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Old 03-01-2008, 01:05   #1
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A warm greeting from chilly Idaho!

Hello everyone and Happy New Year! I'm looking for information on what what courses are required to become a charter boat (sailboat) captain for whale watching and cruising in Washington State. Probably no more than six passengers. I tried to use the state and coastguard sites but that was too confusing. Any info is appreciated.
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:11   #2
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You need a USCG captains license often refered to as a "six pack". You may also need a local business license. You need the license because you will be accepting money for hire. Once you go beyond six passengers you get into a whole raft of boat requirements.
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:31   #3
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Hi Ed,

one of best friends lives in Idaho Falls. So welcome aboard.

Jack
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:02   #4
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Thanks Paul,
Do you know what courses are required for that license?
Ed
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:03   #5
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Thanks Jack.
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Old 03-01-2008, 13:26   #6
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Quote:
Do you know what courses are required for that license?
None. You have to pass a USCG exam. Taking a course is optional but you can get all the study materials yourself if you like. You then need to document all your experience.
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Old 03-01-2008, 13:35   #7
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The entry-level USCG license is the Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels License (OUPV) , commonly known as a “Six Pack”.
A Six-Pack License requires one year (360 days) of sea service, consisting of minimum of four continuous hours at the helm. (If you are at the helm for 24 hours, it still only counts as one day).
Ninety of the 360 days must be within the prior three years.
Then the 4-Part exam'.
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Old 03-01-2008, 14:00   #8
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Aloha Idaho Ed,
Welcome aboard!! Good to have you here. Hope you can get the answers you need.
My opinion and advice to you is to contact local Maritime schools (probably Seattle area) that do the licensing course for OUPV. Talk to them about how much their course costs. Usually about $1000. Then make the decision.
There are some correspondence type courses available and there are books like "Get Your Captain's License" by Charlie Wing.
It is my experience that very few OUPV Captains gained their license by just gathering the material and then taking the exams. I could be wrong and there might be others on this forum that disagree but I think as far as time and effort goes you might be ahead by just taking the course and getting your license through one of the major schools in conjunction with the USCG.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 06-01-2008, 13:03   #9
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Welcome aboard Ed! It certainly is (chilly in Idaho).
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