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Old 07-31-2013
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Licensing & Family Crewing Questions

My family and I have been thinking about crewing for boats in the ocean. We currently have a 25' Tanzer that we sail in Lake Pend Oreille, in Idaho. In my research, I found that there are several steps to obtaining the proper licensing and training prior to working on a boat at sea. I would like your opinion on what I have found. Firstly, one must accumulate 360 days of service on deck on a vessel operating in the ocean or navigable waters, of which 90 days of those must be on a vessel of over 151 tons. This time can be accumulated from 16yrs of age and must be logged on a coast guard form CG-719S:

1. Name and documentation/official number of each vessel on which the service was obtained.
2. Vessel's gross tonnage, shaft horsepower and type of propulsion.
3. Number of days underway on each vessel including the dates the service was obtained.
4. Number of days spent in each type of route (Ocean, Near Coastal, Inland, specific river or
lake, etc.).
5. Average number of hours worked per day.
6. A brief description of duties or work performed

Once you have attained your hours you are eligible to be authorized to test for????........and this is where I become confused????
Test for what??
-MMD (Merchant Marine Document - used to be Z card)??
-Master 100 or 200??
-Able seaman??
-Aux sail??

In addition to these licenses there is also:
-TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential)
-STCW95 (Standards of training, certification and watch keeping)
-Physical exam (On a CG-719K form)
-Drug testing
-Finger printing

Do you know which licenses I need??

Our thought/dream/fantasy would be for us to eventually crew as a family, when are 2 boys are in their teens, in the ocean. This is probably a long shot, but worth a try. The more realistic thought is for my wife and I to obtain licensing, log hours, and gain more experience, and then go after the boys are 18......we'll see . I'm a 19yr helicopter mechanic / inspector(A&P IA) w/ private pilot license, HAM radio operator. Any direction would be most appreciated, jobs, advice, how to mix my skills, etc.... Thank you so much for your time.
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Old 07-31-2013
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Re: Licensing & Family Crewing Questions

One track is for a 6pack captain's license, you need the time documented or you can sign an affadavit for time on your own boat. Study up or take a class and take the test, the physical, finger print, drug test, and get the TWIC....don't need the STCW95 of OUPV. But you would need a good size boat to make it work with 4 of you and several paying passengers. Not sure there is a market for that, but best of luck.

the other way is for commercial, then you start at the bottom of the ladder, seaman, then classes, then mate or deck card, and you will need the whole shooting match there as well. Time has to be documented and signed off. Might take a few years to move up, if you can stay with the same firm or with the same boat. Union is strong in that market, and if you choose to not take a trip, you can lose your spot.

Aux Sail is for the 6 pack or captain, you may want to read up on OUPV as it has coastal and near coastal and some other subsets, IIRC....and there is a minimum age requirement for both tracks.

Ham license is of almost no use in this, unless you have GROL/Radar and such on top of it.

It all depends on where you want to be in 5 years....6pack your own boat or Captain/Mate/Crew on a big boat somewhere. Either has it's ups and downs. Commercial/Maritime Marine is long hours away at some of the nastiest harbors in the world, if you even have time/or they allow you to get off the boat. Pay and vacation pay as well as number of people doing the work is WAY down from what it was 10-12 years ago...some of the big tankers have fewer than a dozen aboard.

YOur best bet would be to land a job on a research vessel that needs an airframe/mechanic and has the other tickets to double up. But those pay even less and are fewer and further apart.

Best of luck, others with more current time will post, I am sure.
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benzsailfam21 (07-31-2013)
Old 07-31-2013
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Re: Licensing & Family Crewing Questions

Thank you very much on your experienced answer. Definitely do not want to go the commercial route. Have GROL.
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Old 07-31-2013
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Re: Licensing & Family Crewing Questions

I think you need actual sea time more then anything else. Getting your family on as crew? Nice dream, but it ain't gonna happen. You and the wife , maybe. Sea time, Sea Time, Sea time.

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