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Old 04-04-2009, 18:43   #31
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An un-licensed Captain is expected to know all of the laws and regulations, i.e. "Rules of the Road," and will be held liable just like a licensed Captain for any violations or accidents.

Did you know that an un-licensed Captain is not allowed to accept money for the fuel costs of an outing?
Captain, this isn't what I've read, so I'd like to know more. I know the Coast Guard says one must have their captain's license if they recieve any consideration from crew but then they go on to define consideration as:

"(5a) “consideration” means an economic benefit, inducement, right, or profit including pecuniary payment accruing to an individual, person, or entity, but not including a voluntary sharing of the actual expenses of the voyage, by monetary contribution or donation of fuel, food, beverage, or other supplies."

I would take that to mean, people can contribute as long as it's truly a contribution and as long as it's voluntary.

However, have a difficult time finding the most current regs. If you have anything more current, please share the link. - Thanks
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Old 27-07-2009, 14:10   #32
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I need help from you knowledgable folks. I keep getting mixed answers from uscg and sea school. currently have 50 Ton Master wanting to upgrade to 100 Ton Master. All agree need 180 days (90 in past 3 years) of next higher tonnage. I have 74 days on 26 Ton vessel, 32 days on 16 Ton vessel, 38 days on 36 Ton vessel and 61 days on 7 Ton vessel. I was told by Sea School as I have over 180 days at next higher level (over 5 tons) I could upgrade with these requirements. The USCG (West Virginia) told me all has to be over 36 GRT. I called back and got different answer. Does anyone actually know the answer to this??? Only info online seems to deal with upgrading OUPV to Master. Thanks for your help as trying to get upgrade for better gig.
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Old 17-08-2009, 09:14   #33
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I think you will keep getting mixed answers. I have heard that upgrade to 100 tons is almost automatic when you renew, but its probably up to the discretion of whomever is reviewing your application. I'm in the same situation, and will let you know after I go through the process.
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Old 17-08-2009, 10:37   #34
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Originally Posted by jcmatthews3 View Post
I need help from you knowledgable folks. I keep getting mixed answers from uscg and sea school. currently have 50 Ton Master wanting to upgrade to 100 Ton Master. All agree need 180 days (90 in past 3 years) of next higher tonnage. I have 74 days on 26 Ton vessel, 32 days on 16 Ton vessel, 38 days on 36 Ton vessel and 61 days on 7 Ton vessel. I was told by Sea School as I have over 180 days at next higher level (over 5 tons) I could upgrade with these requirements. The USCG (West Virginia) told me all has to be over 36 GRT. I called back and got different answer. Does anyone actually know the answer to this??? Only info online seems to deal with upgrading OUPV to Master. Thanks for your help as trying to get upgrade for better gig.
A definitive answer will come from you're local Coast Guard REC (Regional Exam Center). Forget what Seaschool says, they don't decide. The Coast Guard are the ones who decide if you're sea time is adequate for the license you are applying for. They won't give you a consistent answer over the phone about your sea time. You have to fill out a form declaring your seatime. You mail it in and then they will decide. This way you have your answer in writing.

I have gone through the same thing every 5 years for the past 24 years when I go to renew.

This is where you want to start and where you will find the sea time form which is called a CG-917S.

http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/
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Old 17-08-2009, 16:54   #35
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Everyone jokes about the "paper captains" and all I can say is it is one thing to have a piece of paper and quite another to work in a position that requires that license. As someone earlier said, paper captains don't usually find jobs. It is experience plus the piece of paper that gets you jobs.

There is also a big difference in working with an OUPV and as a Master on inspected vessels. I have done both, and Master requires a much higher level of responsibility.

When working on an inland lake things may be more layed back and a "paper captain" might be fine. When you are working in a busy commercial harbor you need to know what you learned in school. I try to always remember that the most knowledgable and skilled "captains" are the tugboat guys, the pilots, the workboat guys and of course the ship masters. I try not to embarrass myself while working among them by taking my job as seriously as they do theirs.

The bottom-line is if you want the piece of paper, be willing to earn it through real boat time on the water, start jobs that allow you to build your experience and pay your dues. It can be a lot of fun.
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Old 30-12-2009, 18:23   #36
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can someone please answer a question for me. If I have a 100GRT Master Inland / Mate Nearcoastal, does this allow me to serve as Mate on inspected vessels up to 200 miles nearcoastal and operator of uninspected vessels to 200 miles. I also have an OUPV nearcoastal and I'm wondering why I need it. What am I missing or do I have it all wrong. Thanks for any help. John
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Old 30-12-2009, 19:08   #37
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Well I will try to answer this best i can. It sounds like you can act as master of Nogreater than 100 Gross tons inland but only mate near coastal as the 2 are distinctly different as described in the CFRS. THE OUPV you refer to is no more than what use to be a six pack lic and the 100 Ton Masters will superceed the OUPV off shore such as charter boats, fishing, etc. The way i interpret your post is that you still only have 100 Gross tons whether it be inland or offshore.
Regarding the uninspected vessel, I'd say still not greater than 100 Gross tons.

Hope Im on track but id say put it in writing and send in when you renew.
ITs been my experience after 15 yrs as master that asking the same REC the same question to 10 people, you'll get 10 different answers.

