ASA and PSIA Instructor
Join Date: Apr 2000
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re: USCG 6 Pack License
From my experience obtaining a masters near coastal 50GT, I'd say nothing about the licensing process is as it seems before you get into it, and is it not much more than time-consuming.
I did my own studying. The trick is to do enough Google research so you know what the process requires you know that you wont have picked up in 40 years of boating, e.g. what are CFRs and how do you find stuff in them.
If you have recently owned a boat for three or more years, your experience wont be questioned.
Find a hospital that does seaman physicals, and their routine may only take an hour or two and cost $100.
The only hard skill is getting 90% on the nav rules exam. Any experienced boater can get 70%, getting 90% is hard. Most of the questions relate to the rule exceptions or interpretations, so you need to know cold the Inland/International exceptions (which differ of course) and the use of will/shall/must/may within rules.
You can take the tests again and again. I got 88% on my first attempt on the nav rules exam. I studied the exceptions hard, then got the 90% on the next try a week later. Yes, the questions are different...
I could not imaging spending the walking-around time involved in all the minutia unless you have a clear commercial intent.
Certified...in several regards...
Last edited by sailingfool; 02-12-2014 at 10:31 AM.