Chief Engineer (Limited), what's next?

Hello all, this is my first post to the forum. My question is in regards to the flow of license upgrades. Currently I have 2nd A/E Unlimited Motors and Chief Engineer (Limited) with the associated management level STCW endorsements. Up until a year ago I had worked only on unlimited vessels and had accumulated 60 days while holding my 2nd A/E before moving to limited vessel with limited horsepower. For the past year I have been the Chief Engineer on vessel with less than 4000hp and under 1600tons. I would like to continue to upgrade my license but I do not see myself moving to a unlimited vessel in the near future. Can the sea time I am accumulating now be put towards any upgrade, like 1st A/E unlimited with a horsepower restriction? I believe I fall into this section of the sea-service requirement “Limited Horsepower: Max HP that 25% of the required service was obtained or 150% HP on which at least 50% of the required service was
obtained, WHICHEVER IS GREATER.” For example if 50% of your sea service was obtained on a vessel with 2000hp would you you be eligible for 1A/E unlimited with a 3000 hp restriction? Any help is greatly appreciated.!

According to this checklist you would qualify after 360 days using your chief limited license…question is, the 60 days you have sailing as a second could make the necessary days only 300?

You have to have time on an unlimited HP ship to get an unlimited license. I haven’t heard of a limited 1st. That chief limited is for oceans

[quote=“brjones, post:3, topic:44996, full:true”]
You have to have time on an unlimited HP ship to get an unlimited license. I haven’t heard of a limited 1st. That chief limited is for oceans [/quote]

If you mean a vessel of more than 1,600 GRT and/or 4,000 HP, that isn’t correct.

See 46 CFR 11.512(a)(2), you can get 1st AE with time as Chief Engineer (Limited). Since a Chief Engineer (Limited) cannot serve on a oceans or near-coastal vessel over 1,600 GRT per 46 CFR 15.915©, you can get 1st AE on a vessel of less than “unlimited” tonnage.

See also 46 CFR 11.503(b) The relevant bits of that regulation was quoted in the original post, it allows qualifying for 1st AE without all of the required service being on vessels of 4,000 HP or more.

James D. Cavo
U.S. Coast Guard
Mariner Credentialing Program
Policy Division (CG-MMC-2)

As hard as it maybe to believe, USCG licensing has been greatly simplified from the multiplicity of different restricted licenses that we had back in the 1970’s. STCW is a complicating exception. However, it is apparent that much more USCG licensing simplification would be very beneficial to all concerned.

The first thing that should be done is to eliminate GRT tonnage on licenses, and only use STCW compliant ITC GT tonnage for licensing purposes. The next thing would be to adopt a steamlined STCW compliant licensing system, say similar to the Canadian licensing system. That is, licenses for less than 500 GT, 500 to 3000 GT, and more than 3000 GT. The GT licenses should cover vessels of a given tonnage regardless of whether the vessels are measured in GRT or GT.

Trade restricted licenses (OSV and Fishing) should be phased out.

Small vessel license exams, less than 500 tons, should be modernized, simpler and relevant to smaller vessels.

Licenses as Mate 500, Mate 1600, 3rd Mate, and 2nd Mate, should all be replaced with OICNW after the same exam. These licenses should come in two versions: 500 to 3000, or 3000 or more. The exams should be identical and only taken once regardless of tonnage limits or future upgrades.

Licenses for Master should be similar. A simple exam for small vessels under 500. The exam for Master 3000 should be the same as the exam for OICNW plus one extra module with Master level topics. The exams for Chief Mate and Master over 3000 should be more difficult and appropriate for very large vessels.

Towing license endorsements should require the standard OICNW exam, plus a towing module, and for Master, a Master module.

I’m not knowledgeable about the different types of engineering licenses, but something similar should be done to simplify the issuance of STCW compliant engineer licenses.

The required tonnage and horsepower experience thresholds should be set so that upgrade paths are much simpler and clearer. The tonnage and horsepower limits should be adjusted so that there are an ample number of vessels available where mariners can obtain the required experience.

One thing I do know about engineer experience is that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between experience as engineer on a single screw vessel with one 3600hp EMD, or on a 7200hp twin screw vessel with a pair of the same EMDs.