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Can anyone tell me what certifications and from what agency they would be issued to captain a "6-pack" boat? Does it matter if the boat carries more than 6? Is the 6 only paying customers? Do your DMs count?
It is a US Coast Guard license to operate a non-inspected vessel carrying passengers for hire. Non-inspected vessels are allowed a maximum of six passengers, that does not include the captain or the deck hand/DM.
Went to the USCG site before asking and it was a jumble of non-information. Figured here I could get a straight answer.
Really kind of wondering what the actual requirements are for the licensing. If you have to "do time" as a hand before you can show competency. I have been around the water for over 30 years and driven boats of all sizes for more than 27. A class or two I can handle but I had heard I would need to put in 90 days minimum as a hand in order to qualify for the first license. Not sure how that is pertinent to my capabilities to take care of my passengers and crew?
The Coast Guard requirements for a 6-pack license are 365 8 hour days of sea service. This can be as a deck hand or the same amount of time operating a boat you own. You would need a letter from the captain of the boat you worked on to verify your time or if it is your own boat there is a USCG form to document your time. You must take the written test which is quite long and detailed. It took me about 6 hours to finish the test. You will also need a physical exam and drug test.
If you are serious I sugest you contact one of the marine schools that prepare you for the test. Believe me this is the best way to go. The coast Guard speaks a different language and if you don't understand it you will fail the test. Houston Marine training school is the one I used.