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USCG to STCW

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Belle, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Belle

    Belle Member

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    For those captains with USCG licenses. Omg, where to start this.

    Ok, what are you doing toward bringing your license in compliance with STCW? Have you started courses? Are most of you 200 T or less and just doing domestic and not worrying so much about it? I know many here aren't USCG licensed so not as relevant although think there are some changes for MCA and RYA. But for 500 T and above a lot of classes to take in the next two years.

    Do you all have a firm understanding of how it impacts or potentially impacts you?
  2. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    No.
    Yes.
    No.
    Sorry, not much help.
    100 ton near coastal.
    Only go International on private vessels when no license is required.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I have been to a lot of foriegn countries as the Captain of the vessel, not one of them, ever has asked anything about STCW, nor have they asked to see a license. They simply don't care about STCW. When I tested for my first license around 2002 MPT made a huge ordeal about needing to have STCW and some countries will chain the vessel to the dock and this and that. It's a good money maker for them. But quite honestly, tell me another country that even looks at it.

    Same thing with the TWIC card that I have and keep paying to renew. I'm in and out of Port Everglades and Port of Palm Beach all of the time, and neither of them really even care about seeing that either.
  4. saltysenior

    saltysenior Senior Member

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    try using your twic card for I.D. TSA does not accept it and don't even know what it is.

    the C.G. demanding I have one is the reason issue # 10 is not on the wall.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  5. Belle

    Belle Member

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    Ok, J....but understand this isn't STCW separate from USCG. This is USCG on the way to complying with STCW. This is new rules for USCG licensing. Now it hits 500 Ton and up most and grandfathers in all sorts of stuff, for varying periods and there are national/domestic licenses (valid for US sailing only) that don't require STCW endorsements. But for those new to licensing it has significant impact and for upgrading and renewals it will be adding various requirements. There will be additional things added like assessments. It's really a pretty big deal.

    If you haven't looked, I'd suggest going to: http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/stcw/default.asp

    Or if you want to read all 218 pages from the federal register, here it is:

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-12-24/pdf/2013-28032.pdf

    Note that I only know a couple of people who might actually read it all and they're a bit freaky that way even if I adore them.

    I'm sure not an expert on all the requirements as every time I read them again my brain gets frazzled. However, it's a big deal and not just for MPT and the other schools although it is a big deal for them. There will be a rush of people wanting to rush so they're grandfathered and then just more courses for everyone coming through.

    I'm really sort of surprised this hasn't been a bigger topic here and that like tells me that there's not a lot of awareness of what it involves.
  6. AlfredZ

    AlfredZ Senior Member

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    Add me to your "freaky" people list! I will be reading it all. :D

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers.
  7. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    I think you're talking about Basic Safety Training, which only scratches the surface of the STCW convention. There are many elements that need to be met in order to hold an international license- Bridge Resource Management, GMDSS, ISPS, HELM, and ECDIS to name a few. These items are assigned a combination of Roman numerals, numbers, and letters that you'll find in the endorsements section of your license. If you don't meet these requirements, your license will be restricted for domestic use only (US).

    Belle, to answer your question- the schools are packed with high-level license holders who need to meet these requirements. I'm currently taking an ECDIS course,for which there was a waiting list.
    BTW- this particular course has been the most practically useful module of the STCW requirements that I've yet taken.
  8. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    Add me to the list of freaks who has read the entire new rule in the Federal Register, repeatedly.

    Not only is there a lot of confusion about what one needs to do in the new system, but there are parts of the new rule that ae just plain poorly written. The grandfathering is another thing entirely.
  9. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    Hi Belle,

    Sorry to say but it was only a matter of time for this to happen. Compliance with the STCW 95 convention for domestic licensing is now the new $$ frontier for the maritime training schools and has been lobbied for by the schools and has been crafted with an advisory board consisting of civilian & USCG folk. The VP of one of the most prominent maritime training schools in Ft. Lauderdale is in her second term on this advisory board and has taken great pains in print to say that there's no conflict of interest but my mind always goes to the fox in the hen house scenario when I read these pontifications.

