Get Your Captains License through Explorers Guide Maritime Academy

Offering Classroom Captain Courses

Classes being held fall of 2020. We have classes in Appleton WI and Sturgeon Bay, WI; Westmont IL; Grass Valley CA. In winter of 2021 classes will be in CA. Wisconsin classes will be dependent on Covid-19

To check out our class schedule or enroll click here

 Explorer's Guide Maritime Academy offers NMC approved courses in classroom setting in Wisconsin, Illinois, California. Other sites can be individually arranged for groups.

Class sizes are typically small, affording ample student/instructor interaction. Our instructors are experienced in meeting the special needs of adult learners. Need more information or have questions on which license you qualify for? Give us a call at 920-733-5500. We'll be happy to help.


 "You two are a class act and I truly appreciate you both". V/R, Capt  Jon

"I can’t thank you enough for how enjoyable you made the experience of getting my license.  I was really nervous about the tests, but with all of reviews that you put in the program, they really turned out to be a non-issue." Capt Gert

Need Application Help?  

We help hundreds of mariners every year with their paper work. First check out the videos and forms on our Application Help Page. Then if you have questions,  email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. I do scan copy reviews from $25 to $95 depending on amount of work.

License Renewals:

There are 5 parts to a renewal. Application, Medical, Drug test, 360 days of sea service, and $95 renewal fee through pay.gov. Check out each of the videos on these items. Make sure you check officer renewal and list all the endorements in the box below it. 

Classes offered include:

200 Ton Masters Upgrade: We just added a master upgrade from 100 tons to 200 ton inland, Great Lakes, and Near Coastal. Classes will be anounce shortly: 

OUPV for Inland, Great lakes, and Near Coastal Routes  OUPV Inland, Great Lakes or Near Coastal Routes - Captains License OUPV, aka 6-Pack - Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV) is better known as a "6-pack" or captains license. This is a starting point for most mariners and ideal for fishing guides, dive operators, etc. Our Captain license classes (OUPV) cover all three routes, Inland, Great Lakes and Near Coastal waters, in online or classroom format.

 OUPV Upgrade to Master 100 Ton  for Inland and Great lakes Routes  -  OUPV to Master 100 Ton Upgrade for Inland and Great Lakes Waters -  To operate an inspected vessel, a vessel with more than 6 passengers, you need to upgrade your license (Merchant Mariner Credentials) to a Master's. The actual tonnage endorsement and route depends on your sea service. 

 OUPV Upgrade to Master 100 Ton  for Near Coastal Waters  -  to operate an inspected vessel on Near Cpastal waters, a vessel with more than 6 passengers, you need to upgrade your license (Merchant Mariner Credentials) to a Master's Near Coastal. This requires at least 720 days of sea service with 360 on the4 Great Lakes or Near Coastal waters.  

 Master Increase in scope to Near Coastal waters. - Master Increase in Scope to Near Coastal - Do you want to work along the coast but do not have a near coastal route endorsement?. We can help with our Masters Increase in Scope course, which adds near coastal routes to your Masters Inland/Great lakes credentials.

 Upgrade your OUPV license to Mate 200 Ton - With the OUPV to Mate 200 Ton endorsement and proper sea service, you can request an upgrade to Master 200 Tons without further examination. You can go from OUPV with one year of sea service on vessels over 67 tons to Master 200 Ton with this program.

MarineRadio Operator Permit (FCC) 

Marine Radio Operator Permit (FCC) If you operate an inspected vessel on the Great Lakes or Tidal waters you will also have to have an FCC Marine Radio Operators Permit.

 Endorsements for Your Captains License - 

assistance towing captain Explorers Guide Maritme Academy

Assistance Towing Endorsement - There are several endorsements you may want to add to your license. If you want to commercially tow other boaters in, you need to add the Assistance Towing endorsement. This can be added to either an OUPV or Masters 100 Ton captains license 

 Auxiliary Sailing Endorsement - Auxiliary Sailing for Master License is only for captains working on an inspected sailing vessels.This can be added to Masters 100 Ton captains license 


Commercial Courses

Exp200 ton mate class at Explorers Guide Maritime Academylorers Guide offers several classes for larger commercial vessels in both online and classroom format. The courses are easy to take along when working on the boats.

If you are interested in working as a rating on tugs and larger boats, we offer an Able Seaman with Lifeboatman Limited course.

To learn more: 

Able Seaman, including Lifeboatman Survival exam course.


The staff at Explorer's Guide Maritime Academy will work with you from start to finish. We can advise you on the type of license you need, answer any questions you may have on licenses and application documents, and assist you with your enrollment. Instructors work with each of their students to ensure they understand the material and are prepared for the final exams. We want you to be knowledgeable and safe boaters and successful in your careers. Just let us know how we can help.

Captain license Classroom classes are held in: California - Grass Valley; Redding, Cresent City, Iowa - Dubuque; Wisconsin - Appleton, and Sturgeon Bay. Illinois , Chicago, and other cities. Call us to see if we have an upcoming class scheduled in your area, or click on the button below to see the full schedule of classes at each location.


Online classes are also available for students worldwide. Access to the course material is available 24/7. These are in the same format as our classroom classes. Students work through the material at their own pace, and are then required to sit for a proctored final exam at one of our USCG-approved proctored exam sites located nearest to them. Upon successful passing of the exams, a course completion certificate is issued and emailed to the student. 

Our friendly maritime academy staff will assist you with captains license course registration and answer any questions you may have on the different types of licenses, sea service time, license requirements, and course funding. 


"I was very impressed with the course as I have never taken an online class. Everyone I have talked to and e-mailed have been very polite and professional. I will recommend this school to the people I work with. I have been an operator of tugboats for over 30 years and found this class an eye opener to what I had forgotten."
Former Student Luther Edwards

 "Fair Winds and Following Seas" 

Captain Gary Kulibert - Explorer's Guide Maritime Academy