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