I''m planning to get a 6-pack license this year and am interested in hearing from licensed skippers as to the best way to go about it (best study guide? take Sea School course?, etc.). Any advice will be appreciated.
Taking a course was the best way for me. Also some schools are authorized to give the test. If you have the required days,go for the masters rating, or the highest rating you can. The 6 pack is a waste, after going through all that studying.The tests are virtually the same.Also get a sail rating attached to your liscence
gerschel is correct, go for your master''s license. It will include the so-called "six''pack".
Be sure to get the sail endorsement on your license. Might as well go all the way and get power and steam, too. Try to get at least a 100 ton rating and near coastal routes as well as inland. You''ll enjoy it more with the higher grade license.
The basic licence you refer to "six pack" no longer is available from the USCG. It is now called OUPV which stands for operator of un-inspected private vessel. Go for the masters, it is only one more module on the test. You will need to document your sea service on your application. The service time can be from the operation of your own vessel; one does not have to have a job "on the water". I hope you kept an accurate log; it makes the application process much easier.
I agree with the above. Just a bit more info. A "sea service day" is defined as a minimum of four hours in which the boat leaves the dock. An example could be as follows, One hour at the dock to prepare to sail, two hours of sailing away from dock, and one hour to putting the boat to bed at the dock. Those short evening sails can sure add up fast.
I have a 500 ton near coastal license. I went to a school for my 100 ton. Then after 1800 days of captaining a 100 ton boat I qualified to upgrade to the 500 ton. I did not go to school for this license, but I did order a home study guide. I found this most useful and very thorough. It was pricey, about $800 for all materials, but considering it is my livelihood it was well worth it. The company is Houstin Marine. They are easy to find on the web and have lots of info on what you may need. I recommend them.