AB Unlimited Questions

Hi There I am looking to upgrade to AB Unlimited from Limited I have about 980 NC/Oceans time but an additional 200 days upon inland waters within 5 NM from the beach, would this count towards an AB unlimited?

Also would sea service as a cabin steward aboard an Unlimited vessel count as sea time?

Cabin steward does not count at all. The rest of your seatime does.

So you think I should be in the clear? If not I should be good by May of next year.

Only one way, the only way, to know for sure. Apply.

You have 1180 days total. You only need 1080 for AB Unlimited. So you should be good to go.

I suggest that you spend $200 on a license consultant and apply for everything that you can qualify for.

Ok thanks I was confused a little bit because on the checklist it says 1080 on oceans or Great Lakes so I was thinking just NC or Oceans time counted.

Thanks Again

Inland time can’t be used for AB-Unlimited, see 46 CFR 12.403(a)(1). You need a total of 3 years (1080 days) on oceans, near coastal or Great Lakes.

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Does it make a difference as to what kind of “Inland”?

For example, there is a big difference between some Inland creek or bayou vs. Puget Sound, and the Inside Passage through British Columbia and Southeast Alaska, which the USCG also considers Inland waters.

I doubt that many boats work EXCLUSIVELY on any of those waters and I also doubt any companies with boats on those waters write time letters saying the sea time is “inland”.

One of my letters says “Inland waters of Casco Bay, ME.”

STCW Able Seafarer Deck is the ticket, forget the almost useless national ratings (since Jan 1 2017)

Unfortunately my ships COI requires at least 3 Unlimiteds

STCW AB should go above that. Unlimited is not worth shit on international voyages or vessels subject to STCW requirements

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Not true, you need both to be in compliance. Plus, I don’t think you can get AS-D without AB.

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Alright I stand corrected. All I hear, however, is that almost nobody gives a damn about National ratings anymore, unless you’re on a tug. And yes, you can get the new STCW rating without ever being a national AB.

Do you know anyone who’s done it? I have a suspicion they did that like they did officer endorsements, where you have to have the national to get the STCW. @jdcavo

A few guys, yes, according to what I was told. Checklists would confirm this. Of course, national AB comes along with it, depending on your sea service. If I am wrong, please correct.
What I do know for sure is, from my experience, I now have not heard of anybody wanting or even looking at national ratings, unless it’s a tug

46 CFR §12.601 General requirements for STCW rating endorsements.
(a) General. An applicant for any STCW endorsement must hold the appropriate national endorsement, unless otherwise specified.

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…and now even MSC requires the STCW AS-Deck endorsement. They refuse to promote any OS or hire any new ABs without it. My last ship had an AB Special demoted back to an OS because he lacked the required AS-Deck endorsement.

Because to have AS-D you are required to have an AB.