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Old 27-07-2015, 16:59   #1
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Captain's license: online or in person?

I am looking at getting my 6-pack license, and wondered about people's experience with various programs. I am looking at:

1. an online course (cheaper and on my own schedule)
2. an in person course in Seattle (there seem to only be a few options here)
3. self-studying and taking the exam (is this an option or should I really take a course?)

What was your experience with a course/the exam? Any advice?

Thanks!
Bec
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Old 27-07-2015, 17:22   #2
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Re: captains license: online or in person?

Love the online...
6 pack
Sailboat

Working on 100 ton master now for fall test...

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Old 27-07-2015, 17:34   #3
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Re: captains license: online or in person?

Take The course...
Unless you are a smart cookie with a photographic memory.
The course is a pain in the butt, yet I can only imagine it is
more painful without the course..
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Old 28-07-2015, 05:10   #4
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Re: captains license: online or in person?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
Take The course...
Unless you are a smart cookie with a photographic memory.
The course is a pain in the butt, yet I can only imagine it is
more painful without the course..
I second all of the above.

There is a ton of rote memorization. Having it organized by an instructor and presented along with tips for taking the exam is a huge help. It also helps if you take the course and the exam from the same instructor.
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Old 28-07-2015, 05:14   #5
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Re: captains license: online or in person?

The course and test were the easy parts. 😝

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Old 28-07-2015, 08:45   #6
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Re: captains license: online or in person?

I just finished the course last week and thought it was very worth being in the classroom. I took both the 6 pack and 100GT. I think it depends on your background. If you have never had any formal education in The Rules of the Road or Chart plotting you should probably sit in the classroom. If you are experienced in these skills take it on your own terms. There are sections for Navigation and Deck General as well.
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Old 28-07-2015, 08:49   #7
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Re: captains license: online or in person?

You need a 90% on the Rules of the Road test so get cracking!
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Old 28-07-2015, 09:11   #8
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Re: captains license: online or in person?

If you have strong study skills and self discipline, the online course is perfectly adequate. If you need to be motivated from an outside force, the classroom setting is more appropriate. Either way, take it seriously and consider even the seemingly meaningless portions to be valuable. Believe it or not, even those little parts will eventually show up in the real world. I recommend the Sea School online course. Good luck!
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Old 28-07-2015, 09:13   #9
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Re: captains license: online or in person?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bec.chandler View Post
I am looking at getting my 6-pack license, and wondered about people's experience with various programs. I am looking at:

1. an online course (cheaper and on my own schedule)
2. an in person course in Seattle (there seem to only be a few options here)
3. self-studying and taking the exam (is this an option or should I really take a course?)

What was your experience with a course/the exam? Any advice?

Thanks!
Bec
there are two ways to look at this....1) I want/need the license. 2) i want to learn something and keep myself and my charges as safe as possible.
If you want the second choice take the course in person. It offers he best opportunity to gain information and knowledge.
You may also want to take a course offered by the Coast Guard. There are several, not just for the purpose of taking and passing the test but to increase your knowledge and skill set.
Most people seem to find the NAV section the most difficult to master having a home study guide and a study partner really can help.
Thios test is no Big deal but you'll most likely want to go on to the Masters License if you're looking to make some money on the water and you'll need both experience and patience.
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Old 28-07-2015, 09:17   #10
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Re: captains license: online or in person?

The exam is not so much memorization ( except of Navigation Rules) as it is knowing/ learning where to find the information asked. The Captain's Exam is administered in sections. The first section is closed book and on the 'Rules of the Road.' It is graded right away and you must get 90 percent or better... or it's all over/ can't proceed further in that session's exams. Assuming you make a 90% or hopefully a 100%, all the rest of the exam is 'open book.' What the courses properly spend a lot of time on is where/ more importantly the how/ strategy you should use to find some minute detail the question has asked on the exam from the volumes of regs that are available for you to use in the exam room. You are given a long time to complete the exam... 4-6 hours as I recall... but if you don't know... and nobody can remember things like, 'what is the minimum shrinkage allowed of a 5 lb Class B fire extinguisher? First, who knew contents in a sealed pressurized metal container could shrink at all! Even with a day to take the open book exam you probably wouldn't be able to find where that answer would likely be found. In a class you learn that that things involving fire safety regulations are more likely to be found in regs under 'oil tankers' and 'passenger ships'. Little tips/ learnings like that a worth their weight in gold (or at least the cost of the exam!). Yes, there are also set & drift math and one or more get from point A to point B using a chart and all it's dangers along the way, chart notes/ warnings. Again, worth the cost of the course to learn how to do it right, and make you aware of a lot of things the average weekender may never encounter/ be aware of. Good luck with exam, with course, you'll do well. (I'm captain of vessel carrying passengers 3 days a week and in/ out of busy recreational boating areas. I wish EVERYONE had a captain's license.)


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Old 28-07-2015, 09:37   #11
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Re: captains license: online or in person?

learning together is always more fun and you may make a connection
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Old 28-07-2015, 09:43   #12
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Re: captains license: online or in person?

Check out the community college in Astoria, Oregon. They have a great program and it is much less expensive than the private classes advertised.

I got my 100 ton license there, but first I got the software / book (I forget which) to study up on.

The course in Astoria is self-paced, with instructors there to assist you with any problems.
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Old 28-07-2015, 10:12   #13
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Re: captains license: online or in person?

I have no experience with online course in this field, plenty with normal college education. Highly recommend in class. You not only get the information explained but you get to meet people in the industry. I was offered a job in class room before I graduated. My school also reviewed my paperwork before submitting it, that is a big help in making sure its all there.
I admit, it was a pretty good outlay of money but within 2 months I had paid myself back working only PT.
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Old 28-07-2015, 10:31   #14
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Re: captains license: online or in person?

Take the class in person. Take the Masters at the same time, sail endorsement and towing as well. I have taught Sea School classes and highly recommend them. I am familiar with others and they are fine too.

I also know of several people who have been meaning to go take the test for quite some time and haven't cracked a book yet. I know one person who read Chapman's and passed the test.
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Old 28-07-2015, 11:29   #15
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Re: captains license: online or in person?

Thanks for all the info! I was leaning towards an in-person course, but online is so much cheaper! I am a motivated learner and do pretty well on my own, but it would be fun to have the community. I will check out the specific programs recommended here. Cheers!
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