Masters Upgrade: Your OUPV or 6 pack license allows you to have 6 paying passengers on your vessel. The Masters allows you to carry as many passengers as the vessel is rated to carry.
There are 3 Master tonnage ratings: 25 ton, 50 ton and 100 ton. Generally if you have been running vessels under 25 feet you will most likely qualify for a 25 ton endorsement. If you have been running 25 to 50 foot vessels you will most likely qualify for a 50 ton endorsement. If you have been running vessels from 50 to 100 feet you will most likely qualify for a 100 ton endorsement. The 100 ton endorsements allows you to operate vessels from 25 to 125 feet which covers a lot of ground…head boats, ferries and etc.
You can use the same sea time that you used for your OUPV documentation to document sea time for a Masters endorsement. So why not just go for the masters? (Why settle for an associate’s degree when you have the credits for bachelors?)
The only reason not to go for the Masters Endorsement is if you are content with just doing small charters on your 6 passenger vessel. If you plan on getting hired in the marine industry or want to move boats up and down the coast or are want to work for a commercial towing outfit then you should plan on getting the masters endorsement. Most employers are looking for Captains with a tonnage rating. The OUPV license allows you to run boats to 100 tons (with a maximum of 6 passengers) but most insurance companies require a Master rating equal or above the vessels weight class to operate.
Master vessels are inspected vessels. OUPV are uninspected passenger vessels. In short if you run an OUPV vessel it is not subject to annual USCG inspections. If you run a Master vessel it is subject to USCG inspections and rating requirements.
The course is 24 hours in one weekend and Captain Jacks Boating School offers the course on the weekend after the OUPV courses.
Towing Endorsement: This endorsement allows you to tow vessels commercially, If you want to work for Sea Tow or Boat US or work on a tug then you should get this endorsement. I have many former students making very good money in the towing industry. Again most employers in the industry are looking for Masters with a Towing Endorsement.
This is a 4 hour class and offered by Captain Jacks Boating School in conjunction with your OUPV course.
I always suggest to students that they get the biggest license they can right out of the gate. You only pay one fee for your application to the USCG. If you add endorsements later you will need to go through the application process and pay the fees again. Do it now! You are in the learning mode …keep going …get your OUPV Masters and Towing all at the same time.
CAPTAIN JACKS CAPTAINS COURSE
Masters Course $350.00
Towing Course $150.00