How to become a boat pilot/driver/captain on the river Thames?

How do you become a pilot/driver of a boat on the river Thames? I mean completely from scratch - no qualifications or anything.

Answer: 
Things have changed radically since 1987 when the responsibility for River Thames pilotage was transferred wholly to the Port of London Authority and also when the monopoly for up-river pilotage of the Licenced Watermen and Freemen of the River (alluded to by george d) was ended. If you borrow or buy a copy of the book mentioned below it tells of a merchant seaman's career to his eventually becoming a Thames Pilot. Title "Marine Pilot" Author: John Foot ISBN: 0 86025 922 6

How to barter port fees or cruising tax in sailing vacation?

I want to take a trip to the Caribbean, and my friend suggest bartering to cover all my port fees, mooring fees and cruising taxes. Is this true? Where do I start?

Answer: 
Cruising through and around the Caribbean is cruising in the most beautiful waters in the world. I highly recommend it. It is also some of the safest waters to cruise in the world, which makes it an excellent training ground for new sailors. However, "bartering" is for shops & shopping. You won't be able to barter entrance fees, or port fees - that in fact - is government controlled - and could be construed as a bribe and possibly land you in jail. "Cruising taxes?" I don't know what you are referring to here, but my son makes his living cruising around in the Caribbean, and we both have been just about everywhere you can possibly go in it, and we've probably been there more then two or three times - and I have no idea what "cruising taxes" are. As of late, there is a $100 entrance fee for cruising in the Caribbean. When you check in to customs, you pay it once, it is good for the entire Caribbean, and it is good for as long as you are there. Other then that, you can anchor out in a beautiful cove for free, or you can pay to stay at a Marina on islands that have them - if you want to barter that, feel free to try. But far the most part - (if you have the money) a cruiser can buy almost everything in the Caribbean and have it shipped (mailed) home to the US (marked for personal use) on a duty free and tax free basis - So, what is there to barter other then the price you pay for the item? Certainly not the duty or the taxes. Don't know who gave you this advice, but my guess is they have never been there (except maybe on a cruise ship) but certainly not in a private recreational cruising vessel. You can learn more about it at the link below.

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