1. I saw your Captains Course Advertisement, tell me about the course.
To prepare the student to meet the Coast Guard knowledge
requirements with regard to being able, on navigable waters,
to take responsibility for the safety of a vessel of 200 tons
or less and its passengers and cargo, and be aware of the
obligations under Coast Guard regulations concerning safety
and the protection of the marine environment.
The Captains Courses (Master/Mate 200 Tons, Master/Mate 100 Tons,
Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV)) are fully approved Coast
Guard Courses. This means that you test with the Maritime License
Center as part of the course. No additional Coast Guard exams are
required. The Maritime License Center was the first Hawaii
based school to get this approval.
2. What's in the course, what do I learn?
There are five modules: Rules of the Road, Navigation
General, Navigation Plotting, Deck General, and Deck Safety/Environmental Protection.
The Rules of the Road module covers both Inland and International Rules
including Lights and Shapes, Restricted Visibility Signals, Approach Situations,
the General Prudential Rule, the Rule of Good Seamanship, and Distress
The Navigation General module covers Weather, Navigation Aids, Navigation
Publications, Navigation Charts and general navigation areas such as Relative
Bearings, Cardinal Directions, and Navigation Charts.
The Navigation Plotting module covers Compass Correction and Compass
Error problems, Cross Bearing Fixes, Course & Speed Made Good, Set
& Drift, Course to Steer/Leeway, Estimated Time of Arrival and Tide
& Current problems. The student does actual Dead Reckoning/Piloting
on full size Mercator charts using quality Navigational Instruments.
The Deck General module consists of for subject areas – Seamanship Machinery Operations/Engineering,
Ship Construction, and Towing. The Deck Safety/Environmental Protection module consists of 6
subject areas – Code of Federal Regulations (CFR’s), Ship’s Business, Firefighting, Ship Handling,
Pollution Prevention, Radio Telephone, Stability, and Emergency Operations.
3. How long is the class and what are the class hours?
(Honolulu classes) - The Oahu class meets Mondays through Thursdays
from 6 to 10 pm and on Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm for navigation.
The class meets twenty-four times for over 80 hours of instruction over
a period of 4 weeks. On Week 5 we test and allow time for Coast Guard
administrative matters. The instructors are available 9 to 5
daily for extra instruction.
(Outer Island classes) - The Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii classes are 4 weeks
long and meet 6 nights a week (Monday through Saturday) from 6 pm to 10 pm. The instructor is available
at all other times for extra instruction. Week 5 is devoted to testing
and Coast Administration.
4. Do we actually take exams, how many exams are there?
There are five exams students must pass. The school pass rate
is in the upper 90's.
The first test you have to pass is "Rules of the Road". There
are 50 questions and you have to score a 90%. When you finish the
instruction you will know the rules backward and forward, but even that
will not get you through the test, you have to know the questions.
They are very tricky, with little differences like the word shall
or must in a rule. The Coast Guard rules questions will be
thoroughly covered as part of the course.
The remaining tests may be taken in any order. The Deck General exam consists
of 20 questions from the four subject areas of Seamanship, Machinery Operations/Engineering,
Ship Construction and Towing. The Deck Safety/Environmental Protection exam
consists of 70 questions from the six subject areas of Code of Federal Regulations
(CFR’s), Ship’s Business, Firefighting, Ship Handling, Pollution Prevention,
Radio Telephone, Stability, and Emergency Operations.
The remaining exams cover navigation. There are 20 multiple choice
questions on Navigation General covering Weather, Navigation Aids, and
Navigation Publications such as the Light List, Coast Pilot, and the Tide
of Current tables. Students must score a 70% on this exam.
Finally there is a 18 question navigation plotting exam where students
do navigation plotting on Mercator charts using parallel rules and dividers.
Students will be tested on such things as cross bearing fixes, set &
drift, compass error corrections, course to steer/leeway, estimated time
of arrival and tide & current problems. On these exams students
must score a 70%.
Students are allowed three tries on all exams.
