What is the minimum and maximum vessels size for OUPV experience?

No set size limits for your sea time to get your OUPV. The USCG will look at it all and 99% of the time you are good to go.

2 mins read・Jul 20, 2022
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There is no official minimum or maximum vessel size for experience to qualify for an OUPV license.

The USCG Marine Safety Manual Volume III: Marine Industry Personnel COMDTINST M16000.8B is the best source of information on for these types of questions. According to the USCG Marine Safety Manual Volume III: Marine Industry Personnel COMDTINST M16000.8B:

The regulations do not specify either minimum or maximum vessel size for experience to qualify for an OUPV license and believe that it is not reasonable to do so by policy

Each application is evaluated on its merit and the USCG evaluators are tasked with ensuring that each applicant must possesses all the qualifications for the license.

Experience gained entirely on large ships may not be appropriate to qualify for an OUPV license. Likewise, experience gained entirely on sail boards, kayaks, canoes, jet skis, etc., may also be inappropriate to qualify as an OUPV.

Since the maximum vessel tonnage under an OUPV license is 100 GRT, it's best to get your experience on similar size vessels.

However, the USCG evaluators may accept a limited amount of experience gained on other vessels if the applicant's overall experience demonstrates an ability to safely operate the type of six passenger craft envisioned by the law.

Read our Complete Guide to Getting Your OUPV License

Where do I need to sail?

You need 360 Sea Service days. The required routes vary depending on the type of license you're applying for.

  • For an OUPV Near Coastal 90 of those days have to be on Ocean, Near Coastal, or Great Lakes waters.
  • For an OUPV Great Lakes 90 of those days have to be on the Great Lakes.

How recent do my Sea Days have to be?

Sea Days never expire. To qualify for an OUPV license you need 90 Sea Days within the last 3 years.

To renew your OUPV license, you'll need 360+ sea days within the past 5 years. If you have fewer than 360 days, you'll need to take an additional at-home test to renew your license.

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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