Everything You Need to Know About The USCG Sailing Endorsement

Add a Sailing Endorsement to your Master License for inspected vessels. Know the sea service days and USCG-approved courses needed.

3 mins read・Mar 01, 2023
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The Auxiliary Sail Endorsement can be added to your Master License. The endorsement is required to captain an Inspected sail or auxiliary sail vessel.

Sailboat on calm sea.

Do you need a license to sail?

You don’t need a USCG license to sail a boat recreationally. Some states require you to take a boat safety course, which is simpler and faster to get than a Coast Guard license. However, if you’re taking paying passengers on your sailboat, you’ll need a license.

With an OUPV or Six-Pack license, you can carry up to six paying passengers on any type of uninspected vessel, including sailboats. A Master license qualifies you to carry more than six paying passengers on an inspected vessel or six passengers on an uninspected vessel.

The Sail Endorsement is required to carry 7 or more passengers while under sail on an inspected vessel. With your OUPV or Master license, you are authorized to carry up to 6 passengers on an uninspected vessel while under sail without the Sail Endorsement.

Because the OUPV/Six-Pack license is limited to 6 passengers on any type of vessel, there’s no need to get a sailing endorsement (and there’s no option to get the endorsement).

How to add the Auxiliary Sail endorsement to your USCG license

To add the sail endorsement to your Master license, you’ll need to meet minimum sea service days on a sail or auxiliary sail vessel. You’ll also need to complete a USCG-approved course.

Sea Service Requirements

In addition to completing Coast Guard-approved training, sea service days are required to get your Sail Endorsement. The specific requirements depend on the type of Master license you have.

This chart outlines the days required on sail or auxiliary sail vessels:

USCG Auxiliary Sail Requirements.

USCG-approved courses

There are multiple USCG-approved courses you can find online and in person. Sail courses are typically 4-hour in-person courses that cover:

  • Sailing Nomenclature
  • Heavy Weather Sailing
  • Specialized Rules
  • Equipment
  • Safety

At the end of the course, you’ll take a ~20 question written test and need to pass with a 70% or higher.

Renewing your endorsement

As with every additional endorsement, the Auxiliary Sail Endorsement is valid as long as your MMC is valid. When you need to renew your MMC, you’ll need to ask the Coast Guard to renew all of your current endorsements. If you don’t, they may omit endorsements you previously held.

When you fill out the CG-719B form, and are renewing all of your endorsements the USCG prefers that you write: “Renewal of all current credentials” in the Description of Endorsements Desired Box in Section II. We also recommend attaching a memo with all endorsements you want renewed.

USCG license renewal assistance interface.

We hope this made your life a little easier and if you have other questions the MM-SEAS team is always here to help!

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About the author

Nate Gilman
Nate Gilman

Nate has over 15 years of professional maritime experience and has hawsepiped his way to a 3rd Mate Unlimited Endorsement with full STCW compliance. He is proud veteran of the NOAA Commissioned Corps.

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