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Old 08-04-2018, 02:25 PM   #41
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There are many loopholes to be used.
Using them is part of the system

Knowing that loopholes exist isnít a crime.

Using them is part of experience.
This has certainly been my experience as well. I had to write for Great Lakes pilotage after I started sailing out here. The company gave me a year to get it done. After about 9 months, I had enough trips, and sent in my application. 2 months later... they denied me. They said that the 30 or so trips I'd done from Detroit to Cleveland didn't count as Lake Erie trips, because I hadn't traveled the entire length of the lake. Facepalm.

After some more research, I learned that there was a loophole I could exploit. It said that if anyone had more than 12 round trips on any ONE lake, they could be approved to write pilotage for ALL of the lakes.

So they wouldn't give me credit for Lake Erie, even though I'd been there more than anywhere else, but since I'd gone up and down Lake Huron more than 12 times, that meant I was qualified to test for Lake Ontario, where I'd never been.

The coast guard doesn't make sense sometimes.
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Old 08-10-2018, 03:25 PM   #42
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After being a professional mariner for over forty years it makes me cringe to hear about people that have to squeeze time to get a six-pak or any other lower level license. I recently lost my license for medical reasons but I can say with some pride I never lost a boat, went aground or lost a crewmember, I just hope beginners can say the same many years from now as it is truly a solemn duty to be taken seriously.
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:05 PM   #43
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I canít elaborate more. But many. And by many I mean all. We all have days on boats that are completely valid for sea days. On a sailboat. A trawler. That we want to use for sea-time. It isnít a lie to use it all. But the restrictions put on the coverage are ridiculous.

To give an example. Someone in the military who serves on a army crew/tank/apc self propelled vessel who spends 8 months doing maneuvers gets out of the army.

Several years later they have a Ďlightbulb momentí!

They want to get a license.

But. The uscg wonít accept their letter.

Why?

Because the officer in charge who Ďwitnessedí their job isnít available to sign a service letter.

Someone who they worked with years ago, who they donít remember the specific name of, who BUPERS doesnít care about. Shouldnít mean people donít deserve to have a chance to move ahead in a career or life.

I have heard of USCG veterans who after discharge have had their sea time disallowed because of the same reasons.

Uscg vets who took the same safety courses, seamanship courses disallowed.

Uscg vets who took firefighting courses disallowed.

The bureaucracy is insane.

I donít mean lying. But a mans seatime is valid whether or not some pencil whipper uscg bluesuit accepts it.

However someone has to validate their time is part of Ďthe gameí. I certainly donít condone lying. But to deny someone because of archaic fraternity based criteria is BS.

If some guy/gal has an opportunity to advance themselves within the guidelines of the system I say hooray. Flexing the guidelines is part of the system. (Like the noaa officer Corp getting 2 for 1 seatime).


There are many loopholes to be used.
Using them is part of the system

Knowing that loopholes exist isnít a crime.

Using them is part of experience.
I'm a USCG vet who had a hard time documenting seatime. In the early 80's (when I was discharged), nobody in the CG (district 5) could hold a license until 60 days before discharge. Other Districts were different. My shipboard seatime was all but disallowed...never an explanation. My coxswain time was allowed, but watered down. All my time in the Coast Guard was as a Boatswains mate and hands on..
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:26 PM   #44
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Many of the pleasure boaters I know of who want to get a license, have no intention of using the license professionally. They enjoy the learning experience and can pass on knowledge to others. While I have wondered in the past about the extra workload for the USCG in processing all these never-to-be-used licenses, I guess the service takes this work in stride since these folks don't tend to clog up the lines for those trying to advance into higher level licenses. So nowadays, I am ok with it.

As I was retiring from the Navy, I got an Unlimited Tonnage Master Upon Oceans license and did use it a couple of times, but a long civilian career afloat with all the time away from home was not to be. I kept the license through a couple of renewal cycles until the regulations for renewal started restricting my options making it look like about $8,000 was going the be required out of pocket because I was not employed at the time by a shipping company who would pay for the required schools. So a few years back, I let it lapse.

I gave some thought a year ago toward working with a friend who owns a Towboat US franchise, but I just don't want to go through all the hassle one more time.
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:31 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Sailor of Fortune View Post
I'm a USCG vet who had a hard time documenting seatime. In the early 80's (when I was discharged), nobody in the CG (district 5) could hold a license until 60 days before discharge. Other Districts were different. My shipboard seatime was all but disallowed...never an explanation. My coxswain time was allowed, but watered down. All my time in the Coast Guard was as a Boatswains mate and hands on..
Ouch...I have heard these horror stories all to often.....

