Uninspected Passenger Vessel (UPV) regulations are defined in 46 CFR Subchapter C Uninspected Vessel Regulations, Parts 24 through 26. The definitions contained in Part 24.10-1 define an Uninspected Passenger Vessel as a vessel:
- of at least 100 gross tons carrying not more than 12 passengers, including at least one passenger-for-hire; OR that is chartered with the crew provided or specified by the owner or the owner’s representative and carrying not more than 12 passengers; AND
- of less than 100 gross tons carrying not more than six passengers, including at least one passenger-for-hire; OR that is chartered with the crew provided or specified by the owner or the owner’s representative and carrying not more than six passengers.
The definition contained in 46 CFR 24.10-1 of a Passenger for Hire is a passenger for whom consideration is contributed as a condition of carriage on the vessel, whether directly or indirectly flowing to the owner, charterer, operator, agent, or any other person having an interest in the vessel.
The most common UPV is the 6-pack, or UPV of less than 100 GRT carrying six or fewer passengers for hire. The manning requirements contained in 46 CFR Part 15.605, Uninspected Passenger Vessels, states that every UPV must be under the direct control of an individual holding the appropriate MMC Officer Endorsement.
- For the 6-pack this means Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) or higher.
- For the 12-pack this means Master or Mate with an appropriate tonnage limitation for the vessel. The person in charge of the vessel must hold an MMC endorsement as Master while the second captain may hold an endorsement as Mate.
The length of time that the operator of an UPV may stand watch is defined in 46 CFR 705 Watches, and states that a properly manned uninspected passenger vessel of at least 100 gross tons:
- Which are underway for no more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period, and which are adequately moored, anchored, or otherwise secured in a harbor of safe refuge for the remainder of that 24-hour period may operate with one navigational watch[meaning one captain];
- Which are underway more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period must provide a minimum of a two-watch system [meaning two captains or one captain and a mate];
- In no case may the crew of any watch work more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period, except in an emergency.
This regulation is written specifically for UPV greater than 100 GRT (12-packs) to ensure that the operator is not too fatigued to maintain an adequate watch. The operator of a 6-pack may voluntarily work more than 12-hours in a 24-hour period as long as they are alert enough to maintain a safe navigational watch; however, if an incident were to occur the operator may be found negligent for failure to maintain an adequate watch if they were on watch for more than 12-hours in any 24-hour period.
For more information on UPV regulations view this USCG Publication on UPV Regulations.