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Old 10-06-2020, 08:40   #1
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USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

I am interested in hearing others thoughts on the sea time requirements for the USCG 6 pack license. I have noticed a few social media posts of individuals claiming licenses while also admitting their ignorance of basic seamanship in their posts. I don't want to call out anyone in particular but how credible is the license without a significant resume to back it up? Is there a lot of fraud in the documenting of time.

I am a teacher at an independent school. I am planning on leading some sailing trips with students. While I have skippered on my family's boat and bareboat charters. I think having a licensed captain aboard is appropriate. We would likely be using a bareboat charter company. Due to the need for background checks I will most likely have to hire a US national for the charter.

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Old 10-06-2020, 09:09   #2
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Re: USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

Finegan,

I think you’ll find that a lot of people can spend a lot of time on a boat, and learn very little. When I was in class for my license, I was shocked at the general cluelessness of the class, all of whom were coached into passing the test.

A USCG license is a Legal requirement to be paid for driving a boat, but it is no guarantee of competence. It is more of a hurdle to jump that weeds out SOME of the least knowledgeable.

For anybody hiring a Captain, the modern “Captain’s Schools” have made the license almost too easy to get. In the “old days” getting past the test and paperwork hassles of the USCG without a school coaching you were so intimidating you REALLY needed to NEED a license to work through it.
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:15   #3
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Re: USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

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Originally Posted by finnegan View Post
I am interested in hearing others thoughts on the sea time requirements for the USCG 6 pack license. I have noticed a few social media posts of individuals claiming licenses while also admitting their ignorance of basic seamanship in their posts. I don't want to call out anyone in particular but how credible is the license without a significant resume to back it up? Is there a lot of fraud in the documenting of time.

I am a teacher at an independent school. I am planning on leading some sailing trips with students. While I have skippered on my family's boat and bareboat charters. I think having a licensed captain aboard is appropriate. We would likely be using a bareboat charter company. Due to the need for background checks I will most likely have to hire a US national for the charter.

Regards,
The sea time requirement for the most basic uscg license is so onerous that you expect corruption

Change the system

A six pack is a training wheel license....make it easy to get
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:17   #4
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Re: USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

Thinking a .gov license means they are good, not a good way of thinking.

I’d be more interested in their resume, what crossings have they made, what references do they have, what types of boats, what types of missions.
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:26   #5
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Re: USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

You can log sea time simply being a deckhand whose only responsibility is to untie the dock lines at one end of a run and tie them up again at the other end. If you don't have the interest, or the skipper doesn't want to teach/share/mentor then it is entirely possible to accrue sea time without knowing much about actually running a boat. This is a flaw in the system, there is no real "apprenticeship" with training requirements, and the testing system doesn't work to find out whether or not you actually know how to operate a boat.

Quote:
• A day of sea service is any day that a mariner served upon a vessel in an assigned position in either the deck or engineering department of a vessel (not a passenger). The position may include duties such as: handling lines, being a lookout, steering the boat, and other navigational or propulsion functions.
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:31   #6
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Re: USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

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Thinking a .gov license means they are good, not a good way of thinking.

I’d be more interested in their resume, what crossings have they made, what references do they have, what types of boats, what types of missions.
Crossing have nothing to do with experience

Going toe to toe in the shipping lanes , knowledge of ports and procedures , VTS and coastal features is what a license is all about

Rules of the road , safety and communications
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Old 10-06-2020, 10:22   #7
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Re: USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

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Originally Posted by slug View Post
The sea time requirement for the most basic uscg license is so onerous that you expect corruption

Change the system

A six pack is a training wheel license....make it easy to get
Reminds me of the practice of carrying young gentlemen on a ship's books back in the old days, so that they'd have their six years to pass for lieutenant.
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Old 10-06-2020, 20:00   #8
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Re: USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

While I don't find the current level too onerous I can understand the thought.
A 6 pac is the barest of minimums for a license and should be considered as such. Speaking generally, if you can self document your sea time it's just the USCG doing the least it can to ensure you don't kill too many people and generate funds. Once you get to 100t then they get serious about your time and other qualifications.

