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Old 08-20-2013, 08:00 PM   #1
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"Fudging" sea service for master's license

Wish I had a buck for everybody I've encountered who either obviously or admittedly "fudged" (sometimes a lot) their self reported sea service when applying for OUPV or other licensing.

Here's an item reviewing the challenges of legitimately acquiring the sea time required.

Pacific Nor
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:06 PM   #2
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Having taught licensing...you know it's happening...tough to prove if the cheater has half a brain.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:37 PM   #3
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I guess it depends on your definition of "fudging". When I did my 100 ton, I had problems with the proper documentation. I legitimately had well over the required sea time, but had difficulty proving it. So the I fudged the documents.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:15 PM   #4
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Tough to fudge in Canada where a Seamens Discharge book must be kept up to date.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:31 PM   #5
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I can't tell you how many ppl I know with licenses with very limited experience. Kind of scary really. It peeves me ppl fudge the hours and detract from the true meaning of EARNING a license.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:04 PM   #6
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The airlines used to just knock off about 25-30% of private pilot time when hiring because they knew it was fudged.

Anyhow...time is a BS way of measuring experience and ability anyhow...who cares...
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:10 PM   #7
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Actually Boatpoker, I'm Canadian and its a lot easier than you think...

And I agree with you psneeld.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:38 AM   #8
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I've thought about going for a license but I'm not sure why excepting ego, which in my case is already huge. Is there any reason for a recreational boater to have one?
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:46 AM   #9
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Reminds me when the California CPA society discounted my experience by up to 80%. Nevertheless, I later "got back" by certifying the experience of my assistants in their pursuit of the "ticket." It was a lot easier for them than me as my supervisors weren't certified.

One of my responsibilities was to evaluate the work of public accountants, and as necessary, refer substandard work to the state. Not fun, but a duty.
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:55 AM   #10
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I've thought about going for a license but I'm not sure why excepting ego, which in my case is already huge. Is there any reason for a recreational boater to have one?
The only reason I would get one is because of the fact that when you take people fishing for 2 days, if you have two licensed captians you can take two days worth of fish. If you go for a weekend that could make a lot of difference if you have 5 or 6 people on board. Otherwise you can only take one day's worth of fish.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:29 AM   #11
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I've thought about going for a license but I'm not sure why excepting ego, which in my case is already huge. Is there any reason for a recreational boater to have one?
I got mine because I wanted to keep my retirement career options open. OK, maybe a little ego, or official recognition of my sea time.

I had plenty of sea time, but a lot of it was in my own boats, or fishing for guys who are no longer around to sign any paperwork. So in the end I self-certified a lot of it. The moral of the story is that if you think you might ever want a ticket, bring your sea service forms with you when you crew on someone else's boat who might not be available to sign them later.

Below a 100 ton ticket is sort of squishy anyway. It's certainly seen as a lower level license by anyone hiring. When you get over 100 tons, they don't give those away as easily.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:30 AM   #12
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Sea time is a bunch of BS anyway.
The time required can legitimately be spent entirely as a deckhand whose duties may be limited to tying/untying the vessel and boat cleaning inside and out. There is no requirement or there used to be no requirement for any 'wheel time' such as steering and boat handling.

Someone that owns their own little run-about probably has more 'sea time' and experience before getting a masters license than someone that has been a deckhand on a commercial vessel for the same length of time. And if you owned a run-about or had access to one, you can write your own sea time. If going for masters ticket, you only need 90 days on the vessel of the size you are applying for - up to 100 Ton or so (I think but not sure). When I got my 100 Ton, my company signed off on my sea time using my pay stubs as proof. I could have just presented my pay stubs to the USCG, but I wanted it on some form of document so as to avoid any potential questions. I was a deckhand for those days.

I believe your time must be on navigable waterways or near coastal and small lakes don't count. This time however applies to just about anything including a canoe with an outboard.

So what's that worth?
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:49 AM   #13
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Sea time is a bunch of BS anyway.
The time required can legitimately be spent entirely as a deckhand whose duties may be limited to tying/untying the vessel and boat cleaning inside and out. There is no requirement or there used to be no requirement for any 'wheel time' such as steering and boat handling.

Someone that owns their own little run-about probably has more 'sea time' and experience before getting a masters license than someone that has been a deckhand on a commercial vessel for the same length of time. And if you owned a run-about or had access to one, you can write your own sea time. If going for masters ticket, you only need 90 days on the vessel of the size you are applying for. When I got my 100 Ton, my company signed off on my sea time using my pay stubs as proof. I could have just presented my pay stubs to the USCG, but I wanted it on some form of document so as to avoid any potential questions. I was a deckhand for those days.

