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Old 07-11-2020, 10:30 AM   #1
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Captains License

Hey all,
I'm considering obtaining my captains license for 6 Pack. I've got a tremendous amount of sea experience but just never pursued the license. I'm thinking now is the time as I may begin to do 6 pack charters. Does anyone have a recommendation as to an online company where you can get a good, legitimate captains license? I don't want to get my PhD, just want a respectable license that would be acceptable to the Coast Guard and to Insurance Companies. I've started to do some research online, but wanted to ask this community.
Thank you for any suggestions,
Steve
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Old 07-11-2020, 10:44 AM   #2
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For a six pack just about any of the courses will work, both for online or inperson, whether at public places or a "maritime university".


Go to the USCG National Maritime Center and read up on licensing.


Also, if you are thinking of using your own boat, which looks like a Choey Lee to me....there is a catch where you have to be granted special permission to use your boat for US commerce. Not sure what the hoops are but believe there still are a few.
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:16 AM   #3
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I used Sea School but it was probably 40 years ago. Looks like they are still around. Before you spend too much time getting the licence you may want to look at what is involved in running a legitimate operation. Insurance, business licence, tax ID#, payroll, booking service and a marina willing to let you run it off of their dock all come to mind. My goal was to charter enough to lower my cost of owning the boat. My problem was the IRS didn't have a sense of humor.. They didn't like me running a business operating at a loss quarter after quarter. It is hard to make it work unless it is a full time job. I am sure things have changed but I can't imagine it got easier.
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:35 AM   #4
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I got my ticket using Sea School too. It's 2 weekends and nights in between. That is just studying and passing the test. The rest of the paperwork is up to you. My package stood 2" thick when I sent it off. 3 weeks later I had my OUPV.



Stop calling it a six-pack.
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:35 AM   #5
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My problem was the IRS didn't . . . like me running a business operating at a loss quarter after quarter.
For the benefit of OP, there is nothing wrong with running a losing business year after year. You just can't offset "hobby losses" against other taxable income. Boats and racehorses arouse immediate suspicion.
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:56 AM   #6
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I looked online for a bit but it got pretty overwhelming pretty quick. I couldn't tell who was legitimate or not and didn't want to go through all that work to be told at the finish line that it didn't count or was a scam. I ended up registering for a class through the maritime department at the university in my town. They were offering financial aid through some federal grants (I'm in Alaska and they were trying to invest in Alaskans getting work at maritime jobs) so it really helped. Maybe explore that as an option depending on where you are located? They don't always advertise what's available financially.

If your self motivated studying on your own may help - but there is so much information to cover in the class and limits on how many times one can even test that an educational environment suits a lot of people best for this. And you'd be learning from someone who has already been out there with their license. Otherwise, youtube university may help.

OUPV/6pack is now just called the USCG 50 Ton Endorsement - 6pack is the old school term I was told though commonly used today - obviously.

To psneelds comment: If you're going that route to use your own vessel professionally - not that you mentioned it - you need to have commercial insurance, vessel registered with the coast guard and subject to yearly USCG inspections and per the Jones Act "any vessel that participates in “coastwise trade” has to be constructed in the United States..."
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:22 PM   #7
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I believe the Jones Act is normally read to ensure that "Port to Port" trade is done by U.S. built ships and not charters returning to the Port of Origin.
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taras View Post
Does anyone have a recommendation as to an online company where you can get a good, legitimate captains license? I don't want to get my PhD, just want a respectable license that would be acceptable to the Coast Guard and to Insurance Companies.

Just because of the way you worded that, thought maybe useful to mention that the companies don't give you a license. The companies prepare you for the USCG tests, and (assuming you pass all the sections properly) USCG issues the credential.

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Old 07-11-2020, 02:40 PM   #9
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I did my exam prep 25 years ago. 80 hours of classroom time and I'm not sure I would have passed the exam had it been online. There was a lot of esoteric information I needed to know (when to use CO2 fire extinguishers comes to mind).

Company I used was our of San Diego and is probably still around. Instructor was quite good. I was pretty proud when I passed the USCG exam (proctored by the school). Come to think about it, one way to separate the schools would be to eliminate any that do not have a USCG accepted proctored exam as the final deliverable of the course
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Old 07-11-2020, 02:50 PM   #10
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To be clear...dont get hung up with Jones act...just check the requirements for Uninspected Vessel requirements if all you are looking at is taking up to 6 passengers.

The definition is uninspected vessels for 6 passengers or less but there is still a laundry list of requirements the USCG requires ( country of origin for the vessel included)..... most USCG district's have a pamphlet or book that lists the requirements and CFRs that require them.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...ZWU8du9SoXCqq9

" More than 5 Net Tons less than 100 Gross Tons:
Documented with Coast Guard. Endorsed for "coastwise trade".
Must be U.S. built and U.S. owned."

