Hopefully getting my oupv soon; looking for some tips past that

I was in the Navy for a while (subs), and have done a lot of sailing on my own boat and friend’s boats. Enough sea time that I can qualify for the oupv, plus I liked studying for the test, and I figure it can’t hurt to have a professional certification. So I’m 90% done with my application packet and hopefully can test after that.

I have a “land career” that’s been good to me (software). I don’t really have my hopes on any nice and/or senior positions in the professional maritime realm, but I wouldn’t mind slowly but surely working my way in that direction. For the short term I’d be happy to just continue to sail, load up sea time the same way I have been, and keep doing my land job. So I guess these are my questions:

  • Is starting with an oupv any better or worse than doing it another way? I might be able to drum up some business doing charter work just with the sailing contacts I know.

  • I’d like to get more exposure to bigger vessels and a more professional environment. Any suggestions? I’ve seen some ads for part time small boat captains for Vessel Assist, and I was thinking of hitting up the neighboring fishing fleet to see if they needed anyone. I’d rather not work in the galley and scrape fish guts if possible.

That path is more or less what I did. Although I had significant big boat time I couldn’t go any higher until I became a citizen, so I went 6 Pack until the paperwork was done. I had a lot of fun on Charter boats and teaching sailing in the meantime. And as you seem to know you can be on the bigger boats as deckhand until then. Consider getting your AB next, you will need it later and I [I]believe[/I] you can use the same time you have for OUPV, at least for AB special. Don’t quote me on that though, it is just of the top of my head.