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ukrsindicat 02-11-2014 01:31 PM

USCG 6 Pack License
Hey guys(non-gender specific)

I am looking for more information how to get a Coast Guard 6 pax license.

I have been sailing since 1999. I have been a deck hand in the Navy 1999-2002. Nowadays, I am weekend sailor on my personal 30 foot sailboat.

I saw that there are home study courses that are about $700 and then I would have to travel to the test location.

I was wondering if I can just download a pdf book online(up to $100) and then take USCG test($90)? Its tough times right now and I would like to save some money.

Thank you for your help

denverd0n 02-11-2014 01:34 PM

re: USCG 6 Pack License
Yes, you can. There is no requirement that you take a class. The classes exist only because a lot of people find that taking a class helps them to pass the test.

Don't forget that you also have to be able to document your sea time. I believe the minimum is 360 days for the 6-pack license.

ukrsindicat 02-11-2014 01:37 PM

re: USCG 6 Pack License
Great, thank you. Is that 360 days of seatime over the course of certain period?

Can anyone point me out to a good study guide? only thing that I was able to find online were the actual $500 courses.

Scallywag2 02-11-2014 02:01 PM

re: USCG 6 Pack License
Took a class...Passed....Did not pass the color vision test...Not all in vain...Learned a lot from class....Others that took the test and received six pack license found the cost of insurance to be too high for the amount of money made....

Dot and John

newhaul 02-11-2014 02:01 PM

re: USCG 6 Pack License
Yes the sea service is calculated over a certain period of time a six PAC requires 360 days with at least 90 of that in the last three years. I have a book here that cost 70 bucks the ISBN is 978-0-07-160371-3 its from 08 but I doubt they have changed the price that much good luck on the tests

Minnewaska 02-11-2014 02:17 PM

re: USCG 6 Pack License
I really scratch my head over the experience requirement. I can think of at least two people that have the 6 pack that would not seem to have had it. Do people just retroactively make these logs? I'm sure I have the experience, but would have to recreate most of it. In 40 years, I only started bothering in the last 5 to 10 and then I skip every other passage, especially those that remain in the Bay.

The good news is, I do not believe either ever did, nor intend to exercise any of it privileges. I think it was just to call themselves Captain, or pound their chest or something. More generously, they may have wanted to confirm their knowledge and up their game. Couldn't blame them for that.

manatee 02-11-2014 02:27 PM

re: USCG 6 Pack License
Here are some free study-aids websites you can try. Good luck., Coast Guard license exam test preparation questions and Online Training For merchant marines

USCG: Passenger Vessel Safety Program - Uninspected Passenger Vessel


Prerequisites for OUPV Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel License

You must meet all of the prerequisites in this paragraph to receive an OUPV- Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels License

Must be 18 years old

Must be able to document 360 days of experience on a vessel

Must have 90 of these days within the last 3 years

90 of the 360 days must be on the ocean or near coastal waters, or the license will be limited to inland waters only

License will be limited to uninspected vessels of less than 100 gross tons

If you are not a U.S. Citizen,you can receive this license BUT your tonnage will be limited to Vessels of 5 Net Tons or less

jimgo 02-11-2014 02:40 PM

re: USCG 6 Pack License
Minne, I've considered trying to get the certification, but not because I intend to pound my chest (any more than I already do) or to take passengers with any regularity. My thought is that it would give my wife a sense of comfort.

I'll be following the thread carefully, as the 360 days is the issue for me right now. I MIGHT have that, if I can go back to my time as a kid when my parents had a boat.

davidpm 02-11-2014 02:59 PM

re: USCG 6 Pack License
I took the class and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have passed the test without it.
The navigation part is tricky.
The rules and lights part is multiple choice but remarkably hard I thought.

There were at least two people in my class of about 16 that couldn't get it and did not pass even though I had them come to my office for a study group. (maybe because the hung out with me)

I bought all the self study stuff but found it didn't do it for me.

Also you should know I was always an A student in school but I'm over 60 so that probably cancels it out.
I know their are people who self study and pass but I suspect it is the exception not the rule. At least that is what I tell my self.

Much of it is just hard core memorization and tricky wording of multiple choice questions.

Sea experience and common sense will not be enough to pass the test. Many of the questions have two answers that are just wrong but two answers that practically would not make a difference in seamanship. One of them however is considered wrong.

Lots and lots of technical stuff where you need to know that the light has to be displayed if the boat is over 100' otherwise you get the questions wrong. Practically you are going to use radar, AIS and keep a good distance from any ships lights. It would be highly unlikely that the extra light would make a difference between you hitting a boat or not. Besides how much difference is their between a 100' ship and and 105' ship?

In defense of the class I took they made a big effort to really emphasize the real important stuff that is both needed for safety and are in the regulations while covering the tricky questions.

If I had to guess I would say that 50% of the questions are good. The other 50% are mostly tricky with two plausible answers.
So if you guess on the tricky questions you will get a 75 on the test and you need a 90 to pass.

I took it because I'm thinking I might like to teach sailing and this license is required to teach any place the CG has jurisdiction.

Also I get to wear the hat if I want to but haven't gotten up the nerve yet.:)
From a prestige point of view the OUVP is basically at the same level as a sheriffs badge from a cracker jack box but it is required for some jobs. Real captains are not impressed.

newhaul 02-11-2014 03:05 PM

re: USCG 6 Pack License
There may be an insurance break for personal vessels that's all I can think of

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