Ab to mates 1600

what courses are required for mates 1600? looked up other posts and they seem quite old.

Start with a checklist…


You will need National. This will be your license. You will need to decide what routes you want to apply for. Ocean or Near Coastal.

You will also need to review the STCW requirements. This will be the biggest part of the classes that you will need.

It’s possible to receive your license and then embark upon the STCW class journey, but this will prevent you from sailing as an officer on anything other than inland routes.

So read the checklist and report back here with the answers to your own question. After that, there will be a plentiful amount of help here on this forum.

Good luck :+1:



Look up NVIC 12-14. It’s on the NMC website under policy/regulations. It has all the info including the required courses and assessments. It’s a long document due to the never ending saga of postponing the qualified assessor deadline, but it is complete guidance for the STCW side of things.

No. It’s a long document because it is a complicated matter, and an OICNW needs to be proficient in a large number of tasks. The assessor deadline takes up a small portion of one page of the document (page 1 of Enclosure 2).

Note that this is for the STCW endorsement for Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch. If you only want the national endorsement (license) it does not apply.

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Take with a grain of salt.

Normally, I recommend before striking out and taking courses, you (1) decide what is required for the position you are seeking and (2) what is required to retaining the endorsements that are already on your MMC.

A job description will provide general guidance on what is needed. It should include a statement as to the route e.g., 1600-ton Mate Inland or Great Lakes or Near Coastal or Oceans. There should also have a statement if the position requirements for STCW endorsements e.g., OICNW.

Next look at your MMC. You may have already completed some STCW courses such as Basic Training a.k.a. Basic Safety Training. Depending on MMC and training dates you may need renew the BT course to retain certain endorsement.

Using the link to the NMC Checklist https://www.dco.uscg.mil/nmc/checklist/ 2

See STCW Checklist. STCW Basic Training and Renewal

National career path requirements.

See National Checklist for the license you intend to apply for.

The national checklist for 1600-ton Mate NC indicates that according to 46 CFR 11.201 you need First Aid / CPR if this is an original officer application. There is basic and advance firefighting requirement. Note that STCW basic and advance firefighting courses can satisfy the national requirement. 46 CFR 15.815 indicates that deck officers on inspected vessels of 300 GRT or over which are radar equipped, must hold an endorsement as radar observer. You may need base on vessels equipment courses in ARPA,ECDIS and GMDSS.

STCW career path requirements.

Next understand that according to 46 CFR 11.201 an applicant for STCW must hold the appropriate National Endorsement.

Considering International STCW option. Looking at OICNW 500 GT Operational level checklist or 46 CFR 11.309 to identify the possible sixteen course requirements for OICNW at your tonnage.

Notice the checklist provides multiple courses and in the Assessment Section it references assessments in NVIC 12-14. Read the NVIC 12-14 closely as it will highlight shipboard assessments and who can be an assessor under NVIC 19-14 and the recent QA extension.

NVICs United States Coast Guard > Our Organization > NVIC > Year > 2010

qa_extension_announcement_100223.pdf 39

Hopefully this answers your question and helps.

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There is a statement in this thread that - embark upon the STCW class journey, but this will prevent you from sailing as an officer on anything other than inland routes. However, It’s my understand that there exist treaties, Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), Memorandums of Agreements (MOAs) that are address Mutual recognition of National mariner qualification.

46 CFR 10.107 definition of domestic voyage provides that such a practice exists. This is confirmed by a MOU between USCG and TC on mutual recognition of National mariner qualification.

I recall back in July 2014 and May 2015 the STCW FAQ - General Question Section. this issue was addressed in the questions 5 and 6.

“The U.S. has received acceptance of our near-coastal endorsements by some foreign Administrations. In those Administrations’ near-coastal waters, the U.S. near-coastal endorsements may be used in accordance with each Administration’s port state control procedures.

We do not have a definitive list of those countries/Administrations that consider the U.S. near-coastal endorsements as being acceptable for service in such foreign coastal jurisdictions.
All of the current informal agreements/understandings precede the 2010 STCW Amendments. In the near future, we intend to reach out to relevant administrations to ascertain the status of such mariners.”

My first question is, “Does anyone know of any other agreements like the MOU between USCG and TC?” Second, Does the USCG have a list or who maintains an official list and publishes these agreements and how does one get a copy?” An internet search only focusses on MOU between USCG and TC. I have not found anything on a possible agreement with Mexico, the West Indies any other countries/Administrations that consider the U.S. near-coastal endorsements as being acceptable for service in such foreign coastal jurisdictions.


That statement wasn’t entirely correct. It will prevent you from sailing as an officer on anything other than on inland routes or on vessels exempt from STCW, which are vessels less than 200 GRT on domestic routes. BTW, once you go oceans you’re no longer domestic so any vessel running US West Coast to Hawaii or US East Coast to Puerto Rico requires STCW.

As far as I’m aware the only thing like this that exempts a person from needing STCW is with Canada but only on the great lakes. There may be something similar for small vessels like tugs in Western Canada as well but I’m not sure, though @tugsailor probably would.

