Originally Posted by EdLee
I don't think this works for me since it doesn't make a lot of sense to have a First Mate signing off for a Master-to-be (even though the First Mate is a qualified Master) unless he is officially crewed as the Captain of the vessel? Is my understanding correct or wrong? Or is there more to it?
There are far more mate's positions than master's so of course there are many holders of master's licenses sailing as mate ... this is the way of the world. Very few ship operators outside yachting will hire anyone directly into a master's position. They hire them as chief mate and observe how they work before giving them a ship.
If you get "signed off" by someone who holds a master's license you are getting signed off by a master. There is a difference between the level of license held and the position in which a person is employed.
If you are trying to obtain a sign off while onboard a vessel that has both a master and a mate on the crew then of course it should be the master who signs your testimonial or whatever, if he won't but the mate will then there is something funny going on.