Capt. License Questions

  Being a fishing guide is incredibly rewarding! Getting your Captain's License is the first step

Being a fishing guide is incredibly rewarding! Getting your Captain's License is the first step

I received this message through Facebook regarding Sea Service forms that are required to get your USCG Capt. License:

Question-

hey Capt. Tom and Capt. Rich I have a question that I know you guys could help me with I want to become a captain been wanting to for awhile now i just don't know really what to do i do know that i need my sea service form signed off and to take a class i was talking to the lady that does it and she said that you don't have to get your sea service form signed off by a captain it could be some one else that you been in the boat with and had hours and i think it said its has to be like 700 some hours from the time you were 13 ive been on boats since i was 10 til now which im 17 now and ive had all my hours in all those years but i haven't been on the boat all those years with just one person and had all those hours ive been on boats with difgferent people in my family even with one of my best friends dads ive been a mate for a little bit but i stopped working for the captain i worked with and haven't seen or talked to him in awhile but yeah i have all my hours just not with the same boat im an experienced fisherman getting better and better everday getting smarter i even take a lot of people out take them and put them on redfish and black drum and tarpon and snook i took one of my friends out yesterday and i put him on a lot of reds and he got a nice barracuda and i have a lot of people that call me up wanting me to take them out and people come up to me at my work asking for tips and if i can take them out one day and just all of this comes together like this is what i want to do this is what i was put here to do is to guide and to put people on fish and when i put them on that fish and they make that cast and get a successful hook up its a feeling that's no better than any other i know you guys know what i mean lol but yeah im just wondering if i can give that seas service form to one of my family members to sign off that i been on the boat with the most because ive been on different boats that my family has and i got all my hours i may have even more because i been on boats since i was 10 and the form says anything false it will be a fine and imprisionment so i just want to make sure if i can ask my uncle if he could sign it off he has a boat all his registrations and everything i been on the boat with him more than my other family members that have boats and everytime im on the boat its like an all day thing like 7 hours 8 hours but yeah im just wondering if u guys could just help me on this and see what i can do ive been dying to get my capt. license and ill keep trying to get it because i know ill be a great capt and i love to put people on fish.


Answer-

Thanks for contacting us. 

I do know how great it feels to put someone on a great fish and watch them make a dream a reality.  It is addicting and a feeling that many fishing guides chase daily. 

I highly encourage you to pursue your dream of becoming a fishing guide. 

While not an expert on getting your Capt. License, I went through this process once and I have renewed mine 4 times.   This only means that it has been a LONG time since I went through this process. Certainly MUCH has changed with the forms, the process and the USCG office which used to have revolving file cabinets  that were the size of the entire wall.  Your information was in there...somewhere.  I am sure that things are much more efficient and faster today.

However, I did a quick search on the internet and came up with the following information.  NONE of this information is my own and it is just copied from websites.  I say that because you need to do your own research.  DO NOT go solely on what you read here.  There could easily be mistakes or some of this information could be outdated.  I STRONGLY SUGGEST contacting Flynn Smith at Captains Marine.   Flynn has probably taught more Capt. courses than anyone on Earth and IS THE EXPERT.  He has amazing classes and even makes a guarantee that your paperwork will be right when you send it in.  He is a great teacher and I recommend him highly.

With all that said, here are a few things that I dug up for you:

The USCG requires the following for a 6 Pack Capt. License:

(From the Maritime Institute http://www.maritimeinstitute.com/license_requirements.html)

 

Prerequisites for OUPV Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel License (Also Called 6 Pack License)

You must meet all of the prerequisites in this paragraph to receive an OUPV- Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels License

Must be 18 years old

Must be able to document 360 days of experience on a vessel

Must have 90 of these days within the last 3 years

90 of the 360 days must be on the ocean or near coastal waters, or the license will be limited to inland waters only

License will be limited to uninspected vessels of less than 100 gross tons

If you are not a U.S. Citizen, you can receive this license BUT your tonnage will be limited to Vessels of 5 Net Tons or less

Prerequisites for Captain's License Master / Inland or Mate Near Coastal of Inspected Passenger Vessels Up to 100 Gross Ton

"You must meet all of the prerequisites in this paragraph to receive a Master Inland or Mate Near Coastal License for Inspected Passenger Vessels of up to 100 Gross Tons:

Must be 19 Years old

Must be able to document 360 days of experience on a vessel

Must have 90 of the 360 days within last 3 years

For the Mate Near Coastal 180 of the 360 days must have been on the ocean or near coastal waters

Your tonnage is determined by the U. S. Coast Guard depending on your experience for a 100 Gross Tons license, 90 days must be on vessels of 51 gross tons or above OR 180 days must be on vessels of 34 gross tons or above for a 50 gross tons license 90 days must be on a vessel of 25 gross tons or above. If all your time is on a vessel of 16 gross tons or less the license will be limited to 25 gross tons.

