I don't want STCW any more

I’m currently an unlimited Ocean master, but considering leaving the deep sea behind and only want to sail in US coastal waters. I’m currently work a minimum wage job and can’t afford the cost of renewing all of the STCW training courses. If I renew my National endorsements only and forget about STCW, can I still work between US ports coastwise? NMC was no help with this question.

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I don’t know the answer but a friend of mine is a harbor pilot and says some of the other pilots don’t have stcw. He’s thinking of not renewing stcw next time around.

No. STCW is required on any commercial vessel over 200 GRT anytime you pass the boundary line.

See 46 CFR 15.1101. STCW is required on any vessel operating beyond the boundary line, except certain small vessels that are specifically listed in that regulation.

Pilots work inside the boundary line and thus don’t need STCW.

It’s not just vessels over 200 GRT. It’s any vessel except those specifically exempt per 46 CFR 15.1101.

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I think you are confusing “not wanting” & “can’t afford”. Sure, only pay for the STCW renewals that you can afford but if you’ve made it to Master Mariner unlimited then you know the benifits of having all the possible bells & whistles on your licence. Good luck on your job search & I hope you were exaggerating about the minimum wage. That sucks.


Yes, and the most common exempted vessel is those under 200 GRT on domestic voyages. It’s barely worth mentioning, on this forum anyway, the rest of them. Sorry for making a generalization for the sake of being concise.

Guys Thanks for all your input. My full situation is this:
After 40 years in the maritime industry, I got laid off as a Master of Supply Boat in the Gulf two years ago due to the price of crude being so low. Being in my mid-60’s I though about just being retired and tried it about 6 months. My feet got awfully dry living on land full time so I took a part time job drive a local water taxi. I enjoy the job and I get to go home each evening, but all I really need to do that is an inland 100 ton licenses. Renewal time is this coming December and I have enough sea time to renew the unlimited ocean master, but need a significant number of classes to bring STCW up to sniff. So I wondered if renewing the unlimited licenses national endorsements and forgetting STCW, would be worthwhile. I guess I could just downgrade to an inland 100 ton master, keep working on my tiny boat, and be done with it, but it was so much time and effort to get!

Again thanks for all of your insights.

I’m not sure how you could need that many. Leadership and management of you never took it previously and a BT & Advanced FF revalidation.

Why in the world would you downgrade? Even if you aren’t able to renew the STCW you can still renew the Master Unlimited.

If you decide not to renew the STCW make sure to put it in continuity.


There is no reason to downgrade. You can maintain the Unlimited Master without STCW.

STCW endorsements cannot be put into continuity.

To restore a lapsed STCW endorsement you would need to have a valid corresponding national endorsement, and meet whatever gap-closing and renewal requirements are in effect at the time u want to restore the STCW.

As far as Jim G “downgrading” to Master 100 inland, that would jeopardize his ability to restore a lapsedf STCW as he would no longer hold the appropriate national endorsement.

To renew his STCW later would he have to complete any OICNW and Master classes he might have been grandfathered out of previously?