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Old 07-25-2002
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Coast Guard Licenses

At a recent boat show, I noticed that some well-known people in the marine industry often hold various types of US Coast Guard licenses (for example, the bio of a prominent Port Townsend, WA sailmaker includes a 100-ton license).

The training required for such a license would certainly improve my seamanship knowledge. But if I also want to make a career in some area of the marine industry (not just as Captain), is a CG license considered a sort of benchmark qualification/education, like a Masters degree is often regarded in the shoreside business world? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Sue & Larry respond:
Weíre not quite sure that a Coast Guard Captainís License is to the boating business what a Masterís degree is to a Fortune 500 company, but we believe itís a worthwhile achievement nonetheless. It could be what helps you get a foot in the door with a marine company as experience on the water and accomplishments are always respected by other boaters.

In order to become certified with the various USCG Licenses offered, you must have a combination of practical experience commensurate with the size of vessel and types of waters in which you wish to operate a boat and have studied for and passed certain exams. These exams deal with rules of the road, plotting and navigating, boat handling, anchoring, weather and safety. Youíll need to be a US Citizen, be free of drug law convictions, pass a drug test, be physically fit and have good vision. First aid training is required along with a current certificate in CPR.

For complete details on all the requirements for USCG Licensing, check out the USCG website address And good luck.



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