If you are looking for employment in the boating industry, it would be a clever idea to be licensed and readily available for work. Learn what license you'll need.
You will not need a captain's license if you are just operating recreationally (you do not have paying passengers on board.)
Many people who are just boating recreationally in the ocean have chosen to get a captain’s license for the following reasons:
- Becoming a safer, more knowledgeable boater
- Lowering their insurance premium
Others want to become a licensed captain to turn their boating passion into a profit. Some business opportunities that would require a captain's license out in the ocean are fishing charters, party boats, or sunset cruises.
To operate professionally out in the ocean, you will need a Near Coastal Endorsement or a Near Coastal with Great Lakes Endorsement attached to your license. At a minimum, this endorsement allows you to operate offshore or outside of the boundary line and on rivers, lakes, bays, etc.
To help you determine where your boundary line is located, click the link here.
Keep reading this blog to see which license better suits your needs!
OUPV/Six-pack (Near Coastal)
To qualify for the OUPV/Six-Pack Near Coastal, you would need 360 days of boating experience since 16 years old, with 90 of those days outside the boundary line. As well, you will need 90 days on inland or near coastal waters within the last 3 years to display recency on the water.
You will be able to operate on inland waterways i.e., rivers, lakes, bays, etc. AND up to 100 miles offshore with paying passengers on uninspected passenger vessels aboard. This does, however, exclude operating professionally on the Great Lakes.
Masters (Near Coastal)
For the Masters Near Coastal, you would need 720 days of boating experience since 16 years old, with 360 of those days in the ocean. As well as 90 days, anywhere, within the last 3 years to display recency on the water.
You will be able to operate on inland waterways i.e., rivers, lakes, bays, etc. AND up to 200 miles offshore with paying passengers on board inspected passenger vessels. This does, however, exclude operating professionally on the Great Lakes.
* Now if you’re someone who has had at least 33% of your boating experience since 16 years old on the Great Lakes, then check out this article.
Suppose you are just looking to sail the Great Loop or take the family out on a trip, you may want to consider obtaining a captain’s license for the knowledge you will receive throughout your studies.
The moment you have a paying passenger aboard on U.S. waters, the Coast Guard requires a captain’s license. Even more, any body of water can have unpredictable weather and rough conditions and for this reason, the Coast Guard requires you to have a captain’s license to operate with the lives of passengers in your hands!
Call our office at (609) 303-0664 with any questions you may have M-F, 9am-5pm EST.