Love boating and want to explore it as a career? One of the best entry points is the Coxswain Grade 3 Near Coastal, which gives you one of the qualifications needed to work in Marine Services at a Marina, Oyster Farm, or Shipwright.

Coxswain 3 allows you to command a vessel less than 12 metres long, with up to 6 people onboard during daylight, and of three different engine powers: towing vessels up to 500kW, outboard engines less than 250kW, or inboard less than 100kW.

This qualification is replacing the old Exemption 38, you can read more about it on the AMSA website.

With this qualification in your wheelhouse, you’ll be ready for anything!

What’s involved in Coxswain 3 Training?

There are some requirements to qualify for the Coxswain Grade 3 Near Coastal:

  • Complete the Coxswain Grade 3 Assessment with the Australian Boating College Northern NSW
  • Hold NSW Boat Licence, HLTAID011 certificate, have proof of sea time, and be medically fit
  • Lodge the paperwork

More information can be found further down this page.

What is involved in the Coxswain 3 Assessment?

  • The assessment will begin beside your commercial registered vessel, so long as it is appropriate for use with the Coxswain 3 Qualification (eg a tender or work boat).If you do not have access to a vessel then we can arrange for our training vessel to be used instead.Once onboard we will begin the assessment, which is based on your competency at demonstrating the required tasks, some of which can be seen below:
    • Locate and access safety equipment onboard
    • Provide pre-departure briefing to passengers if present
    • Control and operate the vessel at low and high speed
    • Bring vessel safely to wharf, mooring, berth, or pen
    • Identify navigational aids and their meaning
    • Prevention of collision regulations
    • Knowledge of operational limits of Coxswain Grade 3 NC
    • Other techniques and skills, e.g. rope work, environmental assessments, alarm monitoring

How much does Coxswain Grade 3 Near Coastal cost?

Assessments are performed in groups with a minimum of 4 participants.If you do not have access to a suitable vessel we can use an ABC training vessel, please contact us to confirm pricing and availability.(Effective from December 1, 2023)

Coxswain Grade 3 Assessment
On Your Vessel
$545.00 each
Coxswain Grade 3 Assessment
On ABC Vessel
$795.00 each
NSW Boat Licence Course*
(optional add-on)
$400.00 each

* Discounted pricing available only when purchasing as part of a Coxswain Grade 3 Assessment bundle

There is also a separate application fee payable to AMSA when the paperwork is lodged at Australia Post, this is currently $174 (as of November 2023).

Training Videos
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Pre Study Guide
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Practice Quizzes
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Australian Boating College North Coast & North West NSW has Gift Vouchers available.

Student Testimonials

I recently completed my boat and PWC license with Scott and I must say I was blown away, he conducted the lesson brilliantly and explained things in such an easy way to understand and using rhymes and such to help remember vital information, I was very worried before the lesson as I had very minimal knowledge, after he ran through everything with the class I was able to pass the test 100% on my first try, very happy! Thanks Scott and Niamh!


Cannot praise Scott and Niamh too or sing their praise too loudly. An absolutely professionally run course from start to finish. Efficient yet tailored, comprehensive and thoughtful and above all at all times respectful and courteous. Both Scott and Niamh are highly skilled and fastidious. From the both of us to the both of you thank you.Pete had us all making fast turns (safely!) in the harbour after lunch - and gave us confidence to get out on the water by ourselves. We went from complete novices to qualified (and licenced, the RMS is just up the road) in one day! Great value for money.

Alan & Xavier

Just had the pleasure of doing a boating course with Niamh and Scott. Great people. Made the day so easy to follow and happily answered all and any questions. If you’ve never driven a boat before I highly recommend talking to these guys.


Ready to book your Boat or Jet Ski Licence course with ABC North Coast & North West NSW?

Australian Boating College Northern NSW Division. ABN 74 636 995 983 is an authorised Nominated Representative of ABC Licence Training Pty Ltd. ABN: 43 080 057 923 and RTO Number: 3399 and is approved by NSW Maritime to provide practical boat training and/or knowledge testing for the NSW general boat driving licence and PWC driving licence.