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Old 15-09-2013, 15:55   #1
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Any advice about capt. License schooling

Aloha from the Big Island Hawaii. Anyone have advice on choosing a maritime school. I am currently planning to take classes for 100 ton six pack license probably next summer. I was also thinking about taking a marine engine repair course, should I do diesel or gas engine. Also is there any other certifications which would be indispensable in addition to a 100 ton license.
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Old 15-09-2013, 16:09   #2
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Re: Any advice about capt. License schooling

The 100 ton and six pack license are 2 separate licenses- one is an entry level credential (6-pack) and the other more of a professional license.
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Old 15-09-2013, 16:19   #3
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Re: Any advice about capt. License schooling

Any interest in Unlimited Tonnage? I'm a grad of California Maritime Academy, good 4 year CSU college.
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Old 15-09-2013, 16:32   #4
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Re: Any advice about capt. License schooling

Sure I had a friend who went to Mass. Maritime. So it's a four year commit for the everything license. What are approx salary estimates.
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Old 15-09-2013, 16:34   #5
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Re: Any advice about capt. License schooling

Houston Marine offers some good courses, either home study or class room orientated. There is also AVTEC in Seward, AK, that offers good class room studies.
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Old 15-09-2013, 16:49   #6
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Re: Any advice about capt. License schooling

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Sure I had a friend who went to Mass. Maritime. So it's a four year commit for the everything license. What are approx salary estimates.
When I graduated our union MM&P (masters mates and pilots) assured us we were on parity with airline pilots. They must have had a crystal ball because 20 years later it was finally true. Of course you know of all the concessions airline pilots have had to make over the last two decades. lol
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Old 15-09-2013, 17:06   #7
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Re: Any advice about capt. License schooling

I got my captains licence about a year ago from a place called "The Captains School" This course was taken in the evenings for a couple off weeks and weekends and basicly taught you how to pass the captains test, which is a written test. No practical test. Since I have a lot of sea time I qualified for everything they offer which was the 6 pack licence, masters, towing and sailing endorsements. Through this school I could have qualified for up to 100 ton licence if I had some documented time on a 50 or more boat but since I did not have that experience I qualified for the 50 ton licence.

Again I could have passed the test and gotten the licence without ever stepping foot on a boat with a little creative writting of my experience on a boat.

I got my licence for a couple of reasons. One, I thought it would be a good expierance, I got a little break on my insurance policy, and it opened me up to getting a job if something came along that I wanted to do. When the dock master job at the small marina where I keep my boat, opened up, they asked me to be there dock master patially because I have the licence even though it isn't required for the job.

A couple of other things you will need to get the licence. You now have to get a TWIC card, which requires a drug test, back ground test, and finger prints. You also have to be able to pass a basic eye and physical exam. You also need to pass a CPR class and basic first aid class. I did the whole thing in a little over 2 weeks and cost me around $2000.00 not counting gas food, lodging and so on.

I would say it was a good expence, but did nothing for actual skills needed to run a boat, but it did at least make me aware of a few law's, rules and so forth that I was not clear on before the coarse. If you plan on ever working in the marine business then I would say that getting the licence is a must if you ever want to be anything other than a deck hand working for min wage. It also gives you some credibility desirved or not. In order to get a licence greater that 100 ton you will have to go to a school that offers the more advanced classes.
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Old 15-09-2013, 17:43   #8
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Re: Any advice about capt. License schooling

If you're planning on being career on anything bigger than a sport fisher, go to a maritime academy. Being a hawsepiper is tough and from what I understand becoming more and more impossible (deckofficer can speak to that better than I can).

The biggest thing, and by that I mean by about 90%, of your job determination will be your contacts and reputation. I have my 100 ton and the reason I had more work than I wanted in the states was because of the friendships and professional networks I had going for me.

Your license effectively makes you a "paper captain". No one is going to hire you based on that, anymore than you can drive a big rig across the country because you can show your commercial trucking license.

