U.S. Coast Guard Captains License [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: U.S. Coast Guard Captains License

04-03-2003, 09:33 AM
Submitted my application for the Masters License yesterday, it was accepted, however, I need to REDO my CPR and First Aid training. The evaluator said they had never heard of the company that administered the course, and although it was valid, they require it to be within one year. The cert. is good for 2 years, but not to the CG.
With all the security checks, drug tests, physical exam as well as the 6-7 month course, There is alot to go into getting it, but it makes it all that much more valid, IMHO!
They held the application and are waiting for the new documentation for the training and I will have the license upon submitting it.
Be sure, if you go in for the license that your CPR and First Aid are given by the Red Cross or The American Heart Association. And if you have any questions, Maybe I can help, just having gone thru it!

04-03-2003, 02:27 PM
Got my USCG pilot lic. when I was 18 (didn't hurt to have a neighbor who was tug boat Captain and three of my letters of rec. were from local Pilots with any tonnage/any waters "tickets."

Most fun part was when I finished basic training and it came out towards the end of CG basic training that I had a valid (13th District) set of "Captains papers." Became the 'fair haired' boy from Canada asap. But God the questions they would ask me to see if I knew my stuff. Fav. one from a Chief BM was to the tune of 'how would you fight a poison gas fire aboard ship?'

Actually, easy answer, but it was a function of where the fire was located: above or below decks.

04-03-2003, 03:56 PM
My answer would have been, just jump overboard (women and children first, of course!), funny you mentioned the pilot, one of my good friends is a pilot in Boston Harbor and he provided one of the recommendation letters for me. Now there is an interesting job, and before he took this job he was a Capt. on a freighter in the Gulf of Mexico, the guy knows his stuff!

04-18-2003, 11:15 AM
Got it! Full fledged Masters, only a 25ton max limit. But I can't see how I could exceed that on the flats!:D

Dble Haul
04-18-2003, 11:28 AM
Congratulations, Case......sounds like it was well earned!

I hope you have safe and fun times on the water with your new opportunities.

04-18-2003, 02:22 PM
What "waters" does your 'ticket' cover?

As a 'ps,' I'd add that your view of 'boating' has forever changed.

04-18-2003, 06:10 PM
Masters is for inland with an endorsement for 6 pk. near coastal and commercial assist towing!

04-18-2003, 06:13 PM
Congrats Capt'n! Duly impressed. I would hence feel great about going out on your boat more often this season! ;) :D

04-19-2003, 11:45 AM
You have a standing invite Juro and you KNOW it! I spend a lot of time fishing by myself on the boat, not a safe way to fish, and am determined to get more people out with me. I am going to start a thread, once the season gets underway, for trip swaps and sharing for the boat crew, as well as the shorebound guys who want to see the other side of the waves for a change. I think we can all benefit from it!:)

04-19-2003, 01:41 PM
Congratulations Cap'n Case!

04-21-2003, 09:38 AM
Congrats on your Masters license. I have been looking into the possibilities of getting mine. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

04-21-2003, 09:42 AM
Congrats from me to... that's the way I will go when I get a boat someday...

04-22-2003, 10:32 AM
I went to a scheduled course given by Mystic Safe Boating which has several locations in which they give the classes. In my case the closest was aboard the USS Massachusetts in Fall River, Ma. They utilize one night a week, 4 hrs and a total of about 5-6 months. Others use the cram it down your throat in a week full time which includes the weekend on either end. I chose the long way in hopes of retaining more. I think it was the right way to go for me, the other way may work for you. I also opted for the Masters which added 6 weeks to the classes, and if your looking to be a guide in a small boat, you don't need. It fell in the middle of the classes the way I jumpted in and I decided why not. It also cost about $120 more than just the 6 pak.
As with most of these type classes, you get out what you put in and there were a couple of classmates I hope I never run into on the water, but I'm sure they graduated.
You test at the classes, which in Mystic Safe Boating was after each segment and made it easier on us. Therefor, no testing at the Coast Guard, you just submit your application along with $145, your Physical exam report, your drug screen report, your Cpr and first aid card ( by American Heart or Red Cross, and make sure it's within a year), your Sea Time Documentation and 3 letters for character referance. In addition you need to give copies and have originals of your birth certifacate, passport, drivers license and your diplomas from the class.
I have the class workbook if your interestd in checkin it out, I could send it to you to review. Just remember, it may look more difficult than it does in class. the classes are pretty user friendly. Let me know if you want the see the book!

04-22-2003, 10:52 AM
Did you send away for a log book ffor your time? How is it calculated? How do you go about certifying it?

04-22-2003, 12:18 PM
I keep my own log of time on my boat and I "certify" my time on my own boat. For time on others vessels the owner needs to give a letter certifying the time YOU put on the sea time documentation Form that is provided in the application package. The time requirements vary with the level of license, for a 6pk you need 180 days of time (6-7 hours=1 day) for inland. I have the other days req. info at home if you need it!

