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  • How To Get Your 25/50 or 100-Ton Master Captain’s License

    February 16, 2024

    How To Get Your Master Captain’s License for Inspected Vessels


    Common Questions About the Master License

    1. What Is a Master License for Inspected Vessels?

    The Master captain's license is the highest level which can be obtained and allows you to perform the duties of an OUPV Six-pack captain and also operate inspected vessels. Inspected vessels are approved to carry seven or more paying passengers and have been built in accordance with rigid USCG standards.

    2. What Boat Types Could You Captain With a Master License?

    Ferry boats, harbor tour boats, sailing schooners, and whale watching boats are all examples of inspected vessels.

    3. What Are the Requirements for the Inspected Vessel Captain’s License?

    A Master license is issued for operation on the Great Lakes, inland, and near coastal waterways and comes in three versions: a 25, 50, and 100-ton license. Your amount of sea service time and the sizes of the vessels you have experience with will influence the license you are eligible for.

    Although the necessary building experience required for each version of Master license varies, the basic minimum requirements include.

    • Be at least 19 years old
    • Be a U.S. citizen
    • Have a minimum of 360 days boating experience; 90 of those days must have occurred in the last three years
    • Pass a physical and drug test
    • Hold a valid adult CPR and basic first-aid card
    • Obtain a Transportation Workers Identification Credential or TWIC card
    • Completion of the Mariners Learning System Coast Guard-approved 25, 50, or 100-Ton Master course

    4. Where Can You Take Inspected Vessel License Courses?

    The Mariners learning system suite of Coast Guard approved courses offer an alternative to the regular testing process held at the USCG regional exam centers. You are not required to advance through the different licenses one at a time. If you meet the USCG requirements for the master 100-ton near coastal, you are eligible to earn that as your first license.

    5. What Salary Does a Master Captain Earn?

    There are a variety of lucrative careers available for Master captains. A captain running a water taxi typically makes $25 to $40 per hour plus tips. A delivery captain can make $275 to $475 or more per day plus all expenses. A full time captain running a dinner cruise can expect to make $65,000 or more per year. An entry level full time captain can expect their starting salary to be $45,000 or more per year depending on the requirements of the opportunity. Ultimately, the salary you earn as a Master captain depends on your level of experience and your career path or the business you create.

    6. What Are Jobs You Can Do With a Master Captain’s License?

    As a licensed Master, you can be the captain of a ferry boat, harbor tour boat, sailing schooner, dive boat, or whale watching boat. The Master captain’s license allows you to operate a boat with more than six paying passengers. Holding this license gives you the freedom to embark on a variety of business ventures.

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