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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-07-2013 05:40 PM
Re: captains license

Sometime in the summer when the weather is settled and there are no hurricanes brewing take a trip like this: Ches. Bay to the C & D, to Cape May. Await a wx window and sail direct to Block Island or Buzzards Bay (a two day mini-offshore trip). Then cruise LI Sound, take the East River southbound, lay up at Sandy Hook until you can do a three day coastwise trip non-stop to Norfolk, and then home. In that trip you'll deal with all the stuff you'll need to cruise to the islands and more -- offshore, tides and currents, anchoring up in strange places, provisioning for a long trip, managing the boat systems while out of your home turf. If your target is the Eastern Caribbean, the offshore trip to the islands will be just like the trip from Cape May to Block Island, only longer and quite probably rougher. (I'd leave the kids at home for the offshore bit and let your wife or someone fly them to the boat once you've arrived in the US/BVI.) If it's the Bahamas that are your target, cruising the ICW with your kids should be easy after the training you've done in the Ches. Bay and practice summer cruises to the north. When you get to Florida the passage across the Gulf Stream is no big deal if you pick the right weather.

You should also investigate the Suddenly Alone Seminar that was developed by the Cruising Club of America.

Also have a look at CCA's website where you'll find this:

I'd skip the USCG license courses unless you intend to use the license professionally.

The biggest thing to do is build the confidence of your spouse by letting her do some of the stuff on the CCA checklist under your supervision and without raising your voice above a conversational tone. What the hell, let her be skipper for a day. Pretty soon, you (and she) will be surprised at what she's learned and is compentent and confident in doing.
04-07-2013 12:02 PM
Re: captains license

My mate and I have over 35 years sailing in both inland and salt water. We have a couple of Gulf crossings and are now underway on to a three year cruise. About three years ago i started taking on-line course toward my USCG license. I how have a Masters 50 ton with sail endorsement. That said, I think on-line, though flexible is a harder way to go. For one thing, you are studying course material without benefit of all the short cuts one might learn in class and discussions explaining the rules. When presented in pure form, it is not study to the test but rather study to understand. Again, it takes longer and is harder but you still get to the same test sooner or later. It does not do one any favors to study to the test. Understanding is what separates those with the paper from the true captain who always looks for rule situations at sea.
03-05-2013 12:23 AM
Re: captains license

Especially suitable for less experienced boat skippers or crew are the classroom or on-line "boating basics" courses offered by state agencies in the USA or commercial on-line schools. Some of the state-offered classes are free. These will give people an introduction to rules and regs, navigation (charts, buoys, sound signals, lights, rules of the road), and avoiding and handling basic emergencies. It's a good starting point, and could be followed up on with evening or weekend Power Squadron or CG Auxiliary classroom classes, also very inexpensive.
02-26-2013 12:02 PM
Re: captains license

I was skeptical of training courses, but a friend convinced me to give it shot. I must say I've really enjoyed the courses I've taken. I went through the Annapolis School of Seamanship.

It's not a bad idea to start documenting your sea time just in case you want to get a license some day. I did get my 100 ton license and learned a lot of useful information along the way, but don't dive into that as your first training course.
02-26-2013 11:27 AM
Re: captains license

I forgot to mention ~$145 for a TWIC in my earlier post.

That brings the total to ~$595 for misc, and $550 for the class.
02-25-2013 11:04 AM
Re: captains license

I'm on the verge of starting my OUPV class.

It's always something I have wanted to do and this particular class fits my work schedule.

ASA classes are good, depending on the instructor of course. I'd like to take more ASA classes, however, scheduling is always a problem for me and taking time off from work means loss of income (or vacation time that I need to keep sane).

I'm hoping that my semi-retirement gig will be around boats and it can't hurt to already have the paperwork.
02-25-2013 09:43 AM
Re: captains license

Greatly appreciate wisdom in the posts in this section. Wonder if anyone would comment on their thoughts as to how to get the most "bang for the buck" on credentialling as regards insurance reduction(s). Personally like the OP have some experience,have done some offshore, have crewed for and had skilled sailors crew for me on various Bermuda races/ N.E. to Carribean transports etc. Firmly believe when you stop learning there should be dirt in your face or there soon will be.
02-25-2013 09:07 AM
Re: captains license

I completed the Captain's course, and have submitted my OUPV paperwork to the USCG Regional Examination Center in Toledo, OH. My motivation is that it is a goal that I set, and because I am between jobs, I had the time. I am hopeful that I will be able to find a low-paying job in the marine industry...

In the hope that others can benefit from my experience, here are my observations;
  1. There is NO focus on sailing, the course is exclusively for powerboat operators
  2. While the course costs $550, there is another $445 in associated costs (Physical, Drug Test, Test Fee, Application Fee, CPR/First Aid Certificate, etc.)
  3. I see no reason to learn how to maintain manilla/hemp lines in this day, but it is part of the test. (hint, manilla will rot from moisture, and nylon will not)
  4. The rules of the road section pertaining to sound signals and lights IS valuable, but you can get this as effectively and at a lower cost in an ASA accredited class.

I hope this helps!
02-25-2013 08:27 AM
Re: captains license

Actually, I think you would be better served by attending an ASA sailing school. Your Captains license is purely academic.. meaning it's all paperwork, bookwork, you present your experience, they do not provide opportunities to hone your skills. There is a good sailing school in Kent Narrows that I know of. By attending the sailing school you will be required to learn rules of the road and such. Also, you will meet your state's boater safety requirements.
02-25-2013 08:11 AM
Re: captains license

I just finished taking a 3 weekend OUPV License Course. Like previously stated the course just gets you ready to pass the exams. While the Rules of the Road, Plotting and NavAids were very helpful, everything else is a complete waste of time:weather, marlinspike, communications, boat safety etc. Unless you are looking to get that "Piece of Paper" you are better off taking a course for the particular area you are interested in. To me it was a personal goal but now that I reached it, it just doesn't mean as much as it used to.
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