Going up the hawsepipe... still possible?


<P>Hey guys,</P>
<P> I have a standing job offer to join U.S. United Ocean Services on one of their bulk carriers. The company says they promote from within, and that most of their current Unlimited Captains and Chief Engineers have come up the hawsepipe from O.S. and Wiper. My question is, if starting in a company like that NOW, how good are your chances of making it to 3rd Mate Unlimited? Some say it’s hard and would take 8 years at least, but so far no one’s said its impossible.</P>
<P>Except one person who said the U.S. Coast Guard is going to make that against the law, which makes no sense to me as to why they would deny people advanced certificates or advancements in a private sector career that they CHOSE.</P>
<P>Thanks for the help.</P>


Mike to put it simply the answer is yes you can do it and it can be done is less than 8 years. It will not be cheap and it will not be easy, but it can be done. The STCW has made it more difficult for the simple fact that you will have to take a bunch of classes, before you can even get evaluated to even test. Now that said I started taking STCW classes for Chief Mate a few months after I got my 3rd Mate. I have 3 classes left. My point is I will be done with my classes before I have the sea time to test. If you really want to do it hire on and do exactly what you are saying. Start taking the required classes as soon as possible. IF you indeed get it done you can hold your head up high and say you are one of the few who did. The Coast Guard is not making it illegal, but it is definitely not attractive for a person trying to pull himself up by the bootstraps.


<P>If Capt.Lee can do it, anybody can do it.</P>


Well Said Anchorman…I couldn’t have put it any better myself. <br><br>And Mike if you can’t take the advice of a compulsive gambler “Me” or an alcoholic “anchorman”, who can you really trust? Just tell them the Drunk Gambler told you so.


You were almost funny.


<P>How much overall would you say the classes would cost me? Once it is all said and done? If the company will pay for it like they told me they would, I would definitely consider that path. I am completing a bachelors in December and don’t feel like taking the office route. I’d like to stay at sea and put my time in and work my way to 3rd Mate. I have roughly 400 days seatime accumulated already from about 5 years of intermitten work on tugs and barges, so hopefully I can snag an AB ticket quick and cut the time required for Mate down. Maybe even snag lifeboatman while I am at it.<br><br>Thanks for all your advice.</P>


Operational level STCW/OICNW for 3M/2M AGT classes are what you are looking at. Go online and look at their prices. You have MITAGS, MPT (mptusa.com), Mid Atlantic Maritime Academy (MAMA), Star Center. You can go to their approved courses site and look at what schools are approved for what and then make your choices by price, location or quality of instruction. You may be restricted by who your company may be willing to pay. <A href="http://www.uscg.mil/stcw/mmic-appcourses.htm]http://www.uscg.mil/stcw/mmic-appcourses.htm</A> Most offer a significant discount for completing all classes at their facility. Click the above link and then go under
[li]<strong><A href="http://gcaptain.com/maritime/forum/training/oicnw-course.pdf]Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch Courses</A></strong> – Individual courses approved to meet specific STCW training requirements for Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch.
[/li]<P>There a list of the approved classes comes up. Bottom line tuition for classes alone 17-20 G’s plus time off from work, transportation, meals, casino, and alcohol, 30 to 50 G’s total cost incurred by you or your company. That is a capital G. Then once you finish all that and get your license you get to start it all over again for Management level Course. Have Fun!</P>


<P>I think by definition, an AB is a lifeboatman. You will have to do lifeboatman to get the AB designation.</P>


they offer AB and LB as two seperate courses.


You can get your AB without doing Lifeboatman. You won’t be able to get STCW without Lifeboatman.


There is a groundbreaking book out called the New Hawsepipe by Leonard Lambert its published by Cornell Maritime Press. He wrote it after his own experience of getting a license post STCW regs. It’s a great reference and has useful links in it as well. The book outlines all you need to do from OS to Third Mate. I believe there is an online resource at www.thenewhawsepipe.com as well.<div>Good Luck</div>


I second capnmorgan’s recommendation of Leonard’s book. Add it to your library, it will be of great help to you.


In addition to the list of coursesfor Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch, look at the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center Policy Letter 1-02 to find out which courses yo need to take. It also has all of the many practical assessments you will need to get signed off while you work. The policy letter is at: <A href="http://www.uscg.mil/stcw/mmic-policy.htm]http://www.uscg.mil/stcw/mmic-policy.htm</A><br><br>The sea time for 3rd Mate is the same as it has always been for the hawse-pipe, 3 years. But it will probably take you 5 calendar years to get this 3 years of sea time, but that is not new to STCW, it’s alsways taken tha long. Apart from that, the only consideration is how quickly you can take all of the courses and then study and pass the license exam. It might take 8 years for some, but it could be done sooner if you are willing to sacridficwe the vacation time and can expense.<br><br>AB/Lifeboatman. It is not required to be a lifeboatmanfor Able Seaman, but it doesn’t mean this can be ignored entirely. If you are also getting STCW, you will need to get “Proficiency in Survival Craft” this can be either valid for lifeboats or restricted to vessels without them. The restricted course is usually a day or two shorter. If you are going to work where STCW is not required, you’ll still need to take a survival craft exam and get signed off on rescue boats. Essentially, it’s the same as lifeboatman but the test and sign offs are for rescue craft and not lifeboats. Most schools that are approved for Able Seaman courses also cover the survival craft written exam.<br><br>James D. Cavo<br>Chief, Mariner Training & Assessment Division<br>USCG National Maritime Center<br><A href="mailto:James.D.Cavo@uscg.mil]<font color=#3354aa>James.D.Cavo@uscg.mil</font></A> <br>


Most of the practical assessments Mr Cavo stated will be covered by simply completing the STCW courses. The class approval and certificate will clearly state which Practical assessments are covered by the course material. I don’t know if you have considered this, but you could get a Mate OSV and work in the Oilfield in less time and probably make a little more money quicker. Once you got you Mate OSV or Master OSV you could then try to get your 3rd Mate if you still wanted to go that route. Also, OSV’s get a 1.5 day sea time credit for every day worked. You could get your required sea time quicker. Just an idea, but I do not think it is unreasonable to think you could not have your Mate OSV with in 2 years given the amount of sea time you already have.


Is it still considered going through the hawsepipe if you go O.S. to AB unlimited and then at some point enroll in an Academy for graduate school and the 3/m? Or does the hawsepipe only refer to going straight up without schooling?


Straight up, non-academy. There’s no way around going to some kind of school now, but the academy route is definitely not hawsepiping.


<P>I wished some of them, like Fort Schuyler, would offer nothing but license classes. I have no desire to get a Masters in Business, but it seems I am required to enroll for that if I wish to sit for a license.</P>


The academies have been slow to develop the STCW courses other than BRM, ARPA, and BST. For the most part they have not developed any courses for the hawse-piper going for OICNW or for the 2nd Mate gouing to Chief Mate. The hawse-pipe courses can b ssen as competing with theirt degree/cadet programs, but the Chief Mate/Master courses are not, and are needed by their own alumni.<br><br>James D. Cavo<br>Chief, Mariner Training & Assessment Division<br>USCG National Maritime Center<br><A href="mailto:James.D.Cavo@uscg.mil]<font color=#3354aa>James.D.Cavo@uscg.mil</font></A>