What our agreements with a few other countries allow is sailing with a near coastal license instead of needing an oceans because the “within 200nm of land” rule only applies in US waters, the second you leave US waters you technically need an oceans license, even if you’re still 20 nm from the coast.

Being exempt from needing an oceans license doesn’t exempt you from needing STCW though.

I appreciate and thank you for your reply.

I agree with you on what you are saying about STCW and Oceans and I am not disagreeing with you as to your interpretation on the MOU between USCG and TC, "that exempts a person from needing STCW is with Canada but only on the “great lakes”.

I am seeking how my fellow mariners interpret the definition of Domestic Voyage in 46 CFR 10.107 especially the statement “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.” or

the interpretation of 10.232 (b)(3) statement “For establishing credit for sea service, the waters of the Inside Passage between Puget Sound and Cape Spencer, Alaska will be credited for a near-coastal and STCW endorsement.”

Does this language mean that mariners transiting the inside passage would need a NC license and STCW endorsements or do they have exemptions due to the MOU.

Additionally, I am also interested if there exist a list of any current Port State Agreements where U.S Near Coastal licenses will be accepted as described in the STCW FAQ - General Questions issued in 7/72014 and as presented in the definition of a domestic voyage.

As a new member of gCaptain, I am grateful to have the ability to access the knowledge and information that is available on this forum.

There doesn’t appear to be anything to interpret. That says directly in the quote that it’s only “for establishing credit for sea service” so it has no bearing on what is required to sail there.

I would expect you’d need a near coastal license at a minimum since you aren’t on US inland waters. I’m not sure about needing STCW in that area.

Puget Sound and the Inside Passages of British Columbia and Alaska are defined as “Inland Waters” (they are inside the boundary line).

As a practical matter, most of the Inside Passage is similar to near coastal waters in other places.

An Inland license is sufficient (even though one may get Near Coastal sea time) for sailing the Inside Passage.

As far as I know, no STCW is required.

For an American to sail as an officer on a US Flag vessel in the Inside Passage of British Columbia, without taking Canadian pilots, a pilotage waiver from the Pacific Pilotage Authority is required.

Technically, the Canadian pilotage waivers are given to companies, not mariners. A company must propose at least two “waiver qualified mariners” (who have the required number of transits and recency) in order to get the pilotage waiver for a vessel transit.

It’s my understanding that significant changes to Canadian pilotage requirements are pending.

American mariners do not need to be “admissible to Canada” in order to transit the Inside Passage, but they must be “admissible to Canada” in order to make Canadian port calls.


At least, US exempt vessels are still exempt.

Non exempt vessels are required to meet STCW at all times, even while on US inland waters.

You make an interesting point.

If an “outside” vessel (that operates beyond the Inland boundary line) is subject to STCW, is it still subject to STCW when it operates on US Inland Waters, Canadian Inland Waters, or on the Great Lakes?

I certainly do not know the answer to that. Maybe the answer starts with “it depends . . .”

Suppose a US Flag Jones Act ship of 10,000 GRT normally operates between
Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Clearly, this ship is subject to STCW.

Now suppose that this ship is dispatched on a voyage to Erie, Pennsylvania and Duluth, Minnesota on the Great Lakes to load steel products for San Juan. The Great Lakes are exempt from STCW. Is this particular ship still required to comply with STCW while on the Great Lakes? Could it get a modified COI to allow it to be exempt from STCW while on the Great Lakes? What if the ship was going to trade exclusively on the Great Lakes for the season before returning to the Puerto Rico trade?

I’ve never worked for the Washington State Ferries, although I sometimes work with guys who have. I do not know the facts about the WSF ferries, however, I have heard that these good sized, exclusively Inland Waters vessels do not require STCW when sailing between US ports, but do require STCW when calling at Canadian ports. I’m not sure if that is true. Someone here must know?

Tugs under 200 GRT are exempt from STCW. Puget Sound is exempt from STCW as Inland Waters. Some of the big tractor tugs operating on Puget Sound are over 200 GRT. Theoretically, if these tractor tugs occasionally participated in rescue tows of disabled ships west of Vancouver Island or escorted ships into Canadian waters, that might subject them to STCW. Would that mean that these tugs (over 200 tons) would remain subject to STCW while docking ships in Seattle? I really doubt that.

In the absence of USCG enforcement actions, judicial review, and settled case law, I don’t think anyone can really know the answers to these questions.

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I would think a ship defined as a seagoing vessel under definitions found in 46 CFR part 10 would be manned to their COI route permitted. 46 CFR Part 15. At least that has been my experience.

As to the WSF, I know they have USCG approved STCW courses and provide their crews BT, Advance Firefighting and Engine Room Resource Management.

However, based on posted job descriptions, I do not see anything requiring STCW endorsements for their support ratings, operators or STCW Management.
I think their approved courses focus on Best Management Practices vice compliance to STCW.

I am sure they will correct me if I am wrong.