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Old 24-10-2016, 04:57   #1
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6-pack sea time questions

I'm reading through the 'sea time' requirements, and I don't see anything about inland small lakes. From what I'm reading, I can count the days when I owned a small bass fishing boat on inland Ohio lakes. I have many days over 4 hours on that boat. I also owned other boats but I don't think I could claim 4 hours legit on any of those.

Secondly, it appears that I can take the test, and then accumulate sea time? I don't see anything that puts a restriction on the time you pass the test and the time you file your sea time.

My plan would be to pass the test relatively soon, then accumulate my 90 days Near Coastal (or more as needed once I figure out actual days spent on inland lakes). It could take up to a year to get enough days of sea time, but that seems just fine?

Thanks,
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Old 24-10-2016, 06:27   #2
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Re: 6-pack sea time questions

Once you pass the test, you have one year to complete the needed sea time and submit the application for the License.

Good Luck in your endeavor,
Marc
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Old 24-10-2016, 08:52   #3
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Re: 6-pack sea time questions

Capt Marc, thanks for that info. 1 year seems limiting. That means I will have to wait until I get closer to acquiring the sea time to actually take the test.

Thanks for the info though,
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Old 24-10-2016, 09:11   #4
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Re: 6-pack sea time questions

Sea time on any navigable waterway, lakes included, counts. You need to document 365 days (min 4 hours) from the time you turned 18 until present. The form you need is here...

https://www.uscg.mil/forms/cg/CG_719S.pdf

When you have your sea time documented, or nearly so, take a class at a marine school. You have one year after you pass the test to submit your application.

Your license would be limited to inland waters, unless you have 90 days of near coastal sea time.

I recommend going for the master's license rather than the 6-pack. The test is not really much more involved. The tonnage would be limited to vessels similar to your sea time experience.
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Old 25-10-2016, 11:37   #5
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Re: 6-pack sea time questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by FollowingCs View Post
I'm reading through the 'sea time' requirements, and I don't see anything about inland small lakes. From what I'm reading, I can count the days when I owned a small bass fishing boat on inland Ohio lakes. I have many days over 4 hours on that boat. I also owned other boats but I don't think I could claim 4 hours legit on any of those.

Secondly, it appears that I can take the test, and then accumulate sea time? I don't see anything that puts a restriction on the time you pass the test and the time you file your sea time.

My plan would be to pass the test relatively soon, then accumulate my 90 days Near Coastal (or more as needed once I figure out actual days spent on inland lakes). It could take up to a year to get enough days of sea time, but that seems just fine?

Thanks,
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If you have owned a 16' skiff you can pretty much come up with the 6 pack numbers.
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Old 25-10-2016, 13:21   #6
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Re: 6-pack sea time questions

I would highly recommend taking a course from a school (in person, not online).

I've earned my license twice, once was a Inland Masters with a towing endorsement. Stupidly let that expire because my career had changed and I went back and got a 50T near coastal because I'm trying to get back into the professional maritime industry.

I took an in-person school the first time, and an online school the second. The in-person school is much better, more interactive and better learning environment. There really is no replacement for hands-on help, especially if studying isn't your strong suit. The online course had some advantages, I could re-watch or re-take lessons anytime I wanted. Unfortunately that was almost necessary, it's difficult to learn this information secondhand. I'm a good "student" and it was all a refresher for me, and I found the course to be difficult.

The other advantage of an in-person school is they help you with the forms, which can be a massive help. My current license took forever because of a missed signature here and an empty block there. And most of the errors weren't my doing, a lot of them were on sea-time forms and my medical forms. Also, a school will (usually) have an arrangement with a local drug testing location and Dr's office to facilitate the drug screening and physical. It was a giant pain in the ass getting my physical done, I ended up going to a few different offices and finally had to get parts of it done at different offices (vision, hearing, and general health).

I found that the online school wasn't much different in terms of overall cost vs the in-person. (Although in fairness I took the in-person in 2008 and the online in 2016, so the in-person costs might have changed since then).

A big consideration for a school vs self-taught is the tests. The USCG test is something like 20k questions, and when you take it they randomly pick out of that pool of 20k to write your test. It's very hard to pass, because it's almost impossible to study the minutiae that you might encounter for 20k questions. The schools write their own tests, which then get approved by the CG, so the content is more condensed. And easier to study for.

Either way, good luck! Some of the best jobs I've had I've gotten with my license! (But, some of the worst days I've had were at those jobs! You take the good with the bad).
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Old 25-10-2016, 14:44   #7
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Re: 6-pack sea time questions

Phisyg is on the money. A good school will also give you a better reality of getting the license as well as answering the inevitable "what do they mean by this?". And, as noted there are a lot of ins and outs with the types of restrictions on your license as a function of where and how you got your sea time. Plus you will make your initial contacts in the professional mariner's world that way; that is invaluable and not possible just playing around with the internet.
If possible try to get an instructor with an "unlimited" rating. They can be of real help later on in landing a job. Remember, its not just the license, its also the networking that is important if you really want to run off to sea professionally.
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Old 25-10-2016, 16:41   #8
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Re: 6-pack sea time questions

If you study on your own, you need to have all your sea time before taking the test at a USCG testing center. This is a perfectly reasonable way to get licensed. The USCG examining stations are not scary places. They are well-appointed and the people there are very courteous and helpful. They say going to a captain school is easier; I don't know about that

Your options: With 360 days on your sea log, you have only 2 license options. They are a) Master Inland, and b) OUPV, commonly called 6-pack The two tests are similar. I have taken them both, and the Master exam covers a bit more material but is no harder than the OUPV.

