, We (Gringos) own a "Private" boat registered in San Pedro, It also has a permit to use Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley. We have never had
to hire a "Guide" When we take friends out snorkeling or fishing. We happen to have a couple of local friends that drive our boat most
of the time, but they are invited guests and have Belize captains licences. (And a lot more experience in the local waters around San Pedro than I do). We (The Owners) can drive our "Private" boat without a Belizean licence as long as it is not for hire. However, I would recommend that you not
attempt to navigate those waters without prior experience as there are many "surprises" that could pop up and ruin your day! A "guide" could be worth his weight in gold, and will also provide an income to another local in San Pedro.