OP, I'm presuming you'll have more than 6 student on a trip so you should have a Captian with a higher license on the trip. If you're doing it through a reputable company they should provide proof of insurance and possibly the Skippers credentials.
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Old 10-06-2020, 20:09   #9
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Re: USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

Quote:
Originally Posted by slug View Post
Crossing have nothing to do with experience

Going toe to toe in the shipping lanes , knowledge of ports and procedures , VTS and coastal features is what a license is all about

Rules of the road , safety and communications

I’d say crossings have more importance than comms, that pretty easy, trending weather outside of data connections and working through issues beyond others help is a huge thing. Saftey I don’t think is much like common sense, though we try to sell the public that it’s something you can sell in a class, it seems more like something you ether get or don’t.
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Old 10-06-2020, 20:51   #10
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Re: USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

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Originally Posted by BigBoater917 View Post

OP, I'm presuming you'll have more than 6 student on a trip so you should have a Captian with a higher license on the trip. If you're doing it through a reputable company they should provide proof of insurance and possibly the Skippers credentials.
If you ARE carrying more than 6 passengers, then you need to have an INSPECTED vessel, and that is a whole other can of worms...
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Old 11-06-2020, 00:39   #11
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Re: USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

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If you ARE carrying more than 6 passengers, then you need to have an INSPECTED vessel, and that is a whole other can of worms...
This is correct. A 6-pack license is actually called an OUPV license. Operator of uninspected passenger vessel. One nuance that needs correction : you do not need a USCG license to be paid as a captain, but if you have paying passengers aboard, you do. An uninspected passenger vessel is limited to 6 paying passengers regardless of the size of the vessel.

The difference between a 100T license and a OUPV license is sea time. 720 days documented for 100T vs 360 for OUPV (there are classifications based on tonnage of boat and waters operated). That's it. Same test.

Technically, a delivery skipper does not need a USCG license unless there is paid crew aboard. The owners insurance company will have a requirement, but the USCG does not.

USCG OUPV and 100T licenses have always been highly suspect as the sea time is mostly self reported and not verified. There is no driving test or practical demonstration of competency beyond passing a test, albeit a pretty difficult test. No owner should ever hire a captain based on the USCG credential. Instead, it should be viewed as a base level of commitment to the industry but the actual resume of verifiable and relevant experience should be the primary decision factor in hiring a captain. It's no different than hiring a college graduate with a fresh diploma vs someone with 10+ years experience.
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:14   #12
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Re: USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

Bear in mind a "6 pack" license was originally created for the launch driver at a yacht club to ferry "yachtsmen" to and from their moored boats.

It is a simple test with very little experience requirement.

M
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:15   #13
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Re: USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

You can always tell by what side of the boat the American Flag is on if they are a boater or a schooled Captain .
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:45   #14
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Re: USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

Just to add to the conversation; I recently advertised for crew to accompany me on a trip from Maine to Key West, 1/2 of which would be offshore. I had several respondents and after interviewing them I hired two as crew not as Captains. One was to crew going South and the other returning North with me. Both had six pack licenses. In both cases they were immediately sick upon leaving the dock and showed very little knowledge of basic seamanship or sailing. In both cases I parted company before reaching our destinations--I found them dangerous to themselves as well as the boat. So BEWARE--that license means very little other than showing some competency in reading material and taking a test.
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:46   #15
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Re: USCG Six Pack license sea time fraud

Here is a decent summary of the different endorsements of the OUPV/100T licenses. When I received my USCG 100T Coastal Waters 22-years ago, the exam for OUPV and 100T are identical.

I did not find the exam simple at all. Class I took was ten 8-hour days with the exam on the final day - took about 4-hours to complete. Of the 20 people who started the course, 4 dropped out enroute, and 5 did not pass the exam. I can absolutely say that the study work for the exam was time well spent with or without the license.

https://www.boatwise.com/faq.html
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