Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-12-2013, 20:41   #1
Registered User
 
Surftrip's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: So-Cal
Posts: 27
Captains License

Hello Guys and Gals! I have recently as in three days ago stumbled upon an online Skipper/Captains license program. I would like first to ask those of you who hold a Captains license what is the typical way to acquire a license? Secondly Did any of you take online boating courses? Lastly this is the site Learn to sail with NauticEd sailing school its free to sign up of course the modules cost money......my point here is if any of you are after your license/certifications it seems legit, they offer a couple of free short clinics then you have to break out the wallet. Second part of my point and most important is (when/if) any of you are like me and think this is a good idea and you want to pursue this avenue...use the promo-code "bluenose" and you will save $15.00 off the module you choose this also helps me as I would recieve a credit towards paying for my curriculm.

I look forward to your thoughts and comments thanks.

Just trying to get out to sea with all my ducks in a row!
__________________

__________________
Surftrip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2013, 05:11   #2
Registered User
 
ranger42c's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Maryland, USA
Boat: 42' Sportfish
Posts: 2,982
Re: Captains License

You need a lot of sea service time...

-Chris
__________________

__________________
Selby Bay, South River, Chesapeake Bay, USA.
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2013, 06:27   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: Captains License

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
You need a lot of sea service time...

-Chris
Correct. Check to see if you can even qualify. I'm all in favor of boater education regardless, but you should know in advance if you can qualify, adn at what level.

The Coast Guard MMC does the licensing and has a bunch of info, but it's very poorly presented and can be quite confusing, plus people are really sloppy with terminology which adds to the confusion.

The lowest grade license is an OUPV, aka 6-pack, which allows you to operate an uninspected boat with up to 6 passengers. Next is a Masters which allows for operation of inspected vessels which carry more than 6 people.

One of the confusing parts is that a Masters carries two forms of limitation. One limits how far off shore you can operate, and the other limits the size of the vessel you can operate. People regularly talk about a "100 ton Masters" or a "Masters 100" when what they really have is a 50 ton, inland license. The sea time requirements for the different levels are VERY different. The lowest grade which would be Masters, Inland, 50 tons, is no harder to obtain than a 6-pack. But if you want to raise your tonnage or your operating range it can be a challenge if you are a recreational boater.
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2013, 06:34   #4
Wayfaring Mariner
 
captain58sailin's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Homer, AK is my home port
Boat: Skookum 53'
Posts: 4,045
Images: 5
Re: Captains License

You might want to contact Houston marine, they are a very helpful bunch.
__________________
" Wisdom; is your reward for surviving your mistakes"
captain58sailin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2013, 06:45   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: Captains License

I just took a look at the sailing school's web site. None of their courses prep or qualify you for a USCG license. It looks like they just made up a bunch "levels" and have course to get you there. I could write you up a certificate that would be just as meaningful. If you are looking for a USCG license, you will need to look elsewhere. As an example of the difference, the Sailing School will qualify you as a "Captain" with 50 days of sea time. A USCG license requires 360 days.

If you want to get USCG license, here are some things to consider about courses:

- Lots of people offer course, and some are online. But 99% of them can't administer the final exam. You need to go to the CG to take the test after your course work is complete.

- As of a few years ago there were some exceptions for the tests. The CG had certified a small number of training facilities to both train and administer the exams, providing one-stop shopping. However, the restriction was that the course time had to be face to face with minimum number of hours. I think the CG site has a list of certified instructors, and as of a few years ago it was a pretty short list. So, if you are going to take a course, find out how the final exam process works before you sign up. One place that can do it all is Confident Captain in Newport, RI. I highly recommend them.

- There is a book by Charlie Wing geared towards prep for the exam. It includes a program that drills you on questions. It was an integral part of the course that I took. If you have the self discipline, you could prep using the book and program and go take the test at the USCG. That would be the cheapest way to do it.

- But before you go running off to take a course, make sure you check all the other requirements to be sure you qualify. Sea time is a big one, plus little things like being a US citizen, drug testing, medical qualifications, etc.
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2013, 06:47   #6
Wayfaring Mariner
 
captain58sailin's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Homer, AK is my home port
Boat: Skookum 53'
Posts: 4,045
Images: 5
Re: Captains License

360, (8) hour days or 240 (12) hour days.
__________________
" Wisdom; is your reward for surviving your mistakes"
captain58sailin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2013, 07:05   #7
Registered User
 
cburger's Avatar

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Nyack, NY
Boat: Westsail 32
Posts: 1,547
Images: 1
Re: Captains License

Having as much knowledge and skill in the safe operation of your vessel is a good thing, however unless you are planning on using a license for a job opportunity being a licensed captain makes you more liable in the eyes of the law and courts than the so called non professional.
__________________
"All men are created equal, some are just more equal than others"
cburger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2013, 07:40   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: Captains License

Quote:
Originally Posted by cburger View Post
Having as much knowledge and skill in the safe operation of your vessel is a good thing, however unless you are planning on using a license for a job opportunity being a licensed captain makes you more liable in the eyes of the law and courts than the so called non professional.
I've heard this argument, and suppose there is some truth to it, but I refuse to live by it and hope others will too. This whole notion that if you are stupid, less will be expected of you so it's better to be stupid, is really moving society backwards. It's right up there with everyone standing around watching a boat sink at a dock because nobody wants to take on any "liability". Or the off-duty EMT who drives by an accident because his liability insurance only covers him while he's on duty. It all just so wrong.
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2013, 08:24   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Re: Captains License

Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
People regularly talk about a "100 ton Masters" or a "Masters 100" when what they really have is a 50 ton, inland license. The sea time requirements for the different levels are VERY different. The lowest grade which would be Masters, Inland, 50 tons, is no harder to obtain than a 6-pack. But if you want to raise your tonnage or your operating range it can be a challenge if you are a recreational boater.
There's no sea service time difference or testing difference between a Master 25, 50, or 100 ton. It's solely based on the tonnage of the vessels that you submitted with your sea time.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2013, 08:35   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: Captains License

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
There's no sea service time difference or testing difference between a Master 25, 50, or 100 ton. It's solely based on the tonnage of the vessels that you submitted with your sea time.

