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Old 06-04-2017, 20:08   #1
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Questions about USCG Captain's License

Hey all,

I'm looking to get my Captain's license in the next few months, and I have a few inquiries. I can't really seem to find a whole lot online with solid evidence. Mainly I find a bunch of mixed and different answers.

So I come here asking you guys =]

Anywho I have met my requirements of 360 days so that's no issue. I'm mainly trying to find out which course to take to get a USCG 100 tonne.

Now I'm currently​ finishing an IYT, diveboat coxswain course. This course allows me to Captain tenders and dive vessels. Now this is where I get a little confused
So on some sites I find that it is comparable to the Yachtmaster. Now from other mixed sources I've heard that with the STCW95 that Yachtmaster, turns into a Master's 80 tonne? Which would suffice for the time being. Anyone know anything about this? Yes I have googled, many of times.

Also anyone know how IYT certs fair with the USCG? Could I just take the course with them in the states, and get a 100 tonne?

Now I also hear of other courses which seem to be much more popular in New England, the 6-pak. Now I know this is USCG, but it seems small? I heard of someone only getting a 25 tonne?

So basically I'm really looking for all are the info pointing me in the right direction.

Any courses you'd recommend? What my IYT can do for me? Is it USCG? If not where do I turn for a 100 ton and what do I need? And anything else!

Thank you so much in advance!
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Old 06-04-2017, 21:16   #2
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Re: Questions about USCG Captain's License

If you plan to use it, you go for the biggest tonnage that the CG will let you test for. Anything above the 6 pack is documenting the tonnage.

I think this is a simple great starter. Might be below you level, focuses on getting started, grabbing the 6 pack.
Budd Gonder's 15th edition.
https://www.amazon.com/Coast-Guard-L.../dp/1880093030

Get to know the CG NMC site, the requirements are fairly well laid out for each level.
In the application you tell them what you want to test for - they respond (after application review) with a letter with what you are missing, or approve it as requested and tell you the sections you must pass to be licensed at the requested level.

Yes you need to decide if you want go with a paid course - do make sure the school is approved and will result in the CG license. Or go it on your own, perhaps take a course for just the sections you need help with.

The medical and lifeboat & GDMS courses are mandatory for upper level.

I started going for 6 pack, realized the 100 ton was within reach, by the time I had my application ready I requested and was approved for 200 ton.

3 years later went back and tested for Master Open Ocean and Domestic 1600 ton. Its a journey. The more you get into it the more you can better determine your tolerance for CG/government rigger and figure out what you will actually make use of versus your time and effort.
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Old 06-04-2017, 21:49   #3
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Re: Questions about USCG Captain's License

The fundamental question that I would ask myself in your position is, 'what am I going to use it for?'
If you plan to earn your living on the Water, fine... good to have the USCG certification.
One thing to remember is that if you are involved in an accident at sea, even involving a crew member, the courts will hold you to a higher standard than if you did not hold the certification. Phil
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Old 07-04-2017, 04:45   #4
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Re: Questions about USCG Captain's License

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Originally Posted by DewTheDewDude View Post
Now I also hear of other courses which seem to be much more popular in New England, the 6-pak. Now I know this is USCG, but it seems small? I heard of someone only getting a 25 tonne?

So basically I'm really looking for all are the info pointing me in the right direction.
Rummage around on this site, if you haven't already, for info about requirements, test questions, and so forth.

Credential Application Process

At entry level, the two common tests are for the 6-pack and the 100-ton. The latter test has only a few more questions...

If you pass the 100-ton tests, then your sea time/tonnage time comes into play and they grant you the license that applies to your tonnage time. Hence if you were to only have time on 5-ton boats, the outcome of passing the 100-ton test would likely be a 25-ton license.

-Chris
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:50   #5
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Re: Questions about USCG Captain's License

A lot of cruisers believe that a USCG captains license is good to have. NOT.

You would be wasting your time any money on the captains license if you are not going to use it for making money as a captain.

As a USCG captain, your individual liability goes up, as now you are legally responsible for the boat and crew and any misjudgments that anyone on board may make.

You will have to renew your USCG captain license to a schedule along with your Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card.

You will need to provide finger prints and DNA to the government, so they have it on-hand for your identification records.

You will be subject to regular medical physicals and or drug testing.

As a cruiser that just owns a boat with no intention of making money on your passengers its just a waste of money.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:51   #6
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Re: Questions about USCG Captain's License

Quote:
. Anywho I have met my requirements of 360 days so that's no issue. I'm mainly trying to find out which course to take to get a USCG 100 tonne.
The 100 ton ticket require 720 days of Sea Time, not 360.

Quote:
One thing to remember is that if you are involved in an accident at sea, even involving a crew member, the courts will hold you to a higher standard than if you did not hold the certification. Phil
Got a reference, a law or a rule on that, or is it just hearsay ?
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:58   #7
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Re: Questions about USCG Captain's License

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Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
A lot of cruisers believe that a USCG captains license is good to have. NOT.

