Captain’s license courses

Kool-Aid

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 18, 2008
1,864
839
WA
Name
Jason
Boat
World Cat 266SF
I’ve been toying with the idea of getting my captains license (6 pack).

I’m rolling a bigger boat now and just feel maybe it’s time to bump my knowledge up a notch.

Having said that I can’t take a week off work and was hoping for online or night classes. I saw something on Craigslist theough us maritime that looked like it might fit my needs vs the one I saw in Tacoma where school meant taking them off work.

any of you have any recommendations?
 

tacklejacked

Capt./ Ho if I get to drive
Jun 2, 2009
2,953
3,166
Seabeck
Name
Greg
Boat
22 Hewescraft Searunner ET HT
No input for online classes but the info you get from a guy like Skip if you go through one of flagships classes is worth the cost of admission times ten.

I'm sure there are plenty of on line course's that will walk you through the material but going through flagship you get the time scheduled in to get your med check, twic, and a ton of help from the real boss( Skip's wife) when it comes to filing out and submitting your USCG paperwork. And an upgrade to Masters with Skip is easy, along with your towing cert.
 

KimH

Someday I'll live the dream.
Mar 4, 2009
2,558
2,295
Tacoma/Westport WA/USA
Name
Kim
Boat
26' Duckworth..."Mayhem"
Houston Marine.....
These guys have been around forever. I've never really used them other than having a couple of books for reference.
Looks like they have an online system for 6 pac. I didn't look at it too hard to see how it worked though but you can surf though what they offer.
 

Captain Decent

The Bert makes ‘em Squirt
Nov 2, 2017
1,700
2,476
38
Covington, wa
Name
Ryan
Boat
The Bert Makes ’em Squirt
I recently took the week and a half off to go through flagship maritimes course. Mostly for fun and a possible part time charter in the future. It was fun and there’s a lot of info there. Go in person. In my opinion there should be no such thing as an online class for anything.
 

G-Spot

Captain
Mar 14, 2008
4,967
2,106
Salem/OR/USA
Name
John
Boat
53’ Hatteras STEEL N TIME
You must first start with a real kilogram book to document your hours, otherwise don’t wast you time.... first time I checked into getting my card I could document legitimately the time spent although I am sure I hAd it...

Then if it is important to you take time off and take a course to test and get your masters license... what’s a few extra days when you’ve committed so much.
 

Kool-Aid

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 18, 2008
1,864
839
WA
Name
Jason
Boat
World Cat 266SF
You must first start with a real kilogram book to document your hours, otherwise don’t wast you time.... first time I checked into getting my card I could document legitimately the time spent although I am sure I hAd it...

Then if it is important to you take time off and take a course to test and get your masters license... what’s a few extra days when you’ve committed so much.
I was curious about documented time. I’ve don’t a good job of keeping a captains log on the new to me boat. So hours/dates and such were documented but for as much time as I’ve had prior to that I NEVER kept track of that.
 

cozenone

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 25, 2020
432
416
northwest
Name
joe
Boat
none
Back when I took the test, there were no online coarses, just books,/flashcards and the closest testing center was 180mi away from me, I had the documented time verified by another captain and already had the cpr/life saving classes, dot drug testing and cards. I studied,studied, studied. I was finally ready to take the test and scheduled a time, I was so frickin nervous I couldn't stand it, after it was said and done, I'm sure I could have passed a 100 tonn test or more, and they asked if I wanted to and document the time, but I didn't believe I would ever use it, when I took the test the greatest electronics were satnav and loran and the sometimes updated nav charts....boy things are different now:)
 

eldplanko

got the skunk off
Jun 18, 2012
533
402
Ballard
Name
My other boat is a piece of...
Boat
Floater
I was curious about documented time. I’ve don’t a good job of keeping a captains log on the new to me boat. So hours/dates and such were documented but for as much time as I’ve had prior to that I NEVER kept track of that.
Log your time, you’ll need a year of sea days (365), 4 hrs minimum a day.. I’d be interested on others experience on how much you can really get by on the honor system; apparently you can count back many years worth. I think more important is the tonnage and near-shore vs off shore (demarcation line) of the boats you have experience on.

