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Discussion Starter #1
I am (again) interested in pursuing my USCG six pack or 50 ton Masters license. About four years ago I took a week long course for my six pack license and passed the test, but because of several reasons did not follow through with the license. The certification is now expired (I only had one year). I have a few questions:

1) Does anyone know of an online course I could take as I cannot afford a week off of work at this point?
2) Can I take the USCG test without taking the prep-course, and if so, can I do this online?
3) I have more than the required 720 days logged for the 50 ton Masters license, but do I only need 360 if I plan on sailing in the great lakes? (It will be a real pain to find and document some of my days)
4) Any ideas on costs for any of this?

Thanks for any information. Happy sailing.
 

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With all due respect, I would ask for a refund as you should know the answers to questions if you got you money worth for the course you took.

No, you can not take the test on line.

Yes, you can walk into any Coast Guard testing site and take the test no course needed. call ahead!

Costs? just the testing fees. and drug test.

Time on board that one is on you to prove that.

regards, 100 ton near Coastal Masters
 

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Discussion Starter #3
bubb,

Do you know of any good study materials? I did a google search, and a bunch came up. I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with these.

Also, I found an online course I can take that also has a test. Has anyone completed this type of schooling?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No, it looks like you have to go to a proctored site for the test. There isn't a list of locations, but if one is close to home, I may go this route.

Thoughts? w w w . explorersguidellc . com
 

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I seriously doubt you can take the actual test online, since it is for a USCG supplied certificate. The USCG probably would like to know that the person taking the test is indeed the person that they're giving the certificate to, especially post 9/11 and being a part of DHS.
 

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It's been several decades for me, so this could be well out of date, but I went to a nautical supply store and bought an exam-prep booklet, prepared my own application and affidavit of underway time, and passed the 100-ton aux sail course. If you've already had the classroom, that may be all you need. And I wouldn't think they do the original-license exams on-line as opposed to in-person. But the big thing is to make sure you get to sit for the maximum tonnage license exam you qualify for. If you can get 25 or 50 or 100 tons, don't settle for a 6-pack.
 

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I used the Charles Wing book called Get Your Captains License which comes with a CD containing all the questions and sample tests. There are mistakes in the book as well as in the coast guards questions themselves but overall it worked for me. I just passed the exams on the first try however this is a renewal of a 15 year old license I let expire so it is the second time I have taken the test as is the case with you.

I never did a class and would expect your knowledge on everything except the Colregs would only need review. The colregs or nav rules portion of the test is the most demanding.

I don't think you need the class. Get the book and go for it. The costs are around 150 bucks for testing plus whatever you need to pay for the drug test. The book is around 60 bucks.

Good Luck,

Craig
 

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Another bit of new info: I understand that all holders of marine licenses must get a TWIC document as well which is another 150 bucks or so. Also the Coast Guard in the process of centralizing all license approvals. The regional exam centers still do the testing and in person verification etc but the licenses are now issued from one central location. I passed the tests 2 months ago and still have not received my license.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, nothing I have found online offers a test. All online courses offer a proctored test at some sort of location, usually a hotel conference room. I like the idea of buying the study book and just taking the test through the coast guard. Seems the simplest plan. Is the coast guard test different than the tests written by the course instructors? Thanks for all the help!
 

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Another bit of new info: I understand that all holders of marine licenses must get a TWIC document as well which is another 150 bucks or so. Also the Coast Guard in the process of centralizing all license approvals. The regional exam centers still do the testing and in person verification etc but the licenses are now issued from one central location. I passed the tests 2 months ago and still have not received my license.
In 2004 it took 6 months to renew my license. Application to having my licensee in hand
 

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Yeah, nothing I have found online offers a test. All online courses offer a proctored test at some sort of location, usually a hotel conference room. I like the idea of buying the study book and just taking the test through the coast guard. Seems the simplest plan. Is the coast guard test different than the tests written by the course instructors? Thanks for all the help!
Most books and courses have a good Idea of the test questions and will ask practice questions in various different ways. that way you know the answers forward and backwards. It is the plotting and nav lights that most people have the hardest time with. Know your sets and drift and how to plot them and nav lights before you sit for the test.
 

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I am a USCG Qualified Instructor and I teach the 100 Ton Masters class 3 times a year for a training company.
As you know there is a lot of paper work needed before you can submit your application to the USCG.
Because most normal people hate paperwork sometimes people put it off and never submit their applications to the USCG.

So what you did is not uncommon.

In our classes we are proactive and spend the first 3-4 hours reviewing all the steps and filling out the forms together.
The paperwork is not hard but it just takes time to do.

Unfortunately at this point you have to start all over.
Just because you passed a training class a few years ago means nothing to the USCG.
The USCG has their rules and you must follow them.

You have the following options

1. Self study and take the tests at the USCG training location nearest you.
If you want to try this route you have 3 chances to pass the required 5 tests.
If you fail any one of the 5 tests 3 times you have to wait years before you can try again.

2. Do the entire class again in person.
In the case of our company we would not charge you a 2nd time to take the class.
So check with the company you used and see if they will wave the fee.
Yes I know you said you do not have the time but this is one option.

3. Do a weekend class / after work class.
Some companies have weekend/ after work classes that take 3-5 weekends to complete.
This will cost you but it might fit your schedule.

