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post #11 of 20 Old 11-12-2015
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Re: Captain's License Study

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Good luck! Most probably know this, but in case anyone doesn't, this is a very big deal! Last test you need to pass before qual for Captain. Real Captain. Ocean, unlimited tonnage, Captain. Big deal.

A good buddy's son, just passed Chief Mate this summer. Is it 7 separate exams? Again, all the best.
Thanks! I'm ready to be over with it, Master Unlimited sounds nice! I'll then be able to walk on to any vessel anywhere in the world as the captain. Plus I have my lower level license as well, 1600 ton masters with a 6000itc endorsement. They just came out with a 10,000itc endorsement but I have to sail as CM first.

It's 9 tests: Deck General A & B, Navigation General, Rules of the Road, Safety, Terrestrial Navigation, Celestial Navigation, Chart Plot, and Stability.

My 3rd mate test was 7 tests, everything minus a Deck Gen and stability.

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My British Commonwealth Chief Mate unllimited ticket was 25 hours of examinations, 5 hours a day for 5 days and the last three hours was open questions from 5 unlimited masters, face to face.
That was NOT a 'fun' week.
Ours is all paper examinations, I can imagine a oral would be tough. Ours is 9 tests in 4 days.. So you have to triple up one day. You get 3 hours per test.

Safety is my toughest(well and stability) and it has a question pool of about 3600 questions and deals with all the CFR's and such.

My fiance is taking her 1st Assistant exams this week, that's the equivalent to Chief mate for engineering. Last tests she has to take before getting Chief Engineer.
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post #12 of 20 Old 11-12-2015
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Re: Captain's License Study

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My fiance is taking her 1st Assistant exams this week, that's the equivalent to Chief mate for engineering. Last tests she has to take before getting Chief Engineer.
Good luck. It sounds as if you are setting yourselves up for jobs on one of the megayachts. Not the run of the mill captain/cook teams. Nice.
I'm retired for the most part now, but it was a grand life living like royalty on a nice yacht and traveling hither and yon, all on someone else's nickle.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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post #13 of 20 Old 11-12-2015
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Re: Captain's License Study

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Good luck. It sounds as if you are setting yourselves up for jobs on one of the megayachts. Not the run of the mill captain/cook teams. Nice.
I'm retired for the most part now, but it was a grand life living like royalty on a nice yacht and traveling hither and yon, all on someone else's nickle.
We actually work offshore in the oil field in the Gulf of Mexico on a 300' OSV. But we have both thought about yachts if we get bored of the supply business. Right now we can't beat the pay and schedule so we're here for now.

Was being a capitan for someone's yacht a pain in butt or does it just matter who the owner is?

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Re: Captain's License Study

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any recommendations for study prep exams for 6 pack USCG? we know about the commercial offerings, looking for some free ware or such.

Eddie Stubbs
I just finished my OUPV and Masters /up to 50 ton. I had been working on this for about a year and used an online source. I think you would have better luck going that route than a self study on your own. I found it was hard enough with the online and support that you will not receive from your own self study. Also if you have not already done so start logging time. If you own your own boat you can date your time yourself back to the date of purchase. If you do not and have to use someone else's boat then you will have to have them fill out time on your behalf. Rules of the road will the be the hardest part of your testing process.
Good luck

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post #15 of 20 Old 11-12-2015
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Re: Captain's License Study

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We actually work offshore in the oil field in the Gulf of Mexico on a 300' OSV. But we have both thought about yachts if we get bored of the supply business. Right now we can't beat the pay and schedule so we're here for now.

Was being a capitan for someone's yacht a pain in butt or does it just matter who the owner is?

