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Old 02-06-2008, 12:03   #1
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USCG Captain's License

Can anyone tell me what opportunities are available for someone with this cert? There is a job opening with SeaTow that requires this and I was thinking of getting it but, if for some reason that doesn't pan out I'm wondering where else I can use it?
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:14   #2
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Running sightseeing, booze cruises or dinner boats. (will require a master's ticket since they normally carry more than 6 passengers)
Delivering boats
Running water taxis (Masters ticket if more than 6)
Running dive boats (may require SCUBA dive master or instructor cert)
Running fishing boats (usually for guys who know where the fish are and how to catch them)

I would guess that there are several businesses in the Tampa St. Pete area that run boats of some sort.

None of these will make you wealthy but a chance to earn $$ while doing something you like is nice.

George
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:20   #3
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Well I'm not making much now so I can't imagine it being too much worse... Plus I'm sure it would be a million times more fun than what I'm doing now...
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:36   #4
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Macopa - do you have the documented sea time for a license?

From my very limited talks with a couple of guys at Sea Tow or Tow Boat U.S. - the pay is terrible, the hours terrible, and the conditions can occassionaly be rather frightening. Most of them are in it to build sea time for an upgraded license and a better job but I don't know how well this works out for them.

Perhaps some insurance companies will give you a bit of a break on rates if for no other reason than it signifies a certain level of experience.

I have a 6-pack that I got more as a "merit badge" than for any practical reason. By the time I was done with the classes, exam fees, physical, drug testing, etc. I figure it set me back about $750.

On the other hand, the water taxi operators in Annapolis seemed like they were tolerably happy at what they were doing. If memory serves I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of them were old, retired farts like me doing it for the fun more than the money.

Anyway, it don't hurt to dream about it. Good luck on whatever you decide.
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Old 02-06-2008, 13:21   #5
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Quote:
Perhaps some insurance companies will give you a bit of a break on rates if for no other reason than it signifies a certain level of experience.
No they won't. If you are doing activities that require a license then you need another type of insurance. Right now you have training or you don't. You get a small break for any training and a one day Power Squadron Course will satisfy.

The biggest drawback to all the licenses is they prove "minimum standards" not maximum competency. This meets requirements for many hiring opportunities but it's not often that someone wants only minimum qualifications. They generally want something more. The something more may actually be what gets you a job. Actual experience counts a lot too.
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Old 02-06-2008, 13:59   #6
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Captain's license and $4 will get you a cup of coffee

Like the other posters said, there's not much money in it other than if you're running your own boat, and even then it's usually got to be an inspected vessel requiring a masters license. I'm sure somebody out there has made money with a sixpack boat, but every one I've ever known or worked for only scraped by because it's hard to beat the overhead with only 2-6 passengers at a time.
For the towboat, you'll need a masters license (25-100 ton) with the towing endorsement. Like Paul said, the license doesn't really qualify you, it's your experience that will get you a job. Because you can claim sea time on your own boat, it's too easy for people to lie and get the necessary sea time for the license. No one will hire you just because you have a license.
The last captain job I applied for I got disgusted and withdrew my app when I found out that the pay was minimum wage. Because
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I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of them were old, retired farts like me doing it for the fun more than the money.
My background is dive boats where you need an Instructor certification and usually the masters license(because again, most 6-pack charters go out of business after a year or two)and then you can usually expect to make about $500 a week plus a little in tips if you're working a 60 hour week.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:24   #7
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Wow. All good info. I had no idea it was that bad. I do have the required time but at this point I'm going to put this idea on hold. I don't think it will do for me what I was hoping it could do. Thanks again for all the info!
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:31   #8
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Iv'd had a masters lic for 20 years. Have worked for private resorts taking people over to the islands where the resort is. Also a few jobs for a towboat company in Tampa area when they had a 3 ship, tanker colision and an oil spill. None of the jobs paid great. Especially the resort ones.

A job as a Captain for an oil rig service company operating a 110' crew boat started at $100/day. That was 12 years ago. Wasn't bad, in that you stayed on the boat for 21 days, and all expenses were paid.
The joke of that job was that all of my sea time was on sailboats, and a few resort 40' shuttle boats! All they carred about was that I had a License

When You get a Lic. it lets you operate power boats only, unless you get the "sail endorcement". Can't remember, but that might just be for the Master ticket. The 6 pack ticket might apply to sail as well.
One year I was renewing my ticket and it was automaticlly upgraded to 100 ton, even all that periods sea time was on a 8 ton sailboat! I think thats when I had to take the 10 or 15 question test for the sail endorcement.