Correct. The testing part is the same. Both your tonnage and navigation range are determined by your sea time. I guess my point was that there is a huge difference between a 25 ton Inland Masters and a 100 ton Oceans Master. Yet both are commonly called a Masters-100.

Some people poo-poo the USCG licenses as being too easy to get and not really signifying competence. For the lowest grade Masters, that is arguably true, but for the higher grades it takes some serious sea time on serious boats to qualify.
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2013, 08:55   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: Captains License

Sorry Eric, I didn't read your reply carefully and missed one point. The other "dimension" to a license that people rarely talk about is the navigation range. It's true that the sea service times are the same for 25, 50, and 100t for Inland navigation. But when you step up to Near Coastal and Oceans, there is a significant difference.

The navigation ranges are Great Lakes, Inland, Near Coastal, and Oceans. As an example, bumping up from Inland to Near Coastal requires double the sea time, and half of it needs to be outside the "boundary line" as defined by the CG.

And even the tonnage rating requires more than just a little time in a bigger boat. For example, my Masters is 50ton, Inland. If you are not running a boat over 34T you will never qualify for an upgrade to 100T. My boat is 37T and I still don't have enough time in it to bump my license up to 100T. I'm getting closer, but am not there yet even though I've cruised about 6000nm on the boat. And I'm still a long way from bumping up to Near Coastal, even at my current 50T rating. It's even harder at 100T. Most coastal cruising, at least along the east coast, only qualifies for Inland rating. I don't know off-hand where the boundary line runs on the west coast, so it might be easier out there.
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2013, 09:04   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: Captains License

Sorry to keep blabbing away here, but the attached PDF might be helpful. I've been trying to get the Masters requirements straight in my head for a couple of years now, and a while ago started making a chart to map it all out. There are two dimensions to the requirements/qualifications of Masters. One limits the size of the boat you can operate, and the other limits how far offshore you can operate.

The attached chart spells it out as best I could decipher the CG publications and the federal regulations. Neither are easy reading. Hopefully this chart will be helpful to others, and if you spot any mistakes please sing out.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf MastersSummaryLicenseRequirements.pdf (36.5 KB, 100 views)
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2013, 09:22   #13
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Penobscot Bay, Maine
Boat: Tayana 47
Posts: 990
Re: Captains License

Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
I've heard this argument, and suppose there is some truth to it, but I refuse to live by it and hope others will too. This whole notion that if you are stupid, less will be expected of you so it's better to be stupid, is really moving society backwards. It's right up there with everyone standing around watching a boat sink at a dock because nobody wants to take on any "liability". Or the off-duty EMT who drives by an accident because his liability insurance only covers him while he's on duty. It all just so wrong.
He specifically said the he was all for having the knowledge, just not the piece of paper unless you plan to use it. I think you're arguing against something that wasn't said.

Several years ago, after I had plenty of sea time to meet the requirement, I took a two week course that included the test. It was a good review of rules of the road and basic navigation done the old fashioned way TVMDC, but didn't address very much practical info. The additional USCG test I had to take to get "sail" added to the basic license was VERY basic, I can almost guarantee that every single person who reads this forum or who has ever sailed any sailboat could easily pass it without any studying. The "hardest" question was "where on a sailboat would you find a gooseneck," so you get the idea. You also have to get a drug test and a TWIC card now so it's a little bit of a bureaucratic running around involved. I don't think I'm going to bother to keep my license up because I really don't plan to hire myself out unless someone had a very nice boat I wanted to sail and asked me to deliver it somewhere, but I don't need a license to do that anyway since there would be no paying passengers. If you think you might want to hire out as a Captain of a vessel, then you need it, but if you really don't plan to do that, then I think getting the license is more trouble than it's worth.
__________________
jtsailjt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2013, 09:27   #14
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by cburger View Post
Having as much knowledge and skill in the safe operation of your vessel is a good thing, however unless you are planning on using a license for a job opportunity being a licensed captain makes you more liable in the eyes of the law and courts than the so called non professional.
Where is the evidence of that. This is just Internet rumour. No doubt a court will look at your respective experience including your qualifications. I would have thought you are more likely to be punished of you undertook an activity , where you were not qualified , then in one where you where and something went wrong

Dave
__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2013, 09:40   #15
Moderator
 
cabo_sailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Tarpon Springs FL
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 1,905
Re: Captains License

I had a 6 pack license that has since expired. It was pretty darn expensive, on the order of $700 if memory serves. Everytime you turn around there was another charge, e.g, medical, drug testing, the cost of the course, the charge for the exam, etc. What really annoyed me was when the exam was administered it was almost impossible to fail it. I studied hard and had no difficulty but others in the class would fail sections and were simply sent back to correct and re-submit the exams until they had a passing grade.

I took the class as sort of a maritime merit badge. I had no intention of actually using it to take paying passengers. When the time came for renewal, I thought about going for the master's but the cost would have been about the same and feds came out with silly TWIC idea. I had better uses for the money and let the license expire.

Rich
__________________

__________________
cabo_sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
captain, license

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:55.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.