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Old 02-11-2014
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re: USCG 6 Pack License

Home study with the various books (Wing, etc) is a tough way to go. I did it but because of the enormous amount of time I spent studying (and not knowing if I was studying the right stuff) I always recommend that someone take a class from someone with a good reputation. You will retain more practical knowledge instead of just cramming a bunch of worthless junk into your brain by taking the class. Not blowing my own horn but everyone (people at the USCG testing station, instructors, captains that I know) told me that a very, very small percentage of home schoolers end up passing. Even if you don't take a class it's still not cheap: USCG physical, Twic card, CPR class, and the testing fees all add up. Good luck on whatever you decide, but this isn't like getting a drivers license, I studied for almost four months app. 20 hours/week, and three or four 8-10 hour days just before the two day test. I wasn't planning on using the license, just got bored one winter and decided to do it for personal knowledge, invested too much time to quit by the time I realized how much time would be needed. I got a 50 ton Master with sail endorsement (additional test). One other thing; after you are rated as a Master if you are involved in an incident the USCG will hold you to a higher standard (liability).
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