There are two types of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (UPV) defined in 46 CFR Subchapter C, Uninspected Vessels. The UPV 6-pack and the UPV 12-pack.
The UPV 6-pack is limited to vessels of less than 100 gross register tons (GRT), or about 65 feet in length, carrying a maximum of six passengers that includes at lease one passenger for hire (6-pack), not counting the operator or crew. The operator of a UPV 6-pack must hold a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) endorsement as Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) or higher; meaning that any anyone holding an MMC endorsed as Master or Mate can also operate a UPV 6-pack.
- GRT is not a measurement of weight, it is a measurement of volume where ever 100 cubic feet is equal to one GRT. For documented vessels the GRT is listed on the vessel’s certificate of documentation; for state registered vessels it can be estimated by using this formula: (length x width x depth) divided by 100.
- A “passenger for hire” means any person that was required to contribute anything as a condition for being a passenger on the vessel.
The UPV 12-pack is a vessel greater than 100 GRT carrying twelve or fewer passengers that includes at lease one passenger for hire. The operator of a UPV 12-pack must hold an MMC endorsement as Master with an appropriate tonnage limitation for the vessel. A mariner holding an MMC endorsement as Mate with an appropriate tonnage limitation may sail as second captain. Since UPV 12-packs must be greater than 100 GRT and most are under 200 GRT the most common MMC endorsement for these vessels is Master or Mate not more than 200 tons. The holder of an OUPV endorsement may not legally sail as first or second captain onboard any UPV 12-pack.