Home Study Software

Do any of you know of home study software that is available for the Apple/Macintosh operating system? Hawespipe doesn’t have any and I would like to avoid getting the books for the simple reason that they aren’t easy to travel with. Thanks in advance for any help.


There are several applications that will allow you to run windows based programs on your mac (parallels, VMware) as a virtual machine. You can also partition your hard drive and load windows onto it and run your mac as a pc (use bootcamp). Google “run windows on mac” for answers. Once you’ve done this you can run hawsepipe or capt joes. Lapware is Internet based and will run on your mac while connected to he Internet and I have found it to be the most comprehensive computer based test prep.

I had to put MS Office on my Apple computer cause my Kid’s school only runs pc’s & he had a PowerPoint presentation due

If you have an Internet connection where you will be studying, Lapware is web based, so I would think you could use that on a Mac just fine. You can always check out their website to be sure.

Thanks for the info. I’m going to look into the Lapware. Not that I want to pay more but the Hawsepipe CD is $70 and Houston Marine’s is around $2000. Not sure what the difference is but that is a huge spread in price range which makes me wonder what I am getting from Hawsepipe and I think $2000 is a little steep to buy a study guide. Thanks again!

[QUOTE=TugNtow;96680]Thanks for the info. I’m going to look into the Lapware. Not that I want to pay more but the Hawsepipe CD is $70 and Houston Marine’s is around $2000. Not sure what the difference is but that is a huge spread in price range which makes me wonder what I am getting from Hawsepipe and I think $2000 is a little steep to buy a study guide. Thanks again![/QUOTE]

Also look at Seasources.net, it is also web based and free of charge. As long as you have a connection you can use it.

If you need downloadable modules they have those too, for a charge. I used it and the Hawsepipe QMED CD as well as some manuals I have here.

Looks like the Houston Marine exam prep is held in a classroom with an instructor and that’s probably why it costs so much.

Try uscgq.com as well. It’s a good site for practice tests.

I also recommend Seasources.net, the only drawback is that you must have an internet connection. I sat a few weeks ago and their quizzes definitely helped.

I’m way late on this one but I sailed with captain joe and don’t buy his software it’s for unlimited guys and he’s often incorrect. He sat for the ft lauderdale pilot test and didn’t make it in. Check his scores, I think they are public. Use lap ware in your time off it has better diagrams anyway.

Houston Exam Prep is not just a study guide, it is a one in one, step by step, way of learning, you receive plotting tools, publications for testing, charts, lapware, capt joes, Houston marine online learning or thumb drive… Houston exam prep is for someone who is serious about learning and passing their test. The door is open for however long it takes you to pass. And the office manager even does all the coast guard paperwork and dealings for you. You can walk in an AB and walk out with you license. It is the easiest and most proficient way of teaching someone what they need to pass their tests… And they won’t forget it.

Houston marine (new Orleans) has an online or thumb drive study program that is really good, broken down into sections. Although you will not get what you need for the terrestrial navigation part of the test.

I hope im wrong with houston, i never went there for the prep class but my co-worker did. He told me that he paid around 3,000$ more or less for the class & books…When he went there they gave him a lot of books & software, and told him that if you got any question just call or come back here and ask us…3 years passed by he is still a deckhand…Me on the other hand went to fletcher w/ Capt. Bruce spent there 3 weeks straight for mate license, paid around 500$ then went back after 2 years and spent two weeks for Master license, paid under 1,000$ and Aced all modules…Glad i listen to my friend thats why i found Capt. Bruce…just telling my experienced w/ “THE MAN”.

good day. i just passed my 1600 masters tests. i used hawsepipe and can easily recommend it to help. especially with the deck gen and nav gen tests. just keep doing practice tests over and over until you are passing all the time. it can be run on a mac with afew available programs.its only 80$ and you can use it anytime anywhere.there is also an app for ipad/iphone called navigation rules thats interactive and is very good,15$…the whole pool of questions is also back online at the coast guards website.pretty dry reading but worth looking through.
i did the prep class at mpt in ft lauderdale and would have taken alot longer to get the terrestrial part into my head if i didnt,1800$,money well spent for me…
good luck.

Houston exam prep (in Houston) is basically the same as Houma with just a few differences. There will only be 5 other students there at any one time… We usually have 2 instructors at a time for the class… You get access to lapware, capt joes, Houston marine computer software (from new Orleans)… And all the books, plotting tools, charts… We work hard on terrestrial and chart plotting. This stuff will get you through every test except ch mate/master, which you will need some sort of advanced stability training, and that’s it.
If you want to do it and not wast time, Houston exam prep is the way. Even an AB can walk in and get all the knowledge he will need to make it to 2nd mate unlimited and/or 1600 Tom master. It is expensive but you only have to pay once! There is no come back in two years to get your masters… You will have everything you need to do-it-yourself, and be 100% confident in your abilities.

Lapware is the shit

I used only seasources.net and uscgq.com, I never bough the books. The uscgq.com website will let you take create practice tests for free and print them out, but they’ve had some issues with diagrams and I don’t know if they resolved them.

Can someone shed a little more light on lapware? I’ve been to their site and the price is reasonable. Is it just practice tests or are there tutorials and such? Anything like the Houston home study kits?

