Career Advice for Recent Upgrade

Hello all,

I recently passed the 500 ton masters NC exam and this has me thinking about where I’d like to be in thirty years. Ultimately, I’d like to move to unlimited tonnage and it seems that there are three viable ways to do this:

  1. Get an AB unlimited and put in my time on deep drafts.
  2. Upgrade from 500 ton master to 1600 ton mate after a year of sailing on vessels over 100 tons and then upgrade to third unlimited after meeting the requirements.
  3. Upgrade to 1600 ton master, work on an appropriately sized vessel and then upgrade to third unlimited.

I I guess my biggest setback is not planning on the future early enough. As it stands, I have about four years of sea time, all on vessels less than 100 tons. None the less, I’m pretty determined. I’ve studied for every exam on my own and have paid for all of my required classes out of pocket. I’ll be aiming for an Oceans endorsement next, once I’ve spent enough time with my nose in Duttons and the almanac.

Anyway, enough setup. Can any experienced Mariners offer their opinions on what would make the most sense for me going forward, my goals in mind?

Thanks in advance!

Start working on boats as big as possible but at least over 100 GRT. Apply for 1,600 GRT mate ASAP and take the celestial module at the REC, don’t use a class to count for the exam. After that, if you still really want to go unlimited then get on a ship as an AB to get the last 540 days you need on tonnage, or get on supply boats and use those for tonnage. (When you apply for 1600 ton mate also apply for Mate OSV.)

What you wrote is correct but your 3/M “unlimited” will have a tonnage restriction on it. So until you get the proper tonnage sea time you still won’t be able to sail as a mate on ships. Unless “by meeting the requirements” you meant getting your tonnage issue handled😉

I figured by what he wrote that he considered “meeting the requirements” to include the tonnage requirements.