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  #1  
Old 07-27-2009
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INexpensive way to get Captain's license

Are there books or something to study to pass the neede test? I'd like to get my captain's license without dropping $400 for the course and don't mind doing the work to learn the material.

(Didn't see a similar thread when I did a search.)
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Old 07-27-2009
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I used "Get Your Captain's License: The Complete Study Guide, Second Edition" by Charlie Wing.
I sat for the 100 ton Masters Near Coastal with a Sailing Endorsement and passed with flying colors. The book also came with a CD that had practice tests on it.
Hope this helps.
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Old 07-27-2009
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Have Sway take the test for you. On the written portion - the responses will be so long and meandering and have such arcane language there's no way they'll read it.

Hey - have you tried out the Gale Sail yet, Bene? I saw your post about the mast climb - sweet!

Also, we did the heave-to/COB practice this weekend with the whole family aboard. Man, it's amazing how stable things get when you heave-to.
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Old 07-27-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Have Sway take the test for you. On the written portion - the responses will be so long and meandering and have such arcane language there's no way they'll read it.

Hey - have you tried out the Gale Sail yet, Bene? I saw your post about the mast climb - sweet!

Also, we did the heave-to/COB practice this weekend with the whole family aboard. Man, it's amazing how stable things get when you heave-to.
Yes, the mast climb was sweet. Haven't tried the Gale Sail yet, not even in light conditions, which I should try first.

We should have tried the heave-to in the SCA we did. We had 2 people heav-ing. Next time I'll use that as a reminder to heave-to.
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Old 07-27-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanConnett View Post
I used "Get Your Captain's License: The Complete Study Guide, Second Edition" by Charlie Wing.
I sat for the 100 ton Masters Near Coastal with a Sailing Endorsement and passed with flying colors. The book also came with a CD that had practice tests on it.
Hope this helps.
Thanks SC, that's a big help.

Regards
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Old 07-27-2009
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Bene, I highly recommend you go to class, I think you miss out of a lot wisdom and experience of others if you do a self study!

Online OUPV classes
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Old 07-28-2009
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Hi all,

Here is my two cents. Now I want to say I am an instructor at an approved school so take my comments with a grain of salt.

In my opinion, if you have a very good understanding of coastal navigation and the 72 Colregs, then these study guides are very useful. In my opinion 50% of the learning on how to take the test is understanding the language of the test questions--which are really designed to trip you up. If someone has taken the ASA 105 Coastal Navigation course and passed it with greater than 90% then the piloting and navigation portions of the test should be a relative "breeze"--pun intended. However, and this is a "BIG" however, if you are not extremely proficient in Coastal Navigation, (especially current/set/drift/course to steer, & three position fix and the cocked-hat triangle) and/or the accuracy of your plots are greater than 0.2 NM, then I would suggest taking a brick-and-mortar course. Additionally, if you are not extremely versed in the Colregs---take a course. One must get a 90% on the Rules of the Road exam--and it is not easy. Additionally, and a lot of people don't appreciate this point, there is a huge amount of responsibility once you get the license. Just to get an idea as to how complicated things can get legally when you have a "ticket", I recommend reading "Farewells Rules of the Nautical Road", by Craig H. Allen.

I encourage people to read this book because often people want to get the title of "Captain" without really understanding the legal responsibility and ramifications of the title. That being said, I have been a Licensed Master with a Sailing and Commercial Assistance Towing endorsement for almost 5 years and it has been the most rewarding professional experience of my life (albeit I only do it part-time because I have a "career" job)

Again--I am not trying to bias a persons view one way or another; I just feel it is important to understand what one is getting into when they get their ticket. I wrote an article a couple of years ago about a portion of the Colregs:

CoastalBoating.net, Risk of collision for the recreational boater, Captain Andrew Seligman, Colregs, collisions at sea, international regulations,


Good Luck!!!

Last edited by Yamsailor; 07-28-2009 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 07-28-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamsailor View Post
However, and this is a "BIG" however, if you are not extremely proficient in Coastal Navigation, (especially current/set/drift/course to steer) and/or the accuracy of your plots are greater than 0.2 NM, then I would suggest taking a brick-and-mortar course. Additionally, if you are not extremely versed in the Colregs---take a course.
Yansailor is right on the money on this point. You really have to be honest with yourself about your plotting skills before sitting for the exam. I was pretty confident with my ability to plot, but that did not stop me from buying the practice charts available at any well stocked chart store. I think I went to "Blue Water Books and Charts" in Ft Lauderdale. God I love that store!
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Old 07-28-2009
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Some more information. My motivation is to be able to take people for charter, specifically sunset cruises, to help defray the costs of owning a large boat. I'd need to do the budgeting for insurance and other costs to see if the 12 summer weekends would be worth it. (I'd have to get my liferaft inspected, I'd think.) Making some money would be the ideal.

Knowing more about the rules sounds like a good thing. Better to prevent an accident than to remain more ignorant, mulling over the responsibilities and who gets to point the finger at whom. So that part doesn't bother me that much, unless the setup defies all logic and common sense. And I haven't heard that it's THAT bad. (Is it?)

I've good a bunch of navigation training from flying (private pilot, instrument rated) so accounting for current at different places and times along the route has got to be like accounting for wind drift at different places and times along the route.

I'd love to have the wisdom that comes from an instructor-led course. Are there other ways of gaining this wisdom?

By the way, I bought the book suggested. It was available online for an really good price (third edition, used, CD case still sealed).

Thanks for all the help. Much appreciated!
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Old 07-28-2009
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[I'd love to have the wisdom that comes from an instructor-led course. Are there other ways of gaining this wisdom?]

In my opinion, the best way to get the wisdom from an instructor-led course is by taking an instructor-led course. Remember--this is a professional license.

Would you want you commercial pilot to only have practice on a flight simulator or your heart surgeon to practice only on deceased people?




In short--do what you think is best for yourself--I am sure it will be the right decision as long as you are honest with yourself about your abilities.
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