OUPV, 6-Pack, and Master’s Licenses Explained

What is the difference between the OUPV, 6-Pack, and Master’s Licenses?

For ease of clarification, uninspected vessels are restricted to no more than 6 passengers on vessels of less than 100 gross tons (thus the industry-coined term, 6-Pack). Inspected vessels are restricted based upon the Certificate of Inspection assigned to the vessel by the US Coast Guard which also identifies the number of passengers the vessel is authorized to carry.

The OUPV (6-Pack) License is a credential that authorizes the individual to operate an uninspected vessel.

The Master’s License is a credential that authorizes the individual to operate not only uninspected vessels, but also inspected vessels up to the provisions of the Certificate of Inspection.

For further clarification, feel free to contact School of Seamanship using the contact form at the bottom of the post.

Is it a requirement to hold an OUPV License prior to obtaining a Master’s License?

Don’t be fooled by training schools that advertise you MUST get an OUPV license before you can get a Master’s license. This is completely false, however, those training schools may have setup their programs to work this way.

FACT: The US Coast Guard Regulations do NOT require you to hold an OUPV license prior to obtaining a Master’s license. (Source: 46 CFR Parts 10 and 11)

What are the differences for OUPV versus Master’s license Sea Service requirements?

Note: All original licenses require recency of 90 days within the last 3 years from the date of application

Grade of License Inland Near Coastal (Total / Offshore)
Master 360 Days 720 Days 360 Days Offshore
Mate 360 Days 360 Days 180 Days Offshore
OUPV 360 Days 360 Days 90 Days Offshore

What constitutes a “day” of service?

According to 46 CFR Part 10.103, a day of service is 8 hours of watchkeeping not to include overtime. There are exceptions to this rule, please fill out the contact form below for further information.

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