I’ve been tracking for a while, and still have a bunch of days to go because most of my fishing days are under 4 hours.
 

Wild Bill

Not Blackmouthing
Aug 4, 2010
3,519
3,578
Camano Island
Name
Steve
Boat
Otter Craft
If you really have a burning desire to make some type of income with it and need the docs by all means take the training. If you just want to increase your knowledge and skills, I think I would encourage you to invest in a Chapman's piloting and seamanship book and read some every night. Pertinent sections that deal with things like rules of the road, what different lights and buoy types mean, spend more time on until you know them by heart. Pay particular attention to the section on weather as well and maybe find more books dealing with weather in our region. Don’t get me wrong if you really want the credential go for it, you will learn a lot of stuff in a short amount of time but the real learning occurs by applying what you learn and years of experience on the water. You can go back a long ways to doc sea time, I was able to use time on our families various commercial fishing boats I worked on all the way back to my teen years. You will just need the owner/master of boats you were on to sign off on it.
 

Pau Hana

Fish murderer
Mar 31, 2003
1,248
503
57
In the beautiful Pacific NW- Seattle, WA
Name
Pete
Boat
Pau Hana
Log your time, you’ll need a year of sea days (365), 4 hrs minimum a day.. I’d be interested on others experience on how much you can really get by on the honor system; apparently you can count back many years worth. I think more important is the tonnage and near-shore vs off shore (demarcation line) of the boats you have experience on.

I’ve been tracking for a while, and still have a bunch of days to go because most of my fishing days are under 4 hours.
Another vote for Skip, Jan, and Flagship Maritime! Got my 100 ton near coastal ticket there 3 years ago- Skip and Rich are excellent instructors, and Jan will walk you thru all the paperwork so it's right the first time it's submitted. Don't do the online thing.

Up to 100 ton, documenting sea time is a simple process:
  • Get the USCG Form 719S (Sea Service Time Form) and follow the directions.
  • If the time is on your vessel, then you sign the form. If the sea time is on another's vessel, they sign to attest to the time.
  • DD-214 sea time in certain Navy or Army ratings count 50% (5 years on a carrier = 2.5 years allowable sea time).
 

Kool-Aid

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 18, 2008
1,864
839
WA
Name
Jason
Boat
World Cat 266SF
Thanks for all the information. Now I guess I just need to find out how important it is to me.

The class on Lake Union is just down from my boat...and is at night after work...but is hands on. Vs. heading towards tacoma and burning a week of PTO.

Just out of curiosity...how does tonnage effect the sea time? Or does it really matter?

i.e. I put 500 hours on the Worldcat which was a 4 ton boat....vs the Carolina that I now have just over 200 hours but it's like a 12-13 ton boat.
 

Pau Hana

Fish murderer
Mar 31, 2003
1,248
503
57
In the beautiful Pacific NW- Seattle, WA
Name
Pete
Boat
Pau Hana
Thanks for all the information. Now I guess I just need to find out how important it is to me.

The class on Lake Union is just down from my boat...and is at night after work...but is hands on. Vs. heading towards tacoma and burning a week of PTO.

Just out of curiosity...how does tonnage effect the sea time? Or does it really matter?

i.e. I put 500 hours on the Worldcat which was a 4 ton boat....vs the Carolina that I now have just over 200 hours but it's like a 12-13 ton boat.
Tonnage is not the weight of the vessel, but a volumetric calculation (originally based on a barrel of rum!) Is the World Cat USCG documented or state registered only? Vessels need to be at least 5 gross tons to be USCG documented...

The OUPV (6 pack) license is good for up to 6 fare paying passengers on vessels up to 100 gross tons.

The Masters ticket (25, 50 or 100 gross tons) removes the passenger count limitation from the license, but imposes a vessel tonnage restriction. Tonnage is rounded up based on the size of the vessels that have been served on (from the USCG 719S form).