What is absurd is they counted all my sea time and the vast majority was as a deployed helo pilot.
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Old 08-10-2018, 08:20 PM   #46
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As I was retiring from the Navy, I got an Unlimited Tonnage Master Upon Oceans license and did use it a couple of times, but a long civilian career afloat with all the time away from home was not to be.
That's the toughest part of the job for all of us. I don't blame you one bit. Getting that license is no small feat. They don't come any bigger than that. Respect.
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:13 PM   #47
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12 on and 12 off absolutely counts as 1.5 days...
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:02 PM   #48
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Lot of confusion here:

The 90 sea time days is the recent experience requirement for renewal and certain upgrades to an existing license.

For the requirement for the original issuance of an OUPV (Six Pack) license is 360 documented sea days logged since the age of 14. A Sea Day is defined as 4 hours underway during any calendar day. Underway has alternately been defined as 4 hours continuously underway (no stopping or anchoring) or just 4 hours in any one calendar day depending on who you talk to. There are exceptions for commercial operations.

For the Merchant Mariner Credential, previously know as a Merchant Marine Officer License, the sea time requirement is 720 Sea Days total since the age of 14.

The owner, master or operator must sign your Sea Service Form (CG - 719S). If you own and operate the boat you can sign your own form testifying to your sea time under penalty of perjury. Always attached your title to the boat or if a documented vessel, attach a copy of the vessels documentation certificate indicating that you are the owner or responsible party.

Good luck.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:04 AM   #49
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I got my 50 Ton Master Inland license last year. If I recall the rules I read at the time, Master Inland requires only 360 days total sea service with 90 days in the last year, while Master Near Coastal or Offshore requires 720 days total with 360 days outside the boundary. Lifetime experience counts for the total, but you have to prove you owned a boat for that time. The instructor of the course I took (which covered the USCG exam requirement) said that you could count multiple 4 hour stints in one calendar day, but the sea service form disagrees. You can count only one service day in one calendar day.

I did the entire application process myself, it was not difficult. No need for a professional application consultant. It helps if you are near a USCG REC center to ask questions; I found the guys at the Boston Rec Center to be very helpful.
I brought all my paperwork there before filing, just to make sure it was in order.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:01 AM   #50
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I got my 50 Ton Master Inland license last year. If I recall the rules I read at the time, Master Inland requires only 360 days total sea service with 90 days in the last year, while Master Near Coastal or Offshore requires 720 days total with 360 days outside the boundary. Lifetime experience counts for the total, but you have to prove you owned a boat for that time. The instructor of the course I took (which covered the USCG exam requirement) said that you could count multiple 4 hour stints in one calendar day, but the sea service form disagrees. You can count only one service day in one calendar day.
You are correct that 50 or 100 Ton Inland only requires 360 days, with 90 in the last three years, not the last year, however. As to lifetime experience and proving you owned a boat, it's a bit different than that. You have to have the sea time attested to by the owner or captain or self attest and show proof of ownership of the boat you're claiming the time was on.

As to counting multiple 4 hour stints as multiple days, absolutely not true. The rules are very specific that you can only get one day in a day. Even if those stints were 8 hours, for instance 8 hours on one boat and 8 on another, it's still just one day. The only exception is those on commercial vessels scheduled as part of the regular operation to work 12 hours in a day, do get to claim 1.5 days.

For the general guidelines for each license, there is one great source. The Coast Guard has checklists for every license and endorsement on this page.

https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organiz...NMC/checklist/

I can't speak to all schools, but in South Florida, the maritime schools also have advisors who can guide you through the required courses and paths to licenses, including your sea time. Don't depend however on individual instructors.
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:53 AM   #51
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which is pretty much what I wrote except for the 90 days in 3 years correction. Since all my time except one day was on my own boats, all I had to do was show ownership. My time as a teenager would have counted, except we couldn't get any records from the Comm. of Pennsylvania. They only keep records of the most recent owner. I submitted one sea service form for a friend's 53 Hatteras which got me from 25Ton to 50Ton. It's my understanding that that little gift loophole no longer exists - you have to have more than one day aboard.
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:43 PM   #52
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which is pretty much what I wrote except for the 90 days in 3 years correction. Since all my time except one day was on my own boats, all I had to do was show ownership. My time as a teenager would have counted, except we couldn't get any records from the Comm. of Pennsylvania. They only keep records of the most recent owner. I submitted one sea service form for a friend's 53 Hatteras which got me from 25Ton to 50Ton. It's my understanding that that little gift loophole no longer exists - you have to have more than one day aboard.
I'm not aware of anything saying more than one day. I know Captains who are on different boats daily and many of them just a single day.

