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Old 26-07-2016, 17:43   #1
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6-Pack vs Masters?

I've been toying with the idea of going for my captain's license. I understand what each license will allow me to do after I've gotten it but my question is...it appears that the requirements and testing are the same for both, so why would I bother with a 6-pack and not just go for a Masters? Is there some benefit I'm missing for only holding a 6-pack?
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Old 26-07-2016, 18:33   #2
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Re: 6-Pack vs Masters?

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Originally Posted by jtulls View Post
I've been toying with the idea of going for my captain's license. I understand what each license will allow me to do after I've gotten it but my question is...it appears that the requirements and testing are the same for both, so why would I bother with a 6-pack and not just go for a Masters? Is there some benefit I'm missing for only holding a 6-pack?
A 6-pack, more correctly known as an OUPV (operator of ininspected power vessels) does not allow you to operate inspected vessels with their higher allowable number of passengers.
You will be restricted to carrying only six passengers.
A masters ticket will open up many more career opportunities for you.

Unless things have changed, a masters ticket requires more sea time, and a more complicated test. At least that was the case when I got my license (back in the stone age lol).
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Old 26-07-2016, 18:43   #3
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Re: 6-Pack vs Masters?

Most go for OUPV first because it has the least requirements (except for some of the of the limited liscences). Requirements vary by tonnage and scope (inland, near coastal, oceans, unlimited) both in terms of sea time and testing.

No harm in going for your OUPV or low tonnage (50 Ton) first, you can upgrade later. In fact, you can upgrade from 50 to 100 ton just by fulfilling the additional sea time requirements.
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Old 28-07-2016, 12:31   #4
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Re: 6-Pack vs Masters?

I have been struggling with the same questions as to which license to go for. I have decided on the masters only because I want to get it done. Study, take the test and be done. I don't want to have to start studying again at a later time to get my masters so I going for it right off the bat. My question to you is which learning system or school are you going to use to prepaid you for the test? I work on a boat and have time to study a little while underway. I am in a remote location so attending a class doesn't seem practical right now so for me I think it's got to be computer based learning. Anyway, just wanted to hear your thoughts on what your going to do. Thanks, Kurt


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Old 28-07-2016, 13:21   #5
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Re: 6-Pack vs Masters?

Depends on what you want to do....

Want to run basic sunset charters on your boat? get a oupv.

want to be a legit captain on other people's vessels? You have to go at least 50 ton masters. No one is going to hire a captain with a 6-pack license for anything. Think of it like a college degree.
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Old 28-07-2016, 13:39   #6
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Re: 6-Pack vs Masters?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Most go for OUPV first because it has the least requirements (except for some of the of the limited liscences). Requirements vary by tonnage and scope (inland, near coastal, oceans, unlimited) both in terms of sea time and testing.

No harm in going for your OUPV or low tonnage (50 Ton) first, you can upgrade later. In fact, you can upgrade from 50 to 100 ton just by fulfilling the additional sea time requirements.

I'm going to have to humbly disagree here with all due respect to belizesailor. Having just finished and issued my Masters License, it really doesn't make a lot of sense to just go for the six pack. The costs will work out the same and the tests will be slightly longer with a few more questions. The tonnage rating you will receive will be based on the time spent on the water and the tonnage rating of the boat. The tonnage rating is NOT what the boat weighs, but is based on a formula by the Coast Guard. The tonnage rating will be on your Coast Guard documentation paper. For example, my catamaran weighs 16,000 pounds, but is rated at 42 tons. I had the proper amount of time to get the 100 ton rating on my license.

The requirements for the six pack and the Masters are the same except for the longer test for the Masters. You need 360 days of sea time for inland. You need another 360 days outside the inland boundaries for near coastal. If you do the six pack first then upgrade it's another $145 bucks to summit the upgrade application. Same goes if you upgrade the tonnage rating. Everything you need to know is right here. https://www.uscg.mil/nmc/ Pay attention to and use all the printable forms here. Most important make sure you get the right physical and drug test, otherwise the Coasties will reject the application.

It's a lengthy process so get started on the requirements now before you even start class. You will need a Red Cross certified CPR and first aid certificate, you need a physical that meets Coast Guard requirements, you need to have your oath notarized, you need your sea service filled out, you need to be drug tested to Coast Guard requirements, you need to apply for and receive a TWIC card, you need to fill out the application. You can start on this because it takes a while. For me it took two and a half months from the to time I started school to the time I had the license in my hand. A school is helpful in the process. I attended the Annapolis School of Seamanship and can vouch for it.

Also, I would recommend that you get the Assisted Towing endorsement. It's a four hour class with 20 easy test questions. You never know when it may come in handy. For me, I hold the 100 ton Masters near coastal with towing endorsement. How many catamaran brokers can claim that!? Yeah, I'm just a little proud of myself. By the way, the tests for the license, whether six pack or Masters are no joke. Hope this helps. Study hard and good luck!
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Old 28-07-2016, 14:39   #7
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Re: 6-Pack vs Masters?

