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Coast Guard Course?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Beau, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. TimP

    TimP Member

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    I guess I would qualify as a new boater since I don't actually have one yet. Our plan is to take some basic classes from a local power squadron we found while wondering through a local, small boat show (nothing in the category we wanted). Basic etiquette, rules of the road, navigation, boat handling, etc.......

    I think we will be better off for it
  2. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    FYI. When getting a license, and your work does not require a TWIC; ie you are not passing a security check point on a routine basis, then a TWIC is not required. You sign a waiver and send it in with your paper work.
  3. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    I obviously did not ask my question properly. I was wondering whether new boaters have been taking the entry level boating courses, and if so did they think the course was beneficial? I know all you other guys can navigate the intracoastal blindfolded
  4. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    I took one of those all day Auxiliary Coast Guard boating course a few years back as a company insurance requirement to operate company powerboats. 6 hours on a Saturday. Was useful to get the paperwork but the older Auxiliary CG guys giving the exam were outdated and had some bad answers. They were clueless on what Displacement vs. Weight was, and each "instructor" had different answers for a given topic. But hey, they were volunteering and doing a service, so I can appreciate the effort.

    California is going to mandatory licensing and will require the entry level course for all operators, makes the newcomers aware of how much they do not know until they get a few seasons under their belts.
  5. Seasmaster

    Seasmaster Senior Member

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    Having just transited from Cocoa to Fort Lauderdale (ICW to Fort Pierce & LANT from there), I'd like to have FL go mandatory. Going down the ICW, those "deep-draft" 20 ft boats were on the wrong side of the channel and/or wouldn't move to allow passing unless "forced". Outside, multiple sport fishermen going on a reciprocal course at 25 kts passed close aboard (100yds) causing wake problems.

    If a first timer said they didn't benefit from the course (COLREGS, etiquette, etc) I suspect they were brain dead or to arrogant to appreciate the knowledge imparted. Perhaps reading CHAPMANS is the bare minimum, but getting schooled in the rules, navigation, seamanship, and boat handling makes a big difference.

    PacBlue - What is your version of Displacement vs weight? For my 23 years in the Merchant Marine, Displacement was the weight of water pushed aside when the ship is floating; which is the weight of the ship and contents. . . Has something changed since I retired?o_O
  6. Maxwell

    Maxwell Senior Member

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    I think courses are great from a rules of the road perspective. However classes alone will not make you a better or more well rounded boater. To achieve this, along with classes you need a healthy amount of common sense and helm time... From our first boat, I have made myself a student of boating. Asking questions and looking to learn as much as possible (while being careful who I'm asking) in order to continually educate myself and ensure we continue to enjoy the water in a safe and reliable manner. That's probably what brought me to yachtforums in the first place...

    I have had my 100 ton near coastal for 6 or 7 years. I rarely use it for anything commercial besides delivering a dealer boat from time to time for a friend... When I took the course, there were people in my class who received their license, however have no business running a boat. Having the title of "Captain" with no experience makes you about as good of a boater as the guy that thinks he can run one because he was able to stroke a $2m to purchase it. In my opinion, you need to know the rules, have experience and have a healthy checkbook.

    Max
  7. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    BoatUS has a real nice lil on line course. Pass the test and print your diploma. Your insurance company will like this.
    You can find an old Power Squrodon or USCG Aux floatilla for more fun classes.
  8. revluc

    revluc Member

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    Any course or continuing education is always worth it.

    The better answer is probably to contact your insurer and see which courses you could take that would reduce your bill and go from there. You might find that X level course would lower your bill by xxxx dollars. Make the best use of your time and get "paid" for it.

    Otherwise I think everyone answering is in agreement that any of the basic ones are good refreshers and worthwhile.
  9. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Nope, you got it. They just didn't, even with some gentle prodding.

    I would be inclined to do the course online if it were today.
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Displacement is the amount of water that is displaced measured in volume, not weight.
  11. Capt Cole

    Capt Cole Member

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    I would strongly encourage you to take a USCG certified course. I had about 25 years of boating experience in various size power boats before I finally gave into the bug to get my license. I have had my OUPV near coastal and Master 100 Ton for just over 6 years. Just for the heck of it, I also completed course work for my Commercial Assistance Towing endorsement. Even though I have not used my credential commercially, as in taking on paying passengers or cargo, the personal benefits are significant.

    Any formal training will make you a better informed and safer boater. Like they say, "you don't know what you don't know". I was stunned by all of the important things I didn't know. The blocks covering Rules of The Road and Navigation seem to be by far the most challenging. These blocks of instruction are the same whether you are going for an OUPV or Master.

    Most likely, you will qualify for a break on your boat insurance and if you ever want to do a "bare boat charter" someplace like the BVI, having your Merchant Mariner Credential makes it easier to qualify for such a charter.

    Finally for me personally, I started a small one man business years ago teaching new owners basic vessel operations. In CA, several insurance companies are now requiring a new boater to have a licensed captain on board for a certain number of hours providing hands on instruction.

    Just do it. You won't be sorry.
  12. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    #30, Is that true? I always thought that the weight of the water displaced (not volume) equaled the weight of the object afloat bringing it to equilibrium at the surface. If the object ( a ship) was lighter but displaced more water in weight because of beam length etc it would float higher. isn't that the unladed/ laded vessel thing? Eureka, the soap in the bath tub?? Dunno… You've highjack my thread. I'm asking a way different question about whether intro courses are worth it.

    I now have to bring our my old slide rule....
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
  13. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    I have not taken an intro class recently. But you keep asking about intro courses. Are you talking about something like getting the Oregon Boaters Education card or a licensing course or a Coast Guard Auxillary boat handling course.
    What intro courses are you referring to?
  14. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Really any intro course that someone just starting out might subscribe to. Do they work?? No specific course in mind.
  15. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    I found this helpful.

    Attached Files:

  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Sorry for the hijack.

    Displacement is measured in volume of water a ship displaced, in order to get (derive) the weight of the ship. Obviously nowadays, they can weigh the ship. By weighing the ship you can work backwards and get the displacement value.

    Displacement (ship) The displacement or displacement tonnage of a ship is its weight, expressed in long tons of water its hull displaces. It is measured indirectly using Archimedes' principle by first calculating the volume of water displaced by the ship then converting that value into tons.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Displacement_(ship)
  17. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    That amount of water, measured in volume - cubic ft or cubic meters, converted by the density of whatever water it is sitting in, results in the equivalent weight (mass) of the displaced volume, which we then use as the physical weight of the boat. This is how we determine the mass of your boat and this is the bouyant force that keeps your boat afloat.

    Ancient principle from every Naval Architects friend, Archimedes. The weight is calculated by the specific density - 62.4 lbs/cubic feet for Freshwater, 64 lbs/cubic feet for seawater, all depending on temperature, salinity, etc.

    Stick to the throttles CaptJ, we don't need a wiki seminar.
  18. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Well that certainly clears it up for me...NOT!
  19. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Basic principle:

    Volume of Displaced Water = Weight of Vessel divided by the Density of Water

    Given any of the two variables above, you can solve for the third.
  20. Capt Cole

    Capt Cole Member

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    Just contact the local Coast Guard Auxiliary regarding boating courses offered in your area. It's all about safety and competence.

    They probably won't get into how to calculate the displacement weight of your boat.