    In the past, STCW was intended for commercial license holders or Blue water tickets and was intended for bridge / deck officers, engineering officers and radio operators aboard ships. I came out of an academy with STCW '78 certification with an engineering ticket. At that point the conventions technical annex was tied to the IMO's safety committee and was intended to tie all mariners together with the same basic standards and training but at that time it was VERY basic and consisted of survival craft proficiency and fire fighting along with the course work that allowed you to hold an unlimited tonnage license. STCW conventions remained the same until a major revision or amendments to the convention occurred in 1995 that brought in "Port State Control" and specialized training for personnel on certain types of ships to name a few and it was at this time that "Management level" USCG licenses were affected by the convention. Management level for the bridge, deck Dept. meant anything over 500 tons A II-2 and the engineering Dept. A III-2 thus the incarnation of the maritime training schools that popped up in the mid 90's in Europe and the U.S. Up to this point there weren't any maritime training schools outside of the commercial schools but nothing that directly targeted the yacht type or smaller limited tonnage tickets. This has been a huge money maker a industry that keeps evolving on several fronts from the flag states evolution with commercially registered yachts to the endless amendments to the STCW 95 convention that now seem to occur every year now or just another major overhaul of STCW like the Manila convention 2010 with no less than 62 new amendments and requirements that further the training of mariners but somehow really don't address the overall safety issues like the original convention of 78 / 95 set out to do but instead has morphed into this never ending school / training schedule that has turned into much more than a cottage industry . I'm not up to date with what new regs. affect a 200 ton master and how many new course syllabus that your now facing to comply with STCW for that non management domestic ticket but be prepared to pay up for the "privilege" of being a license holder. I do think that this will thin the ranks of domestic license holders that derive an income from holding a license versus the people who just want the knowledge to enjoy and understand yachting / boating at a higher level due to the increased costs associated with the course syllabus for maintaining every five years.

    Capt J,

    The U.S. isn't a member of any Port State Control MOU and that's the reason that you've never been asked by a USCG boarding party for any STCW paperwork stateside but the 26 European countries that are members of the Paris MOU it is a way for them to audit safety and pollution along with the living conditions of crew aboard vessels whilst in their waters and really came about to regulate all of the flags of convenience like Liberia and Panama to name a couple. It's also a very real and relevant issue for the Master or Chief engineer aboard a yacht when a Port State control officer comes aboard for an inspection and the Bridge officers or engineering officers STCW original certifications aren't neatly assembled in a binder along with the ships papers for easy viewing and notation. Many a yacht or ship has been detained in port and levied heavy fines for deficiencies found by PSC. I was on a vessel that was detained by PSC 12 days in Tarragona, Spain for STCW deficiencies caused by lack of and outdated STCW documents by the first officer and know of quite a few vessels detentions in Italy, France and Greece for various reasons from broken bilge oil water separators, fire dampers not working or improperly written garbage waste control documents.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  10. Belle

    Belle Member

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    My hubby and our chief engineer glad to know others of you joining them in the freak group. And you're right about the writing. I've read some with hubby and we're both well educated but you just sit with your mouth open saying "What?" on some sections.
  11. Belle

    Belle Member

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    I think with our crew alone we practically have one school packed. But they're still expanding. One area that's like skyrocketing too with all the assessments is simulation. Lot's for the high levels, both Masters and Engineers, and then toss in one who has both licenses and it's like won't ever be able to go on boat for classes. Also we have friends working on licenses and extra push to get in sea time for licenses under old system.

    The schools don't even have their web pages and catalogs up to date with all of it as the finalization took so long. And the guidelines for assessments will come from the CG all along the way. Oh and the dates effective for assessments--six months from who knows. Seriously, six months from when the CG issues the rules.

    I don't even mind the extra stuff as much as I do the complication. It's like they had a staff writing and they got paid by the page and rule and had to make it this if you were this but this if this and then that but if then this or that unless until. We'd already taken some of the classes simply because we wanted to learn, but still. Some people have like up to 10 weeks of classes to take. And the schools have to get all the classes approved and still working on some of those. The ones just really full are ECDIS and the Leadership and Management classes, but ECDIS is more full because requires equipment/simulation. Then you have the renewal certs on things like Survival and Rescue other than fast (why don't they just call it slow then?) and Fast Rescue and Advanced Fire Fighting. Oh this gives me a headache. I need a massage.
  12. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    USCG stopped allowing duel licensing 500 tons and up in 2003 due to the sea time and STCW requirements needed in both positions for advancement. The days of active Chief engineers holding masters licenses or Captains holding active engineering tickets are over. It still can be done with the MCA & may still occur with USCG "operational" licenses at lower levels.
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You're correct that dual licensing did become much more limited and in the future may be impossible or impractical. It was my understanding, and I may be wrong, that when one says "stopped allowing" that it was for new licenses and upgrades due to the requirements for advancement but not necessarily for existing. However, now with the additional requirements it has become impractical, if not impossible, to maintain both at an upper level. And it's really unnecessary. I'm sure some engineers will hold on to 100 or 200 Ton Masters for a while.

