I’ve recently applied with my local REC for FCP. It has definitely been a learning experience to say the least. Here are the facts:
-I hold a 1600 master oceans w/master of towing
-I am a career tugboater (15 years) with no time on vessels over 1600 grt
-I meet all sea service requirements of FCP
-I did not go to a maritime college, or ever hold any unlimited license
-I recently documented 15 observer trips on a vessel over 1600 grt
-I am approved for FCP limited to vessels UNDER 1600 grt
My question pertains to upgrading from my Limited FCP to Unlimited. I have read the USCG issued FCP letter several times and need clarification please. It states:
B.1.b - If an applicant does not have sufficient experience (18 months) on vessels over 1600 gross tons, the license or endorsement will be issued for a limited tonnage until the applicant completes additional round trips (20 on vessels over 1600 gross tons for initial endorsement and 15 round trips on vessels over 1600 gross tons for each additional route).
I understand the above stating I’ve already completed 15 round trips, I will just need to do 5 more (totaling 20) trips to upgrade from limited to unlimited on this original route. Other local mariners that have completed their routes agree they only did 5 additional trips to upgrade. The Local REC is suggesting a different approach, which I will do 20 more trips (totaling 35). The information listed in CFR’s all point back the local OCMI. I am not pointing fingers at who’s wrong or right, but looking for a clear understanding of what I’m up against from more than one perspective.
Any help or experience is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your time.