If you are on the fence between going for the OUPV/Six-pack or the 25/50/100-Ton Master captain's license and you have qualifying boating experience, then we recommend going straight for your Master’s license! The US Coast Guard does not require that you get the OUPV/Six-Pack before you get your 25/50/100-Ton Master captain’s license. This license can allow for more professional opportunities and the ability to make some extra cash.
First, let's start with what the Master's license is. The USCG Master's license is the highest-level captain’s license. With this license, you can operate INSPECTED vessels (7 passengers or more – like a water taxi or dive boat), as well as uninspected vessels with 6 or less paying passengers, up to 100 GRT. If you qualify for the Near Coastal endorsement, you can go up to 200 miles offshore!
Inspected vessels will have a COI on board. COI stands for Certificate of Inspection. Boats with COI's are built for specific purposes, like water taxis and duck boats. Most houseboats are recreational boats and are not manufactured with COI's.
The COI indicates:
- How many paying passengers aboard
- Level of Masters license that is required
Now, you may be asking yourself, what does 25/50/100 Ton really mean? Regardless of what Masters you are issued, you will be able to operate uninspected vessels up to 100 GRT. The 25/50/100 Ton indicates the largest inspected vessel you would be able to operate professionally. Based on your boating experience, the Coast Guard will award you the appropriate 25,50, or 100-Ton tonnage endorsement.Below are general sizes of a 25/50/100-Ton Vessel:
- 25 Ton: up to 50 feet
- 50 Ton: 50-70 feet
- 100 Ton: 65 feet or more (depending)
Now that we covered what the Master's license is, time to go over its benefits. The Masters is the highest-level license and because of this:
- Our students report savings of 10-30% on their insurance premium
- Opens more opportunities since you can operate inspected and uninspected vessels
- You can take on more paying passengers on inspected vessels to make more money
The Master's license is internationally recognized, which means you can use this license when sailing in international waters. However, you must start AND end your trip within United States waters with the same paying passengers. This is an extremely important note to remember. You will need to reach out to the other countries you plan to operate in, see if they have additional licenses and/or paperwork that you must have onboard.
These are a few of the opportunities someone may come across as a licensed captain:
- Yacht Deliveries
- Sea Trials
- Fishing Boat Charter Captain
- Water Taxi Captain
- Whale Watch Guide
Learn more about the opportunities by reading over our blog.
There really are no reasons why someone shouldn’t go right for the Master's license. The opportunities are endless, the limitations are minimal, and you get to feel the pride of having the highest-level captain’s license. If you are at least 19 years old and a US citizen, achieve your Masters today.
Wouldn’t you want the best of the best? So, when you’re ready to get started check out our courses here or give us a call at 609-303-0664!