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I've done oil field work too and enjoyed it, but it can be a tough, dangerous job.
Every job in our industry depends on the employer for sure, but more so in yachting because sometimes the boss (or his kids, clients or family) are aboard 24/7 with you.
You learn pretty quickly what to look out for (a young trophy wife is one) and I interviewed them every bit as intensely as they did me, if not more.
But the food is much better, the working conditions are much better, the accommodations are much better and it's a great deal safer. You have total control over the budget (if I wanted a bit of safety gear or something for the deck or galley, I'd just go buy it), none of the financial restrictions of the commercial maritime industry, which is really nice.
For me, and one of the most important; the boat, which may be some rich guy's toy, is your full time home and a pretty nice one at that! Lots of water toys to play with in your free time and quite often a car at your disposal.
No rotating with another crew leaving you with their mess when you come aboard, is way high on the list. Everything is always the way YOU like it. Of course, it is a full time job so you don't get the time off you get in the oil industry, which doesn't hurt at all, if you get to spend what free time you do get, exploring places all over the world.
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"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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post #16 of 20 Old 11-12-2015
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Re: Captain's License Study

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...Was being a capitan for someone's yacht a pain in butt or does it just matter who the owner is? ....
Yuk, is my reaction to being the hired help on a mega yacht. Even if the owner is nice and respectful, guests are often going to treat you like a bus boy. Seen it first hand. People can be a-holes.

You want a gig as a deliver skipper, but not for chlorox bottles going up and down the East Coast, but for delivery of commercial vessels. Tugs, ferries, all sorts of moderately large commercial vessels need to be moved around all the time. Small crew. Quick hits. Not sure how well it pays, but you would be your own boss. You'll need your experience to land these gigs, not recreational delivery skipper would normally qualify.


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post #17 of 20 Old 11-15-2015
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Re: Captain's License Study

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My British Commonwealth Chief Mate unllimited ticket was 25 hours of examinations, 5 hours a day for 5 days and the last three hours was open questions from 5 unlimited masters, face to face.
That was NOT a 'fun' week.
Just one when I did my Orals.

Last edited by Uricanejack; 11-15-2015 at 04:08 PM.
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Re: Captain's License Study

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We actually work offshore in the oil field in the Gulf of Mexico on a 300' OSV. But we have both thought about yachts if we get bored of the supply business. Right now we can't beat the pay and schedule so we're here for now.

Was being a capitan for someone's yacht a pain in butt or does it just matter who the owner is?

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Never done it. So I can't really say for sure.
I enjoyed sail training. I found it extremely rewarding but mostly voluntary on very low pay.
I did some sailing instructing which I really enjoyed but again it pays peanuts. Did it for fun not money.

I was offered but never accepted yachts. It wasn't for me. Lots of Guys I know have put some time in In the yacht world. They tell me it was fun for a short while. But not for a steady diet.
Most seam to prefer the commercial world. There again those who preferred the yacht world don't come back.

I get the impression its a different life style.


Good luck with the exams. Its a lot of work but its worth it.
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Last edited by Uricanejack; 11-15-2015 at 04:09 PM.
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post #19 of 20 Old 11-15-2015
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Re: Captain's License Study

well, why get certificates of seamanship (in cruising/chartering environment)? probaly because of insurance matters(govmnt/private)??
thnx to eddie, i learned i'm pretty ok in the tests, so where can i do the exam? (I'm already inland commercial skipper...)
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post #20 of 20 Old 11-17-2015
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Re: Captain's License Study

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Yuk, is my reaction to being the hired help on a mega yacht. Even if the owner is nice and respectful, guests are often going to treat you like a bus boy. Seen it first hand. People can be a-holes.
That's where interviewing the owner is so important. If the owner respects his captain, and by extension his crew, then he will be the first one to jump all over anyone treating the crew poorly.
Especially in the private yacht sector, but in charter too, the successful owner/captain relationship is a valued commodity that neither party would risk, especially for the few bucks a charter or two a season would bring in. Remember, these folks CAN afford their yachts (I'd never work for an owner who couldn't) and they mostly charter for the prestige.
Commercial deliveries suck, IMO. You rarely have a cohesive crew (the company supplies the crew in the commercial industry) and there are often serious problems that develop. I've delivered two ships that were totally "dark" when I stepped aboard and I had to begin with a flashlight in the engine room and figure out every single system. It took hours just to get a generator online and the engine room lights going. After maybe 12 hours I'd gotten a pretty good handle on most systems, but it was days before we were ready for sea. That's days working in a filthy engine room and various dank, dark crawl spaces. It's a rare thing (if ever these days) an independent captain gets to deliver a commercial vessel that's all spit and polish and in good nick.
But, to each his own. Perhaps you've been luckier than I.
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"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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