Great Lakes Pilotage

Hello,

I’m currently working for Interlake and passed my AB courses, I am just waiting a few more days to get my full 360 to send in for my AB ticket. Ultimately I plan on staying with Interlake until retirement, and looking at the requirements to become a Mate/Master of unlimited tonnage, I understand what that is asking for, until it comes to Pilotage. Interlake, to the best of my understanding requires you to have your pilotage to work as a mate, and I am having issues finding requirements on obtaining your pilotage. Yes, I know I have a few years, but having the goal clearly defined will help in getting to where I want to go as fast as I can.

Thanks for your insight.

Here’s some links with some hopefully useful information:

http://www.gcaptain.com/forum/professional-mariner-forum/11206-class-pilot-local-knowledge-exams.html

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div6&node=46:1.0.1.2.11.7

http://www.uscgexam.com/files/step_1_12___licensing___first_class_pilot.pdf

http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/checklists/pdfs/mcp_fm_nmc5_50_web.pdf

As an AB you will stand watch on the fo’c’sle. (bow watch) in the rivers. (at least at ASC we do)This counts as part of the requirments. I forget how many you need. I do know 1/2 of them must be at night.

Give it up if you are under the age of 25. Go to the Great Lakes Merchant Marine Academy in Traverse City, MI. However, if you are going to do it on your own, you are going to want to contact the U.S. Post Office in Algonac, MI. They carry a copy of “The River Book”, which they often bring out to the ships on the Detroit River by mail boat. In it, is the list of all of the courses and distances that you will need to memorize in order to pass your Pilotage test. You can find exam prep kits online, which you should probably buy, but I highly recommend that you get a River Book to study. It sounds formal, but really it is just a photo-copied 8 1/2" x 14" stapled booklet that many of the G.L. vessel mates use to learn their courses.

[QUOTE=nchesebro;157951]Hello,

I’m currently working for Interlake and passed my AB courses, I am just waiting a few more days to get my full 360 to send in for my AB ticket. Ultimately I plan on staying with Interlake until retirement, and looking at the requirements to become a Mate/Master of unlimited tonnage, I understand what that is asking for, until it comes to Pilotage. Interlake, to the best of my understanding requires you to have your pilotage to work as a mate, and I am having issues finding requirements on obtaining your pilotage. Yes, I know I have a few years, but having the goal clearly defined will help in getting to where I want to go as fast as I can.

Thanks for your insight.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the links, that was exactly what I was looking for!

At Interlake we no longer have bow watches, instead we have cameras installed up there.

Good to know, I will work on getting a copy of that. I’m guessing you contact them and have it mailed to the westcott? I remember seeing a book list posted on the ship of different ones westcott had in stock, perhaps they have some on hand otherwise I will get in touch with the algonac post.

Thanks for the links, they were exactly what I was looking for. Over here we don’t stand bow watches anymore since the cameras were put up there and we don’t have separate watchman, just three watchstanding wheelsman and five deckhands.

At 23 I gave higher ed a shot for two years in mathematics, while I enjoyed the material, going for a nine to five job and a cubicle wasn’t for me, and not many credits will transfer, I think maybe just two classes was what it was when I looked into it. Plus the price tag is a bit high for my liking when i can spend the time getting paid moving towards the same goal.

A couple things on the requirements… I see they require 25% of watches spent at night. But as far as roundtrips, what exactly makes up a roundtrip? I’ve heard that you have to acquire pilotage for each lake, so perhaps that is what they refer to when they talk about round trips?

How do you guys keep tabs on this? I’m sure every company handles logging a bit differently, but as a releif I’ve seen guys stand watch then come back down on deck, but as far as I am aware they only get one discharge, so differentiating between qualifying watchstanding time versus regular deck work for the coast guard must be done a little differently.

Thanks for bearing with me, the aim is to start out on the right foot in the beginning to avoid the whole holys**t time to sort things out at the last second. I apologize if I missed an answer to a question in the provided material, I’m doing my best on the boat using a smartphone flipping around. Your insight has been very helpful and much appreciated.