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Old 08-02-2018, 12:11 AM   #1
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Capt. License Requirements

When the requirements for a USCG captain's license are listed as "90 days of service", what exactly does that mean ? Specifically...

1. If I go out for a 4 hour cruise on six different days....is that 6 days....or 1 day.

2. Does time count if I am by myself or do you have to be with someone else, and does that person have to have a USCG license ?

3. If I live aboard for a week and never leave the marina, does that count as 7 days ?

Thanks in advance
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:39 AM   #2
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Capt. License Requirements

When you’re going for a low level license ‘self certifying’ sea time is easy. They don’t ‘check it’. And you can basically write anything down for days and each day is 1 day.

No you don’t need to be overseen by someone.

The days are ‘underway days’. But again.... they don’t check.

Time aboard is creditable.

The 90 days must be the ‘within the last year’ part.

You can’t lie about sea service. By you can be ‘creative’.
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:43 AM   #3
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Thanks...but is a day 24 hours....or does a short trip count as an entire day ?
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:51 AM   #4
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Best to study one's self. Do you believe you have the qualifications sufficient to protect your passengers from harm? That's a great responsibility, and opens one to heavy liability. ... Can't see sitting in a boat qualifies one for any seamanship application. Not any more than drinking rum.
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Old 08-02-2018, 02:09 AM   #5
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I`d expect the license issuing Authority would be be able to provide complete guidance on these uncertainties. Best ask them.
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Old 08-02-2018, 02:13 AM   #6
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Capt. License Requirements

To fill in the blanks, as far as operating a vessel (when operating ON your license) you are legally limited to 12 hours a day maximum. For licensing A ‘day’ is 8 hours. But again. They don’t check this too carefully (or at all). There is a statement about partial days counting as half days. But as earlier posted. They don’t delve too deeply into it. You attest to the veracity of your submission. And you are either approved to test or not.
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Old 08-02-2018, 02:53 AM   #7
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thank you cappy
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:48 AM   #8
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Straight from the USCG National Maritime Center.
4 hr days are accepted for lower licenses. But it is based on the assumption of longer average days.

They do check occasionally and if caught in a lie, chances of getting aclicense decrease dramatically. But a lot of people document themselves and get through, but you better be older and can prove owning biats a long time.

Working aboard a vessel does count a bit, like a mechanic in dry dock, but living aboard for a lower license I doubt does except for credibility of overall sea time.



"What counts as sea service?
• Sea service is a measure of a mariner’s lifetime experience on boats, whether recreational,
commercial, or military. It may be counted from the day a mariner turns age 16 and
accumulates over his or her lifetime.
• A day of sea service is any day that a mariner served upon a vessel in an assigned position in
either the deck or engineering department of a vessel (not a passenger). The position may
include duties such as: handling lines, being a lookout, steering the boat, and other
navigational or propulsion functions.
• Sea service never expires and may be reused when applying for new endorsements. It is the
mariner’s responsibility to keep copies of all sea service records.
What counts as a “day”?
• A “day,” as defined by the regulations, is 8 hours of watch-standing or day-working, not to
include overtime.
• Only on vessels of less than 100 gross registered tons (GRT): Credit for a full day
will only be given for service of 4 hours or more (See 46 CFR 10.107, definition of “Day”).
No credit will ever be given for days in which less than 4 hours were served.
• For the purposes of defining sea service requirements, the Coast Guard considers 1 month
as 30 days, and 1 year as 12 months (or 360 days)."
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:55 AM   #9
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See here for definition of a "day:"

https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/N...ea_service.pdf

Edit: Ah. Scott was posting, while I was still searching for the link.

-Chris
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:45 AM   #10
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And as I recall, the required sea service time starts at 360 days, 90 of which must be in the past three years. That's where the 90 days comes from. But by itself, it's not enough for a license.



As you get into the higher licenses, portions of the time need to be as a licensed mariner, and portions need to be as a master or mate. But for the entry licenses time is more broadly accepted per the regs posted by psneeld.


They will also consider the GRT (gross registered tonnage) of the vessels operates, and that will factor into the vessel size (GRT) limit for your license.


As for self-certification of days, you need to show that you owned the boat. Otherwise the owner/operator needs to certify your time. People say you can fudge it, but I think that's a bad idea, and you should be able to back up any claims you make.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:23 AM   #11
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Thanks guys...
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:13 AM   #12
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In the past, I wouldn't have recommended asking the coast guard themselves, as they were generally miserable DMV types who didn't ever seem interested in being helpful. Since they moved everything to the NMC though, they've actually been way better.