04-22-2003, 02:27 PM
I should really start logging in the time. This year alone I have spent alot of hours on the boat. Not to mention all the guided trips I've taken.

Do they take into account how long you have had a boat registered?

What information is needed when logging the time? Date/Location/Hours/Weather?

Special book or will any notebook work?

04-23-2003, 06:47 AM
They do check your boat registration and the hours better match, as for the log book, any note book will work for you they dont check your log, just what you put on the sea time documentation form which asks for the days per month/ average hrs. per day/ and how many days are inland (which is inside the demarcation line) and how many are offshore (beyond demarcation line). I would be concerned that if you tried to fudge these numbers you could get burned! These guys are pretty sharp and if you put 25 days in June of 1999 and there were 10 days of small craft warnings it won't look so good.
Best advice is to keep and use a log and you won't have anything to worry about!

04-23-2003, 09:26 AM
Ok great. I will go back to my calendar and start my log.

04-23-2003, 12:07 PM
I'll toss in my 2 cents on this one if I may. ALWAYS keep a good log book on your boat and post often, at least once an hour. Even if it's only to comment on sea conditions, location, etc. This is even more true if you've got your Master's papers.

If you ever get into a 'pickle' with the CG that is the first thing they'll ask to see. In court it's your main line of offence/defense in case of a boating accident/incident.

Interesting to see that required 'sea time' is now 180 days. "Back then" you had to document a full year.


04-23-2003, 01:33 PM
Fred, I could not agree more regarding the log book. If I may be so bold, how far back are we talkin when we say "Back Then"? And when you say you had to document a full year, why? If you only had say 60 days in the year you would still need additional time, right? I think the current requirement seems to make more sense, maybe I'm wrong! My sea time documentation went back 4 years and had alot more than 180 days, and when and if I decide to upgrade to a Masters near coastal or more, the additional time will be needed. I only went back 4 years because I did not want to start using other peoples vessels and go looking for the verification letters and my previous boat was a long time ago and I did not want to estimate the time frame or search for the documentation. The 180 days is only for the 6 pk. I should dig out the complete package and review and post the requirements for all levels. I'll try to do that tonight and post it tommorrow!

04-23-2003, 07:59 PM
but 1960 to 1977 is when I had my 'papers' active. My 'normal' waters were the Puget Sound to South West Alaska. Don't know about/when the change came on required service time but it was a full 365 days at that point. Haven't looked at the regs. for years so they may have put in different 'grades' for lic. requirements some time in the past.

The way I was able to log so much time from age 16 to 18 or 19 was working with Sea Explorers and with my neighbor who was a Captain of a Foss Tug. Lots of tows were at three knots against the current so almost always had a salmon rig hanging over the side. Actually caught a fair number of fish ... "cookie" and the crew, ate fairly well. But then again, you worked your butt off.

My ticket covered hulls up to 150 tons as the Master and 350 tons as the second. Rarily ever got on something even on the 150 ton side and my only 'rides' for larger hulls had the US Navy or USCG painted on the side. :D

And these guys weren't about to turn their toys over to a young buck like me.:whoa: Trust is one thing ... stupidity is another.

04-24-2003, 07:17 AM
Thanks for sharing Fred. I wish I had spent more time on the water when I was younger. I think back and now feel that a stint in the Navy, Coast Guard or even attendance at the Massachusetts Maritime Acad. would have served to broaden my knowledge and interests now. I have 2 boys age 11 and 14, both smart as a whip in school, and I would like to think that working on the water or within the industry would be a fullfilling way to spend their career's. I won't push but I will point it out! They both love to be on the boat, as well as fish. The older won the kids division of the fly casting comp at the FFF casting clave a year ago. I hope they choose a path that they enjoy. Sounds like you did!

04-24-2003, 08:22 AM
to own, read cover to cover, and then re-read is Chapman's book on small boat handling and seaman ship. Nothing better has ever been written on the subject that I've seen.

First copy I had of that book was, maybe, a half inch thick. Last one I saw had to be closer to 1.5 inches thick with all the added material. Great read, and the "bible' on small boat handling.


04-24-2003, 08:34 AM
Unfortunately I did not start my love for the water until later in my youth. Spent pleanty of time on my uncles sail boat as well as his little Glastron he use to have but never was really too interested in the responsibilities involved in piloting a boat. Did not really strive to get a boat of my own until I was in my early 20's. That was right after I realized I'm a hell of alot better fisherman than I am a golfer. It's never too late to learn and I am currently reading Chapmans Piloting and Seamanship as well as a few other books. So hopefully in my near future I too will take the plunge and achieve my goal of becoming a Captain.

04-24-2003, 10:14 AM

Shoulda gotten my ticket in the 70's (CG doesn't grandfather former members or wicked old seatime)

04-24-2003, 10:58 AM
I think I'll :o myself tonight and go look at the sample tests.