Example:
I have held 150 ton Masters for 10 yrs pushing barges inland on Rivers and ICW.
Now if I want to remove the tonage restriction and get master of uninspected towing vessel, I have to gt in an aprentishipe program and 18 months of aprentiship, doing the same job i have been doing for over 10 yrs. Got me a little confused myself.

Good Luck

Captain Charles Creel
150 Ton Master
Master of towing
25 ton Sail or aux
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Old 30-12-2009, 19:23   #38
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Thanks Capt. C, I could not agree more. I can also see why you would be a little confused with your situation. Tail wagging the dog. I appreciate your reply and I will put it to them in writing. John
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Old 01-07-2010, 17:01   #39
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Sorry for bumping an old thread, but can someone explain how the random drug testing works (and a license in general works) when you're out of the country for long periods of time? I know with our coast guard documentation we just sign a piece of paper and fax it back every year, so am I just sending a bottle of pee along with it?
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Old 01-07-2010, 17:40   #40
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The random testing program that I belong to. (APCA) will send me a notification that I have to report to the nearest participating lab within a certain period of time.
I believe it was 36 hours. IF I fail to report they report it as a no show, which is assumed to be a failure . You'd have to ask, about the travel if it takes you overseas.


To some of the other questions......the CFR has a section regarding how much time is required by % to bump to a higher tonnage... STCW Basic Safety Training will be required for any work in the Caribbean or overseas.

I have been using a license consultant to process my paperwork for years. His guidance is well worth his fee imo. For instance, the new physical forms do not have a line for the physicians license number...but it is required..
I'm also told that there are quite a few newbies in the rec center that are not up to speed yet.
The consultant walks the paperwork through, and handles any issues that come up, besides guiding you step by step through the process up front.

Just a thought.
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:49   #41
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For a young person, a ticket and job might be fun for awhile especially if you are the guy taking the sweet young women from shore to the nude party beach. Other than that as a career opportunity others have stated about having to work your way up the crew list from able hand to captain over many years.
- - In that area it can be a good career choice as you work towards being a Captain on a super tanker or some obscenely rich guys mega-yacht out of Monaco. It is a life of constant travel with sometimes short or long periods "off" while changing jobs to a new level.
- - Eventually with lots of experience as you get near to retirement you can work into a "Harbor Pilot" job and make real mega-bucks per hour and afford a nice catamaran to sail off into the sunset of your life.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:11   #42
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If you don't have the license, you won't get the job. And the job you get will be based on the tonnage and endorsements of your license.

If you're interested, then I suggest a call to Sea School in St. Pete (disclaimer - I have no connection with Sea School). They can tell you the minimum requirements for sea time as well as the cost of getting your license.

Most folks start small and work their way up. The entry license is an OUPV or "6-pack" level which allows you to take up to 6 guests out on the water, on an uninspected vessel of up to 100 tons. The OUPV Near Coastal License also requires at least 360 days of documented experience in the operation of vessels, 90 of which must be gained seaward of the boundary line. Ninety of the 360 days must be in the last three years.

The next level is Master which gets you access to inspected vessels and has tonnage limitations as well as sea time requirements.

The 25/50/100 Ton Master Upgrade course provides an opportunity for the holder of an OUPV (Captain's) license to raise their grade to a Master-level license. The 25/50/100 Ton Master Upgrade allows the holder to operate inspected vessels as well as uninspected vessels. The 25/50/100 Ton Master License is required by the USCG for any inspected vessel certified to carry more than six paying passengers. Such vessels would include headboats, assistance towboats, large passenger capacity tour boats, etc.

Since each higher tonnage license costs more money, time, and has more requirements, the fees Captains charge go up. Some Captains do very well, others get by. In 2008, Captains were charging $1000/ft/yr for vessels over 100' and getting it. Oil Patch Captains were working 14 day cycles and many got $600/day (3000ton Masters) depending on their qualifications and endorsements.

The fees Captains charge haven't dropped that much as of today. Few of us got pay raises but we're still being paid. If you live aboard or have crew, then living expenses are about $0. If the owner requires you to live ashore, your pay will still do you well. If you're doing a 50/50 gig, then getting 2 weeks off can be hard to resist.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:23   #43
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Another option is to attend a four year maritime academy. You not only get a Bachelor of Science degree, you also get a Third Mates, unlimited tonnage/any oceans license. I did this and feel it was worth it.
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Old 03-07-2010, 15:55   #44
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Another option is to attend a four year maritime academy. You not only get a Bachelor of Science degree, you also get a Third Mates, unlimited tonnage/any oceans license. I did this and feel it was worth it.
I kind of kick myself for not going to one of the maritime academies. I wanted to do it, but had more lucrative offers in the private sector in my career (software). I'm not sure if I'd rather have a "professional maritime" career, which would have me making less money but spending much more time on the water. Right now I have a typical office job which pays better but it's a fight to spend time on the water. But when I do, it's whatever I want it to be.

Either way, I think I would have rather gone to college at a maritime academy.
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Old 02-01-2011, 00:41   #45
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Does anyone have a reccomendation for an on line school for usgc six pack with masters and sail endorcement. I live in Reno, and i am unaware of any brick and motar schools for ocean seamanship. Heck, we don't even have a nearby ocean (we keep waiting for California to slide into the pacific so we can all have beachfront property).
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