Chief mate to master unlimited question

One of the captains on my fishing boat has a chief mate unlimited license and says he was told he can’t get hismaster unlimited unless he gets a year of sea time on an inspected vessel. Is this true? I looked in the cfr’s and it did not say anything about that. His time is on a 7000 ton ocean going uninspected vessel.

  1. instead of just posting the checklist maybe explain what you think it proves?

  2. understand that the checklist is just guidelines, not the actual law.

I don’t see why that would be true, there’s no requirement for it to be inspected (though fishing time may be put under extra scrutiny).

What he can’t do is upgrade to Master Unlimited with sea time as master.

I have seen no requirements for the vessel to be uninspected in the sea service requirements under 46 CFR 10.232 or requirements for national licenses. Only that you have to show details of the vessel to determine applicability of STCW or SOLAS. There are notes on the 2nd page of the national Master of UFIV checklist that talk about limitations with STCW on UFIV, but appear to be overrode with the appropriate tonnage.

US Code: (1) evaluate the service of an individual who
is applying for a license, a certificate of registry,
or a merchant mariner’s document by
using the tonnage as measured under chapter
143 of this title for the vessels on which that
service was acquired, and
(2) issue the license, certificate, or document
based on that service.

Again I only see “tonnage” as the determining factor in this section of the US Code.

(b) Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary,
the Secretary—
(1) issues the licenses and certificates of registry;
(2) may classify the licenses and certificates
of registry as provided in subsections (c and
(f) of this section, based on—
(A) the tonnage, means of propulsion, and
horsepower of machine-propelled vessels;
(B) the waters on which vessels are to be
operated; or
(C other reasonable standards.

Other reasonable standard?

I also skimmed through the NVIC’s and didn’t see anything that jumped out at me. So if you can use military sea time (uninspected) and with qualifying service in the capacity of the position you are going for get an unlimited license, I don’t see why you can’t use sea service on an “uninspected” vessel of the appropriate tonnage towards upgrading an unlimited national license. By all means, correct me if I’m wrong and if you don’t like what one evaluator tells you, try another one. :grin:

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Same here. The catch will be that he’s currently sailing as Master and he can’t use that sea time to upgrade from Chief Mate to Master.

Thank you so much for all your input, he sails as chief mate/relief captain for most trips and had over a years worth of sea time in that position. He said the coast guard told him he needed a year of masters time on an inspected vessel which made no sense to me at all. I will let him know tomorrow when he comes back.

For the STCW part, for upgrade to Master of vessels 3000GT or more you just need to prove 36months of time as OICNW. It says you can reduce that time if you served as Chief Mate.

For the national license 6 months minimum serving as Chief Mate, but I’d have to believe the evaluator would see the time as Master as equivalent even if it’s not word for word from the CFR.

You also have to hold the corresponding license to get that STCW endorsement, so if you can’t get the license, you can’t get the STCW either, even if you meet all the STCW requirements. 46 CFR 11.201(a).

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