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Maritime NZ Skipper Coastal Offshore (SCO) & Skipper Restricted Limited (SRL) License Requirements

skipper new zealand

This guideline is for new applicants for the Skipper Coastal/Offshore (SCO) certificate of competency and & Skipper Restricted Limited (SRL). SCO is a national deck command certificate. With SCO, you can perform a master’s functions and duties within restricted, coastal and offshore limits on a fishing or non-fishing ship of less than 24 meters (m) carrying 12 or fewer passengers. (You must have a passenger endorsement if the ship is carrying more than 12 passengers.)

SRL is an entry-level command certificate with engineering components. With SRL, you can perform a skipper’s (master’s) functions and duties on - passenger and non-passenger ships less than 12 meters length overall, carrying up to 19 passengers within restricted limits (which includes both enclosed and inshore limits) OR fishing vessels less than 12 meters length overall, in enclosed, inshore and inshore fishing limits.

skipper boat

With SCO and SRL skipper license, one can perform a master’s functions and duties within on a fishing or non-fishing vessels carrying passengers

Maritime NZ Skipper License General Requirements


  • Medically fit and have good eyesight (visual acuity and color vision)
  • Must have a certificate of competency or other requirements as prescribed
  • Minimum sea service requirements
  • Attend and pass an approved training course, where required
  • Must have the required ancillary certificates
  • Pass MNZ’s final exam

Maritime New Zealand Skipper Coastal Offshore (SCO) Requirements

MNZ Skipper Coastal Offshore (SCO) Prior Certification Requirements

  • Must hold an Skipper Restricted Limited (SRL) certificate of competency endorsed to 24m (SRL <24m)

MNZ Skipper Coastal Offshore (SCO) Sea service requirements

  • Must complete at least 12 months service on a ship of 12m or more within any operational limit, while holding a current certificate as SRL <24m.

MNZ Skipper Coastal Offshore (SCO) Training and Exam Requirements

  • Must attend and pass an approved SCO training course or equivalent to achieve all of the required competencies to the standards required by the competency framework for the SCO certificate.
  • Must pass a final exam to show you have met the standards of competency required

MNZ Skipper Coastal Offshore (SCO) Ancillary Certificates

mnz sco ancillary certificates
Table: Maritime NZ Skipper Coastal/Offshore (SCO) Ancillary Certificate Requirements - Credits: MNZ

Maritime New Zealand Skipper Restricted Limited (SRL) Requirements

  • Minimum Age: 18 years
  • Note: You are not able to skipper your vessel in a commercial activity unless you have an SRL certificate. However, you must be acting as skipper if you operate your vessel as a pleasure craft while you complete your sea service and other requirements for the SRL certificate

MNZ Skipper Restricted Limited (SRL) Prior Certification Requirements

  • None required

MNZ Skipper Restricted Limited (SRL) Sea Service Requirements

  • You must complete at least 200 hours of sea service on a powered ship of any kind and complete an approved on-board training record book (TRB) while on board a ship. (It may take you longer than 200 hours to complete the activities in the TRB.)
  • For service on a commercial ship or warship, you are responsible for recording your hours of sea service in your TRB and having this verified by your skipper.
  • You can gain your sea service on a pleasure craft, but only if you act in the capacity of skipper. If your sea service is obtained in this way, you must complete your service record in the TRB and must also complete a statutory declaration stating that the service recorded is a true and accurate record of your sea service.
  • You must record your actual hours at sea. Note that sea service of more than eight hours in any 24-hour period is only counted as eight hours of sea service. Accordingly, you will need to complete a minimum 25 days of sea service (25 days at eight hours per day = 200 hours).

On-Board Training Record Book

  • While on board carrying out your sea service, you must complete an evidence-based training record book (TRB), which you can download from the MNZ website. You must complete the TRB within the five years preceding the date of your application for an SRL certificate.

Endorsement for Vessels Up To 24 Meters

  • You may complete the SRL certificate requirements and the additional sea service required for an endorsement for vessels up to 24m, and apply for the certificate and endorsement at the same time. To do this, you must do six months’ sea service in a deck capacity on a commercial vessel of 12 metres length or more, as well as completing all of the requirements for your SRL certificate.

MNZ Skipper Restricted Limited (SRL) Training & Examination Requirements

  • You must attend and pass an SRL training course that is acceptable to the Director to achieve all of the required competencies, and then pass MNZ’s final examination.

MNZ Skipper Restricted Limited (SRL) Ancillary Certificates

mnz srl ancillary certificates
Table: Maritime NZ Skipper Restricted Limited (SRL) Ancillary Certificate Requirements - Credits: MNZ

Disclaimer: For general information purpose - please check with Maritime NZ for the latest requirements and accurate info

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