The US Coast Guard 25/50/100 Ton Master Captain’s License is required to carry seven or more passengers on an inspected passenger vessel. 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:

  • Navigational Rules of the Road
  • Aids to Navigation
  • Electronic Navigation
  • Characteristics of Weather Systems
  • Lifesaving Equipment & Safety
  • Basic Seamanship Skills
  • Tides and Currents
  • Marine Radio Operation
  • Pollution Prevention
  • Vessel Handling Skills
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Authorization

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

Sea Service

For this US Coast Guard captain 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 have to know the exact dates – just the number of days each year.

License Operating Area

This US Coast Guard captain license can be issued for the Great Lakes, U.S. Inland Waters or U.S. Near Coastal waters (depending on where you gained your experience).


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:


  • RULES OF THE ROAD – 30 – 90% – 3 WRONG
  • PLOTTING – 10 – 70% – 3 WRONG
  • DECK GENERAL – 60 -70% – 18 WRONG
  • MASTER 25/50/100 TON – 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 online Exam Modules.

License Requirements

The USCG Master License allows the holder to operate inspected vessels as well as uninspected vessels. Any vessel that is certified (authorized) by the USCG to carry more than 6 paying passengers plus crew must have a Boat Captain who holds a 25/50/100 Ton Master license. Ferry boats, harbor tours boats, whale watch boats are examples of inspected vessels.

There are 4 different Master Licenses a mariner may qualify for such as the Master Inland or Master Near Coastal. Both the amount of sea service time and the size vessels you have been on will influence the license you are eligible for. Master licenses are tonnage rated at 25 GT (gross tons), 50 GT, or 100 GT.

The tonnage you are awarded is determined by the size vessels you’ve gained experience on in the last 3 years – it’s called “recency experience.” You are not required to advance through the different licenses one at a time. If you meet the USCG requirements for the master 100GT Near Coastal, you’ll get that license as your first license. The 4 types of up to 100GT Master licenses are listed below along with the requirements:

Master Inland: 360 days underway experience since age 15; 90 of those 360 days in the last 3 years. Completion of approved Course and Test.

Master Inland/OUPV: 360 days underway experience since age 15; 90 of those 360 days in the last 3 years; 90 of those 360 days outside the boundary lines. Completion of the Mariners Learning System™ Coast Guard approved Course.

Master Inland/Mate N.C.: 360 days underway experience since age 15; 90 days of those 360 days in the last 3 years; 180 of those 360 days outside the boundary lines. Completion of the Mariners Learning System™ Coast Guard approved Course.

Master Near Coastal: 720 days underway experience since age 15; 90 of those 720 days in the last 3 years; 360 of those 720 days outside the boundary lines. Completion of the Mariners Learning System™ Coast Guard approved Course.

Additional Requirements

Additional requirements necessary to obtain your USCG Master License include:

  • Obtain a Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC Card)
  • Minimum age: 19 years old
  • Pass a Physical Examination
  • Take a Drug Test unless enrolled in a USCG – approved 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
  • CPR/First Aid Card
  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Provide Three Character References
  • Completed USCG Original License Application Package