1600 ton master upon oceans stcw question


I’ve read every post, cfr, and nvic but still feel like a rube. I graduated a maritime school with my 3rd mate unlimited upon oceans. Upgraded to 2nd mate unlimited upon oceans and 1600 ton master upon oceans. Got my toar. Got sea time. Added master of towing upon oceans to my license. Feelsgoodman.

Then I start looking into stcw II/2 because I want to make sure I was fully qualified for a master position. Took all the classes. Adv. ship handling, stability, etc. Submitted my paperwork and received my II/2 endorsement.

Now I’m talking to my company and they’re under the impression that I didn’t need II/2. I work on a coastwise atb that’s less than 1600 tons and we never go foreign or offshore more than 200 miles. They’re under the impression that my “oceans” endorsement is enough to qualify for master because we’re not in foreign trade or further offshore than 200 miles.

I’m sorry, I know this has been discussed ad nauseam. It’s just I’m reading different words like “boundary lines”, “near coastal”, “greater than 200 grt requires stcw II/2”.

For those mariners that are on vessels less than 1600 tons, running from NY to Texas (for example), do they need stcw II/2 if they hold a master of 1600 ton oceans and master towing upon oceans license?

I just wanted to open this discussion for people who are in similar shoes as me.

Thanks y’all.

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If the vessel is a seagoing vessel greater than 200 GRT and thus not exempt from STCW then yes, the master needs STCW II/2.

They’re wrong unless the vessel is under 200 GRT and exempt from STCW.


I am quoting jdcavo, our Coast Guard expert here

You need an STCW endorsement for any non-domestic voyage beyond the boundary line, including a voyage that only transits the waters of another country. Link to the post

A sailing from Los Angeles to Honolulu, for example, is a domestic voyage even though it traverses the ocean and logic would have you thinking you need international certs. Seeing as NY to Texas is a domestic voyage, I’d assume you wouldn’t need the STCW II/2, as long as as jdcavo says, you don’t transit the water of another country.

Always good to be more qualified than you need to be, however.

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I’m not going to read through that old thread, but I assume the quote you are referring to was only in reference to a vessel under 200 GRT.

STCW absolutely applies outside the boundary line for anything 200 or above. Even on a coastwise domestic voyage.


No, you’re not. Or you’re deceptively using it out of context.

The question I was answering was “Can anyone shed some light on 2010 requirements for mariners with 25, 50, and 100 GRT license who need STCW for near coastal international voyage?”

My answer was only for vessels of less than 200 GRT. Vessels 200 GRT or more need STCW for every voyage beyond the boundary line.


See ya’ll, I did that on purpose. Now it will be drilled into your head crystal clear :slight_smile:


Thank you all for the valuable input. I appreciate you taking the time to help me figure this out, as well as any future mariners that are in a similar predicament.

I’ll also hypothesize about this situation, even for a vessel under 200. The exemption in CFR for these small vessels on “domestic” voyages specifies that they must be near coastal. I can’t see how this route would qualify.

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You do.

As far as I can tell non-exempt seagoing vessels need STCW at all times, not just when operating outside the boundary line.

Also exempt: Vessels operating exclusively on the Great Lakes or on the inland waters of the U.S. in the Straits of Juan de Fuca or on the Inside Passage between Puget Sound and Cape Spencer.

Domestic voyage means a voyage from one United States port to another United States port, without entering waters under the jurisdiction of another country unless the United States has entered into a treaty or an agreement with that country respecting mutual recognition of national mariner qualifications. This includes a voyage to nowhere that returns to the originating port.

You’re right, it is a domestic voyage, but it isn’t exempt from STCW. To be exempt from STCW it must be BOTH a domestic AND a near coastal voyage.

I edited my post to correct this.

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So wouldn’t a trip from NY to Texas be exempt?

Only if the vessel is under 200 GRT.

Understood thank you!

What’s the tonnage of the tug you’re on?

My sea service letter says 465 ITC GT. Not on board so I don’t have the GRT off the top of my head

I’m curious how the regulation that’s written in GRT would apply here. Does the “500 GT is equivalent to 200 GRT” policy apply or would it be treated as over 200 GRT? @jdcavo do you happen to know?

Sounds like it’s 198grt

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