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  #21  
Old 02-12-2014
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re: USCG 6 Pack License

I have been teaching the OUPV and Master courses for over 10 years. In my experience it is well worth the tuition to take a USCG approved course as the test is then given by the school, not the CG. We know what questions are on the exams and we make sure the students are prepared. (Yes, we do teach to the exam.) Only about 10% of candidates taking the CG exams will pass on the first try, and very many will not pass on their third try. (You get three chances). After that you have to start all over, and pay the fee again. As was previously stated, many of the questions on the Rules exam are just plain tricky, not having anything to do with practical seamanship, but how well you memorized the rule book. We have to have those questions on our exams as well, but we make sure you know the correct wording to answer correctly.
I suggest to everyone that they go for 25, 50, or 100 ( depending on your sea time) Ton Master instead of OUPV (6 pack). For Inland / Great Lakes the sea time requirement 360 days on any waters, the same as OUPV, for Near Coastal it's 720 days total of which 360 was outside of the Demarcation Lines (outside of harbors & bays.) US Citizenship is also required. I know many people who were really only looking for the fishing charter license but ended up working on larger boats because they had the Master ticket.
You can go back to age 16 to document the time, but 90 days have to be in the last 3 years. You can document the seatime on your own vessel merely by proving you owned the boat and making your best guess. The CG knows we don't keep track of how many days we run our boats and will pretty much go with whatever you submit as long as it looks probable. Tell them you did 720 days in 2 years and they won't buy it. 5 years, they probably will. Be honest, but there's no way to verify if you did the time or not. Paid time documented by the employer is usually accepted without question.
Don't forget that in addition to the course or exam fee you will need a physical, drug test, and background check, and first aid / CPR card for any license. All of these have costs as well.
For more info go to the USCG licensing site: USCG.mil/nmc

Last edited by capt jgwinks; 02-12-2014 at 01:13 PM.
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  #22  
Old 02-12-2014
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Re: USCG 6 Pack License

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainRahnn View Post
I've recently(well in the last year) have fulfilled all requirements for my 25 ton OUPV.
This what you'll have to do to:

Pass the exam...highly recommend taking a course
They test you on site. $1000 depending on where you live I took it in Sausalito and decided to stay at a hotel rather than commute.

Pass a stringent Physical , 9 pages to be exact

Aquire a CPR first aid certificate $85

Submitt 3 letters of recommendation

Aquire a TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Card) ID card $135 basically your background check from Homeland Security

Pass a Drug test (note the drug test must be within the last 6 months)

Submit your sea time documentation ( note you can use your own vessel for this but I recommend aquiring as much sea time as possible on other boats. You will need CF numbers boat owners signature and contact info. 360 life time 90 of the 360 in the last 3 years. "Sea days" is minimum 4-6 hours underway.) if using your own vessel for part of your sea time you will need to show proof of ownership of said vessel during the time of its use ie insurance documents, bill of sale etc...

You have 1 year once you have passed the exam to submit your application to the coastguard $148

I would also recommend submitting your application in person at the nearest coastguard regional center.

Your basically joining the merchant marines which allows for you to apply for employment on freighters etc...

Overall it cost around $3000
That last part...to ship out on anything bigger than a crewboat, you will need STCW which costs a good bit. Your 100-ton license doesn't get you anywhere on anything bigger, even Ordinary Seaman. You need the STCW classes/drills, it's an international treaty requirement.

Back in 1980 (!) my cost was probably about $250, of which maybe $100 for doctor, 50 drug test, 40 for prep books, 50 for application fee, thereabouts. Yeah 90% is tough for navrules (lights for submarines and seaplanes and dredges) but doable. The exam questions are posted on-line if you look. You could probably double or triple my costs for home-study license today. And you have to get the TWIC.

Simpler times back then, but I doubt the navrules exam has changed much.
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  #23  
Old 02-12-2014
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Re: USCG 6 Pack License

Marlinspike - see this;

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  #24  
Old 02-12-2014
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Re: USCG 6 Pack License

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
That last part...to ship out on anything bigger than a crewboat, you will need STCW which costs a good bit. Your 100-ton license doesn't get you anywhere on anything bigger, even Ordinary Seaman. You need the STCW classes/drills, it's an international treaty requirement.
.
STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping), is now required if you are sailing as paid crew. I have heard that without it you can be refused entry into the Bahamas and the BVI. I have never been asked to produce any personal documentation of qualifications or credentials, anywhere in the world except the US (operating a US flagged vessel, but not foreign flagged vessels), even when operating freighters and tugs. Vessel papers, yes, almost everywhere. Passports EVERYWHERE, these days.
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  #25  
Old 02-12-2014
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Re: USCG 6 Pack License

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Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
May as well get the hundred tonner not any more cost just more experience needed and looks better on a resume
I would have if I could have but didn't have the sea service.

And apparently the test for 100T is quite a bit harder now.
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  #26  
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Re: USCG 6 Pack License

I would echo the comments made suggesting that you take the course rather than try to do this on your own. I found that the most useful thing the school provided was a study guide packed with a thousand questions or more that were examples of what you will see on the test. The approach I took, and the school recommended, was to go through those questions as many times as you could over the duration of the course for hours after class - almost memorizing them. I did not see anything that surprised me on the actual examine and my scores were high. Yes there are some tricky ones that appear to be intended to confuse you so essentially knowing those answers ahead of time will be helpful. They definitely teach to the test. But you actually learn some things, too. Not the ideal pedagogical approach, quite practical in getting people to pass the exam, long term retention of the detailed material not so much. Also, my class was full of interesting characters and the conversations were often like something out of the Deadliest Catch bar scenes. Good luck however you decide to proceed.
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  #27  
Old 02-12-2014
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Re: USCG 6 Pack License

You can try this site for practicing the type of test questions you might get on the exams.
BoatSafe.com

I took a one week course to help get the Master' License at a cost of $1K. The tests are intensive and the course helped.
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  #28  
Old 02-12-2014
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Re: USCG 6 Pack License

Quote:
Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
May as well get the hundred tonner not any more cost just more experience needed and looks better on a resume
You can't just "get the hundred tonner". Even the USCG isn't that stupid. You have to serve your sea time on a boat of sufficient tonnage to qualify for each tonnage. If you are sailing a 12 ton boat, you will only be allowed to sit for a 25 ton license (I believe that is the smallest). Next is 50, etc.
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  #29  
Old 02-12-2014
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Re: USCG 6 Pack License

I've seen many references to the "6 pack license" over the years. It appears to be some sort of commercial skipper qualification.

Can someone explain to this furriner exactly what it is? What does the "6" have to do with it?
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Old 02-12-2014
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Re: USCG 6 Pack License

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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
I've seen many references to the "6 pack license" over the years. It appears to be some sort of commercial skipper qualification.

Can someone explain to this furriner exactly what it is? What does the "6" have to do with it?
It's an operator of an "Uninspected" passenger vessel license

and you're limited to 6 paying passengers
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