Since the Coast Guard requirements for the Master's license are exactly the same as those for the OUPV (Six Pack) license, and the Master's is a tonnage (25, 50 or 100) that allows you to captain a boat up to that tonnage in either inland or near coastal waters up to the maximum passengers it is rated for (based on your experience), I figured I'd just go ahead and take the course.
So I did.
Once again Captain Keith Jackson gave the course at the Nyack Boat Club, just north of the Tappan Zee bridge. He made a stultifying course entertaining!
The first day was looking up stuff in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Apparently it's a skill the Coast Guard wants you to have. If you have a question about boats, ships, tugs, or anything marine, and someone somewhere cared, it's in the CFR. It describes everything. What's on the Certificate of Inspection (inspected vessels) and why. Load lines, Plimsoll marks, loading marks, fire and safety, lighting, you name it. It is, apparently, horribly expensive to have your vessel inspected, too, because of all the requirements. That's why the Six Pack - for uninspected passenger vessels.
That said, though, the CFR is not, and I repeat this, not, written for the faint of heart. It is at times very difficult to wade through. But that's lawyers for you.
Anyway, in addition, I took the towing endorsement (so I can, in theory, run a towing vessel) and the sailing endorsement (meaning, in theory I know how to sail). Interestingly enough, the test for the towing endorsement didn't contain any questions about towing. That was sort of amusing.
The first day, Friday, was from 9:00 am to 9:30 pm because of the towing endorsment class. Sunday, too, was long because of the sailing endorsement.
Of course, the weekend was very pleasant - too pleasant to stay indoors.
Now, all I have to do is get my logs together, a physical and urine test, and I'm off to the Coast Guard office at the Battery (New York City) for swearing in (at), and Bob's your uncle!
I can't wait!
See you on the water!