Why Getting Your Skippers Or Captains License Will Be Worth Every Cent
Unless you have a sailing crew at the ready, it will be absolutely worth your while to obtain the necessary credentials to skipper your yacht yourself.
South Africa has many reputable, accredited sailing schools. They can provide you with all the information and training you need to obtain the captains or skippers license that is right for your requirements.
Undergoing the necessary practical and theoretical training will give you all the knowledge and experience to sail your boat with confidence.
Whats more, your skippers license training is likely to be an exhilarating adventure in itself.
It is also an excellent way to meet other sailing enthusiasts who might just become friends for life.
Do You Need A Captains License To Be A Fishing Guide
Yes, if you want to be the captain of a fishing boat with paying passengers, you need a USCG captains license. To be a fishing guide for up to six passengers, you can obtain an OUPV/Six-pack captains license. To be the captain of a ship with more than six paying passengers, a Master license is necessary.
From Captain Requirements To The Coast Guard Application Process How To Navigate The Process Of Becoming An Official Boat Captain
Like all other areas of professional endeavor, getting a Captains license is an essential and non-trivial process. Despite the years between my earliest thoughts on having one and actually applyingor perhaps because of that timeI am quite proud to call myself Captain!
From the time I was Quartermaster aboard the Chesapeake Lightship back when she was berthed in Washington, DC, I had wanted to get my Captains license. We in her crew had plenty of sea time. The late Capt. Joe Murray, John Hart, and particularly Chris Krusa saw to it that each of us developed our skills and knowledge beyond the minimum that we needed for our jobs. We met collectively with a Coast Guard officer to explore the options for us all getting licensed however, the wind was taken out of our sails so to speak when he told us that since most of us were not 18, we were not entitled to take the written exam.
I left that session crestfallen but I put it all behind me as I moved on with a career in research physics. Later, I learned that what the officer SHOULD have said is that if we had just waited until we turned 18, we could have taken the exams. Years later, my problem was that I could not meet the requirement to have 90 days of sea time in the last 3 years. My employer would have more than frowned on my having been gone so often. And all of us had not even bothered to ask for sea service forms or letters to document our time on the Chesapeake.
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How To Get Your Boat Captain’s License
If you want to be a sea captain, one of the first things you’ll need is your boat captain’s license. To get this license, there are a few requirements that you must meet:
At least 19 years old
Two current medical aid certifications
Complete the educational training for your license
Sea time requirement of at least 90 hours within the last three years
Youll need sea experience and several necessary skills, licenses, certifications and a few other requirements to become a USCG-licensed captain.
What follows is a little bit more about the requirements.
Spend Enough Time On The Water
The first requirement for applying for a USCG captains license is having spent enough time on the water. For an OUPV license, you must have spent 360 days piloting or crewing a boat. At least 90 days in the last 3 years. Additionally, 90 days have to be in the ocean in order to quality for a near-coastal license. To get a masters license, you need 720 days of sea time, 360 of which need to be offshore and 90 of which need to be within the last three years.
If you own a boat, you can count the time spent on it towards your requirements. If youre building up your hours on somebody elses boat, they will need to certify that you were crewing or piloting it, not just riding as a passenger. Time spent crewing a boat or ship as part of military service can also count towards your hours, although it requires more detailed documentation.
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Other Requirements For Uscg Captains License
One major requirement for any USCG Captains License is sea time.
Whether its working on a boat, or sailing during your military or professional experience, most instances of sea time count toward your total required amount of experience hours.
The minimum amount of boat experience for all USCG licenses is 360 hours. The U.S. Coast Guard indicates that 90 of your experience hours must have been completed within the last three years.
Who Needs A Boating License In Bc
If you operate a powered watercraft in the province of British Columbia, then you need to carry a valid Pleasure Craft Operator Card. Sometimes referred to as a boating license, the Pleasure Craft Operator Card is actually a federal certificate issued by Transport Canada and valid in all Canadian provinces and territories. You can obtain your PCOC by completing the Transport Canada-approved online course.
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Master Inland 25 50 Or 100 Gross Ton / Mate Near Coastal Endorsement
- Holds the same authority as the Master Inland / OUPV, in addition allows the operator to act as a mate on inspected vessels up to 200 miles offshore and also allows the holder to operate uninspected vessels up to 200 miles offshore.
- Master Near Coastal 25, 50 or 100 Gross Ton
- Vessels are permitted to carry more than 6 passengers with the maximum number of passengers regulated by the vessel certificate of inspection.