The USCG will limit your Master license to 25, 50, or 100 tons depending upon the ships on your sea log. I had most of my time on a 34 ton ship and they gave me a 100 ton license.

Inland or Near Coastal: To get an OUPV near coastal license, you need at least 90 days offshore. Without offshore days, you can only get OUPV inland.
To get Master near coastal license, you need 720 days total and 180 days offshore, so that is out of reach for you.

Be sure to take the exam for the license you need. Do you want to be licensed just for inland or also for near coastal? If you want to be licensed for both, I think you can take the Master Inland exam AND the OUPV near coastal endorsement OR you can take the OUPV near coastal exam. If you want a sail endorsement, you need to take a Master exam. They don't offer endorsements for OUPV licenses. For clarification, phone USCG; they are extremely helpful.

Good luck.
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Old 25-10-2016, 17:28   #9
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Re: 6-pack sea time questions

Ditto on the above.
Taken the courses and the test twice.
Let my first ticket expire as my career and life took turns away from boats.
First course/test 1986 for the 6-pack, second time 2000 for the 100 ton.
Much harder the second time and more work digging up sea-time, getting endorsements from past owners and Captains, etc.
Now on my 4th edition and will not let the thing expire again.
Recommend going to school and taking their test.
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Old 25-10-2016, 18:56   #10
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Re: 6-pack sea time questions

I'm curious, but have no interest in becoming licensed, so this is just being nosy:

I have been skipper of my own cruising boat(s) for around 35+ years. I have logged (and recorded in my journals) well over 100,000 miles, both coastal and offshore. If pressed, i could go back and get rough ideas of how many miles and days in each category.

My question is, would this experience count if i were interested in a license? Or do the days and miles need to be under the supervision of a licensed skipper or such?

Jim
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Old 25-10-2016, 19:09   #11
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Re: 6-pack sea time questions

Could someone with background in Both Marine and Aviation licences, please compare the 6-pack test to an FAA pilot test (which one is harder)?

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 25-10-2016, 19:12   #12
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Re: 6-pack sea time questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I'm curious, but have no interest in becoming licensed, so this is just being nosy:

I have been skipper of my own cruising boat(s) for around 35+ years. I have logged (and recorded in my journals) well over 100,000 miles, both coastal and offshore. If pressed, i could go back and get rough ideas of how many miles and days in each category.

My question is, would this experience count if i were interested in a license? Or do the days and miles need to be under the supervision of a licensed skipper or such?

Jim
No: If you own the boat there is no need to be under supervision.
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Old 25-10-2016, 19:19   #13
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Re: 6-pack sea time questions

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Originally Posted by Panope View Post
Could someone with background in Both Marine and Aviation licences, please compare the 6-pack test to an FAA pilot test (which one is harder)?

Thanks,

Steve
I have been in both worlds.
Not sure which FAA pilot test you want to use for comparisons? (I have seen them all, got flying tickets from 4 nations )
The USCG test was a bItch compared to a lot of the FAA written tests.
Rules of the road was the tough subject and I have heard there is a large % percentage of busts on the first try. In my class some busted, 5-6 out of 20.
Every day at home after class I would go through 200 questions and look up the answers, usually to 10:00 at night.
Some folks may find that stuff easy, not me..
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Old 26-10-2016, 01:52   #14
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Re: 6-pack sea time questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I'm curious, but have no interest in becoming licensed, so this is just being nosy:

I have been skipper of my own cruising boat(s) for around 35+ years. I have logged (and recorded in my journals) well over 100,000 miles, both coastal and offshore. If pressed, i could go back and get rough ideas of how many miles and days in each category.

My question is, would this experience count if i were interested in a license? Or do the days and miles need to be under the supervision of a licensed skipper or such?

Jim
You can get your 100 ton masters license with sea time that has been signed by the vessel owner or operator. If you are the owner or operator you can sign off on your own time. However, I'm pretty sure that is not the case with higher tonnage licenses. For those you will need sea time signed by a card carrying master.

I don't use my license much, other than an occasional delivery. On those trips there are usually no passengers but the insurance companies require it. I just wanted to get it when I started family cruising to make sure I am keeping them safe as possible. I'm glad I took the course & test. Even after a lot of sea miles I really learned a lot and I am a better mariner because of it. I've been able to teach my kids as well. I highly recommend it if you have the sea time.
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Old 26-10-2016, 05:51   #15
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Re: 6-pack sea time questions

If you're already getting your 6 pac you may as well get the biggest license they'll let you sit for. Why limit yourself? A 100t NC should set you up pretty good for just about anything. You can also add on the Oceans endorsement later if you feel the need.
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