It depends on how many people you plan on carrying, and how far offshore you go.
An OUPV license allows you to carry up to 6 paying passengers, on an uninspected vessel.
A Master's license does not have any restrictions on number of passengers onboard, and allows operation of inspected or uninspected vessels.
The maximum vessel tonnage under an OUPV license is 100 GRT. This GRT limit does not change.
A Master's license allows you to operate vessels up to the GRT limit listed on your license. With additional Sea Days this limit can be increased when you renew your license.
An OUPV is limited to the waters described in the license; i.e. OUPV Inland can operate on Inland waters, similarly for OUPV Great Lakes on the Great Lakes. An OUPV NC can operate on waters out to 100 nautical miles offshore.
A Master's License on Inland or Great Lakes allows for operation of vessels within the prescribed waters (Inland, Great Lakes). A Near Coastal Master's license allows for operation offshore. There is no 100 nautical miles offshore restriction.
We hope this made your life a little easier and if you have other questions the MM-SEAS team is always here to help!
No matter what, when you are ready to submit your application, you can choose to have the MM-SEAS staff create a perfect application, handle the USCG application fees and work with the USCG on your behalf to resolve any issues for a flat fee of $299 or you can choose to submit on your own.
Pro MM-SEAS members get access to unlimited live 1 on 1 calls with one of our USCG Licensing Specialists. We've found that answering questions live with screen sharing in a video call makes both of our lives easier. Pro MM-SEAS members can access these features inside of MM-SEAS under License Guidance.
Sam Mckay is a NOAA Corps Veteran working on his PhD in Nuclear Fusion