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How to Become a Boat Captain on Hawaii: Captain’s License & More


If you’re looking for an exciting and challenging career, becoming a boat captain on Hawaii may be the perfect choice for you! There are many opportunities for those who have the skills and qualifications to become a boat captain in this tropical paradise. In this blog post, we will discuss the steps that you need to take to become a boat captain on Hawaii. So if you’re ready for an adventure, keep reading!

First Things First

Unless you already have experience as a boat captain, it’s going to be tricky to show up and get the job. All boat rental places will require their captains to have previous experience and familiarity with boats and the ocean. Even if you have plenty of experience sailing, you’ll need to prove that you’re capable of handling a boat in different weather conditions and navigating different types of waters.

The best way to do this is to get certified by the United States Coast Guard. Once you have your captain’s license, you’ll be able to apply for jobs at boat rental companies and charter companies. And if you’re looking for a more long-term position, you can also look into becoming a yacht captain.

Obtaining Your 25-Ton United States Coast Guard Captain License with Sailing Endorsement

The 25-ton United States Coast Guard Captain license with sailing endorsement is one of the most common licenses held by captains in the United States. It allows the holder to operate vessels up to 25 tons near coastal waters, as well as sailboats of any size. The sailing endorsement demonstrates that the captain has experience and expertise in handling sailing vessels. In Hawaii, many captain jobs involve operating charter boats or tour boats.

These boats typically fall within the 25-ton limit, making a captain with this license well-qualified for the job. Furthermore, the Hawaiian Islands are known for their strong winds and waves, making the sailing endorsement an essential asset for any captain operating in these waters. As a result, the 25-ton United States Coast Guard Captain license with sailing endorsement is an important credential for anyone looking to work as a captain in Hawaii.

Experience & More

If you’re looking for a boating job in Hawaii, be prepared to face some stiff competition. Due to the often challenging living situation in Hawaii – with high housing costs and limited availability – employers want to make sure that potential employees are well-qualified and have the necessary experience and training.

If you don’t have solid experience or references, it may be best to look for a job elsewhere before making the move to Hawaii. But if you’re determined to work in Hawaii, start by networking with people in the boating industry and actively pursuing job opportunities. With a little effort, you should be able to land a great job on the water in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Become CPR & First-Aid Certified

A boat captain should be CPR and First-Aid certified in order to ensure the safety of all passengers on your vessel. In the event of an accident or medical emergency, being able to provide CPR or first aid can mean the difference between life and death. Moreover, in the event that a passenger does need to be taken to shore for medical treatment, having a captain who is CPR and First-Aid certified can make the process go much smoother.

Therefore, it is essential that any captain take the time to get certified in CPR and First Aid. Not only will it ensure the safety of their passengers, but it will also give them peace of mind knowing that they are prepared for any eventuality.

Be Confident In The Water & Ocean Conditions

Hawaii’s waters can vary drastically depending on the time of year and your location. A good captain should be familiar with the water and have a good grasp of how ocean conditions can change. While you should already know this is if you have your USCG license, it never hurts to practice and learn as much as you can.

The water around Hawaii is some of the most varied in the world. You have tropical reefs, open ocean, lava rock coastline, and sandy beaches all within a relatively small area. This means that the conditions can change drastically depending on where you are and what time of year it is. The trade winds play a big role in this as well.

In the summer, they blow from the east and bring cool, nutrient-rich water up from the deep. This makes for great conditions for fishing and diving. In the winter, the trade winds switch directions and blow from the west. This brings warmer, more humid air and often leads to large swells. As a captain, it’s important to be aware of these changes so that you can plan accordingly and keep your passengers safe.

Become a Boat Captain with Kauai Sea Tours!

Apply Here


Working with Kauai Sea Tours is the experience of a lifetime. Located in the Southern Region of Kauai, we have some of the best business for sea tours on all of Kauai! Take your engaged guests on a whale watching tour, or help them cruise around the coastline during a fantastic sunset.

We support a fun working environment, dental, medical, drug, and vision insurance, paid time off, and much more! If you still have questions after submitting your resume, feel free to give us a call to learn more. We would love to hear more from experienced captains that are looking to join our team.

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