I was thinking about purchasing the home study course from Houston Marine for the Chief Mate/Master exam to save time. It looks like you teach there so can you tell me if I purchase this course I will have all the information I need to pass the exam for Chief Mate/Master? I don’t have the time to come into the school until I am almost ready to test so if I can get through 95% of the rest of the study material I might go this route…Thanks for any information.

First time contributor, long time lurker…hope this helps the fellow mariner.

I signed up for a prep course at Quality Maritime Training (St. Petersburg, FL), a school that I hold in high regard, and highly recommend to all…time and $$ permitting of course. The one-on-one time with George was invaluable, as he is one of the most knowledgeable mariners I know. I was very fortunate the 9/11 GI Bill covered all training and classes, and my current employer allowed me to adjust my work schedule accordingly. I realize that not everyone can take the time, or pocket the money for a prep course, so I will talk about the “Home Study” that helped me…as labeled in this thread.

For at home study material, I used the hawsepipe.net Master/Mate CD, which was great for taking practice exams. It allows you to retake questions answered incorrectly, which is a huge help for test question familiarization/memorization. It also has ALL reference material you will need, right on the CD…no need for internet connection. After a couple weeks of studying, I really wanted something that had solutions with it, and would help me learn each problems answer when I was stuck. I found Capt. Joe’s CD’s for $80 at http://www.uscgexam.com/ to be extremely helpful. Well worth the money. I used the two programs together. hawsepipe CD for the practice test (more user friendly for testing), and when stuck on a question, I would then switch to Capt. Joe’s in another tab, enter the CG question #, and work through the solution. I used this method for Deck General, Deck Safety, and Nav General. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition!

After really getting into the exam prep, I felt that my week points were Deck Safety (all the stability, formulas, ss american mariner, m/v grand haven, etc), and Deck General (a ton of info, more formulas, rigging, cargo, illustrations, etc.). Nav Rules I wasn’t worried about (took 2 - 50 question practice tests EVERY day for a month…averaged 96’s towards the end), and Nav General I wasn’t to worried about either, on account that Bowditch and CFR’s have almost every answer you will need. I ended up ordering the Deck Safety & Deck General Murphy books to overcome my weakness in the two subjects, and cannot stress enough what a HUGE help they were! For those that don’t know, Murphy books are basically a collection of every CG published exam question, broken down by subject, and organized by each topic. You will see every possible variance of wording, for each topic question. They also list the reference for each question. I started with Deck General, I read through the entire book, answering every question in my head. If I felt that I would get the question wrong on the exam, I put an asterisk next to it. After finishing the book, I then went back, and reread all the questions with asterisks, and highlighted the correct answer. Did the same with Deck Safety. For the questions that required solutions, I worked through them on Capt. Joe’s CD. My scores immediately went from 50-60’s to 75-85 consistently. The week leading up to the exams, I read all the highlighted questions again.

For Nav Plot, I went over numerous practice plots, which was good enough for me, chart work is one of my strong points. Terrestrial is a tough one, and I did take a course, also at Quality Maritime. I thought I was pretty familiar with Terrestrial going in, but it’s like anything else, if you don’t use it, you lose it. I wouldn’t have passed without the course, and would recommend doing everything you can to save/make time for it. Remember, you can only miss one. After the course, I made flash cards, memorized speed/rpm formulas, did enough azimuth/amplitude/sunrise/sunset problems to mind f**k Nathaniel himself, memorized distance off/abeam question formats and formulas, and took loads of practice exams until I was confident.

For 2 weeks leading into exams, I studied 6 days a week, EVERY free second I had. If I wasn’t working, sleeping, or eating, I was studying. Had to get the wife on board (god bless her), stopped going out, and cut out the boozing, basically no life…lol But it all paid off. I even found an app for android phones ($4.99) called “CaptainQuiz Deck” that has the entire CG database of questions, and lets you take 20 question practice exams all day long. It also allows you to go back and retake incorrectly answered questions. That was probably the best $4.99 I’ve ever spent. Every free second I had, I was using that app, taking practice exams, wherever I was.

I scheduled my exams at the Miami REC for Mon, Tues, Weds (2 weeks ago). 2 per day is the minimum at the REC, and I would highly recommend you schedule just 2 per day as well. Every morning I went in fresh and ready to go. After morning exams, I went out to the car, looked over my notes, took a few practice exams, and went back in for the afternoon exam.

I ended up passing all 6 modules, Master 500/1600 GRT (Near Coastal) Exams on the first try…in order as follows:

Nav Rules: 94%
Deck Gen: 84%
Deck Safety: 84%
Nav Gen: 74% (cannot stress enough the importance of being THOROUGHLY familiar with navigating the CFR’s. That’s one thing I would have spent more time on)
Nav Plot: 100%
Terrestrial: 100%

I understand everyone has different study habits, learning abilities, and personal situations. My method may not work for everyone, just sharing what worked for me. Best of luck to all those in the hunt. Now it’s back to resumes and applications…lol …and maybe a cocktail…

p.s. NMC issued my credentials within 3 days. Had them in hand on Monday morning.