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huguley3 12-08-2008 12:58 PM

Chapman School of Seamanship
 
Kind of a long and round about story but it boils down to this. I have a chance to go to Stuart Florida where I have a friend that lives. I am thinking of staying there for a few months and going to the school there for sailing/boating. I have checked around and I can't find anything negative about the school. My friend said I do not want to live in the school housing but I did not plan to anyway.

My goal is to be able to get more experience on ships and maybe even find a paid crew position(even short term). I was debating between the professional and the recreational class. They seem similer but the pro is 3 weeks or so longer. I already have the asa classes so have a little background in some of the classes.

I have a couple of questions:
Anything negative about the school? I know its a personal thing and I would likely choose the Annapolis school except the weather is not so good there and I know no one.
Would the professional mariner course set be better and give me a better chance of finding a paid position? Or is it more about experience and personality? Do certifications help? I see people talking on here about how everyone has a 6-pack license so its not such a big deal.

sailingdog 12-08-2008 01:15 PM

If you're looking to crew, an STCW 95 would make far more sense, and then you could work on getting your OUPV later. Working as crew on a boat would go a long way to getting you sea hours, which you need for the OUPV.

huguley3 12-08-2008 10:02 PM

Hrrm ok it is quite a bit cheaper. I was kind of interested in the diesel portion of the other series though.

So if I was looking for a crew job they would not really care about the other courses I would need the stcw anyway?

sailingdog 12-08-2008 11:03 PM

Yes, for most crew positions, you really need the STCW 95 certification at a minimum. :)

huguley3 12-09-2008 09:19 AM

OK I am trying to figure out if they have the classes for that available. They do not have all of them listed. Is there anything else I should be sending paperwork off for? I see mention of a z-card is that something from the government or just proof of citizenship? Is it the same thing as the MMD?

Who'd have thought being on the water was so complicated. :)

huguley3 12-09-2008 01:01 PM

Called the school and figured I would post the info so if anyone else is looking they don't have to ask.

The mmd is just an id card that shows you have had a background check and is not related to the stcw. It sounds like the DHS also has an id card though I am not sure if you need it or not.

stcw certification starts with the BST basic safety training. The other ones: AFF,BRM,AB and MROP are just specialized training from the BST course and are generally needed for a specific job you would be doing aboard a ship. Except maybe the MROP.

Chapman only offers the BST every 3 months as it dovetails with their PMT course so the graduates can take that cert right away. So now I am looking at rearranging my life in the next 3 days so I can go take the BST next week. :) good thing I don't have kids...

Detail here USCG National Maritime Center - STCW - Certification for Unlicensed Personnel and Chapman School of Seamanship - Career Development & IMO Compliance

frstjump 12-10-2008 06:20 PM

re: Chapman school
 
Hi, I took the recreational course in 2005. I had both positive and negative experiences.
First the good:
1) All the instructors were experienced boat captains and easy to get along
with.
2) I learned a lot in the navigation, weather, rules, marlinspike and powerboat handling.
3) I was able get some private sailing class time with a very capable
sailing instructor to get some good single-handed tips. (extra cost)
The not so good:
1) Some instructors would rather tell their stories than cover the material.
2) While they up front about being geared to mostly powerboating, the
sailing classes were too short and were held inside Manatee Pocket most
of the time. This meant running very short courses and constantly tacking
with little opportunity to work on sail trim. (some were held outside the pocket
but took 1 hour RT motoring.
3) My biggest gripe was the lack of discipline with the younger students who
thought they were still in high school.(disruptive in the classroom, fighting on
the boats and a lot of interaction with the local police.) This was finally
addressed but not until the seventh week.
The boat and engine maintenance are very basic.(Not good or bad, just is.)
While I only signed up for the recreational course I always had the option of continuing. The last three weeks of the PMT are primarily preparation for the OUPV. I didn't have much sea time then and opted not to take it.
Overall glad I did it.

huguley3 12-11-2008 03:28 PM

Thanks for the info frstjump I was wondering about whether there would be a lot of kids there or not. Being older I guess I will just have to learn to adjust. :) I will keep my can of pepper spray handy in case they get out of hand...

Bummer about the engine classes. I am very interested in learning more about engine maintenance. I have not done much with that area since high school when I rebuilt my 73 buicks engine in shop class. I was told that it is normal to have a coffee can full of nuts, bolts and odd parts left over. The thing ran so I guess I can't really argue that point. :)

huguley3 12-22-2008 03:22 PM

OK back in the frigid land of Minnesota from a week in Florida. The BST class was pretty good. I will second that it does have a somewhat high school feel and that the instructors could do more to stop the chatter. Some were better than others at it.

The first aid/cpr day was pretty much a review for me as I already had the red cross class. But it had some good information in it about being away from proper medical care that was different than the shore based red cross class.

The personal safety portion was good. The in pool stuff was fun and we got to play with an inflatable liferaft. It was pretty beat up but gave you a good idea of what being on one in the middle on the ocean would be like. The survival suit was an interesting experience. I really hope I never have to be in one of those for any length of time.

The highlight of the class was the 2 days of firefighting at port canaveral. The setup they have there is pretty awesome. We were in full gear hauling hoses around the mocked up ship and going through various scenarios. They can fill the ship with smoke so it does not matter whether you open or close your eyes. They say the temp in there can get to 500 degrees and I would believe it. I don't think they cranked it up on us but it was certainly to the point where you were happy to have the gear on.

I learned a huge amount and highly recommend it.


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