If you want to make money and have more work than you can handle, become an engineer. I think a pretty awesome path would be a big ship engineer and a small boat captain. As a mechanic it will do nothing but help you on small ships, you can make money anywhere, and you can run charters and the such (on 100 tons).

Because I have to tell you, running party boats around isn't too bad.



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Old 15-09-2013, 18:04   #9
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Plenty of maritime academies around the US. You will get training and sea time to qualify as a 3rd mate or 3rd engineer on a ship.

I have worked with with a few unlimited Captains and CE's that did not go the academy route but had licensed individuals sign off on their sea time but it has been a while.

The pleasure and charter boat world is a different game.
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Old 15-09-2013, 18:06   #10
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Re: Any advice about capt. License schooling

Rebel Heart has a good point. Eric, to answer your question, deckofficers that came up through the Hawespipe were rare even back when I was shipping, probably more so now.

Doing the engineering side of an academy does open up a lot of opportunities both merchant marine and land based. Our engineering grads were always a shoe in for any power company, some of the best paying jobs around at the power stations and distribution centers.
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Old 15-09-2013, 19:13   #11
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Re: Any advice about capt. License schooling

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Rebel Heart has a good point. Eric, to answer your question, deckofficers that came up through the Hawespipe were rare even back when I was shipping, probably more so now.

Doing the engineering side of an academy does open up a lot of opportunities both merchant marine and land based. Our engineering grads were always a shoe in for any power company, some of the best paying jobs around at the power stations and distribution centers.
The other cool thing about engineers, as opposed to line officers, is that you can work 9-5 in port. Plenty of engineering work happening in docks, during refit, etc.

The chief engineer makes as much as the captain (the little I know), doesn't have the legal responsibilities, and there's less competition. But it of course comes down to the type of work you want to do. I love the operation of the vessel, navigating, and seamanship. Being in the engineering spaces all day with ear muffs on just isn't my thing.
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Old 15-09-2013, 19:51   #12
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Re: Any advice about capt. License schooling

Speaking from the Hawespipe side of the equation, I can tell you that it is getting increasingly more difficult to go that route. One of the other issues is a lot of the shipping companies are looking for the degree as much as the experience. There is a lot of management training you get in the academy that you don't always get with real life. It also takes longer usually. Since you were only asking about a 6 pack license none of this may apply. If you were going to be content to work the charter scene in Hawaii, a 100 ton with a sail endorsement coupled with a dive master ticket would keep you busy. And if you went cruising it would certainly help if you wanted to try to pick up work along the way. Once I retire (become self - employed), I am going to put down "piano player in a house of ill repute" instead of seaman on my resume`.
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Old 15-09-2013, 20:02   #13
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Re: Any advice about capt. License schooling

The goal is to live well and enjoy the job satisfied with money possibilities and increase ability to travel abroad long term if desired
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Old 15-09-2013, 20:34   #14
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Re: Any advice about capt. License schooling

I can only speak for myself. Commercial marine has found a way to suck most of the fun out of being on the water. Don't get me started about the paperwork, I am not a captain anymore, I'm the ship's secretary. If you wanted longer range possibilities, you might go with a 200 ton Master / 500 ton mate with an oceans endorsement and the other afore mentioned endorsements, if you want to get really crazy throw in a towing endorsement. The higher up the food chain you go the more complex the requirements are and for me pretty much takes the fun out of it. I liked it much better when I could flog and keel haul my crew while having my morning coffee.
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Old 15-09-2013, 23:55   #15
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Re: Any advice about capt. License schooling

There used to be a book( Large spiral bound) that explained all of the licenses. It think it may have been published by Houston Marine. I used it to know just when I was qualified to try for the next upgrade, or if I needed more courses like firefighting, radar operator etc. I started out with a 25 ton Masters, and ended up with a 200 ton Masters,Oceans, 500 ton Mate,Oceans. I raised my tonnage mostly by serving as a Mate on a variety of large motor yachts. Without that book, it would have been a nightmare to sort through all of the qualifications/requirments that the coast Guard puts on you. Maybe now with the internet it is all easy to find, but having it in print worked very well for me. _____Grant.
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