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Old 18-01-2013, 11:39   #31
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Re: Skip ASA 104? Is It Needed? USCG 6pack? Alternative Or European Systems?

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
there is a huge difference between certified and experienced, unfortunately......
Absolutely, there is no substitute for experience. However, training and experience are complementary not mutually exclusive, if properly coordinated.
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Old 18-01-2013, 11:45   #32
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Re: Skip ASA 104? Is It Needed? USCG 6pack? Alternative Or European Systems?

I entirely agree with Zee's assessment and observations on certification and experience. There can be a world of difference between the two. Various organizations attempt to train/certify prospective mariners primarily to make money and secondarily to provide charter and insurance companies with assurances that attendees know the pointy end from the blunt end. mcarling's point is also a valid one... these certifications are only indicators, however imperfect.
My guess is that after sailing with Zee for an hour, she would be able to tell what an individuals level of knowledge and competency is, as would most experienced mariners.
I have sailed with 1500 ton unlimited Masters who hardly knew how to steer a 50 footer because after 3-4 years of maritime academy, they could man a bridge, give orders, load cargo and navigate but lacked the hands-on small boat handling skills many cruisers possess. Most of my boat handling and marine skills were taught by old salts some of who couldn't even spell so would have no chance of passing a written exam today. Nevertheless, they survived driving freighters and tankers across the Atlantic during WW2 and spent most of their life handling towboats and fishboats up and down the west coast. I would bet my life at sea on these guys rather than an ASA or RYA certified charter boat type. Just sayin'... Phil
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Old 18-01-2013, 12:15   #33
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Re: Skip ASA 104? Is It Needed? USCG 6pack? Alternative Or European Systems?

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
there is a huge difference between certified and experienced, unfortunately......
This kind of blanket labeling is inaccurate Zee.

I respectfully disagree, one can be both. Because I have a license does not make me an idiot on the water. Although there are a handful of licensed idiots on the water. The vast majority of the licensed professional mariners that I know are not water idiots. Most in fact grew up around pleasure boats and moved up to larger commercial or government owned vessels that require licenses to operate. Many of them have their own private pleasure boats, because they love the water and boating, just like you do.
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Old 18-01-2013, 13:15   #34
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Re: Skip ASA 104? Is It Needed? USCG 6pack? Alternative Or European Systems?

I've only run across ASA certs when I've given dinghy tests at my club. They ask if this card means anything here and I say sorry no. Those that can sail just say OK what do I do. Those that can't badger me trying avoid the test. One of the worst I had someone repeatedly say to me for about 15 minutes, "I can answer any question, ask me a question." I kept saying I want to see you sail. Finally got him in a boat and told him to do 4-5 tacks upwind showing good upwind progress. He did several tacks beam reaching making no upwind progress at all. When I told him why he didn't pass he said "I didn't know you wanted me to sail "well", let me try again." DOH! What don't you understand about TEST.
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Old 18-01-2013, 16:44   #35
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Re: Skip ASA 104? Is It Needed? USCG 6pack? Alternative Or European Systems?

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This kind of blanket labeling is inaccurate Zee.

I respectfully disagree, one can be both. Because I have a license does not make me an idiot on the water. Although there are a handful of licensed idiots on the water. The vast majority of the licensed professional mariners that I know are not water idiots. Most in fact grew up around pleasure boats and moved up to larger commercial or government owned vessels that require licenses to operate. Many of them have their own private pleasure boats, because they love the water and boating, just like you do.
When I hire an electrician, I'd like to know he has a ticket.
When I hire a Doctor, I'd like to know he actually went to medical school.
Yes he may have graduated at the bottom of the class but I'd still take him (her) over someone who never went to medical school.
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Old 18-01-2013, 18:00   #36
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Re: Skip ASA 104? Is It Needed? USCG 6pack? Alternative Or European Systems?

