Six-Pack OUPV Captain’s License Versus Tonnage Tickets // Boat Passenger Laws // Do You Need A Captain?

Captain's License, Six-Pack OUPV Captain’s License Versus Tonnage Tickets // Boat Passenger Laws // Do You Need A Captain?
Captain's License, Six-Pack OUPV Captain’s License Versus Tonnage Tickets // Boat Passenger Laws // Do You Need A Captain?

The Laws – Passengers

There are a lot of captain’s license scenarios, but here are the basics. Anyone taking passengers for hire must have a captain’s license. This applies to fishing, sailing, sightseeing tour, dive boats; any boat for which you pay to ride.

Captain's License, Six-Pack OUPV Captain’s License Versus Tonnage Tickets // Boat Passenger Laws // Do You Need A Captain?

OUPV: Operator of an Uninspected Vessel License – the “6 Pack Ticket”

If an operator of an uninspected vessel offers to let you take seven or more paying passengers, they are breaking the law. If they tell you the seventh person will count as crew, they are breaking the law. Even if they don’t charge you for people over six, that’s not following the letter or intent of the law of their captain’s license.

The basic OUPV license is called a “six pack” because it allow the operator to take up to six passengers on an uninspected vessel. This captain’s license can cover up to a 100 gross ton uninspected vessel, but still, only six passengers for hire.

This means six passengers, one Captain, and possibly one Mate. So, uninspected power or sailing vessels of up to 100 tons may carry up to eight people.

Captain's License, Six-Pack OUPV Captain’s License Versus Tonnage Tickets // Boat Passenger Laws // Do You Need A Captain?

The Laws – Inspected vs Uninspected Vessels

Uninspected vessels can carry up to six passengers. Inspected vessels will have a certificate indicating how many passengers they are authorized to carry.

A larger vessel which carries more than six passengers must be inspected, and the master must hold the appropriate captain’s license. The inspection will be posted where you can read it.

While the master may hold a larger captain’s license, for more tonnage, allowing him or her to operate a larger vessel that is capable of carrying more passengers, it does not allow them to stuff a boat with more passengers than the vessel inspection covers and is intended.

Captain's License, Six-Pack OUPV Captain’s License Versus Tonnage Tickets // Boat Passenger Laws // Do You Need A Captain?

Tricky Situations – Crew Members

In the past, captains were not allowed to include a crew member. The “6-pack” allowance was for one captain, and up to six passengers.

A passenger is everyone except the owner, the representative of the owner, on on a vessel under charter, the charterer or individual representative of the charterer. In addition, a passenger can be the master, or a member of the crew engaged in the business of the vessel who has not contributed consideration for carriage and who is paid for on board services.

The “contributed consideration for carriage” is where things get tricky. While it is now legal and acceptable for a 6-pack operator to carry a crew member, in the past, it was not.

Formerly, anyone bringing something – anything – was considered to be paying. In other words, bring the sandwiches, and you have now paid to be there. You are not crew, and your body would throw the numbers over the six allowable passengers limit.

Captain's License, Six-Pack OUPV Captain’s License Versus Tonnage Tickets // Boat Passenger Laws // Do You Need A Captain?

Law Breakers Are Out There

I recently was reading an article about a law-breaker in Work Boat News. I love industry publications because they cover specifics that might not make state or national news, but are of interest to someone in the field.

The article I read was about a man in Michigan who was charging $2,400 for five hour charters on his personal boat. That part was ok. Crazy expensive, but… whatever the market will bear, right?

The problem was he did not have a captain’s license, and he was taking more passengers than an “6-pack” OUPV – Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel – ticket allows. The name of the boat kept changing over time, but the Coast Guard caught up to him anyway.

He was caught when he rented his vessel for a five-hour charter to eight bachelorettes. The limit, if he was legal, would have been six. He instructed the charterer to lie and say they were friends in order to carry two extra passengers.

Captain's License, Six-Pack OUPV Captain’s License Versus Tonnage Tickets // Boat Passenger Laws // Do You Need A Captain?

More Links:

Sailo – for boat rentals all over the world – they have over 30,000 boats!

Boat owner arrested for illegal charter operations in Chicago

Finding a Boat to Rent // There’s an App for That Too // Boat Rental Apps

Captain's License, Six-Pack OUPV Captain’s License Versus Tonnage Tickets // Boat Passenger Laws // Do You Need A Captain?

What To Read Next:

Etiquette for Boarding a Vessel // How to be the Perfect Boating Guest

What It’s Like to be a Charter Boat Captain

Sailing Captain’s Quickie Checklist

Captain's License, Six-Pack OUPV Captain’s License Versus Tonnage Tickets // Boat Passenger Laws // Do You Need A Captain?

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Captain's License, Six-Pack OUPV Captain’s License Versus Tonnage Tickets // Boat Passenger Laws // Do You Need A Captain?

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