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New England Maritime

Frequently asked questions

  • Do I need a Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credential?

    It depends. If you are planning to operate a vessel in any capacity in which you will have  “passengers for hire” onboard then you need a Merchant Mariner Credential issued by the U.S. Coast Guard. Even if you don't need a Merchant Mariner Credential, taking our courses can help keep you and your family safer on the water.

  • What is a passenger for hire?

    A passenger for hire is “a passenger for whom consideration is contributed as a condition of carriage on the vessel, whether directly or indirectly flowing to the owner, charterer, operator, agent, or any other person having an interest in the vessel.” This could include, for example, a charter customer or someone who belongs to a yacht club, marina, formal camp or educational institution.

  • What type of credential do I need?

    The specific type and scope of credential required is dictated by the number of passengers for hire you will have onboard, the size of the vessel, the geographic area in which you will be operating, and whether the vessel is inspected or uninspected. There are additional endorsements that may be required based on the type of work you will do onboard the vessel. At its most basic, an Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV or “six-pack”) credential allows you to carry up to 6 passengers for hire onboard an uninspected vessel. A Master credential allows you to carry more than 6 passengers for hire onboard an inspected vessel. Credentials can be further designated as inland or near coastal and, for a Master, by tonnage. There are also credentials that may be limited to a certain geographic area, e.g. the Limited Master or launch tender license typically required of marina or yacht club employees moving customers to and from mooring fields in the Northeast.

  • How long are classes?

    The boating safety and launch tender classes take place over two days from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with an additional practical and in-person testing by appointment. The captains classes run for between 7 and 10 weeks, three nights a week from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., depending on the type of license. Classes for various endorsements as well as CPR/First Aid certification last about four hours each with additional testing and practical requirements by appointment.

  • What may disqualify me from obtaining a USCG License?

    The primary Coast Guard application form for a Merchant Mariner Credential contains a "Criminal Record (Convictions and Drug Use)" section. If you have had any court convictions, including for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, have refused an alcohol or drug test, lost your driver's license, or experienced any other legal situation that might be a problem, contact New England Maritime and we will confidentially discuss your individual situation or direct you to the proper Coast Guard personnel to alleviate any confusion prior to signing up for class. In many cases, the Coast Guard will issue a credential even if you disclose a past criminal record but not doing so if one exists will put your application in jeopardy.

  • Is there an attendance requirement?

    Yes. For the boating safety and launch tender class as well as for the single session endorsement classes and CPR/First Aid certification, 100 percent attendance is required. For the captains class, 90 percent attendance is required. Make up sessions are available on request for the captains class, within reason. Review and tutoring sessions are also held for the captains classes.

  • Are there other requirements to receive a Coast Guard credential?

    Yes. Generally speaking, a mariner must undergo a physical and submit a related form signed by a medical practioner as well as a negative drug test or similar proof of being drug free. In addition, experience must be documented in the form of sea time, the total required depending on the type of license being sought. There is a requirement for 90 days of sea time documented within the past three years as well as sea time onboard certain size vessels in certain geographic areas depending on the type of license sought. A mariner must also apply for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (a TWIC) for an original license and must pay an evaluation fee and issuance fee to the Coast Guard. Depending on the type of license, a mariner may be required to hold a CPR/First Aid certification from a Coast Guard-approved program. There are additional requirements. New England Maritime will review applications for errors and omissions but cannot guarantee approval by the Coast Guard which retains final authority over decisions to issue credentials.