Another route I can recommend is using this licensing service. This guy is former Coast Guard, and used to be the one accepting license applications, so he knows what's what. He's a wealth of knowledge, and can answer all of your questions. He'll check over your application to make sure it's right before it goes in and he'll submit it for you.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:33 AM   #13
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I just went through the entire process of obtaining the Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) with Towing Endorsement. It’s a pretty involved process, 360 days of sea time, drug test, USCG tests for Rules of the Road, Lights, Markers etc., doctors physical, and Navigation. I spent 8 days at Sea School in Bayou LaBatre, Alabama learning all of this stuff. Took the test there and passed 3 of the 4 units on first try. Went back several months late and tested for the last unit and passed. I ended up hiring a consultant to help me get all of the paperwork correctly filed; he led me through all of it and watched over it until the USCG sent me the official MMC, best $200 I ever spent. I really enjoyed Sea School, the Navigation part in particular. Start out with a paper chart of Long Island Sound at Lat/Long xx and head to Port XYZ. What the Lat/Long yy of the port; whats the set and drift? That’s just one of the things you learn and are tested on.
It felt awesome to hold the MMC in my hands, and one of the bonuses? The MMC will get you through the TSA at the airport, I did that just to see. Very cool.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:08 AM   #14
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I also recently completed the process for getting my OUPV, Master, Sailing endorsement, and Towing endorsement. The material that is tested is sometimes difficult and comprehensive, but I was glad to have learned so much. I studied for about 5 months, using an online training school since there were no "in person" schools near me. I passed all tests on the first try, but I studied and practiced my butt off before taking the tests. The school provides the tests at a proctored testing site--in my case, Denver. There are four subtests for the OUPV (six pack), and an additional test for Master, sailing, towing, etc. A lot of people do not pass the "rules of the road" test the first time. It requires 90 percent to pass whereas the others are 70 percent.



The definition for a "day" of sea service is a minimum of 4 hours. If you own a boat and can provide documentation of purchase and continuous ownership of that boat, you can self certify. Anything else requires signature of the actual owner. Any lying about this can result in fine and jail time, according to the instructions. The requirements for sea time is a minimum of 360 days, with 90 within the past three years. You have to specify where you got the sea time--Inland, Great Lakes, Near Coastal--as that will determine what geographical limitation is put on your license. The size of the boats you have served on (gross tonnage) will determine what license you can apply for (eg. 25, 50, or 100 ton).



You need to pass a physical, get a drug test, get a TWIC card (sort of like a TSA card), have a valid First Aid/CPR card, and fill out a bunch of application and supporting forms. I did it all myself, but having someone who has done it before to help you with it is probably wise. The overall cost of the entire process is NOT minimal, with you having to pay for medical, drug, TWIC, First Aid/CPR along with the 145 dollars for the actual application. Any school or testing fees are in addition. Buy the time I was finished, the out-of-pocket costs for me was well over $1000.Once you get all that done and paid for, you then send it all in and wait for about 40 days--if you have a complete and "clean" application package. Any errors, omissions, or questions result in further delay and request for documentation. They do check out the forms you send in. Will I ever use the license commercially? I doubt it. Am I glad I did all the work and learned as much as I did? You bet!
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:42 AM   #15
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Yeah, I forgot about TWIC and first aid/cpr. Sea School was $700, breakfast lunch dinner included plus you can stay on site in the dorm if you want, I didn’t and rented a bay house for 1 week was $600, travel expenses probably $150. All in probably $2,000+.
Having my boat documented since I bought it, 10 years, was a huge help with the sea time part of the application as I self certified as owner. I really enjoyed the whole experience as I was in a classroom with a bunch of guys who make a living on the water and were looking to move up the chain. You start out like a fish out of water and at the end you have a bunch of new buds.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:56 AM   #16
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Also review GRT specs. Weight in lbs. and GRT are two different things.

Question- did the TWIC get you through TSA? I’m already TSA Pre, but it would be cool if my TWIC would work too.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:04 AM   #17
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I don't think it counts for much, as hard as it is to get, it doesn't count towards the new requirements of drivers licenses mandated by thev Federal multi point system.

Then again, neither does a military ID card, but a phone bill does....
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:42 AM   #18
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Just looked at TSA id requirements, TWIC is shown as acceptable and its included in the MMC. MMC is shown as acceptable on their site.
Just corrected my TWIC info.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:58 AM   #19
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"A day of sea service is any day that a mariner served upon a vessel in an assigned position in either the deck or engineering department of a vessel"

I have a number of years serving in the engineering department on a nuclear submarine preforming propulsion functions related to a nuclear reactor. Would my days underway (most submerged) count?
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronZebra View Post
"A day of sea service is any day that a mariner served upon a vessel in an assigned position in either the deck or engineering department of a vessel"

I have a number of years serving in the engineering department on a nuclear submarine preforming propulsion functions related to a nuclear reactor. Would my days underway (most submerged) count?



Probably, if you can get the proper documentation of that service. I know there is a form for that, but I don't have the name/number of that in front of me.
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