So what's that worth?
Steering is the job of an autopilot or $8/hr helmsman. Sea time is valuable as long as you are paying attention...I had plenty of prospective captains with plenty of helm time and no brains. There are dozens of other important aspects of being a captain other than just time at the wheel...now time in the wheelhouse or knowing what's going on in there is certainly important. The USCG does look for that even though all time is not needed there.

Supposedly the USCG takes a look at the big picture and decides what in a persons package is worth anything or not....

I'm sure the USCG is aware that a shi#load of captains out there used a bunch of days at sea that were obtained loaded with alcohol, sleeping on someones engine hatch.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:39 AM   #14
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I took and passed the test, but I felt I did not have the experience/time, being a dock queen and most of the experience was with smaller boats. Since I was no plans of using the license there was not need. However, I found the course and knowledge very informative. Now that we are retiring, I might take another look at it.

We bought and documented/registered the Eagle as a charter, and it still is, which give us price discounts, perks and tax breaks. Save thousand of dollars over the years. Also I was concerned if I had the license that if something happened would be held to a higher standard, where as I can say I am just a lowly live a board. So what good is the license if you are not going to use it?
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:54 AM   #15
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I took and passed the test, but I felt I did not have the experience/time, being a dock queen and most of the experience was with smaller boats. Since I was no plans of using the license there was not need. However, I found the course and knowledge very informative. Now that we are retiring, I might take another look at it.

We bought and documented/registered the Eagle as a charter, and it still is, which give us price discounts, perks and tax breaks. Save thousand of dollars over the years. Also I was concerned if I had the license that if something happened would be held to a higher standard, where as I can say I am just a lowly live a board. So what good is the license if you are not going to use it?
Very true...even when aboard other friends vessels you will be held to a higher standard if something happens and the USCG finds out you are a licensed captain.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:57 AM   #16
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Second that! I'm not sure why someone would bother to jump through the hoops to get licensed if their not using it?
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:03 AM   #17
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I know a number of licensed masters (US) who know amazingly little about boats or boating. Perhaps the USCG should adapt something closer to the Canadian model ....

Hours must be accumulated and documented in a "Seamens Discharge Book". When being discharged from a voyage the Master of that vessel completes the "discharge" noting duties and hours underway. All hours must be accumulated on a commercial vessel and the "Masters" eventually acquired ticket will reflect that specific experience. For instance one of my tickets is entitled " Master of Yachts in Excess of 20 metres off The Coasts of Canada", I have another ticket titled "Master of Vessels of less than 60 tons Gross Tonnage Carrying passemgers in the Great Lakes". among several others. Each ticket also requires various mandatory courses and exams.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:10 AM   #18
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I know a number of licensed masters (US) who know amazingly little about boats or boating. Perhaps the USCG should adapt something closer to the Canadian model ....

Hours must be accumulated and documented in a "Seamens Discharge Book". When being discharged from a voyage the Master of that vessel completes the "discharge" noting duties and hours underway. All hours must be accumulated on a commercial vessel and the "Masters" eventually acquired ticket will reflect that specific experience. For instance one of my tickets is entitled " Master of Yachts in Excess of 20 metres off The Coasts of Canada", I have another ticket titled "Master of Vessels of less than 60 tons Gross Tonnage Carrying passemgers in the Great Lakes". among several others. Each ticket also requires various mandatory courses and exams.
the only real difference is how sea time on a personal vessel may be accounted for...sea service forms do the same as the discharge book.

and do they know little about their job?...or boats in general?
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:11 AM   #19
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Very true...even when aboard other friends vessels you will be held to a higher standard if something happens and the USCG finds out you are a licensed captain.
Only if you are onboard because you hold a license. Merely holding a license does not expose you to "higher standards." If you are not operating under the authority of your license (and that means driving the boat because you have a license and are being paid to drive) it will not impose "higher standards" - whatever that is supposed to mean.

This is an old myth and I challenge anyone to cite a case where merely holding a license has led to greater civil or criminal penalties or USCG action against the license - except for BUI, DUI or other infractions that will create a CG action.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:19 AM   #20
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Only if you are onboard because you hold a license. Merely holding a license does not expose you to "higher standards." If you are not operating under the authority of your license (and that means driving the boat because you have a license and are being paid to drive) it will not impose "higher standards" - whatever that is supposed to mean.

This is an old myth and I challenge anyone to cite a case where merely holding a license has led to greater civil or criminal penalties or USCG action against the license - except for BUI, DUI or other infractions that will create a CG action.
+1 for clearing up an old seaman's tale.
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