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Old 01-12-2009
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Sea Service Documentation

Shipmates,

I am putting together the documentation that I need in preparation for my 50 ton masters license. However I am still confused as to what format my sea service documentation must be in. I have been using the USCG Small Boat Sea Service forms for all my time on various craft, ranging from the Hudson River to the Caribbean. Now I'm not sure whether I should be documenting that time in the form of written Sea Service Letters (rather than the USCG forms) from the vessel owners/captains of the vessels on which I sailed. And what do they mean by the letters and forms being "certified"? If anyone can shed any light on this I would be VERY greatful.

Fair winds,

Scott
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Old 01-12-2009
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I'd recommend PM'ing Boasun or Sailaway21 for more info.
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Old 01-12-2009
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Here is the guy anwser your questions.
Grossetti License Consulting
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Old 01-12-2009
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When I got my license two years ago I used letters from owners of boats I've sailed on. One was from a guy in the UK with whom I've sailed a lot, and the other was from Billy Ruff'n's owner, my wife. Neither needed to be "certified" and were readily accepted by the examiner.

To write the letter showing time underway on BR (which was the vast majority of my time) I used our passage log and plus estimates at the number of 4 hour day sails we had taken in various months. I was conservative in the estimates as I didn't have written documentation to back the estimates for all months. I think if your sea time calculations look reasonable, the examiners will be reasonable as well. Of course, there's no guarantee you'll end up with a "reasonable" examiner, so It's best to have as much back up as you can.

On the question of using letters vs the sea service form, I think the rules allow the examiner to accept a letter from an owner that isn't you. If you're applying time on a boat you own, I think you have to use the sea service form. I was advised by the school I attended to use the letters where ever possible as it's a lot easier and requires less detail on the days/months/years, etc. I'll attach a copy of one of the letters below. It's in the format recommended by the school where I tested.
Attached Thumbnails
Sea Service Documentation-letter.jpg  

Last edited by billyruffn; 01-12-2009 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 01-12-2009
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That's a big help, particularly the letter. Can I use the forms in lieu of the letters? I've already had all the boat owners fill out the forms and return them to me. Can I use those rather than the letters?
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Old 01-12-2009
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There is a new twist in the licensing is the TWIC card and I guess we got to get before 4-15-09. I don't have all the facts yet, if someone does please let us know!!!
TSA: Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC™)
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Old 01-12-2009
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Sapadeni,

If you've got the SS forms already I would think they'd be OK. They have more info than the letter, so my guess the examiners would prefer to have more rather than less info. I think they allow the letters because they don't want to bother owners with the detail in the form.

Bubb's right -- you need the TWIC as well to keep your license once it's issued.

Good luck on your application.
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