If you plan on operating an Inspected sailing vessel you must have a sailing endorsement, the required seatime for this is 180 days of sail or sail auxiliary time (these may be part of the 360 days and may be prior to license issuance)"

Prerequisites for Captain's License Master Near Coastal of Inspected Passenger Vessels Up to 100 Gross Ton

"You must meet all of the prerequisites in this paragraph to receive a Master Near Coastal License for Inspected Passenger Vessels of up to 100 Gross Tons:

Must be 19 Years old

Must be able to document 720 days of experience on a vessel 360 of these days must have been on ocean or near coastal waters

Must have 90 days within the last 3 years

Your tonnage is determined by the U. S. Coast Guard depending on your experience for a 100 Gross Tons license, 180 days must be on vessels of 51 gross tons or above OR 180 days must be on vessels of 34 gross tons or above for a 50 gross tons license 180 days must be on a vessel of 26 gross tons or above. If all your time is on a vessel of 16 gross tons or less the license will be limited to 25 gross tons.

If you plan on operating an Inspected sailing vessel you must have a sailing endorsement, the required seatime for this is 360 days of sail or sail auxiliary time (these may be part of the 360 days and may be prior to license issuance."

Prerequisites and Standards Common to All Classes of U.S. Coast Guard Licenses / Credentials

"All mariners must apply for a TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) before submitting an application packet to the U. S. Coast Guard. The TWIC information is available at their website.

When calculating qualifying sea time, you must have been underway on the water for a minimum of four (4) hours to count as one (1) sea day. (Only one day's credit is allowed per date.)

A U.S. Coast Guard approved CPR and First Aid course is required. (Adult CPR, basic First Aid). The First Aid must have been within the last 12 months and the CPR must be current. The Maritime Institute offers this course.

You must have passed a routine physical within the past 12 months. Vision must be at least 20/200, correctable to 20/40 in each eye. Color sense must be satisfactory (Waivers are available in some cases)

Drug screening is required. Your drug test must have been done within the last 6 months

DUIs, drug, and felony convictions are reviewed by the U. S. Coast Guard, and depending on the offense, there could be a one (1) to ten (10) year hold period before you are eligible to receive a license or credential

Military time and foreign time is evaluated for eligibility by the U. S. Coast Guard (NMC). This time is evaluated on a case by case basis"


How to Document your time

As for documenting this information, I found the following on the actual form that you send in:


"If you are the OWNER of the vessel listed on this form, proof of ownership must be provided as described in 46 CFR 11.211(a). Proof of ownership should include your name (name of applicant) and the official number or state registration number of the vessel.
Acceptable forms of proof of ownership include registrations, proof of insurance, and bills of sale. If you are signing as owner of a company such as an LLC, then you will need to include proof of ownership of the company such as articles of incorporation. If you are the applicant and the owner of the vessel on the form, you do not need to sign and date   this section. If you are the applicant and do not own the vessel on the form, then you will need to have the owner, operator, or master sign, date, and provide his/her address and phone number
If you are the Master of the vessel but not the owner, you cannot attest to your own service. You must have the owner of the vessel complete the days underway and sign in this section and give their address and phone number." (From USCG Website)


What about small boat time?


Regulations do not specify either the minimum or the
maximum vessel size for experience to qualify for deck licenses of not more than 100 gross tons, and it is not reasonable to do so by policy.
Each application is evaluated on its merit. 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
10.201(a) states that each applicant must satisfy the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI)
that he or she possesses all the qualifications for the license.
Experience gained entirely on large ships is not appropriate to qualify for a small tonnage license.
Likewise, experience gained entirely on sail boards, kayaks, canoes, jet skis, etc., is also inappropriate.
However, OCMIs may accept a limited amount of experience gained on such vessels if the applicant's overall experience demonstrates an ability to safely operate the type of small craft envisioned by the regulations.

 



My Advice-

There are lots of people who can help you complete the Sea Service forms correctly.  I would seek them out and pay for their service.  One thing that I would definitely NOT recommend or endorse is any sort of falsification of sea time.  Go about it the right way, find people to help you and complete the sea time legitimately.

Completing a course like the one run by Flynn Smith is a great investment and one I highly recommend.  It is already difficult to get your license, you definitely don't want to submit forms incorrectly and have to do them over again.  You CERTAINLY don't want to mess around with any sort of falsification and risk getting in trouble.  It is not worth it.

I wish you the best of luck with the process and your dream of becoming a fishing guide!

Tom Rowland

 

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