Do American citizens need a boat license to rent a boat in Croatia?

boat with licence in Croatia
Yacht sailing in sea

Sailing through the islands in Croatia is magical and this is a place you can tap into your spirit of adventure. Whether you are a qualified skipper or not, the waters of Croatia are welcoming to everyone with a passion to explore.

Do American citizens need a boat license to rent a boat in Croatia?
Do American citizens need a boat license to rent a boat in Croatia?

If you have pursued your flair for adventure and completed a license in the United States, you will not need a boat license in Croatia. According to EU laws, at least one person on the vessel must be in possession of a valid nautical license. This is also known as an International Certificate of Competency (ICC). However, the authorities will accept one of the following licenses from the US if you have them in the original form; Bareboat Cruising or Basic Cruising (USSA) issued by the US Sailing Association or Bareboat Chartering (ASA) from the American Sailing Association.

You can then skipper a licensed boat in Croatia. Any of these licenses will allow you to rent:

  • bareboat chartered boats
  • bareboat chartered yachts (up to 30 GT)
  • ​​​​​​​boats for private use
  • yachts up to 30 GT (Gross Tonnage) used for private purposes​​​​​​​

in the Republic of Croatia‘s internal and territorial waters, as well as the waters accessible from the sea.

A VHF license, which is a license for operating a radio on a boat or yacht, should be held alongside the ICC license. You will also need a crew list showing details about all the members of the crew, including full names and passport information, before renting a boat.

For a bigger expedition stretching into the Adriatic Sea, a larger vessel of up to 100 GT (Gross Tonnage) can be rented by meeting the following license requirements:

Advanced Coastal Cruising (ASA), Coastal navigation (USSA) Coastal Passagemaking (USSA) issued by either the US Sailing Association (USSA) or American Sailing Association (ASA).

You can find detailed information about the requirements here.

Rent a license-free boat in Croatia

It is important to note that although there might be offers online to rent a boat without a license, the regulations in Croatia prohibit anyone from operating any boat on international without a valid license. However, there are other options available that guarantee you an adventure-filled holiday.

Rent a license-free boat in Croatia
Rent a license-free boat in Croatia

Rent a boat with skipper in Croatia

For a license-free experience, you can rent a boat with a qualified skipper. If you do not have a boat license (or if you do but need a break to explore the waters from a different standpoint) you can take advantage of this possibility. Your personal skipper takes charge of navigating the waters and manning the boat while you to take in the views on the open waters.

Rent a boat with skipper in Croatia
Rent a boat with skipper in Croatia

Take a boat license course in Croatia

Not all captains have a beard and a hook, so it is relatively simple to get a boat license and become a skipper in Croatia. Several courses are available to obtain a boat license course in many academies around Croatia. Depending on the license type, the courses vary from 3 to 7-day programs and usually include theory and practical tests. Become your own captain with these courses and sail through the Croatian islands at your own pace.

Take a boat license course in Croatia

Let Zizoo help you

It is a lot to take in, we know! Skippers, boat licenses, EU laws, and gross tonnage!? Reach out to one the boating experts at Zizoo and we are happy to assist you in finding the best solution for your holiday adventures. 24/7 customer service: +1 727 258 5406, customers@zizooboats.com.