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Advice requested for 6-Pak License

Discussion in 'Licensing & Education' started by cnkale80, Feb 3, 2008.

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  1. cnkale80

    cnkale80 New Member

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    I served 4 years in the US Coast Guard on board a 378 ft Cutter (the Jarvis out of Hawaii). I was an Operations Specialist and one of my primary duties was radar navigation. I have been getting mixed answers from different training centers about how my time will be counted. I am NAV rules certified, Damage Control certified, and have extensive Search and Rescue experience. I have been off the water for almost 3 years now because I am a full time student so I know that will hurt me some. Can anyone here give me some sort of direction as to what I can do? Thanks!!
  2. johlman

    johlman New Member

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    Call Chapman Schools in Florida. They'll hook you up
  3. cnkale80

    cnkale80 New Member

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    Hi Johlman. Thank you for your reply. When you say they will hook me up do you mean just help me toward a 6-PAK or hook me up in ways other training centers would not. Thanks again.
  4. sblunden

    sblunden New Member

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    Remember that both your total sea time and your RECENT sea time are important numbers (go the USCG web site, Sea School or Grosetti licensing consultant web sites for details). As far as how military sea time is counted, I'm not able to give you a definite answer. I know a guy who served on subs for many years and none of his time was eligible for some obscure reason. You need to call one of the schools (Chapmans, Sea School, Mariners School etc.) or get a professional engaged for that. Just move quickly as the clock is ticking on your most recent time. Hope this didn't confuse things more! Steve.
  5. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    "Can anyone here give me some sort of direction as to what I can do?"

    Your old organization has the answer to every one of your questions and the documents you need to file your application. Everything you need is here:

    http://www.uscg.mil/stcw/
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    it shoudl count towards total sea time but you will need to show some recent time. You ned 360 days of sea time for your OUPV including 90 he past 3 years.

    one day is 4 hours under way in a 24 hour period. Anchored doens't count, but drifting does.

    i think there is some form you need to get from the USCGT or NAVY for military time to count, your local USCG office shoudl be able to tell you.
  7. cnkale80

    cnkale80 New Member

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    thanks for your help guys, I appreciate it.
  8. aeronautic1

    aeronautic1 Member

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    Sea Time Counts!!

    I am a USCG veteran (MK) and used my sea time to get my six pack year ago. I believe the DD214 will show your sea time.

    You should consider contacting Maritime Professional Training (www.mptusa.com) and get your RYA/MCA (British) Yachtmaster license if the "white fleet" is your bag, baby. This license will take you places that a USCG license will not and gets you 200 tons instead of 100 tons. You also only need 90 days to qualify.

    Did you actually spend 4 years on Javis? I was on Mellon when she was homeported at Sand Island, but that was in the early 70s. Then rotations were 2 years.
  9. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    Where? I'm not sure what you mean by that... :confused:
  10. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    "I believe the DD214 will show your sea time."

    It will not. Please go to the USCG licensing site and get the real story from the people you must submit the application to. They have all the correct information and you can download all the forms you need.

    "This license will take you places that a USCG license will not ..."

    The MCA yacht license scheme is a very limited license and is not recognized anywhere else for anything other than yachting service. Don't waste your time. Use the sea time you have toward a real license that is "portable" and recognized worldwide. The fact that you can get an MCA yachtmaster ticket with less than 2 months sea time should tell you something about how much it is worth. Consider that it takes 540 days to get a USCG AB ticket, what does that say about an MCA master?

    If you want a maritime career, get the best ticket your seatime will allow and use that to get a job with MSC or even a tugboat company, anything to get training and experience toward a legitimate license that will serve you the rest of your career. That license can be used on yachts as well. You will gain real seatime faster and have your training paid for. In a few short years you will hold a license that the MCA crowd can't even dream about. You will replace those unqualified people when the new and larger boats come into the industry.

    Don't fall for the lure of a quickie license that should be printed on the back of a Cheerios box.
  11. sblunden

    sblunden New Member

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    Oh, boy. This is getting testy. I'd like to ask the Yachtmaster people if their certifications allow them to operate US flagged, Coast Guard INSPECTED vessels with more than 6 paying passengers. That's what it all comes down to, in my opinion. I have a couple of customers who charter their USCG inspected 65 footers and carry 10-12 paying passengers. They are required to have current CG inspection certificates and need to sail under US Merchant Marine Master's licenses or equivalents. I see a lot of transients with MCA certificates but don't really know what their legal authority is.

