Able Seaman Scope of Authority

Where might I find out how far offshore a National Able Seaman can go? or can they travel through Canadian waters?

There is no limit on waters an AB can sail upon, as long as he holds a valid MMD for the rating. But for only national rating, the vessel cannot be subject to STCW.

§15.840 Able seamen.

(a) With certain exceptions, 46 U.S.C. 8702 applies to all vessels of at least 100 GRT. At least 65 percent of the deck crew of these vessels, excluding individuals serving as officers, must be able seamen. For vessels permitted to maintain a two-watch system, the percentage of able seamen may be reduced to 50 percent.

(b) Able seamen are rated as: unlimited, limited, special, offshore supply vessel (OSV), sail, and fishing industry, under the provisions of part 12 of this subchapter. 46 U.S.C. 7312 specifies the categories of able seamen (i.e., unlimited, limited, etc.) necessary to meet the requirements of 46 U.S.C. 8702.

© On vessels subject to STCW, the individual meeting the requirement of this section must also hold an STCW endorsement as ratings forming part of a navigational watch or able seafarer-deck (according to §15.404(a) and (b) of this part), except as noted in §15.105 (g) of this part for vessels on domestic near-coastal voyages.

(d) It is the responsibility of the master or person in charge (PIC) to ensure that the able seamen in the service of the vessel meet the requirements of 46 U.S.C. 7312 and 8702.

See the MOU between the USCG and Transport Canada.

Without the STCW components (Able Seafarer - Deck and RFPNW) you cannot sail on a vessel that is required to comply with STCW. (All vessels sailing outside the boundary line with some exceptions.)

If that’s what you’re getting at let me know and we can go into specifics.