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  • Writer's pictureNate Gilman

What are Near Coastal waters?

Updated: Jan 10

Near-coastal means ocean waters not more than 200 miles offshore from the U.S. and its possessions, except for MMCs endorsed as Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel for which near-coastal is limited to waters not more than 100 miles offshore from the U.S. and its possessions.

This means your Master or Mate NC license is valid out to 200 nautical miles; or if you have an OUPV license, it is valid out to 100 nm.

Can I work on inland waters?

Yes. Any license or MMC endorsement issued for service as master, mate or OUPV on near-coastal waters qualifies the mariner to serve in the same grade on Great Lakes and inland waters, except towing vessels upon western rivers subject to the limitations of the endorsement.

What is the difference between Inland and Near Coastal?

Inland waters are defined as the navigable waters of the United States shoreward of the Boundary Lines, and excluding the Great Lakes. Inland waters include rivers, entrances to small bays, inlets, harbors, and the ends of breakwaters or jetties.

In the hierarchy of Coast Guard waters, inland is the lowest level. Great Lakes is the next higher level, then Near Coastal. A 100 GRT Master Inland is not allowed to operate on the Great Lakes or Near Coastal waters as a 100 GRT Master.

How do I upgrade from Inland to Near Coastal?

Because you hold a Master 100 GRT Inland under 46 CFR § 11.457 you can take an "Upgrade" course from Master 100 ton from Inland to Near Coastal. These are short classes and they cover two USCG tests for you: Q150 - Deck General and Q152 - Navigation General: Oceans or Near Coastal.

If you hold a Master 100 GRT Inland under 46 CFR § 11.457 and want to become a Master 100 GRT Near Coastal, we recommend taking an Upgrade USCG Approved Course once you have 720 sea days in the deck department, with 360 days on Near Coastal or Ocean Waters.

What are the towing limitations?

Before serving as master or apprentice mate, based on current credentials, of towing vessels on the Western Rivers, mariners must possess 90 days of observation and training and their MMC must include an endorsement for Western Rivers.

Do I have to update my MMC to receive this endorsement?

Yes. You will have to meet the requirements for the towing endorsement for Western Rivers and apply for an Increase in Scope which is also called a Modification.

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

We do prefer to answer questions live with screen sharing to make both of our lives easier.

We hold free live virtual master classes Monday and Wednesday from 5:00 - 5:30 pm PT inside of under License Guidance and then Daily Master Classes.

Pro MM-SEAS members get access to our daily live office hours Monday thru Friday from 5:00 - 5:30 pm PT. You also get access to unlimited live 1 on 1 calls with one of our USCG Licensing Specialists. Pro MM-SEAS members can access these features inside of under License Guidance.

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