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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 05-29-2011
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To meet 6-pack requirements?

I've only recently started sailing, and only on a Dolphin Sr. at that, but.... I do love sailing, and would like to eventually be on a larger vessel, and do some work chartering out.

I know that the USCG requirements state that you must have a full year (365 days) worth of boating experience, but what sort of boat? What sort of records need to be kept to make this experience legal? Will time on even a small boat like my Dolphin Sr count toward the goal?

For any who don't know the Dolphin Sr, it's a 14 1/2 foot lateen rig, somewhat similar to the Sunfish - many even use sunfish sails, altho the Dolphin Sr sail is slightly larger in sq ft.

I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance!

-Mathew
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Old 05-29-2011
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CFR 46 -10 gives the requirements.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations:

I can't see anything in the quals for OUPV that talks about the size of the vessel. I think you will need to have operated a motor of any kind..for the OUPV

Owners of vessels under 200 tons can document their own time.

You can also document time on other peoples vessels..just have them sign your sea service form....use the official one on the CG website.

It could take you several years to get to the 365 days....

Depending on where you want to charter out, you may need a near coastal license, otherwise if all your time is upon inland waters you'd be limited to inland waters, no more than 6 passengers.

I would call the CG, or one of the license schools to verify my arm chair guidance...
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Old 05-31-2011
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I don't see why it shouldn't count, though obviously you'll want to get experience on larger craft also, sail and power. Keep a log or diary, and you can use it to request "time" letters from those other owners or captains if it turns out you need them.
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Old 05-31-2011
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Keep a log for 20 ton or less there is no size limits, but it is time at sea, so anchor, or dock time doesn't count, only time underway. Things change, but when I got my license they accepted a written log of time and dates copied from my personal logs to an official seatime form and signed by boat owner, (could be yourself). Some of my time was a 20ton yacht, some was a small runabout, some was a dinghy. As long as I could document 4 hours or more underway on each of these vessels iat a time, it was counted. You can call their licensing division with any questions. I had several regarding counting fishing time, and what Game warden/USCG encounters I was required to document. They happily answered all questions and worked them out with the officer in charge of my case.

Get everything in writing, if you go out on the water write it down. Take a license class when you are ready, they have online tests that you can use to practice. Put a package together and try to submit it. If they reject you, they will well document the reasons why, then you will be better prepared for the next time. Good luck!
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This is all quite helpful; from what additional research I've been able to come up with, it appears that any boat at all qualifies for "time," as long as it's time spent under way. With my Dolphin Sr, I'd only count time I spent actually sailing back and forth (the nearest lake I can use is pretty small!), and once I manage to disengage from the "anchors" that hold me here in Missouri, I'll be ready to go coastal, and get more time as crew on larger vessels, as well as getting something a bit larger for myself, too.

If anyone has any additional info, I'd be glad to hear it!
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STudy hard on Rules of the Road & Coastal piloting. Get your first aid/CPR card. Study deck general/safety. Physical/drug test, you may or may not need a TWIC card. If not there will be a FBI background check. Come to think of it... you may have to apply for your TWIC card due to the fact you will be applying for a commercial license. That will give you the background check.
Aside of all of that stuff!!! It is a piece of cake.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surelyujest71 View Post
This is all quite helpful; from what additional research I've been able to come up with, it appears that any boat at all qualifies for "time," as long as it's time spent under way. With my Dolphin Sr, I'd only count time I spent actually sailing back and forth (the nearest lake I can use is pretty small!), and once I manage to disengage from the "anchors" that hold me here in Missouri, I'll be ready to go coastal, and get more time as crew on larger vessels, as well as getting something a bit larger for myself, too.

If anyone has any additional info, I'd be glad to hear it!
I would call the Coast Guard and get their answer to this question. I know my license reads "Master of power and steam" The sailing endorsement is just that an endorsement to the license you earn with your time on a boat with "axillary power"

I would not be surprised if the CG would disallow a boat without mechanical propulsion.
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Old 05-31-2011
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There are a number of USCG licensing prep/training schools online, and any of them should list the details of what you need.

Last time I checked the USCG required 360 days on the water, 180 of them within the past 2? years? and a "day" was defined as something like more than four? hours.

Look for the school sites, they'll have the right specifics listed for you.
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Old 07-17-2011
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Thanks for all the info. It looks like one of the best bets is to simply take the classes offered at one of the accredited sailing schools (ACA) and then just head down to the Carribean for a couple of years. Once the necessary "days" of sail time are put in, then return to the USA and get the Coast Guard to sign off on the 6-pack.

It seems a little silly to be able to do it this way, but I guess if you take the classes and actually get the grades (both paper and practical) to earn the ACA certifications, you should be capable of captaining in most circumstances. The CG's time requirement is only good in that it helps to make sure that a captain has the time onboard to have the correct reactions instilled good and deep (one hopes the correct reactions!).

In the meantime, until I can come up with enough cash to buy my boat and run away... I'll keep practicing and sailing on my little Dolphin Sr. It's amazing how big a bow wave it throws off when a storm front with 30 mph winds comes in...

Thanks everyone!

-Mathew
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Old 07-18-2011
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I counted the time rowing out to, and back from, my "bigger" boat. I was 'underway', and seriously, you learn stuff in a pram that you don't learn in a larger, heavier boat--like, how to row, for example, and how not to overload, how to use a 'stern sighting' for course. Useful stuff, and good exercise.
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