Master/Mate 200 Ton candidates take a 20 question
plotting exam at 90%.
5. Are there any prerequisites to attend the courses?
There are no prerequisites to attend the class. In fact many
students have taken the course for knowledge. The Coast Guard, however,
does have certain prerequisites you must fulfill before turning in your
graduation certificate for a license.
- You possess a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC card) issued
by the Transportation Security Agency (TSA)
You must have 360 days of sea time to get a Mate or Operator of the Uninspected,
Undocumented Passenger Vessel (OUPV) license and 720 days of sea time for the
Masters License. You may go back to childhood to count your sea time (usually no
earlier than 16 yrs old, but exceptions have been made). Any time you have been on
a vessel in any capacity, as a non-paying passenger, for 8 hours counts as a day of
sea time. If it is your own vessel you may sign off on your own sea time. For sea time
on other vessels, the owner or Captain of the vessel may sign off on the sea time.
You must pass a physical and a drug test.
You must have taken a C.G. approved First Aid/CPR course within the past year.
All vessels taking out passengers must have a Marine Radio on board and someone on
board must possess a Marine Radio Operator Permit. You the master will paty the fine
for any FCC violations so therefore it is recommended that you get a Marine Radio
Operator Permit as part of your "Captain's Course".
6. How do I know what size my license will be, 25, 50 or 100 tons?
The Coast Guard will give you the highest tonnage on which you have
25% of your sea time, or 150% of the tonnage on which you have 50% of your
sea time. Ninety days recency on similar tonnage in the past three
years is also required. If all of your sea time is on vessels less
than 5 tons you will get a 25 ton license. If you have one day on a
vessel over 5 tons, within the past 3 years, you will get a 50 ton license.
7. Are there any other costs besides that of the Captain's Course?
Yes, the Coast Guard charges user fees, they charge a $100 fee for
paperwork evaluation, and $45 for issuing the license, for a total of $145.
If you were to test with the C.G. there would also be an $80 testing fee,
but you will be testing with the Maritime License Center that does not
charge testing fees.
Total fees are as follows:
Captain's Course (See Price List)
First/Aid CPR (See Price List)
Marine Radio Operator Permit (See Price List)
Coast Guard Fees (Paid to C.G.) As mentioned above.
Physical/Drug Test (Local going rate - about $60 for drug test $100 for physical)
8. What happens if I don't pass the course?
At the Maritime license Center we belong to our students. We will teach you how to
study and train you how to take exams. The Captain’s course is taught evenings, but
you may come in any time from 9am until 5pm for extra one-on-one assistance. There
is no charge for this extra instruction. At the end of the course you get three chances
on every exam. If you flunk an exam 3 times you can come back in 60 days and test
again at no additional charge. Our pass rate is in the high 90’s. If you follow our
guidance and take advantage of extra assistance when needed, you will pass!
9. I only have 360 days of sea time so I just want to get my OUPV – also known as the 6-Pak license.
The only license a Foreign National (non-U.S. citizen) may hold is the
OUPV (Operator if the Uninspected, Undocumented Passenger Vessel),
and they are limited to six passengers of five (5) gross ton vessels.
If you are a U.S. citizen, we do not recommend that you get an OUPV (6-Pak License).
You are limited to six paying passengers. Sooner or later you are going to want to upgrade
to Master 100 ton license which allows you to take out unlimited passengers based upon the
number that the Coast Guard will legally allow on the vessel. If you only have 360 days of
sea time you may get the Mate 100 Ton license which allows you to operate as an OUPV Captain.
The Coast Guard will not upgrade the OUPV to a Masters license, they will only upgrade it to
a Mate license charging you and upgrade fee. 30 seconds later they will upgrade the Mate to
a Masters license by charging you an additional upgrade fee. Additionally you must test all
over again. If you get the Mate 100 Ton license you pay only one upgrade fee and do not have
to test all over again if it has been less than one year since you got your Mate license.
The OUPV license does not make sense for a U.S. citizen.