The Master 100 and 200-ton captain can operate uninspected 6-packs less than 100 GRT (OUPV). In addition the Master 200-ton may operate uninspected 12-packs greater than 100 GRT. Lastly the master may also operate any inspected vessel within the limitations of the endorsement; with the exception of inspected towing vessels. The Master and Mate endorsements commonly have tonnage limitations of less than 25-ton, 50-ton, 100-ton, or 200-ton. Lastly these officer endorsements are issued with Inland, Near Coastal, and Ocean routes.
- Master means the officer, or captain, in charge of the entire vessel.
- Mate means the officer, or second captain, in charge of a navigational watch.
- Navigational watch means the operations of, and associated with steering and navigating the vessel.
- 6-pack means a small uninspected passenger vessel less than 100 GRT.
- 12-pack means an uninspected passenger vessel 100 GRT or greater.
- Tonnage limitations means the Master or Mate endorsement is for vessels with a GRT of less than the limitation.
- GRT (Gross Registered Tons) is NOT a measurement of weight; but a measurement of the volume of space in the hull. To clarify, every 100 cubic feet of hull volume is equal to 1 GRT.
- Inland route means all navigable inland waters.
- Near Coastal route means all navigable inland waters and near coastal ocean waters within 200 miles offshore.
- Ocean route means all navigable inland waters and all ocean waters.
Professional Requirement Information
The US Coast Guard issues Master and Mate as National Deck Officer endorsements in a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC). Because of this the applicant must meet minimum professional requirements; including both sea service experience and professional knowledge.
Sea service experience
Sea service experience for Master and Mate is measured in three areas. First, as Near Coastal Ocean or Inland. Second, as Gross Register Tons (GRT). And third as experience as master or mate while holding an endorsement as Master, Mate, or OUPV. To clarify the second and third areas. The GRT of the vessel that the experience was on will determine the tonnage limitation. While experience as master or mate while holding an endorsement as Master, Mate, or OUPV is only required for Master 200-ton.
Tonnage limitations for Master and Mate endorsements are based on the GRT of the vessels that the experience was on. A formula, published in 46 CFR 11.422, is used to calculate the tonnage limitation. Fortunately, the USCG Checklist clarifies the experience required for each tonnage limitation.
In summary, the Master 100-ton and 200-ton Inland requires a total of 360-days of sea service experience. However the Master 100-ton and 200-ton Near Coastal requires a total of 720-days experience that includes 360-days on near coastal waters. In contrast the Master 200-ton requires that half of the required experience was a master or mate while holding an MMC endorsement as Master, Mate, or OUPV.
View the checklist for specific sea service experience for the endorsement you are seeking.
The applicant for Master or Mate must demonstrate knowledge in four subject areas. Navigation general, chart navigation, Rules of the Road, and deck general-safety and environmental protection. Professional knowledge may be demonstrated in two ways. One, through examination at an USCG Regional Exam Center (REC). Or two, completion of a US Coast Guard approved course.
Master 100 and 200-ton Courses (includes Mate)
Master 100-ton Course ($1,200 / 10-days)
This course will satisfy the exam requirements for the original issue of Master or Mate 100-ton or less. Additionally this includes 25-ton or 50-ton; and also the Inland or Near Coastal route. This course is schedule over 10-consecutive days, Monday through Wednesday.
Upgrade Master 100 to 200-ton Course ($600 / 4-days)
Mariners holding a Master 25, 50, or 100-ton may complete this course to satisfy the exam requirements to upgrade to Master 200-ton, or Mate 200-ton. Because this is part of a 2-course sequence it is always scheduled Thursday through Sunday, immediately following a Master 100-ton course.
Full Master 200-ton Course ($1,800 / 14-days)
The full Master 200-ton course, which includes Mate 200-ton, is a 2-course, 14-day sequence. Because it is a sequence it may be taken as one 14-day course, or two independent courses. Most importantly, the Master 100-ton course must be completed before taking the Upgrade Master 100 to 200-ton course.