Charter Boat and Fishing Guide Captain Information

    Fishing guides and charter boat captains operate small
    passenger vessels on inland or near coastal ocean waters. With
    only a few exceptions all vessel operators carrying passengers
    for hire are required to hold a professional captains license as
    either OUPV or Master.
  • A passenger for hire is any passenger that has paid or
    contributed something of value as a condition for being a
    passenger on the boat.
  • The exception to this rule is drift-boats operators (without
    a motor of any kind or size) are not required to hold
    USCG credentials.

    The captain of charter boats carrying more than 6 passengers
    must hold a license as master with an appropriate tonnage
    limitation for the vessel.

State Guide Licenses
    In addition to holding a professional captain license you may
    also have to register with the state you are going to operate in
    as a fishing guide.
  • Oregon Fishing Guides must register with the Oregon
    State Marine Board (OSMB) as a guide and outfitter.
  • Washington Fishing Guides must register with the
    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) as
    a guide.
  • Alaska Fishing Guides must register with the Alaska
    Department of Fish and Wildlife (ADFW) as a guide.

OUPV or 6-pack Information
    The Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) captain
    license issues the authority to operate a small (less than about
    65 feet) power-driven vessel carrying 6 or fewer passengers for
    hire, not counting the operator or crew. It is sometimes called
    the "6-pack license" because of its limitation to 6 passengers.
    This is the most common captain license held by fishing guides
    and the operators of small charter boats.

OUPV Professional Requirements (46 CFR 11.467)

    The OUPV License is issued with either an inland or near
    coastal route.

  • An Inland Route authorizes authority over all federally
    navigable inland waters of the United States, including the
    waters of Puget Sound, Strait of Juan De Fuca, the Inside
    Passage through British Columbia, and SE Alaska. The
    sea service requirements for an OUPV Inland is 360 days
    in the operation of vessels.

  • A Near Coastal Route includes all Inland waters of the
    US and ocean waters within 100 miles offshore. The sea
    service requirements for an OUPV Near Coastal is 360
    days of experience in the operation of vessels that
    includes 90 days on near coastal waters (over the bar
    past the ends of the jetties).

Courses, Checklists, and Related Information

Columbia Pacific Maritime INC
Dennis A. Degner (c) 2016

Columbia Pacific Maritime Inc.

Phone: (503) 841-6066

Email your license questions to

Professional Requirements

Research the endorsement you need
and the professional requirements for
that endorsements in the Professional
Requirements pages.

Most professional Merchant Mariner
Credential (MMC) endorsements
require qualifying sea service
experience. For information on how to
document your qualifying experience
goto the Application Help pages.

About Professional Licenses

Professional mariner licenses are
issued by the US Coast Guard in a
passport style book called a Merchant
Mariner Credential (MMC). A mariner's
professional qualifications are listed in
their MMC as endorsements. Their are
three types of endorsements:

National Officer Endorsements
authorize the mariner to be in charge
of the vessel, or a watch on the vessel.

National Rating Endorsements
authorize the mariner to assist the
officer as sailor, or deckhand, but not
be in charge of any watch.

STCW International Endorsements
apply to seagoing vessels greater than
200 GRT (500 GT); except for fishing
industry vessels which are excempt
from STCW regulations.
ColPac Maritime