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Back before electricity (1980) I bought a two-book prep course for 40 bucks, and read it. I had enough time for what was then called "Ocean Operator", now known as Master, Near Coastal, on inspected vessels. When I say "had enough time", I had grown up around the water, raced, cruised, worked in (Dad's) yacht brokerage/sales, delivered some of those boats around New England (from Marblehead). Even so, and being a Boy Scout about the "days", I had to count my time rowing out to these boats and back to get what I recall was 3 years of 8-hour days in order to get Auxiliary sail also.

I was on active duty in the Coast Guard at the time, which may or may not have something to do with why they let me sit for 100 tons instead of 25 or 50. I thought the test was fairly easy after studying the books. And having taken Power Squadron as a teenager helped.

So if you have the time, go for the Inspected Vessel license, even if only for the minimum of 25 tons. You never know when you may get a spot on a Certificated vessel.

I'm not saying you should try to do it with just books, but it did work for me. Do I use my license? Yes, in sailing lessons I teach part-time (since the boats have outboard or inboard engine), and very occasionally as mate or second captain on dive boats (converted from crewboats, triple-screw, 99 gross tons, a lot of commercial boats are designed to fit just inside a particular tonnage license).

It's almost simpler to go for the biggest license you can qualify for, same cost, same medical quals, different test yes, but it's doable.

Of course this was 35 years ago. But I do the open-book exams every 5 years, and get the 7-page medical form done with all the circles and arrows and waivers for us, uh, mature applicants.

So if you do the course, sit for the biggest license you can. The course people will help you evaluate this, I would bet. And best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Back before electricity (1980) I bought a two-book prep course for 40 bucks, and read it. I had enough time for what was then called "Ocean Operator", now known as Master, Near Coastal, on inspected vessels. When I say "had enough time", I had grown up around the water, raced, cruised, worked in (Dad's) yacht brokerage/sales, delivered some of those boats around New England (from Marblehead). Even so, and being a Boy Scout about the "days", I had to count my time rowing out to these boats and back to get what I recall was 3 years of 8-hour days in order to get Auxiliary sail also.

I was on active duty in the Coast Guard at the time, which may or may not have something to do with why they let me sit for 100 tons instead of 25 or 50. I thought the test was fairly easy after studying the books. And having taken Power Squadron as a teenager helped.

So if you have the time, go for the Inspected Vessel license, even if only for the minimum of 25 tons. You never know when you may get a spot on a Certificated vessel.

I'm not saying you should try to do it with just books, but it did work for me. Do I use my license? Yes, in sailing lessons I teach part-time (since the boats have outboard or inboard engine), and very occasionally as mate or second captain on dive boats (converted from crewboats, triple-screw, 99 gross tons, a lot of commercial boats are designed to fit just inside a particular tonnage license).

It's almost simpler to go for the biggest license you can qualify for, same cost, same medical quals, different test yes, but it's doable.

Of course this was 35 years ago. But I do the open-book exams every 5 years, and get the 7-page medical form done with all the circles and arrows and waivers for us, uh, mature applicants.

So if you do the course, sit for the biggest license you can. The course people will help you evaluate this, I would bet. And best of luck.
Thanks you, that is my plan. Our boat is 14 tons, so I guess that would mean I get the 25 ton version of the Master license for inspected vessels.

Regards,
Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Looking at this place for getting my captain's license in the spring The Nautical School - NY Maritime & Nautical Resources

Normally it's $699, including test fee if you pay in advance enough. (I believe the evening of 1st Aid/CPR is extra.) Planning to talk them into a group rate since we have a group of people in on this.

Who else is interested? If you don't have the hours, you can always get the testing out of the way.

They have classes in these locations:
Essex, CT
Bridgeport, CT
Stonington, CT
Manasquan, NJ
New Rochelle, NY
Manhattan, NY
Lindenhurst, NY​

So for the spring the plan is: captain's license (including 1st aid/CPR), towing endorsement (why not?), sailing endorsement, and perhaps even 100 ton master.

Regards,
Brad
About to pull the trigger and reserve a spot in the course. The above looks like the way to go, since you can split the course into 2 sessions if you want. Each day's lesson is modular, and it may be difficult to find 9 straight days to devote to this (counting the regular days spent at work).

The only drawback is that my son wants to take the course too. If I take it with him, then commuting to the class would be a lot easier, and it will be good bonding, but then I'll need to wait. And I'm tired of waiting for this!

There's an app for studying the light patterns. So far, I think I found one error in the app, so I must be learning something.

Regards,
Brad
 

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What impact does this have on insurance? Does it mean you can get by with less experienced crew? Fewer crew?. Does it impact premiums?
Especially interested in impact on ocean not near coastal transits.
 

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BoatUS gave me a ~10% discount on my insurance policy. The ticket is necessary to teach sailing on an auxiliary equipped boat.
 

