Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) or “6-Pack” License
Course length: 57 hours
This license is most appropriate for un-inspected passenger vessels which by law are limited to six or less passengers for hire. These are usually smaller vessels and normally engage in charter fishing, whale watching, SCUBA diving, and tour cruises. This license is limited to near coastal waters only, not more than 100 miles offshore, and is not valid for international voyages.
Master of 25, 50, 100 Gross Tons License
Course length: 80 hours
This license is most appropriate for operating small passenger vessels that hold a USCG Certificate of Inspection as well as uninspected ones while carrying more than six passengers. Typical vessels include charter boats (head boats), small ferries, dinner boats and whale watching vessels.
TSO is dedicated to building lasting and rewarding relationships with students and other professional maritime organizations. Our customers can expect responsiveness, efficiency and quality as we strive to meet their needs.
All USCG required testing and grading as required by the USCG Regional Exam Center (REC). No need to travel to Baltimore, Maryland for testing.
EXPERT INSTRUCTION AND ASSISTANCE
- USCG approved and Licensed Captains for all training events.
- Instructors share the desire to ensure each student excels. Consequently, instructors’ days are flexible when a student(s) require(s) extra instruction to master each subject.
- USCG inspected and approved, well lit, climate controlled learning environment, with access to many fine local eateries close by.
- Use of all reference books, guides or manuals required for course completion and all necessary equipment for practical work and demonstrations.
MERCHANT MARINER DOCUMENTS ASSISTANCE (MMD)
During the course, our expert license consultant will assist and provide guidance with the various forms used in the credentialing process.
Note: TSO does not guarantee a license will be issued by the USCG. The issuance of a license will depend on the information provided by the individual Mariner, and is the sole discretion of the USCG. These factors include information provided by the Mariner and documented on the various Merchant Mariner Documents (i.e: Chemical testing Report, Physical Examination Report, conviction statement, etc.).
It takes a special breed to crave a life at sea. For example, some individuals may pursue a career in the Coast Guard right out of high school. Others may transition into the maritime branch after a stint in the military. Yet, other people may want to pursue a maritime career in the private sector. In either case, these individuals will need a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC). Earning your credentials begins with the right training.
You may want to serve as a USCG captain or become a certified instructor. Alternatively, you may wish to captain at a local marina. If so, you’ll need to start by earning your Operator of Uninspected Passenger (OUPV) Captain’s license.
Earning OUPV Coast Guard Licensing
There are several US Coast Guard licensing alternatives. An OUPV license is also known as the 6-pack. A 6-pack captain’s USCG license is awarded by the United States Coast Guard. It allows you to take up to six passengers and crew on the water. There are three kinds of 6-pack licenses—Inland, Great Lakes & Inland, and Near Coastal.
With an Inland 6-pack license, you can operate commercially on bays, lakes, sounds, and rivers. Meanwhile, with the great lakes & inland license, you can operate on the great lakes and inland waterways. With a bear coastal captain’s license you can operate on inland waterways and near coastal waters. In the near coastal waters, you can operate out to 100 miles offshore.
It helps to understand that OUPV license requirements aren’t related to the size of a vessel. What does matter is the number of passengers that you carry. Still, some insurers may require a captain’s license. For example, an insurer might require you to obtain a captain’s license to operate a large yacht.
Definition of Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV)
The 6-pack license is the lowest level of deck officer qualification. You’ll find this qualification listed on your Merchant Mariner’s Credential. In the past, operators required two documents—the Merchant Marine Officer’s License and Merchant Mariner’s Document. Operators kept these documents in a small book that looked like a passport.
The US Coast Guard issued the booklet. Anyone who operates a small commercial vessel as a master, captain, or skipper in the United States was required to have this documentation. Today, a Merchant Mariner’s Credential might also have a sailing endorsement. Likewise, it could have an endorsement for commercial assistance towing.
There are four categories of MMC credentials. These categories are the:
- OUPV Credential
- OUPV Limited Credential
- Limited Master Credentials
- Master Credentials
Again, you’ll often hear the OUPV Credential referred to as a 6-pack, and as its name implies, it’s for six passengers. The OUPV is for vessels of less than 100 GRT (Gross Register Tons). 100 GRT vessels are about 65 feet long. The OUPV credential is a popular endorsement. Furthermore, you can upgrade it with a Master’s credential—more on that in a moment.
The Use of the Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) License
Small-scale fishing and scuba boat operators typically hold a 6-pack credential. A whale-watching boat operator may also hold this kind of license. You must have 360 days of sea service on inland or near coastal water to obtain an OUPV credential. Also, you must have acquired 90 days of that experience within the last three years.