A license doesn't mean someone knows what they are doing. I met a guy on a boat while I was waiting for the Gulf Stream to settle down to cross, and he was going to tow his dink with the motor on it. I asked if his fuel tank was full (gas) and he said he filled it in Naples FL a few weeks ago and should be OK. No gauge.
3/4 of the way to Bimini he wanted me to come along side to give him some gas, as he thought he might need it. He had just got his Ticket. He had told me before we left, that he had a great memory, and took a prep course and breezed thru the test. This guy didn't have a clue.

I have used my License to pick up a job here and there where someone is looking for a licensed captain to move a boat. When out cruising, a chance to pick up a few bucks now and then isn't bad.

I charge $100 - $150 / day for deliveries

I did learn a lot when I took the prep course. biut I did have a great teacher.
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Old 05-08-2008, 21:18   #9
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Boy...that is cheap

Most delivery captains I know charge $300.00 (or more) plus expenses and airfare home.

A Deckhand on a Tugboat makes more than that. (And that might not even be a 24 hour day.)

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I charge $100 - $150 / day for deliveries

I did learn a lot when I took the prep course. biut I did have a great teacher.
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Old 05-08-2008, 22:23   #10
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Forget about yachts, there is very little money in it and definitely no stability. What Chief just said is a perfect example. $100-150 per day for driving a sailboat...$300 for driving a tug. Which would you rather do?

Right now the maritime industry is hurting bigtime for qualified entry level people. "Qualified" is the key word here. If you were qualified, and had all your certificates, cards, documents and papers...right now you could go down to the Gulf and get a job.

The problem is, the federal government keeps adding on to the list of requirements it takes to get a seagoing job as well as inland jobs. The net effect is that there are fewer and fewer people who are qualified for these jobs.

The other part of the problem is that most maritime employers, not all, are too cheap to pay professional mariners what they are worth. If they did pay them what they were worth, then there would be more mariners who want these jobs and the situation would balance out.

If you are serious about a job in the maritime industry, then get cracking now because there are a lot of hoops to jump through and a lot of your money that you have to pay up front in order to pay for all these classes and certificates that you are going to need in order to get a job.

You might also consider going to the one of the maritime academy's. People graduating from there now are getting almost 100% placement in the industry. It's four years of hard work but worth it in the end.
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Old 14-11-2008, 06:40   #11
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Yacht Maters Licence VS USCG Master Licence

Pherhaps someone here can help me out a bit with information. I aquired a Canadian Small Craft Ticket (40 Ton), about 20 years ago. Unfortunately, it is not valid in the US. So as a result I have been looking at other tickets and certifications for doing work in the Islands ( Caribbean).

My question is quite simple:

Would it be better to have a Yacht Masters Licence for employment or some other ticket like a USCG Masters Licence. Other then the USVI and PR, what would be more benifical in the British, Dutch, French and Spainish Islands.

Looking forward to feedback.
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Old 17-11-2008, 04:34   #12
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I can only speak regarding the tugboat industry. To be Lic to push barges around , you will have to start out as a deck hand for a couple of years then go in to a steersman program for training. Before someone will turn you loose with 3000 metric tons of cargo, you can count on abt 3 years of OJT. However The income is great and the entire industry is short handed for EXPERIENCED Captains. If you are young enough and willing to go through the process, you will enjoy a 6 figure income for the fruits of your labor.

Happy sailing

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Old 17-11-2008, 05:03   #13
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As Chuck's reply demonstrates, it depends on what you want to do and where you want to do it.

What are your goals?

George
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Old 17-11-2008, 13:19   #14
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Thanks for the replies

As of right now I am looking at doing charter work. Looking for work on a freelance basis. Stop work for a month or two and then on to a different lsland or Country.

If I could find a good company with future growth that would also be an avuene that I would concider.

Thanks for the information, keep it coming!
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Old 17-11-2008, 13:32   #15
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Always found the USCG ticket useful.

Not only does the process "force" you to learn stuff that will make you a better and safer boater, but it also is a ticket to make money.

Yeah the beginner jobs such as Water Taxi driver and other small stuff are low pay and long hours, but a good beginning towards a better job.
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