    We were not even around in 2003 so not familiar with the details of the changes made then. I'm sure you did follow it closely with your experience in both areas. As we're far away from our crew at the moment, can't ask them. Was the change the elimination of double counting? I know our other engineer gave up his Masters a couple of decades ago when he got his Engineer license.
  14. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    For Dual Cadets under the MCA System it was decision time when they were done which way they went. They have not been able to hold both tickets for some time now
  15. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Thanks K1W1. I can't even digest the USCG requirements easily and have never even looked at MCA and RYA. I sure do wish there was just one system and I know the STCW was supposed to be moving toward uniformity but so far it reminds me of "tax simplification" in which it takes hundreds of pages to explain the new simpler rules and thousands of accountants to figure them out. You look at any document over 200 pages and you know it's crazy.

    Added: I can't think of any other profession that has such a complex system. Maybe pilots? Not medical or legal or education or accounting for sure.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  16. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    When I renewed in 2004 I submitted my paperwork for 2nd assistant unlimited HP along with the perquisite STCW certifications and sea time and was renewed as a third assistant unlim. HP (downgraded due to how I double dipped / counted my sea time). The following year I submitted my 1600 ton Oceans along with the same documentation and was told that sea time could only be counted as " either or" and not combined as before. You either had to be doing 12 hour days as the master in charge with no dispensation for sea time as Chief engineer in charge of the engine Dept. Basically, pick one because the USCG wont continue to grant sea time dispensations for the two management positions as outlined by STCW. That's why I said it may still be possible for lets say a person with a six passenger captain's ticket to be ticketed as a person less than a designated duty engineer but as a member of the engine room watch as these sea time requirement's are very low and these positions don't carry a STCW rating just as the MCA MEOL or AEC aren't STCW rated. I'm not up to speed on the regs for USCG masters these days but I'm curious where STCW ratings kick in for them? At 100 ton master or 200 ton as these are still operational tickets and not management and that has been the big demarcation line in the past but if I'm understanding this thread correctly than Belle is talking about the USCG upping the STCW ratings for these operational licenses.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  17. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    Hey there K1w1,
    Your saying a cadet can go through maritime academy in Europe with a duel major so to speak ? Both engineering and deck course loads? Do their cadet sea time in both principals and at the end pick which career route that suits them? That would be some seriously intelligent or " brainy" cadets if I'm understanding you correctly.
    I know a British married couple who are both MCA Masters and also hold Y-4 engineers papers which is actually pretty neat as they make a great team together. Also know of a couple MCA masters that love to talk about themselves to anybody that will listen that they're the "Rare Percentage" to hold Y-1's and the top MCA Masters ticket. The married couple I know their paperwork is in order as I've worked with them. The other two narcissist's , don't know
  18. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    As Belle is driving the car, I'll respond. The change in USCG is that your license will be designated as strictly a national license and you won't be able to use it outside the US unless full compliance with the new requirements. These requirements are designed to meet STCW requirements and are at all levels. The deadline is January 1, 2017. Obviously the requirements are much more strenuous the higher the ticket.

    In addition to the course requirements, there are assessments to be done either on a boat or a simulator. For less than 500 Tons the assessment totals 83 tasks.

    Here is the circular for <500 T.

    http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/regulations...-14_oicnw_less_than_500_gt-signed_28apr14.pdf

    There were 24 circulars issued in 2014, many about this subject.

    What you said, Captholli is what I thought had happened on doubling up. You can't double count sea time so it's rendered pretty much impossible for new licenses and upgrades and very difficult for renewals. In the long run it will simply be one or the other.

    Here is the link for all circulars.

    http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/regulations/NVIC/NVIC_2014/nvic.asp
  19. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    The Cadet system used to support dual training , not sure if it still does.

    The Skipper of one of the largest boats around was a dual cadet. He has had Master and Chief Engineer Unlimited tickets.

    Around 2006 or 7 when he went to renew his tickets he was told to make a choice, they would revalidate either one but not both. He chose Deck and his next command will be a real show stopper and probably get many pages on here.

    CaptHolli, As an American with a US deck ticket and a UK Y Ticket you should be able to renew both if you manage your sea time proof carefully, maybe a US and PYA Discharge book would be the way forward.
  20. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    So, the one of the original topics in this thread concerns what licensed mariners are doing to get themselves in compliance with the new STCW regs, and also taking advantage of any available grandfathering, before December 31 of this year .

    I know some engineers who are still behind the curve on getting their necessary gap closing courses, and word on the street is that the NMC will not have the capacity to process the glut of applications for those who procrastinated. Wondering if the USCG will extend the deadline, or if those who waited until the last minute will be stuck on the beach unable to sail because their MMC has those dreaded "Not valid after December 31, 2016" words.

    Thankfully for those of us with deck licenses there were a lot less hoops to jump through, but I am sure there will be some johnny-come-lately types there as well.