Sunday, September 14, 2014

Six-Pack License

An Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) license issued by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) is commonly referred to as a “Six-Pack” license.  The OUPV license is typically used for six passenger (6 pax) or less fishing guide charter or tour boat operations in US navigable waters.  Vessels engaged in operations for hire must comply with minimal federal standards for safety, navigation, pollution and the operator must hold at least a Six-Pack license.

The Six-Pack license is the starting point for a long list of captain’s license issued by the USCG.  Numerous maritime training centers and online sources offer the course that prepares want-a-be-captains for the USCG 5 part exam.  Getting a captain’s license has always been on my bucket list.  With the World Wide Marine Training center a short commute from New Bern, why wait?  I also figured it might lower my insurance rates and possibly provide some interesting opportunities.  Besides, increasing my knowledge of maritime rules, regulations and best practices could not hurt.

Quiet!  Exam in progress.

The first hurdle is completion of a USCG approved OUPV class and passing a 5 part examination. 

The five areas covered are:

  • ·         Navigation Rules (right of way, lights, and signals)
  • ·         Plotting (back to old school, no GPS)
  • ·         Deck General (anchoring, radio ops, etc.)
  • ·         Deck Safety (fire, abandon ship, man over board, etc.)
  • ·         Navigation General (compass, weather, coast pilot, etc.)

The next hurdle is to put together an application package that includes:

  • ·         USCG Application
  • ·         Conviction Disclosure
  • ·         Notarized Merchant Mariner’s Oath
  • ·         Three Character References
  • ·         Medical Evaluation Report
  • ·         Drug Test Report
  • ·         First Aid and CPR Certificate
  • ·         Sea Service Form (documents experience of at 360 days)
  • ·         TWIC – Transportation Workers Identification Card (background check)
  • ·         Certification of Completion of OUPV Course

First hurdle completed!