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Thanks E
But don't have intentions of teaching, running a launch or being jones act crew. Just wondering as an non charter yacht owner what impact 100t would have, if any, on insurance and crew requirements for passages? Which 100t is needed to have favorable impact?
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
BoatUS gave me a ~10% discount on my insurance policy. The ticket is necessary to teach sailing on an auxiliary equipped boat.
My impression is that is you have some class behind you -- like the Power Squadrons long course -- that you get and insurance discount. Not sure if you get more of a discount with a second course or even a longer course.

Progressive insurance, for instance, has a single check box IIRC on their online application.

Regards,
Brad
 

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There was nothing on the application about Captain's License. I called them and told the underwriter that I had it. I then asked if there was any discount, and she said yes! :)
 

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I went through Mariners Learning System. It's on-line. The study materials work fine. The nice thing about this course is that it is very affordable and you do not have to take the Coast Guard exam. Their exam is approved. I believe their average grade on an exam is 94%. Right now for about $850 you get the course material for OUPV, 25/50/100Ton Upgrade, Sail Endorsement and Tow Endorsement. They also run specials here and there like buy one course at full price and get 50% off the same course for a friend. If you do this course, it is important to sign up for the exam relatively soon as it is proctored in various locations around the country. They may only be in your area a couple/few of times per year.

here is the website: Captain's License Online | Mariners School | MarinersLearningSystem.com

Self-Study is not for everyone but it worked just fine for me. A great way would be for a group to sign up then to form a study group.

Also, I don't know that anyone has mentioned this but you don't just get a 100 Ton ticket. You take the master upgrade course and with a passing grade you will be issued at least a 25 Ton license. Any higher depends on the types of vessels you have experience operating. To get a 100 Ton you will likely need experience on larger recreational vessels. So, if the largest vessel you have experience on is a Catalina 36 (not to pick on anyone) you will not get a 100 ton ticket. A good friend has a 42 ft Trawler that comes in at 36 GRT. The reason for my 50 ton was experience piloting an 80ft, 80 GRT heritage tug (ex working boat now a yacht). Enough experience for a 50 Ton license but not enough for a 100. Maybe an upgrade is in the future but that's up to the Coast Guard.

Someone asked what a 50 or 100 Ton vessel would look like. Keep in mind that Gross Tonnage is a measure of volume (cargo capacity) and has nothing to do with weight. As mentioned above a late '70s Grand Banks Style Trawler at 42 LOA comes in at 36 GRT. 100 GRT would be pretty big I have to think 60+ LOA for a Trawler

I decided to get my captain's license so I could teach sailing. Those who kick it around casually, be warned. The process will have you seeing red. You will jump through many hoops. from the time I put in all of my paperwork, physical, drug test, TWIC Card, it still took 4 months for the Coast Guard to issue my license. this is for a person with prior security clearances, god knows how many background checks, and current financial licenses of various types.

All that said, it is pretty cool knowing that you are a real Captain.

Peace friends,

Doug Powers
Captain, 50GRT
Seattle, WA
ASA 101, 103, 104, 105
 

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E- have the hours for 50t including sufficient offshore hours. Only rationale for me doing this. Is:
Learn something
Insurance break
Impact on required crew for insurance
Impact on being in EU waters.
Know my rates have gone down with increased experience but can't pin down broker for estimate of impact of license.
Going between doing nothing, doing RYA, doing 50t. Doing occasional courses (SAS, weather etc.).
Can't get good information via Internet so very interested in others thinking about this.
 

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Outbound-

As far as learning something; if your hours have mostly been on an Outbound 46 including offshore time, I doubt you will learn anything new that is useful. The only things that were new to me were the legal requirements such as lights and day signals to display while towing. The diameter of fire hose required on inspected vessels. A captain's license course is to learn how to pass the test.

I assume you meant ASA, not SAS (among other things, a fencing club in Seattle). Yes, you would need it for that.

Insurance I can't speak on.

US Merchant Mariner credential does not qualify as an ICC (International Certificate of Competency) as the US is not signatory to the maritime treaty that covers it. As such, my understanding is that it does not carry a whole lot of weight in the EU. I was reading about it on "Noonsite", Jimmy Cornell's website. You can browse it at http://www.noonsite.com/ The site is a bit clunky and it can difficult to find your way back to an article once you have left the site but there is a lot of good info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I just registered for the course with the nautical school. The Nautical School - Nautical School Learning Aids

At $699, it seemed cheap enough. And the 9 days of class time was what I was looking for: 8-5:30 for two weekends in a row, and 6-10:30 weekdays between those weekends.

After studying the app that teaches the lights, I'm feeling pretty good.

Got my TWIC card this week! It seemed to possibly take a long time, so I ordered it in advance of taking the course.

Now I need to find a CPR and 1st Aid course. I don't want to wait for when the school has their class.

Got a insurance quote back. Amazingly, the price was about the same as my recreational insurance. I think I need to beef-up the liability a bit, since going commercial probably means more exposure to lawsuits.

Regards,
Brad
 
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