So (as an example) the West Seattle Ferry is 99 gross tons, and carries around 125 passengers. The Master 100 can command this vessel, but the OUPV license holder cannot (due to the passenger count).

For your situation, you'd get the 25 ton ticket, and larger if sea time on larger vessels warrants it.
 
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downtime

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 12, 2006
1,237
1,068
San Diego
Name
Ronson
Boat
26 Skipjack "Reel Hard"
The maritime institute in San Diego is the best. The class I attended had people from all over the US that were attending. The classes were 8 hours a day for two weeks! They teach you to know the material. The homework is the most important part....do your homework and you’ll pass!
 

MYNomad

Heading South
Dec 12, 2007
3,686
3,738
Pacific Northwest / West Coast Mexico
Name
Rick
Boat
Yes
I hope this isn't a hijack but since it might help OP, I will go ahead. The main reason I have never pursued a license is my understanding that as a license holder you are held to a higher legal standard if something happens. The prospect of increased personal liability has dissuaded me. But others have said there is no higher standard. Does anyone know, one way or the other?
 
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G-Spot

Captain
Mar 14, 2008
4,967
2,106
Salem/OR/USA
Name
John
Boat
53’ Hatteras STEEL N TIME
I was curious about documented time. I’ve don’t a good job of keeping a captains log on the new to me boat. So hours/dates and such were documented but for as much time as I’ve had prior to that I NEVER kept track of that.
The time documentation is rigid and not really an honor system deal. Download the application and look at the sea service form. It is specific to day, hours, body of water, and vessel. You must also submit proof of vessel ownership or have the owner fill out a form that you served on that vessel.

For me that held me up. I had tons of time, but shit for records... I had to start documenting, so I could qualify properly.

Pete pretty much answer your question about tonnage. When you get your masters, they give you the size based upon the largest vessel you served on. If it was a smaller sport boat it will be a 25 ton Masters, as you log more time if you end up on a larger vessel and document it (even if it belongs to someone else) they bump you up. I went from 25 to 50 to 100....
 

G-Spot

Captain
Mar 14, 2008
4,967
2,106
Salem/OR/USA
Name
John
Boat
53’ Hatteras STEEL N TIME
I hope this isn't a hijack but since it might help OP, I will go ahead. The main reason I have never pursued a license is my understanding that as a license holder you are held to a higher legal standard if something happens. The prospect of increased personal liability has dissuaded me. But others have said there is no higher standard. Does anyone know, one way or the other?
I believe this is true. You also are under Coast Guard rule if something happens, and must report, and potential “violations” and penalties.
 
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MYNomad

Heading South
Dec 12, 2007
3,686
3,738
Pacific Northwest / West Coast Mexico
Name
Rick
Boat
Yes
I believe this is true. You also are under Coast Guard rule if something happens, and must report, and potential “violations” and penalties.
Worse yet, if my understanding is correct, you can have liability if you are on your buddy's boat and he does something wrong. I wish it weren't true, but as it is, I can't see any reason for anyone to get licensed if they don't need the license to earn an income.
 
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KimH

Someday I'll live the dream.
Mar 4, 2009
2,558
2,295
Tacoma/Westport WA/USA
Name
Kim
Boat
26' Duckworth..."Mayhem"
Worse yet, if my understanding is correct, you can have liability if you are on your buddy's boat and he does something wrong. I wish it weren't true, but as it is, I can't see any reason for anyone to get licensed if they don't need the license to earn an income.
Pete asked for a copy of my license when setting up insurance for my new boat. Not sure if I got a better rate or not because of it.

As a rule just because I do hold a license I do not drink, not one beer or whatever when out on my sport boat....nothing. Of course I’m pretty much a non drinker anyway. Occasional beer when at a restaurant...that sort of thing. Sore hands, sore back had me thinking I’d like to give a CBD product a try...nope not as long as I’m on a random drug test program. Not sure if it’d trigger a test but not chancing it.
 