4. Do an online class with an in person test day.
Hard to stay motivated.

FYI
The most common reasons for an application being rejected are
1. Assuming your doctor knows what type of Medical Exam the USCG needs and how to fill out the Medical Forms. DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT use you own Doctor go to www.concentra.com and find a Doctor who knows what to do.

2. Assuming your First Aid training meets the USCG requirements.
I get this question from Police and Firemen all the time.
They think because they have first aid training the USCG will accept it.
Do not assume it ask the trainer if he and the class is USCG approved and have him prove it.
If he can not prove it then it is not USCG approved.
Go to www.profirstaid.com and ask which class you need to take.

For reference these are the requirements to get you USCG license.

1. USCG Exams (Approved Training Course Certificate)
x amount of time in class depending on the license you are getting.
passing all 5 USCG tests
Rules of the Road (must get 90% very hard)
Charting (ETA, Set and drift, Etc)
Deck General (ropes, knots, parts of a ship, etc)
Deck Safety (fire fighting, simple first aid, etc)
Navigation General (bouy systems, etc)
2. Sea Service (Boating Experience)
3. Supporting Documents
Two Valid IDs
Min Age – 18 for 6 pack, 19 for Masters
US Resident
Notarized Merchant Mariners Oath
Three Character References
4. Supporting Tests
USCG approved Medical Exam
(go to www.concentra.com and find a doctor who knows how to fill out the forms)
USCG approved Drug Test (same doctor as the Medical exam)
USCG approved First Aid Course
(go to www.profirstaid.com and ask which class you need to take)
TWIC Card (Homeland Security)
(go to www.universalenroll.dhs.gov and sign up for an appointment)
5. USCG Application
 

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I am a USCG Qualified Instructor and I teach the 100 Ton Masters class 3 times a year for a training company.
As you know there is a lot of paper work needed before you can submit your application to the USCG.
Because most normal people hate paperwork sometimes people put it off and never submit their applications to the USCG.

So what you did is not uncommon.

In our classes we are proactive and spend the first 3-4 hours reviewing all the steps and filling out the forms together.
The paperwork is not hard but it just takes time to do.

Unfortunately at this point you have to start all over.
Just because you passed a training class a few years ago means nothing to the USCG.
The USCG has their rules and you must follow them.

You have the following options

1. Self study and take the tests at the USCG training location nearest you.
If you want to try this route you have 3 chances to pass the required 5 tests.
If you fail any one of the 5 tests 3 times you have to wait years before you can try again.

2. Do the entire class again in person.
In the case of our company we would not charge you a 2nd time to take the class.
So check with the company you used and see if they will wave the fee.
Yes I know you said you do not have the time but this is one option.

3. Do a weekend class / after work class.
Some companies have weekend/ after work classes that take 3-5 weekends to complete.
This will cost you but it might fit your schedule.

4. Do an online class with an in person test day.
Hard to stay motivated.

FYI
The most common reasons for an application being rejected are
1. Assuming your doctor knows what type of Medical Exam the USCG needs and how to fill out the Medical Forms. DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT use you own Doctor go to www.concentra.com and find a Doctor who knows what to do.

2. Assuming your First Aid training meets the USCG requirements.
I get this question from Police and Firemen all the time.
They think because they have first aid training the USCG will accept it.
Do not assume it ask the trainer if he and the class is USCG approved and have him prove it.
If he can not prove it then it is not USCG approved.
Go to www.profirstaid.com and ask which class you need to take.

For reference these are the requirements to get you USCG license.

1. USCG Exams (Approved Training Course Certificate)
x amount of time in class depending on the license you are getting.
passing all 5 USCG tests
Rules of the Road (must get 90% very hard)
Charting (ETA, Set and drift, Etc)
Deck General (ropes, knots, parts of a ship, etc)
Deck Safety (fire fighting, simple first aid, etc)
Navigation General (bouy systems, etc)
2. Sea Service (Boating Experience)
3. Supporting Documents
Two Valid IDs
Min Age – 18 for 6 pack, 19 for Masters
US Resident
Notarized Merchant Mariners Oath
Three Character References
4. Supporting Tests
USCG approved Medical Exam
(go to www.concentra.com and find a doctor who knows how to fill out the forms)
USCG approved Drug Test (same doctor as the Medical exam)
USCG approved First Aid Course
(go to www.profirstaid.com and ask which class you need to take)
TWIC Card (Homeland Security)
(go to www.universalenroll.dhs.gov and sign up for an appointment)
5. USCG Application
Sorry I forgot to give a plug to our training classes
go to www.glctraining.com
We have been doing this for 30 years and have classes all across the country.
 

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what is required to document your "sea service time" for the 6-pack?
 

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You need to fill out a 719S form. (forms) Below. What constitutes sea time is also below.

If you own your own vessel, you can document your own time ( attest ) If your time is on another vessel, you must get the master to sign.

For the difference between inland and near coastal you need to use the Boundary line and not the Colregs demarcation line. They are different. The Boundary line coordinates can also be found on the CG Website I believe. I've pasted a copy of the CFR below.




 

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You need to fill out a 719S form. (forms) Below. What constitutes sea time is also below.

If you own your own vessel, you can document your own time ( attest ) If your time is on another vessel, you must get the master to sign.

For the difference between inland and near coastal you need to use the Boundary line and not the Colregs demarcation line. They are different. The Boundary line coordinates can also be found on the CG Website I believe. I've pasted a copy of the CFR below.




thanks, this helps a lot. I found lots of sites offering classes but not much information.
 
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