I’m getting mixed information from multiple schools and also the USCG and I’m just not sure what to do here.
In a nut shell, I guess things are going to become much more stringent Dec 31, 2016 so I want to get the biggest captain ticket I can before then.
Here is a basic rundown of my experience:
Previously held OUPV license for 5 years doing fishing and sailing charters. In 2008 when it was time to renew or upgrade, I literally had zero work due to the collapse of the economy. My OUPV expired.
I continued working on boats as the economy got better but managed to stay under the radar with charters and also international deliveries. Mostly sportfishing boats.
As time went on, it became apparent that I needed to get my shit together and get my captain license crap sorted out and go legit.
While doing my STCW training I had many conversations with guys from the commercial end of boats. I was told to skip the captains license and go with AB endorsement to transfer over to commercial boats, which I did.
So now I am working on commercial boats. I have probably 1800 easily documentable days (actually have a lot more than that just hard to track down the people to sign off) working as master or mate on boats generally under 50 tons. And I also have another 200 plus days working as an AB on boats in the 450-500 ton range.
AB is current. As well as STCW, RFPNW, vessel security, and a couple of others.
What is the highest tonnage I can go for with my current sea time??? My goal is eventually at least 500 ton but I realize I need to carry a smaller license for x number of days before I can get to that level.
One school even told me I had to start with OUPV again and work up from there.
Can I go for 100 ton or 200 ton based on my current sea time???
Any advice would be much appreciated. I am seriously pulling my hair out because I get conflicting information every time I talk to a different person.
Many many many thanks.