on the left. Information on individual pleasure boat and boatmen's licences appear in the Online Licensing Register (see above) and an extract from the register of individuals applying for or granted boatman's licences appears below. Associated British Ports' Southampton Harbour Master acts as the city council's agent in assessing the fitness of boats and the suitability of boatmen.