    Anyone have a definitive answer to this question? Thanks.
  12. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    "I see a lot of transients with MCA certificates but don't really know what their legal authority is."

    An MCA certificate is not valid on U.S. flagged vessels of any description. An MCA yacht certificate is not valid on anything other than a yacht.

    The only USCG license an alien can hold is an OUPV (operator of uninspected passenger vessels - commonly called a 6-pak) under 5 tons. Even then the holder must be a legal immigrant and hold a "green card."

    The definitive answer is supplied on the coast guard licensing web site. "Testy?" Maybe, but for good reason, this is a business that is founded on a lot of regulations and procedures, some that might seem silly or useless but they are part of the toolkit that a competent master or other licensed officer must have available and know how and when to use. If someone can't even research how to obtain a license, what will that person do when critical information is required to operate safely?

    You don't have to know everything but you have a duty to know where to find information and know how to use it. "I believe the DD214 will show your sea time."is like saying "I believe the water ahead of us is deep enough" rather than look at a chart ...

    Come on guys, if you want to be professionals you have to start thinkiing and acting like professionals and not 50 day wonders.
  13. sblunden

    sblunden New Member

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    With all due respect, the statement that the MCA Yachtmaster cert is not valid on commercial vessels is incorrect. Visiting the RYA web site http://www.ryatraining.org/professional/commercialendorsements.htm I noted that the MCA (UK equivalent of the US Coast Guard) recognizes Yachtmastster commercial endorsements (including STCW) on British flagged vessels. This puts a commercially endorsed MCA Yachtmaster ticket on par with my USCG Merchant Marine 100GT Master's license, unless I'm missing something here? Best, Steve.
  14. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    http://www.ryatraining.org/professio...dorsements.htm reads:

    "The standard commercial endorsement allows you work on board British flagged vessels which are subject to the MCA’s codes of practice for small commercial vessels. The following wording would appear on your certificate:"

    "For Yachtmaster® Offshore and Yachtmaster Ocean certificates of competence: “This certificate is valid for use as a Master of yachts of up to 200gt on commercially and privately registered yachts until (date of expiry)”


    “The certificate holder complies with STCW 95 regulations V1/1 Sections V1/1-4. This certificate is valid for use as a Master of yachts of up to 200gt on commercially and privately registered yachts until (date of expiry)”

    Yacht means yacht, a vessel with a certificate describing it as a yacht, holding a manning certificate (if applicable) describing it as a yacht.

    A USCG 100 ton master can legally operate a yacht, a head boat, a ferry, or any other commercial vessel of not more than 100 tons. It is not restricted to yacht service. In real life a 100 ton is not worth much as it is not an internationally recognized license so the point is moot really. A 200 ton master with an oceans endorsement is about the minimum valid for international service if you want to swim in the yacht pool.
  15. aeronautic1

    aeronautic1 Member

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    Yacht Forums

    Well Marmot, seeing as the title of this web site is YACHT FORUMS, and everything we discuss here is YACHT ORIENTED, then why would we even consider work on a commerical fishing boat or lighter. Have you considered posting on TUG FORUMS?

    With the majority of yachts over 100 feet being foreign flagged, then an MCA license holds water. Especially if it charters. When was the last time you had to perform practical factors exam at sea for a USCG 100 ton ticket? Do you hold an RYA/MCA license? Because I hold both US and MCA and the MCA exam was far tougher than the USCG exam.

    I stand correct on the DD214 issue... it's been a while. There is a Sea Service record that the Coast Guard issues with the discharge papers. If you do not have a copy, you can get one from the NPRC at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/get-service-records.html
  16. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    “Well Marmot, seeing as the title of this web site is YACHT FORUMS, and everything we discuss here is YACHT ORIENTED, then why would we even consider work on a commerical fishing boat or lighter.”

    Mostly because the original question was, and the topic title is: “Advice requested for 6-pack license”. The poster is an American asking about USCG licensing and his career path.