- Based on experience the US Coast Guard assigns the tonnage rating
- A licensed captain is often required for deliveries and relocations by the insurance companies
- Both inspected and uninspected vessels an be operated inland and up to 200 miles offshore
- STCW training could be required when operating in international waters and traveling to international ports.
- Must be a minimum of 19 years of age to be an operator
- You must be a US citizen to obtain and hold a Master’s license
Transportation Worker Identification Credential
The TSA issues TWIC cards, and you need one for any merchant mariner credential. Youll have to pay a fee and pass a government background check to receive your card. Here is the USCG website page to review the process. Make sure to identify your occupation to TSA/UES as a Merchant Mariner. Applicants must ensure they have applied for a TWIC. Fill out the Required Documents online to begin the process. Next, you need to obtain your TWIC Card. For more information and to begin the process, go to www.uscg.mil/nmc and look for the TWIC tab. In your MMC Application Form you will need to submit a photo of a valid TWIC or receipt that the TWIC application is in review.
The Easiest Learning Experience Ever
There are a lot of maritime training services out there, both in person and online. People have distinct preferences on how they learn and are some are very proud of the maritime schools they have attended. The information below is from my own experiences and why I think was the best option for me and may be a great service for you.
Answers To Faqs About The Online Final Examination
- You may take the final examination in multiple sessions so you can review and study between sessions.
- Once you start the final examination you have 90 days to finish.
- You have three chances to pass each exam module.
- If you fail any exam module three times the USCG requires that you must start over.
- If you need to start over you do not need to repurchase the course, you simply pay a retest fee to compensate the proctor for a second round of testing.
- The online Final Examination is the only final examination you need to take. There is no testing with the USCG. Our Online Final Examination has been approved by the USCG and is in lieu of testing at the REC.
Get as much done as you can in the online exam modules before you show up the first day of class. You do not have to finish the entire online portion of the course but it is a good idea to get as far as possible in the online course before the first day of class. You end up finishing the online modules during the classroom portion of the course.
All students, whether online or in a classroom must complete the online exam modules to meet US Coast Guard regulations.
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Proof Of Residency/us Citizenship
If youre getting your OUPV/Six-Pack Captains license, you must prove permanent residency with a green card or valid state ID or if you are not a U.S. Citizen, you can receive this license but it will be restricted to undocumented vessels.
U.S. Citizenship is required to obtain a 25/50 or 100 Ton Master Captains license.
Submit a photocopy of your proof of citizenship. Please see Title 46 CFR, Part 10.221 for a complete list of acceptable citizenship documents.
Renew Your Boat Captain’s License
I recommend never letting your Captains license expire, even if you dont plan on using it in the near future, its still a good idea to keep renewing it since you only have to do it every five years. If you let your Captains license expire and then decide that you want to start operating boats again, youll have to fulfill all of the Coast Guard requirements for getting a Captains license from scratch.
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Operator Of Uninspected Passenger Vessels License
The Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels License, commonly referred to as a 6-Pack License, For the purpose of the OUPV endorsement an uninspected passenger vessel is a vessel of less than 100 GRT carrying six or fewer passengers for hire. The vessel’s professional crew are not included in the 6 passenger limit. It is quite popular and can be endorsed with Master’s Upgrades rated by tonnage of 25 Gross Tons, 50 GT, or 100 GT increments. The Master’s upgrade allows the holder to operate inspected vessels as well as uninspected ones. The total number of passengers is limited to six or fewer. Non U.S. citizens may be restricted to undocumented vessels with a 5 net ton limit. OUPV, Near coastal is limited to 100 nautical miles offshore.
To obtain an OUPV Credential, 360 days experience on Inland or Near Coastal waters is required. Of the 360 total days:
- 90 days must be within the last 3 years
- 90 days must be on Great Lakes if the applicant wants to obtain a Great Lakes Rating on the license
- 90 days must be on Near Coastal waters to obtain a Near Coastal Rating, which also qualifies for Inland and the Great Lakes.
Vessel License Requirements For Different Types Of Boats
When you first invest in a brand new vessel, you may have a certain idea in mind of what it will be used for. You may have purchased a yacht or luxury vessel in order to take your friends and family to the Islands or even further afield. You might have bought a small tug vessel to help your transportation business, and intend to use it to carry goods from one port to another without delay. Whatever your reasons for making a purchase, it is important that you understand the particular vessel license requirements attached to each type of ship.
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Masters Upgrade As One Of The Types Of Coast Guard Licenses
Are you looking to obtain your Masters License? The highest level of a recreational drivers license, a masters, is required.