Sid,

If that's your license you missed something... Should have gotten a sailing endorsement as well. In my case I just challenged the test, which was a 10 question multiple guess exam that asked difficult questions like 'what is a gooseneck?'

I didn't get my towing endorsement, but whish I had.
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Old 28-07-2016, 15:08   #8
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Re: 6-Pack vs Masters?

I thought about the sailing endorsement, but decided against it as it really was only useful if you want to captain a Coast Guard inspected sailing vessel that takes passengers. Think one of those dinner cruisers. In retrospect I should have just gone for it, if only to have more endorsements.

Funny thing is that the Coast Guard added three endorsements on thier own. They added Ordinary Seaman, Wiper and Steward to my licence..mmm
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Old 28-07-2016, 15:12   #9
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Re: 6-Pack vs Masters?

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Sid,

If that's your license you missed something... Should have gotten a sailing endorsement as well. In my case I just challenged the test, which was a 10 question multiple guess exam that asked difficult questions like 'what is a gooseneck?'

I didn't get my towing endorsement, but whish I had.
By the way, you can still add the towing. It's gonna cost ya another 145 bucks though. You could probably challenge that test also. There are practice tests online. You may want to take a look because there were a couple of towing questions that are not common knowledge. Had to do with static and dynamic forces involved..
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Old 28-07-2016, 15:31   #10
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Re: 6-Pack vs Masters?

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Originally Posted by Sid at SailAway View Post
I'm going to have to humbly disagree here with all due respect to belizesailor. Having just finished and issued my Masters License, it really doesn't make a lot of sense to just go for the six pack. ...
No apology needed to voice your opinion.

Depends of course on what he plans to do, which he hasn't stated, but plenty of OUPV operators around the Gulf Coast (day charters, fishing guides, etc...). If he plans to try and move up the food chain, then yes, might as well start a rung or two up the ladder

(100 Ton, Near Coastal, Aux Sail, Towing...no school, second issue).
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Old 28-07-2016, 15:36   #11
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Re: 6-Pack vs Masters?

So, jtulls, what is it that you want to do with that license?
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Old 28-07-2016, 15:39   #12
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Re: 6-Pack vs Masters?

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Originally Posted by poesch6 View Post
I have been struggling with the same questions as to which license to go for. I have decided on the masters only because I want to get it done. Study, take the test and be done. I don't want to have to start studying again at a later time to get my masters so I going for it right off the bat. My question to you is which learning system or school are you going to use to prepaid you for the test? I work on a boat and have time to study a little while underway. I am in a remote location so attending a class doesn't seem practical right now so for me I think it's got to be computer based learning. Anyway, just wanted to hear your thoughts on what your going to do. Thanks, Kurt


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Most go thru a school, but there is no requirement that you do. You can just study and take the exams. It is a hell of a lot of prep work, but a viable option...especially if your schedule/venue working on a boat makes it hard to attend a school.
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Old 28-07-2016, 16:23   #13
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Re: 6-Pack vs Masters?

It was so long ago. I hardly remember what was required but because I had over 20 yeas of commercial sea time in when I immigrated to the US, the Coast Guard who was the licensing agency at the time, pretty much grandfathered me into the 100 ton Masters Oceangoing based on towing a barge from Vadez, AK to Panama and returning with a General Cargo load.
Started a delivery company out of San Diego and the insurance companIes of owners and brokers for whom I worked required the certification. Very good idea to have a sail and towing endorsement attached to your license IMHO.
I have since let mine lapse as I sold the business but do the odd delivery pro bono for friends. Cheers, Phil
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Old 28-07-2016, 17:21   #14
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Re: 6-Pack vs Masters?

Just my two cents.
I also got my OUPV, 30 some odd years ago.
Has since long expired. Several years ago I was pondering retaking that test again or possibly getting a masters. But was talked out of it by several capt's and CG personal.

Reason.... I have no plans to charter, go outside of coastal / Caribbean cruising. Have zero plans to captain other boats. And the only passengers on my boat are/will be nonpaying guest.
A licenses will cause me to be held to a higher standard. Where as without one, I'm just another land luber, with a boat whom might be able to talk my way out of what ever trouble I find myself in.

The first person that told me this I just thought that he was BSing me.
But I have heard the exact same thing from many.
So I'm assuming that there must be some truth in it.

Any how, just food for thought.
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Old 28-07-2016, 17:58   #15
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Re: 6-Pack vs Masters?

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Just my two cents.
I also got my OUPV, 30 some odd years ago.
Has since long expired. Several years ago I was pondering retaking that test again or possibly getting a masters. But was talked out of it by several capt's and CG personal.

...
An option to be aware of is that you can place your active (unexpired) license in "continuity" indefinately. You cannot work using those credentials while in continuity, but you can have them reinstated at a later date...thus avoiding letting them lapse and have to start all over again. And the process is easy.

Too late in your case, but may be useful to others.
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