I'm amazed I was able to prove ownership of all boats as I went back. Thank goodness even my first boat was in my name and not my father's. I knew someone with extensive experience and it all was in a family boat owned by his father. Well, when he got ready to go for a license, his father was dead. They refused to accept it without his father's signature. Finally, with the aid of an attorney, he got them to accept it with him signing as executor of his father's estate.

The CG appears sometimes to be a bit rigid on rules in spite of strong evidence of service that doesn't fit their rules. I know other professions have easier workarounds. For instance, accountants and lawyers in most states can get others they worked for and with to attest if their direct supervisor, as required, is no longer alive or available. Even clients sometimes.

The other problem with initial licenses is that for those of us who aren't paid mariners, the time lapse is often great. I had over 1000 days inland when I first got interested but only 60 near coastal so my first license was inland.

Once you get past 100 Tons it's a bit more straightforward with additional time required since being a Master.

What has most complicated things is the STCW endorsement requirement outside the US and that's where someone mentioned expense of maintaining as many had to take several expensive courses for the endorsement.

One other thing that has changed. There were quite a few people with both Captain's and Engineer's licenses. However, today they will no longer let you double count time, so you're either on a boat as an engineer or captain and can only count the sea time toward one license. I know one who still gets enough time to meet the renewal requirements of both. However, not likely to see many in the future able to acquire both licenses. Engineering is complicated too as domestic doesn't mention engine size and STCW is all by engine size.

I'd advise everyone now, even with no plans of getting a license, when young to start getting sea time documented. I had to go back and reconstruct 26 years and know for some it's even longer.
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:09 PM   #53
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Good advice - start young. Also, I'm pretty sure I've seen captain / crew jobs posted for US jobs, where they require STCW. That threw me because I was not aware it was a common requirement.
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:35 PM   #54
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The STCW is still required for any MMC, except perhaps OUPV. The TWIC is no longer required for those not working at a secured port facility or who are not crew members of certain ships. When I got licensed I had to pay $135 for the background check for this nearly useless card. It did work at TSA at airports even though the first few times I used it the agents had never seen one. They would call their buddies over to take a look at mine. It has not been required since my first renewal since I am not employed in the those parts of industry.

The shipping industry has been trying to get the Coast Guard to do away with the TWIC because they have to pay for it for their employees, because of the inconvenience to the employees who must take time off to get the card and the cost and burden of record keeping.
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:56 PM   #55
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Same with STCW....where its required, not necessarily with every license.

Didnt need any STCW for assistance towing, but the employer required TWIC.

The shipping industry may be the last to get rid of it since the whole idea is for port security..... it was never intended for water taxi, charter boat, assistance towers, and all the little independants .....UNTIL....one of those jobs needed access to port areas with security.

All as of Jan 1, 2018.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:00 PM   #56
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The STCW is still required for any MMC, except perhaps OUPV. The TWIC is no longer required for those not working at a secured port facility or who are not crew members of certain ships. When I got licensed I had to pay $135 for the background check for this nearly useless card. It did work at TSA at airports even though the first few times I used it the agents had never seen one. They would call their buddies over to take a look at mine. It has not been required since my first renewal since I am not employed in the those parts of industry.

The shipping industry has been trying to get the Coast Guard to do away with the TWIC because they have to pay for it for their employees, because of the inconvenience to the employees who must take time off to get the card and the cost and burden of record keeping.
I'm surprised to hear that they accepted the TWIC at an airport. I've tried several times, and nobody has ever known what to do with it. I was once even accused of trying to use a fake ID. It kinda pissed me off. You TSA types MADE me get this, now you're going to give me a hard time for trying to use it??

I'm still required to have a TWIC, and I hope it goes away sometime. It's really pointless.
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:54 PM   #57
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Ahh the TWIC, protecting Americans from....


Americans.

Humm
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