Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time do I need to get my 6PAK?.... You need 365 days of operating a vessel and 90 must have been in the last 3 years and you can sign for yourself if you can prove you own the vessel.

Suppose I have time using someone else’s boat or don’t know the numbers on my old vessel.?.... Your state's DNR will send you a list of all vessels that you have owned.

Can I use military time?.... Yes, but it’s s lot easier to use recreational time.

How do I show my sea service?....There is a simple form (719) which can downloaded from our application page. 

What other qualifications are required?....Physical, drug test, CPR/1st Aid card, Social Security card, TWIC card.

How do I get my forms?....Forms can be downloaded from our application page

What is it going to cost?....CG fees are $100 for evaluation, $45 for license issuance and $100 for testing If you don’t attend an approved school PLUS your physical and drug test.

Do I have to go to CG REC?....No, as once you get the required TWIC (Transportation Workers Credential) credential, you can get oath at any notary and then mail application to REC. No need to go to REC. Download froms from our webpage This also applies to renewals!!!

How important a history of convictions?....Under no circumstances can you get away with any omissions on your application as all fingerprints are sent to the FBI. If there are any unreported violations it’s case of “lying on a federal form” and your license can be revoked or worse.

Does having a record keep me from getting a license?....Usually no, as it depends on the severity and age. Tell the truth, no fudging as you will get caught!!!!!

How do I go about the required drug test?....Almost any doctor can collect the sample, but only approved labs can analyze the sample and then only required drugs.

Suppose I want to run a larger vessel such as a headboat, water taxi, cruise boat, how do I get a bigger license?....At 3Bs we recommend a 2 step process … get your 6PAK then the upgrade to Master as a separate 3 day course.

Suppose I want to work on a commercial assistance towboat? What do I need?....There is an endorsement which can be earned in a 4 hour course which is usually inserted before or after the Master’s upgrade.

How big a vessel can I run with my 6PAK?....The 6PAK (called OUPV) is limited to 100 tons and 65 feet but limited to 6 passengers.

What is the limit on the Master license.....Your license is limited by your sea service but usually at least 50 tons but the vessel is a limited by the CG Inspection Certificate.

How do I upgrade from Inland Master to Near Coastal Master?....You must take Rules again PLUS the Master’s upgrade.

Once I start the 3Bs course how long do I have to complete the course?....You have a year from registration to completion or it’s start all over.

If I test at 3B’s what is the testing process?....The test (5 parts … Rules, navigation, deck, safety and plot) can be taken at the end of the course. Once passed each test is completed it’s done. If you fail a section (and come close to passing) the proctor will offer a re-test at the site. If you fail the second you may take a third time at another place and site. However if you fail the second re-test you have failed the course and must start all over. Note: the entire process must be completed within a year.

What does 3B’s provide?....A 284 page Study Guide which is a condensed version of all required material including 400 typical questions and answers, all material, charts,use of plotting gear and testing(all included in the tuition. The tuition includes all material and re-tests for a year!!!!!!!!!

Can 3B’s provide a private class for my yacht/boating/marina or municipal government?....Yes, we encourage private classes as it’s easier to study as group (and more fun) PLUS it’s a great off season project. We provide professional Coast Guard instruction to a professional level utilizing a lot of “hands on” practice. It’ll make your mariners safer and better sailors!!!!!!!!!

How do I get started at my boating club … what will 3Bs do to help?....3B’s will furnish posters and copy for your newsletter. Call us at 1.888.598.9598 and we can get started … setting dates, getting your facility approved, assigning teachers and material.

How do I get my facility approved?....The CG requires a space 700-800 square feet with adequate light, chairs and tables (in other words a good learning environment)!

What is the advantage of having a license?....First of all, you’ll be a more knowledgeable safer mariner as attested by the CG. Then a license assures employment as charterboat, cruise boat, towboat, delivery and even lower insurance premiums.