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I have been sailing since i was a week old. I am 35. I have extensive inland and great lake sailing, a lot of coastal and some blue water under my belt. Some in high lat.
I am a little confused about what you want and why and what you actually want to use it for . I would seperate what you want into 2 items:-

1) getting a charter
2) learning stuff / getting a bit of paper (that would cover 99.99% of the folks who will ever care about it - accepting that many (most?) places you visit won't care).

The addition to the above being if you actually want to use any qualifications commercially.

1) getting a charter

given that a Charter is not a definate possibility in the near future (just a maybe, at some point?) then I would simply use your Sailing CV. IMO sounds more than good enough to charter a boat (likely the "hard" part for you will simply be the docking), and I suspect far more than many (most?!) Charterers (I am presuming that some of your past has involved being the Skipper)....even if none of it in the previous few years as a lot of the boat sea sense acquired (the hard part) is like riding a bike, once learnt is never forgotten - even if bits of the highway code are!......

.......therefore my approach would be to be upfront with the Charter company (when you send them your CV) as no doubt a question they are asked constantly. IMO you asking the right questions in the right way shows good boat sense , and if the outcome is that you get a skipper for half a day or a day (even at extra cost? ) then suck it up as part of the (extra) learning, as odds on that once you have an unaccompanied Charter on your CV not only will that company be happy to Charter to you again but so will others.

In addition you could simply take the cheapest and quickest course that gives you a bit of paper (no matter how worthless!), simply on the basis that many folks like a bit of paper to stick in their files . If you can get something centered around Navigation then IMO all the better, especially if the past been a bit GPS heavy .

2) learning stuff / getting a bit of paper

If you have your heart set on the USCG stuff later, then I would wait until later. But the RYA Yachtmaster "Zero to Hero" fastrack courses probably also worth a look at. Everything costs of course......

No doubt the courses for the bits of paper will teach ya stuff . But nonetheless IMO your sailing CV suggests you have more than enough experiance to learn yourself what else you need to know and can pretty much teach yerself. and likely most of that around getting hours on water (plus a bit of reading / internet / chatting to folks / going OPB).
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Old 21-02-2013, 21:28   #37
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You could also consider US Sailing certification. Their courses can be challenged. Sounds like there are fewer levels/classes. Maybe that would be cheaper. I went to a school that offers 3 hr reviews and Practical tests (with other students) for a little over $100 each. If you know the skills, it shouldn't take much time. The written tests were free. Membership in USSailing about $60.
I challenged the first class, and then took the second class. I'll likely take another class. And, I plan to challenge Coastal Navigation.
Fair winds.
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Old 22-02-2013, 08:21   #38
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Re: Skip ASA 104? Is It Needed? USCG 6pack? Alternative Or European Systems?

I have wondered whether 50 years of commercial and cruising experience would qualify for credit or allow you to challenge some of these newer course certifications. How does a 100 ton masters with a tow and sail endorsement compare to these US Sailing certifications if it was awarded in the 80's and kept current for 30 years but now expired? I occasionally am asked to drive a boat from A to B, usually for a friend but have not kept up the necessary sea time as I'm retired. Boat size varies from 35 feet to over 80 feet. The insurance company doesn't seem to have a problem with it and the owners are more comfortable having a skipper familiar with their vessel than a concern about current sea time. Expenses are paid and perhaps a case of scotch will appear but no contract or $. Any thoughts? I really got a kick out of DOJ's 'zero to hero' expression! Phil
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Old 22-02-2013, 08:41   #39
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Re: Skip ASA 104? Is It Needed? USCG 6pack? Alternative Or European Systems?

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I really got a kick out of DOJ's 'zero to hero' expression! Phil
I can't claim originality on that expression! - seems to be a common term used in reference to the RYA "fasttrack" courses to become a "Yachtmaster".

No idea if you previous quals and experiance would get you "credits", but no doubt would make much of the courses easier, either because you already know the stuff or are better placed to learn (always stuff to learn, I guess there are differences between a ship and a yacht!).....but depending on what you are doing could well be that sea miles is sea miles, if not for all of them (my guess is that at least some of them would need to have been on a yacht!)..........but probably the only way to find out for sure is to read the course gumpf and ask someone doing the selling.
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Old 22-02-2013, 09:06   #40
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Re: Skip ASA 104? Is It Needed? USCG 6pack? Alternative Or European Systems?