However, exemptions may be granted if I remember correctly.
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:24 PM   #11
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In my opinion you should skip the 6 pack license and go for the masters. You say you have plenty of sea time and the test for the masters is only slightly longer. Depending on the rating of the vessel you spent most of your sea time on is what determines whether you get a 25, 50 or 100 ton license. The big difference is now you're not limited to six people if your vessel is inspected. Or maybe you might have the opportunity to captain a charter boat or a tour boat or run a ferry. Who knows what the future holds? Might as well be ready with a masters license.
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:37 PM   #12
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In my opinion you should skip the 6 pack license and go for the masters. You say you have plenty of sea time and the test for the masters is only slightly longer. Depending on the rating of the vessel you spent most of your sea time on is what determines whether you get a 25, 50 or 100 ton license. The big difference is now you're not limited to six people if your vessel is inspected. Or maybe you might have the opportunity to captain a charter boat or a tour boat or run a ferry. Who knows what the future holds? Might as well be ready with a masters license.
+1 for this statement, I went for a 100 ton license. I also went for a towing endorsement just in case I needed to get a job with a towing company in the future. You never know

have a class A CDL too, haven't used it for years but I'm not giving it up.
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:53 PM   #13
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The other advantage of going for the Master Licensee is if they don't give you 100GT because of the vessels that you have time on, you will still have a masters liceense but with limited tonnage. Say it is only 50 GT, all you need to upgrade to 100GT is time on the proper tonnage vessels. No additional test required.

As far as using your vessel, it will have to be a US built vessel, unless you get a waiver. It doesn't matter if you carry 1 or 6 paying passengers. Without a USCG inspection you won't get to carry more than 6 passengers even if it is US built.
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:58 PM   #14
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As far as the Jones Act is concerned, it's about 500 bucks worth of paperwork and you're good to go...
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:08 PM   #15
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https://www.boatingworld.com/askthea...ey-2015-03-13/


The Jones Act applies to all passengers and cargo vessels, so our reader won’t be able to escape the foreign-build restrictions by limiting his business to six-pack charters (charters that carry six or fewer paying passengers). He may, however, qualify for a waiver through the Small Vessel Waiver Program administered by the United States Maritime Administration (“MARAD”). Information regarding a waiver is available on MARAD’s web site at marad.dot.gov (follow the links to the Small Vessel Waiver Program).

https://www.thelog.com/ask-the-attor...gn-built-boat/
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:23 PM   #16
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Is there not also a requirement for documented proof of your years of experience?
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:21 PM   #17
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Yes but easy if an active boater....the hardest is the recency requirement of 90 days in the last 3 years. That trips up a lot of people and lying is a really bad idea. The USCG has a memory like an elephant.
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:11 PM   #18
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I agree it's worth tallying up your "documented" sea time well in advance to be sure you qualify. You may have the time, but it needs to be documented, and that can prove problematic. When I did the training for my ticket, a couple people got surprised at the end because they didn't actually have the sea time. And your class certificate is only good for a year.
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:42 PM   #19
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In my opinion you should skip the 6 pack license and go for the masters. You say you have plenty of sea time and the test for the masters is only slightly longer. Depending on the rating of the vessel you spent most of your sea time on is what determines whether you get a 25, 50 or 100 ton license. The big difference is now you're not limited to six people if your vessel is inspected. Or maybe you might have the opportunity to captain a charter boat or a tour boat or run a ferry. Who knows what the future holds? Might as well be ready with a masters license.
Unless something has changed, you don't have a choice. The exam is the same (or dang close to the same) . The endorsements are the same. Difference is the qualifying time and vessels which the USCG examiner will determine. I guess you could say "gee, thanks - I really don't want the 100T license, let's just stick with the OUPV, okay?".
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:52 PM   #20
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I I believe there is a OUPV license, course and testing...same as when I taught it.

This is from a Sea School website....

OUPV - Captain's License Details
Sea School is proud to have been approved by the United States Coast Guard to offer this unique course for the OUPV (6-Pack) Captain's License.
It is unique in that successful completion of this course will result in a United States Coast Guard license being issued without requiring the usual United States Coast Guard exam.

The U.S. Coast Guard calls this license Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV). The rest of the world refers to it as the "6-PACK" License. The word "uninspected" is a technical term meaning that the equipment required, and the design of the boat, are less regulated. "6-PACK" refers to the 6 passenger limitation placed on the boat, and additionally, on the license.

The OUPV (Captain's License) license comes in 3 versions: Inland, Great Lakes and Near Coastal.

The Near Coastal version enables one to travel up to 100 miles offshore of the United States, it's territories, Great Lakes and inland waters.

Inland waters means lakes, bays, rivers, sounds, etc., of the U.S.

All OUPV licenses are for vessels less than 100 Gross Tons.
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