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Do you need a license to rent a boat in Colombia?


Yes, in Colombia it is necessary to have a Cartagena boat rental license and to navigate in inland and coastal waters. All vessels must be enrolled and registered with the Colombian Navy, and vessel operators must possess a valid navigation license, no matter what type of vessel you have, luxury boats (yacht), speedboat, etc… Colombian law requires that boat operators have a valid navigation license to navigate its waters. If you do not have a valid navigation license, you can request that you be accompanied by a skipper or crew member who has the necessary certifications and permits to navigate safely.

Also read: Rent a boat without a skipper

What are the rules for driving a boat in Colombia?

According to Colombian regulations, foreigners can use their foreign navigation permit to navigate in Colombian waters for a maximum period of 6 months. In Colombia, the operation of a vessel is regulated by law and there are navigation rules that must be followed to navigate safely and in accordance with the law.

boat rental license
  • Navigation permit: All boat operators in Colombia must have a valid navigation permit. The navigation permit must be obtained from the Colombian Navy.
  • Speed ​​limits: Vessels must navigate at a speed appropriate to weather conditions, traffic, visibility and passenger safety. Speed ​​limits may vary depending on the navigation area.
  • Navigation Lights: All vessels must be equipped with navigation lights to ensure maximum visibility and avoid collisions at sea.
  • Safety Equipment: All boats must be equipped with safety equipment such as life jackets, fire extinguishers, signaling devices, and child safety devices.
  • Sailing in prohibited areas: Some areas, such as military zones or nature reserves, are prohibited to navigation. It is important to respect the prohibited areas to avoid sanctions.
  • Sailing under the influence of alcohol or drugs: It is prohibited to sail under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Penalties can be severe in case of violation.
  • Respect for other boats: Sailors must respect other boats and avoid collisions. Priority rules must be respected.

Also read: Guatapé Boat Rental

What are the penalties for breaching the regulations on boat licenses in Colombia?

In Colombia, non-compliance with the rules regarding navigation licenses can lead to sanctions, including fines and the confiscation of the vessel. Sanctions may vary depending on the severity of the infraction. The following are examples of possible sanctions for non-compliance with the regulations regarding navigation licenses in Colombia:

  • Sailing without a valid navigation license: A fine of up to 15,000,000 Colombian pesos (approximately US$4,000) may be imposed and the vessel may be confiscated.
  • Sailing under the influence of alcohol or drugs: Fine of up to 90,000,000 Colombian pesos (approximately $24,000) and confiscation of the vessel.
  • Failure to comply with safety regulations at sea: Fine of up to 20,000,000 Colombian pesos (approximately 5,300 dollars).
  • Sailing in a prohibited area: A fine of up to 50,000,000 Colombian pesos (approximately USD 13,000) can be imposed and the vessel confiscated.
  • Failure to comply with navigation regulations: A fine of up to 10,000,000 Colombian pesos (approximately 2,700 USD) may be imposed.

For how long is a boat license valid in Colombia?

In Colombia, the validity of the boat license depends on the type of license and the use of the boat. These are some examples of the validity of the licenses for boats in Colombia:

  • Recreational navigation license: The recreational navigation license is valid for 10 years.
  • Professional navigation license: The professional navigation license is valid for 5 years.
Boat rental license

Boat rental license: What are the advantages of a navigation permit?

Having a boating permit has several advantages for boaters.

  • Security: The navigation permit allows the navigator to better understand navigation regulations and safety requirements at sea. It is also possible to learn navigation techniques and safety measures necessary to navigate safely.
  • Freedom: With a navigation permit, the navigator can navigate inland and coastal waters with total freedom, without having to depend on a skipper or crew.
  • Accessibility: The navigation license also allows access to nautical activities such as fishing, scuba diving or simply discovering the seascape.
  • Comfort: With a boating permit, the driver can choose his own boat and navigate according to his personal preferences, such as speed, comfort or size.
  • Experience: Having a navigation permit also allows you to develop your navigation experience, improve navigation skills and discover new places.

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