There are two basic ways to get your Masters license: For the 100-ton license, you need 360 days of experience on any form of watercraft as a helmsman, mate, or engineer since you were 16 years old.
In addition, the USCG is required by law to do a thorough background check with the assistance of your local police department.
Only if your job necessitates the use of such a vast vessel may you apply for this specific sort of license: 25-ton.
In order to get this license, you must meet the following conditions: As a captain, you must have at least 360 days of cumulative experience since you were 16 years old in command and as the first mate on boats that are either inspected and certified to transport 11 passengers or uninspected and licensed to carry no more than six passengers.
Its either the sixth-pack course or one of the following training programs that you must complete:
- Exam with a certificate from the Vessels Safety Education Bureau
- Coast Guard-approved boating safety course
- An authorized course provided by a State Boating Law Administrator Training Program
You must provide proof of at least 80 hours of training in cutting-edge fire fighting methods to apply for this position.
Saving Money And Getting Experience
If youd like to save money on getting your captains license, there is a really fantastic way to do so.
Instead of taking a course, go ahead and get a job working for a licensed captain. The captain can teach you everything you need to know while paying you to learn.
On top of this, youll also get the hours of experience you need to get your license.
If you still feel you need extra help learning, you can always buy exam preparation software for as little as $100.00.
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What Is The Difference Between Oupv And Master
If you are new to the maritime sector and want to begin working as a fishing boat captain, you must understand the types of Coast Guard licenses and the distinction between OUPV and Master Licenses.
Although the Coast Guard gives both OUPV and Master licenses, there is a distinction between the two titles.
Even while both an OUPV and a Masters license enable you to captain a charter boat with six or fewer paying passengers, the most significant distinction between the two is the maximum number of paying passengers permitted.
A captain who has an OUPV license is limited to a maximum of six paying passengers for each charter voyage.
A captain with a Masters license, on the other hand, may carry up to twelve paying passengers in San Diego waters and almost twenty-six paying passengers in Orange County waters on any charter.
It makes little difference whether you wish to earn a Master License or an OUPV License the fundamental criteria and limits for acquiring your captains license are very identical.
When Do I Need A Captain’s License
The USCG license isnt always required. If you are wondering, What length of boat requires a captain’s license? The answer is this: If your vessel is less than 26 feet in length and doesnt require a mate, then you may be exempt from having a captains license.
However, if you are sailing without passengers – which our charters do not allow – or on an inland waterway such as a river, then you may be exempt.
If your vessel is equipped with sleeping quarters and cooking facilities, as well as one or more toilets, then its classified as an inspected passenger vessel by the USCG and requires a Captains License to operate for pay.
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Types Of Captains Licenses
Before getting into the specific requirements for obtaining a captains license, it is important to understand the many types of permits available.
Your sailing experience will determine what certification you qualify for. You will need to apply for one of the following three permits, depending on where you may operate and the tonnage of vessels you may use.
1. Unchecked Passenger Vessel Operator
The title of the uninspected passenger train operator, commonly known as a 6-pack certificate, allows you to carry up to six people on The ship is not inspected. The Coast Guard doesnt have to inspect your boat before you can use it, and the boats design and safety standards arent as strict.
Coast Guard provides 6pack captains licenses for a certain beach depending on your marine service, like Inland, Inland, and Great Lakes, or Near Coastal, which allows you to go up to 100 miles offshore. The criteria for a 6-pack permit is 360 days of sea travel, 90 of which must be in the area you are applying for. For example, OUPV near the coast requires at least 90 days of exposure to coastal or oceanic waters.
2. Main Inland
3. Captain Near Coastal
You can operate inspected and uninspected vessels in inland waters and up to 200 miles off the coast of the United States with a Near Coastal license. Yes, 200 miles is close to the shore. You will need 720 days at sea, including 360 at sea.
How To Renew Your Captains License
We strongly recommend that you do not let your captains license expire after receiving it. Even if you dont plan to use it anytime soon, you should keep renewing it just like you only need to do it every 5 years. If you let it expire and then wish to continue sailing, you will need to meet all Coast Guard standards in order to get a captains license from scratch. Its easy to renew your license.
You just need to:
- You must take a refresher course at a USCG-approved training facility or 360 days at sea within the past five years.
- Completed Renewal Request Form this is the form you used to obtain your initial license, so be sure to mention that you are renewing your DOT drug trial registration as well as documentation of the review performed during the previous six months.
- A USCG Marine Medical Exam, similar to the one required for your first license.You can pay your fees online at the USCG website.
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