Legal advice pt. II - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 02-05-2007
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Legal advice pt. II

My next problem is in regards to the wording in Section III on the CG 719S Small Vessel Sea Service form.
Is a skipper still considered to be the "Master" of a vessel?
Again, this was a private yacht (never chartered), flagged in the Cayman Islands, cruising in the caribbean in the winter and New England in the summer.

When I was hired (4 years ago as the sole crew) I was told that I would be merely the mate when the owner was onboard, but any time we cleared in anywhere, it was always my signature as the Master of the vessel.
I never told the owner that I had my captain's license and was never asked for a license in any of these ports.

So my question is: Would there be a problem with my signing the form as the Master and attesting to my own sea service?
I need this form to be able to get licensed, and I don't think the owner's gonna to be too keen to help me out.

Wishing this were as easy as eating all the strawberries and ice cream...
And btw, I've already flamed myself for letting this all go down as it has, damned hindsight.
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Old 02-05-2007
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Oscar...in looking at the form, I think the key is the fact that it asks you what position you served in. Unless you can put down legitimately that you served as master...I don't think you should submit the form with your own signature as master.
Acting as master at customs as a convenience to the owner does not constitute BEING the master. Were your daily duties on board those of a master or a mate...regardless of the job title you were given? That I think is the key to submitting this form. If you can say that on a full time basis you acted as master of the vessel DURING THE SEA TIME CLAIMED...then I would think all would be well. If you served as master during SOME of the sea time, I would only submit the form with your own signature as master for THAT sea time.
For example...if you moved the boat without the owner on board...you may still have been the mate...but clearly you were the master in that situation. Hope tis helps a bit.
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Old 02-05-2007
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Well, the definition in Black's Law Dictionary, which is usually a reliable source in the US, says:
"MASTER OF A SHIP. In maritime law, the commander of a merchant vessel, who has the chief charge of her government and navigation and the command of the crew, as well as the general care and control of the vessel and cargo, as the representative and confidential agent of the owner. He is also commonly called the "captain". "

So if you were put in charge of the vessel by the owner when he was not present...that would seem to make you the "master" for those times.
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Old 02-05-2007
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Depends on the license. If your going after a six passenger uninspected operators ticket then you can self document your time. Masters lic. You can't
UNless you own the boat that you served on. A lot has changed since I went through all that but thats how it was done and how it is done for renewls.
It doesnt mater what your title was either as long as you use a deck term like mate, deckhand,navigator,ect just DO NOT put down engineer unless you are gettingan engineers lic. the whole purpose of the lic. is to show that you put in the time and are compitant to be in charge. why would a captain or master need a lic the should already have it to take the name.
I've sighned off on a lot of theses over the years. The other thing that I believe is still true is that the owner or master of the vessle you served on is required to sighn For your time they cannot refuse to if you actually put it in the CG can make them sighn. It was done that way to keep digruntled employers from witholding time in a vendictive way.
If you have a sea school close by call them they make a living sorting all that stuff out and are usually current on the latist and greatest rules and regs that change almost daily and most deffinatly between CG districts call three diffrent districs and you will get three different answers. and if you think your having fun now just wait tell you get to start dealing with Dept of home land security on all the other reqs. Its a PIA
hope this helps
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Last edited by soul searcher; 02-05-2007 at 06:54 PM.
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I am going through a sea school; I've just taken the OUPV test and looking to take my upgrade in the next 2 weeks. I was planning on submitting both the OUPV and the upgrade to the CG at the same time and then have to pay the $150 processing fee once... as recommended by the school. Hopefully this sounds right.

I have sent out a copy of the sea service form to the owner, already filled out, just needing his signature and popped into the self-addressed, stamped envelope... If anyone knows of a link to where states that it's mandatory for the owner to sign I'd love to have it.

Thanks for the Black's Law definition, that was the basic premise that I was going for on documenting my own time. Is there a copy of that online as well? All I've been able to find were online bookstores carrying it.
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Old 02-05-2007
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Oscar, I don't know if it is available online but the reference desk at any decent library should have a copy of it.
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Cool, it's been awhile since having to answer a librarian's question of "Where do you live?"
"Uhmm, about 50 yards off the big rock in the harbour"
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Old 02-05-2007
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I think title 46 and title 47 of the code of federal regulations cover shipping
They should have copies at your school. I would think the school could point you right to the appropriet reg if not call the coast guard reginal exam center. and ask what to do if the owner of the boat you served on is dead
I when I did this 20 years ago they wouldnt take sea service that was performed outside of us territorial waters. Even though I was on an American flag vessel. because at that time there was no near coastal masters lic with out a route restriction. I had to work a extra year when I got back to the states. 3 years worth of time and only two counted. that sucked dead bears
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Old 02-06-2007
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"Where do you live?"

The underpaid cashier at Radio Shack made the mistake of asking me that once too often last year while I was paying $5 for a 50 cent part on the way to the boat. So I looked around the nice cool air conditioned store and said "This looks nice. I could live here. Would you mind if I lived here?"

Thank you, have a nice day.

Lessons learned from Big Black Dog School: If something wakes you up, you have to play. But, you're allowed to make the rules.
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If you look in the CFR 46 definition's you will find the Owner means owner of the vessel. Operator means licensed operator (read 6 pack vessel) and Master means Licensed Master (read inspected vessel). If you don't own the boat you can not attest to your own sea time. This provision keeps "billy bob" and "Floyd" from borrowing their uncle's runabout to get sea time and then signing off on themselves or each other to obtain Merchant Marine license's.

Last edited by bubb2; 02-06-2007 at 11:27 AM.
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