DOJ... I would claim authorship of that expression which I've not heard before, if I were you. I asked the question more out of curiosity than anything else as I don't plan to go for an update on my USCG certification.
However, pretty much all I learned about driving boats was from doing it, not from courses. Although I did have to take a course for celestial nav years ago to qualify for a Mates ticket for Coastal Inland waters in Canada in the 60's.
There was also an 'instant pudding' course to attain the USCG 100 ton license years ago. Most of what was required in that certification was outlined in a primer that you could take by mail (prior to Al Gore inventing the internet). Pretty straightforward stuff if you had been working on the water for 20 years.
I have heard that the RYA is one of the more comprehensive certifications you can obtain but no personal experience in that regard... cheers, Phil
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Old 23-02-2013, 10:03   #41
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Re: Skip ASA 104? Is It Needed? USCG 6pack? Alternative Or European Systems?

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I have wondered whether 50 years of commercial and cruising experience would qualify for credit or allow you to challenge some of these newer course certifications. How does a 100 ton masters with a tow and sail endorsement compare to these US Sailing certifications if it was awarded in the 80's and kept current for 30 years but now expired? I occasionally am asked to drive a boat from A to B, usually for a friend but have not kept up the necessary sea time as I'm retired. Boat size varies from 35 feet to over 80 feet. The insurance company doesn't seem to have a problem with it and the owners are more comfortable having a skipper familiar with their vessel than a concern about current sea time. Expenses are paid and perhaps a case of scotch will appear but no contract or $. Any thoughts? I really got a kick out of DOJ's 'zero to hero' expression! Phil
Re ASA. Keep in mind that ASA standards are recreational and a USCG license is commercial. You can challenge any ASA standard. This involves a written exam and an on-the-water evaluation. The standards are hierarchical so you can't just challenge 104, but must also challenge it's per-requisite standards (ASA 101 and 103).

As I recall, the USCG puts a time limit on prior experience used for renewal. I think it is 5 years, but best to confirm with the USCG.

Technically for yacht deliveries (no passengers for hire) you don't need a USCG license. If the owner and insurer are OK with that you are good to go. However, anything which can be construed as transporting "passengers for hire" technically requires a license and this is true even if the compensation is a case of scotch.
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Old 23-02-2013, 10:10   #42
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Re: Skip ASA 104? Is It Needed? USCG 6pack? Alternative Or European Systems?

You're correct, belize... my clock on my USCG 100 ton has run out and I don't get enough sea time to keep it up... I was just curious, that's all... cheers, Phil
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Old 04-03-2013, 20:19   #43
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Re: Skip ASA 104? Is It Needed? USCG 6pack? Alternative Or European Systems?

The ASA is vollentery and unrecognised.
So what.
So is the entire RYA spectrum without a comercial endorsment.
All are recognised as good traning and expierience.
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Old 26-03-2013, 18:05   #44
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Why not submit your sailing resume to the Moorings or TMM or whomever and find out what they think your qualified to charter. I think they would review your skill set.
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Old 27-03-2013, 07:29   #45
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Skip ASA.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Yeah, i could do that. My friend said "if a charter company wanted you to take 101 you should probably tell them to buzz off" and i think he is right. I like to learn. I have advanced degrees in a multitude of topics. But i would be miserable learning what I learned in 3rd grade from instructors who may or may not have a lot of experience and information to offer. I love ASA but if it is not going to offer courses for advanced sailors I question if their mission is being fulfilled. When I complete my PhD next year I will take the USCG 6-pack license course, most all of days logged are under sail so I think that means one gets the sailing endorsement. Sadly the PhD in a land locked state has cut into under-way days within 3 years . What a cluster.

Thanks for the feedback folks.
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