If you want a Great Lakes rating on your USCG license, you must have acquired 90 days of Great Lakes experience in the last three years. Likewise, you must have 90 days of Near Coastal waters experienced in the last three years for a Near Coastal rating.
Meanwhile, the OUPV Limited License is very specific. The Coast Guard grants it for the purpose of operating uninspected vessels in a limited area. You must use the vessel for a specific purpose or set of purposes. Often, you’ll hear someone refer to the OUPV Limited License as a “launch tender license.”
One of the more popular uses for the OUPV Limited License is ferrying boat owners to and from yacht club docks. The operator will transport boaters to their own vessel on a mooring.
Definition of Master of 25, 50, and 100 Gross Tons Licenses
Again, you can endorse an OUPV license with Master’s upgrades. The Coast Guard will rate the upgrades by tonnage. The tonnage increments are 25, 50, and 100 Gross tons.
With a Master’s upgrade, you can operate both inspected and uninspected vessels. However, you’re still limited to carrying six or fewer passengers. Also, the Coast Guard might restrict non-US citizens to undocumented vessels with a five-net ton limit.
The Master’s endorsement tops out at 100 GRT. The base requirement for the Master’s Limited credential is similar to the OUPV Limited requirement. However, operators must demonstrate 120 days of service. Again, they must demonstrate 90 of those days within the past three years.
Furthermore, they must complete the days on the type of vessel that they will operate routinely. Master’s endorsement candidates must also complete a Coast Guard or NASBLA approved safe boating course.
The Use of the Master of 25, 50, 100 Gross Tons License
You can use your Master’s license for the tonnage for which you declared sea time. Again, those tonnage areas are 25, 50, and 100 GRT. You can also earn a specialty sailing endorsement with the Master’s credential. The auxiliary sailing endorsement is also available.
However, you’ll need to demonstrate 120 days of service on a sailing vessel or boat powered by auxiliary sail. Once you’ve met this requirement, the Coast Guard will license you to operate sail-powered vessels.
The Master, 100 Ton License enables you to operate Coast Guard inspected vessels of up to 100 GRT. The Coast Guard grants this credential in 50 GRT increments. With this credential, you can ferry as many passengers as the inspected vessel is certified to carry. However, you cannot carry more than six passengers on an uninspected vessel.
You must demonstrate at least 360 days of sea time for a Master, 100 Ton License. Also, you must have earned 90 of those days within the last three years.
The Master, 100 Ton Distance Offshore License
There are two kinds of Master, 100 Ton licenses—Tonnage and Distance Offshore. The Coast Guard grants a tonnage credential based on the vessel for what you declare your sea time. There are five possible endorsements, however, for the Master, 100 Ton Distance Offshore credential. These endorsements include:
- Great Lakes and Inland
- Near Coastal
There’s no special requirement beyond the standard 360-day prerequisite for the Rivers and Inland endorsements. However, you must declare 90 of your 360 days on Great Lakes waters for the Great Lakes and Inland endorsement.
Meanwhile, you’ll need to demonstrate the standard 360 days for a Near Coastal endorsement. However, you must also declare an additional 360 days on near coastal or ocean waters for this credential. You cannot earn a credential for the Oceans endorsement with a Master, 100 Ton license. Here, you’ll need to meet the license requirements for a 200-ton license.
The Best School for 6-pack Licensing
You must also complete license courses in addition to logging hours on the type of vessel for which you plan to operate. At TSO Armor, you can learn the skills needed for 6-pack credentials. Our course only costs $900. Also, you can complete training in only 57 hours. After completing the course, you’ll find that your well-prepared to sit for the USCG licensing exam.
Our 6-pack training will enable you to operate vessels limited to six passengers or less competently. If you want to operate a charter fishing, whale-watching, scuba, or tour vessel, for instance, this training is ideal. It will enable you to operate vessels on near coastal waters. We also offer US Coast Guard 25, 50, and 100 GRT Master’s training. Tuition for Master’s credentialing is only $1,200. You can complete this course in 80 hours.
If you want to operate small inspected and uninspected passenger vessels, this course is well-suited for your needs. These vessels may include charter boats, small ferries, dinner boats, and whale-watching vessels.
At TSO Armor, you can make your aspirations of seafaring a reality.
Let Us Prepare You for a Career in Maritime Operations
Now you know more about Coast Guard licensing definitions and uses. Hopefully, you have the information that you need to get started in your maritime career. It’s critical that you understand the importance of choosing a reputable training program. Partnering with the wrong training organization can result in dire consequences.
TSO Armor is your solution for expert instruction and assistance. We’re committed to building lasting and rewarding relationships with students and maritime organizations. Our customers expect responsiveness, efficiency, and quality—and we deliver.
Contact TSO Armor today at (757) 961-3457 or connect with us online to learn more about our personalized instruction.