Well, yes, sea captains can marry someone. In fact, in eleven states and many foreign ports, a sea captain can now marry another seafarer of the same sex.
Can a boat captain perform a marriage?
Well that depends on the captain. They can’t perform marriages at sea (or on dry land) by virtue of their maritime license alone, and no state has enacted a statute explicitly authorizing ships’ captains to officiate marriages.
Another frequently asked question is “Can a captain of a ship marry at sea?”.
In order for a Captain of a ship to perform a marriage at sea, he must also be a judge, a justice of the peace, a minister, or an officially recognized officiant such as a Notary Public. Japanese ships allow Captains to perform a marriage ceremony at sea, but only if the couple has valid Japanese passports.
Is there a law of marriage on a ship at sea?
(There is still such a statute.).
Can a captain officiate a marriage on a ship?
They can’t perform marriages at sea (or on dry land) by virtue of their maritime license alone, and no state has enacted a statute explicitly authorizing ships’ captains to officiate marriages.
You might be thinking “Can a boat skipper officiate at a wedding?”
Of course, if a skipper really needed to officiate at a lot of weddings (like, say, Captain Stubing on ABC’s The Love Boat) there are workarounds. In some states, like California and Massachusetts, the skipper could come ashore and file for a 24-hour marriage-performing power-up at his or her local courthouse.
Should you have a boat captain officiate Your Wedding?
Meredith, if you plan to have a boat captain officiate your wedding (how Jim and Pam of you), I hope you read this before leaving port. While a good sailor knows that the captain is the ultimate authority on a ship, his or her power extends only so far.
Can you have a wedding on a cruise ship?
The simple answer is yes, as long as he or she is legally ordained by a church or religious organization. Earning the position of ship’s captain does not automatically give you the right and responsibility to serve as a wedding minister. The Skipper may be permitted to perform your marriage ceremony on the Minnow. Not so much.
One of the next things we wondered was is a marriage on a ship legal in New York?
Contrary to your column, there is authority that a marriage performed by a ship’s captain on the high seas is valid. In Fisher vs. Fisher in 1929 the New York Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court) held that “in the absence of any such law which condemned the marriage …” such a marriage was valid.