    ”With the majority of yachts over 100 feet being foreign flagged, then an MCA license holds water.”

    An MCA yacht license is valid only on a Red Flag yacht. It is not valid on an American flagged vessel of any size or function. The marine industry is made up of more than just yachts. My advice to anyone seeking a career in the maritime industry is to obtain the best license possible, and in the case of an American, that license is a USCG license. The MCA will issue a USCG license holder a certificate of equivalent competency that is valid on Red Flag yachts or merchant vessels. An MCA yacht license is not valid for use on an American flagged vessel of any description. It is not valid on a Red Flag vessel other than a yacht. An American holding only an MCA license is severely limited given the employment and training opportunities available to the holder of USCG licenses.

    “When was the last time you had to perform practical factors exam at sea for a USCG 100 ton ticket?”

    It’s been a long time but preceding the issuance of my 100 ton master I had to serve 720 days at sea. That is a pretty good “practical factor.” Not that an OUPV or 100 ton is good for anything other than local work from a U.S. port. The entry level ticket for yacht service is probably the 200 ton and to obtain that from the USCG requires 1080 days of sea time, with 720 of those days serving as master or mate. This is in contrast to "You also only need 90 days" to obtain an MCA 200 ton master. I would say that 1080 days of underway seatime, not just “signed on” a yacht washing down at the dock, and working under the supervision of an experienced mariner provides considerable opportunity to demonstrate “practical factors.

    “Do you hold an RYA/MCA license?”

    No, but I hold an MCA CeC based on my unlimited USCG license. It is valid on any ship or yacht of any size anywhere in the world. It is recognized by every “white list” flag state as being valid for their endorsement to serve on yachts or merchant vessels of any size or power.

    “Because I hold both US and MCA and the MCA exam was far tougher than the USCG exam.”

    Probably difficult for you because 90 days at sea and a license prep course just isn’t enough time to learn much. It certainly isn’t enough time to learn leadership skills and barely enough time to learn the skills of a good deckhand much less gain the experience a commercial “charter guest” has the right to expect of the master of a passenger carrying vessel in commercial service.

    (edited to correct spelling error)
  17. The Reverend

    The Reverend New Member

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    STCW Commercial is Better if You Can Get It

    The advice given by Marmot is excellent I would agree that far better to obtain the internationally recognised commercial STCW tickets (certificates) than the national restricted tickets. To get these tickets you have to proper seatime on commercial ships or large yachts This also applies to engineers.
    You also have the possibility of a proper career path if you wish.

    The RYA tickets were originally designed for the private yacht owner run a small yacht safely. The Commercial Endorsement is just a stamp used to fill a gap allowing holders of the RYA tickets to work commercially on small charter yachts.

    This has lead to situations like this:-

    http://www.maib.gov.uk/publications/investigation_reports/2008/lady_candida.cfm
  18. Islandtime

    Islandtime New Member

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    The big question is what you're looking to do with your license. I'm a USCG vet with time aboard a 180' buoy tender and a 210' cutter. Without that valuable time, I wouldn't have been able to obtain a 100GT USCG license. When discharged, you should have received a few different copies of your DD214. One of them lists your sea time; I had lost that copy and had to contact the Military Records Center mentioned earlier in this thread. Whatever you decide to do, that big boat time is really gonna come in handy. Good luck!
  19. toniknik

    toniknik New Member

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    Call your MSO or SPO

    I am a YN3 at Tracen Yorktown. I am looking into much of the same gig. From my experience, you need documentation of your sea time from the USCG. This documentation will allow you to get your captains licences. I suggest you find a good Yeoman or contact your Service and Personnel office if you are still active duty to get proof of seatime which you should have!

    if you need anything else let me know! I'm looking to get some sea time on the civilian side if you know anyone who needs crew or AB seaman pass on the info!
  20. toniknik

    toniknik New Member

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    I am also in the USCG however I have been stationed ashore for the past few years. I don't have any sea time and looking for the opportunity as I wish to persue captains mate licences. I am in VA and can be in Ft.Lauderdale (hometown) Could you hook me up with a few names or people who could help me get the sea time and experience I can be AB Seaman.