US Coast Guard OUPV to 25/50/100 Ton Master Captain’s License Upgrade

This course is for those who wish to upgrade their existing US Coast Guard OUPV Captain’s License (Six-pack) to a 25-ton, 50-ton, or 100-ton Master Captain’s License . The US Cosat Guard Master Captain’s License is required to operate an inspected vessel that carries seven or more paying passengers. In order to carry seven or more passengers “under sail,” a Sailing Endorsement is also required.

We offer an intuitive online learning approach that’s direct, clear, and effective. By providing a methodical, well-organized program of professionally produced, on-demand lectures, videos, and companion materials, our students are able to absorb and retain what they have learned.

Course Subjects Include:

  • Seamanship
  • Boat Characteristics
  • Fire Prevention and Appliances
  • General Navigation
  • Lifesaving and Survival at Sea
  • Authorization

This course satisfies the examination requirement for the 25-ton, 50-ton or 100-ton Master License. The tonnage level of the Master’s License is based on the size vessels on which you have your sea service experience. Students who successfully complete this course will be awarded a certificate of completion that will be accepted in lieu of the standard Coast Guard examination!

Sea Service

For this License, a day of Sea Service is defined as at least 4 hours underway on any given calendar day and can be counted back to your 15th birthday. You do not need to know the exact dates – just the number of days each year.

License Operating Area

Based on the geographical area of your sea service experience, this license can be issued for “Great Lakes” waters, “Inland” waters or “Near Coastal” waters.


Included with each course is 24/7 access to our online instructors. Each instructor is a USCG Licensed Master that has gone through a rigorous approval process meeting the standards of the United States Coast Guard to become a certified instructor. They bring a level of knowledge, experience, and professionalism that adds to the total learning process. In the rare event than an online instructor cannot answer your question, toll free telephone support with one of our Staff Instructors will be provided.


Once the student completes the course quizzes and online Module Exam they make an appointment to take their final proctored exam. No testing at the Coast Guard Regional Exam Centers. The grading standards are:

Exam Modules Number of Questions Minimum Score Required Number of Questions a student can get wrong and still pass
Upgrade OUPV to Master 100 Tons, Great Lakes/Inland/Near Coastal 70 70% 21 wrong

The student must pass all modules to receive a certification of completion. If a student fails one or more modules, he or she may retest twice more without delay on the failed modules. Those who do not pass an exam module after three attempts must wait a period of 45 days to retest. The student will be required to complete the entire course prior to being allowed another three attempts at each module. In this case the student must retest and pass all four Exam Modules.

License Requirements

The 25/50/100 Ton Master Upgrade course provides an opportunity for the holder of an OUPV (Captain’s) license to raise their grade to a Master-level license. The 25/50/100 Ton Master Upgrade allows the holder to operate inspected vessels as well as uninspected vessels. The 25/50/100 Ton Master License is required by the USCG for any inspected vessel certified to carry more than six paying passengers. Such vessels would include headboats, assistance towboats, large passenger capacity tour boats, etc.

What are the USCG Requirements for the 100 GT Master Upgrade?

There are three different Master Upgrade Licenses for which a mariner may qualify. Both the amount of sea service time and the sizes of the vessels you have been on will influence the license you are eligible to be issued.

Master Upgrades are tonnage-rated at 25 GT, 50 GT, or 100 GT. The tonnage you are awarded is determined by the size vessels you’ve gained experience on in your lifetime, as limited by the size of vessels with experience on in the last three years. Time served in obtaining your OUPV License may be applied to the requirements for the Master Upgrade requirements.

  • Master Inland: 360 days underway experience since age 15. Ninety of those 360 days are required in the last three years. Completion of the Mariners Learning System™ USCG-approved Master course and test.
  • Master Inland/OUPV: 360 days underway experience since age 15. Ninety of those 360 days are required in the last three years, with 90 of those 360 days outside the boundary lines.
  • Master Near Coastal: 720 days underway experience since age 15. Ninety of those 360 days are required in the last three years, with 360 of those 720 days outside the boundary lines. Completion of the Mariners Learning System™ USCG-approved Master course and test.

Additional Requirements

Additional Requirements for the OUPV to Master upgrade include:

  • Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC Card)
  • Minimum age: 19 years old
  • A Physical if more than three years has elapsed since the last exam
  • A Drug Test unless enrolled in a USCG-required random drug program for at least 60 of the last 185 days, and with no failure or refusal to participate in a chemical test for dangerous drugs
  • U.S. Citizenship

The USCG has approved our curriculum and test as a substitute for taking the full Master Upgrade test at a USCG Regional Exam Center. Upon successful completion of our online program and passing the proctored multiple choice test, the student receives a certificate of completion which the U.S. Coast Guard will accept in lieu of taking their exam.

Note: As you gain experience on larger vessels, tonnage ratings can be increased up to 100 tons without re-testing.

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