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KimH

Someday I'll live the dream.
Mar 4, 2009
2,558
2,295
Tacoma/Westport WA/USA
Name
Kim
Boat
26' Duckworth..."Mayhem"
If it’s just knowledge you want it might be better taking targeted courses such a navigation course et cetera versus taking the license exam course. Or just a general seamanship course which might cover more than navigation, rules of the road et cetera. I did my 6-pak just with a Chapman’s book but that was in 1970. I don’t remember if I even had a rules of the road book to study with. Anyway most of the needed info is probably in Chapman’s.
 

Pau Hana

Fish murderer
Mar 31, 2003
1,248
503
57
In the beautiful Pacific NW- Seattle, WA
Name
Pete
Boat
Pau Hana
I hope this isn't a hijack but since it might help OP, I will go ahead. The main reason I have never pursued a license is my understanding that as a license holder you are held to a higher legal standard if something happens. The prospect of increased personal liability has dissuaded me. But others have said there is no higher standard. Does anyone know, one way or the other?
I believe this is true. You also are under Coast Guard rule if something happens, and must report, and potential “violations” and penalties.
To the best of my recollection, you are held to that higher standard if you are acting in a capacity of professional master of the vessel, and the license is required. In a private pleasure situation (skipper in command of your private pleasure vessel or passenger aboard a vessel) the USCG license bearing has no direct bearing on the vessel usage.

Here's an article from 2010 from a maritime attorney on this very subject:

 

Elkfins

Ungrateful Prick
Aug 8, 2008
4,339
3,399
Tacoma, WA
Name
Steve
Boat
"Cleanup Required" '99 Grady White 232 Gulfstream
To the best of my recollection, you are held to that higher standard if you are acting in a capacity of professional master of the vessel, and the license is required. In a private pleasure situation (skipper in command of your private pleasure vessel or passenger aboard a vessel) the USCG license bearing has no direct bearing on the vessel usage.

Here's an article from 2010 from a maritime attorney on this very subject:

I've often considered getting the OUPV license just for the knowledge (no plans to run charters ,etc.) and wondered this as well. Thanks for the link Pete.
 

Phat Boat

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 18, 2004
2,040
946
San Diego
Name
Jon
Boat
Grady White Marlin 300
I would think about it. Is it a must have or want to have?
 

RazorJack

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 20, 2013
224
292
Hansville, WA
Name
Nick
Boat
19' Arima SR
The time documentation is rigid and not really an honor system deal. Download the application and look at the sea service form. It is specific to day, hours, body of water, and vessel. You must also submit proof of vessel ownership or have the owner fill out a form that you served on that vessel.

For me that held me up. I had tons of time, but shit for records... I had to start documenting, so I could qualify properly.

Pete pretty much answer your question about tonnage. When you get your masters, they give you the size based upon the largest vessel you served on. If it was a smaller sport boat it will be a 25 ton Masters, as you log more time if you end up on a larger vessel and document it (even if it belongs to someone else) they bump you up. I went from 25 to 50 to 100....

Not sure how things used to be, but it is 100% on the honor system. When I took my class Jan was helping people get time from their drift boats and all sorts of crazy stuff.

Also the sea time form is super simple. Doesnt ask for specific days at all. Just how many days per month.

I don't encourage anyone to try to take people out under a captains license obtained without truly having the sea time, but the fact is that it is ridiculously easy to qualify for that aspect of things
 

G-Spot

Captain
Mar 14, 2008
4,967
2,106
Salem/OR/USA
Name
John
Boat
53’ Hatteras STEEL N TIME
Not sure how things used to be, but it is 100% on the honor system. When I took my class Jan was helping people get time from their drift boats and all sorts of crazy stuff.

Also the sea time form is super simple. Doesnt ask for specific days at all. Just how many days per month.

I don't encourage anyone to try to take people out under a captains license obtained without truly having the sea time, but the fact is that it is ridiculously easy to qualify for that aspect of things
Holy shit... I had to google it real quick and they have simplified the shit out of that form... How many days each month... nothing specific..

Still have to have a form for each vessel and a letter from owner if not your own vessel, but that is much easier...
 
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