You would be wasting your time any money on the captains license if you are not going to use it for making money as a captain.

As a USCG captain, your individual liability goes up, as now you are legally responsible for the boat and crew and any misjudgments that anyone on board may make.

You will have to renew your USCG captain license to a schedule along with your Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card.

You will be subject to regular medical physicals and or drug testing.


As a cruiser that just owns a boat with no intention of making money on your passengers its just a waste of money.
Not a waste of money. You may actually learn something studying for the exam.
No regular medicals or drug testing.
They don't ask for a renewed TWIC card, only initial.
How can the individual liability go up? You are already responsible as the skipper and owner of your boat.
If you don't want the license that is fine, but no need to cook up excuses for not getting it.

It is actually great for Cruisers to be licensed, take a job anytime running a boat and supplement the cruising kitty. Your boat insurance will also go down.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:19   #8
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Re: Questions about USCG Captain's License

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Not a waste of money. You may actually learn something studying for the exam.
I have had my 50 Ton USCG Captains license for 10 years now.

I can tell you first hand that it is a waste of money for a Cruiser that is not trying to make money using there boat.

You want to learn the rules of the road then take a course or read a book or watch YouTube videos. There are much better ways to learn the rules of the road than getting a USCG Captains license.

Delivering boats was fun the first year or two, then it gets REAL OLD after that.

Your delivering the boat to a schedule in the worst possible circumstances imaginable.

A lot of delivered boats are not properly maintained and have no spares or tools on board, so your in a poor situation and now you become a boat mechanic. Fun Fun.

The weather is usually not in your favor.

You as captain keep the boat moving as the owners wants it at a new location ASAP.

Your working the boat delivery 24/7, so your delivery rate sounds high, but your actually making less than minimum wage.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:39   #9
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Re: Questions about USCG Captain's License

Quote:
I can tell you first hand that it is a waste of money for a Cruiser that is not trying to make money using there boat.
You of course are entitled to your opinion, however flawed it may be.
I found my 100 ton ticket to be a great investment and I sure learned something during the courses and renewals. My boat insurance has had a healthy discount over the years because I have a license. Have not seen any negatives yet and if I do, I will report back..
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:50   #10
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Re: Questions about USCG Captain's License

I probably should have stated this earlier, but I have quite a few opportunities to work with this license. I'm not just trying to put it on my mantle.

But now after viewing the site and requirements, I feel I won't make the requirements for the 100 ton. Or perhaps I've missed something?

Any ways does anyone know anything at IYT? International Yacht Training?

Thanks again for your time guys!
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:04   #11
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Re: Questions about USCG Captain's License

Depends on where your work opportunities are. If they are in US waters with paying passengers, you will need a CG license. If they are in the Caribbean or Med, the YM approach is better.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:25   #12
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Re: Questions about USCG Captain's License

I earned my "Six Pack" license a few years ago after taking a course offered by "Sea School." in Destin, Florida. It was six days of intense lecturing and hands-on mapping and learning. There were several tests to take at the end and I passed with lots of studying and effort. It was a great experience and I recommend it to anyone who spends time on the water in the US. I have never made any money with my boat and I have no plans to in the near future, but I look at the water differently now and I recognize lights, fog horns, signs, etc. that I had no clue about before.

As far as the license is concerned, there is no way I could have passed the tests without the help of the Sea School classes. I have my private pilot's license also, and I managed to pass the test without ground school, but there is no way I would have been able to "self study" and pass the USCG tests. They also brought in a doctor to do the physical in class and walked us through the TWIC card process, etc.

If you are considering this credential, I suggest that you take the class and let them walk through all the requirements - there are many - and you will succeed. Good Luck!
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:36   #13
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Re: Questions about USCG Captain's License

I have a 100 ton, I too highly recommend sea school, they can answer all your questions.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:46   #14
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Re: Questions about USCG Captain's License

Unfortunately, when they bring out the book of colored dots, I always see the wrong numbers. Puts a screeching halt to all these aspirations, even though there is no practical effect in the real world.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:57   #15
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Re: Questions about USCG Captain's License

It has been a while since I have been involved in the USCG licensing game, so I'm not sure if this is still valid or not. Judging by the way you spell ton (tonne) I have to guess you might not be a US citizen?

The rule used to be that a non-US citizen could hold a 6-Pack (OUPV) if they had a valid US green card but where not allowed to hold a USCG 100 Ton Masters License or above. This could have changed - but I doubt it.

Also - difference in sea time, you can earn a 100 Ton Masters License, Inland with only 360 days on the water, but will need 720 days for Near Coastal. Inland waters are inside the demarcation line, Near Coastal is outside the demarcation line.

I hope that this is somewhat helpful.

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