Getting a Licence
The título de recreo is applied for and issued either by a school recognised by the Spanish Dirección General de la Marina Mercante or one of the Autonomous Communities. A medical certificate (certificado médico) is needed and the exam includes a series of safety, navigability and boat basic principles tests. The título de recreo is issued once the applicant has passed a theory and practical exam (it varies in length and difficulty depending on the size of vessel). A good level of Spanish is required to take this exam.
A sailing permit or licence (título de recreo) is not needed to sail following vessels during daylight hours in Spanish waters:
- Motor boats up to 4 meters in length and with a maximum power of 10 Kw (13 CV)
- Sailing boats up to 5 metres in length
- Kayaks, canoes and pedal boats and boats with motors of under 3.5 Kw
All other vessels may only be handled by person holding an appropriate licence. Failure to have a licence may result in the vessel being confiscated or a hefty fine.
Although a Yacht Masters certificate (and translation into Spanish) or an ICC (International Certificate of Competence) are considered sufficient proof of competence to skipper a UK (or some other) flagged vessel, the ICC is not a recognised qualification for Spanish flagged vessels. Anyone resident in Spain must have a Spanish recognised qualification, the título de recreo.
Note: this information applies to recreational (not professional skipper) licences only.
Licences fall into the following categories:
- Patrón de Navegación Básica (PNB) (Basic Navigation Skipper)
Licence to skipper a sailing yacht maximum 8 metres in length or a motor boat maximum 6 metres (with a motor appropriate to the size) provided the boats stay within 4 miles of the shore
- Patrón de Embarcaciones de Recreo (PER) (Recreational Vessel’s Skipper)
Licence to skipper a motor boat up to 12 metres, within 12 miles of shore
- Patrón de Yate (Yacht Master)
Licence to skipper a yacht up to 20 metres within 60 miles of land
- Capitán de Yate (Yacht Captain)
- Patrón de Moto Náutica (Motor Boat Skipper)
- Patrón de Moto Náutica C (licence C to skipper boats under 55 CV)
- Patrón de Moto Náutica B (licence B to skipper boats between 55 CV and 110 CV)
- Patrón de Moto Náutica A (licence A to skipper boats from 110 CV)