[QUOTE=sinbad;147472]Am I reading this correctly here?
According to this site I can become a able seaman special OSV with just 180 days on a 15 ton or greater vessel.
What would worry me about achieving this status with the minimum tonnage that I have to qualify is when I try to get hired is this .A company will see that they will have to pay AB wages to someone like me who knows chit about these larger boats .,when they should be paying me OS wages.
Am I being[/QUOTE]
Yes, you are over thinking it.
My recommendation is apply to retest for your license, and for AB Special / wiper / (and whatever they now call foodhandler) right away.
Your seatime never expires. You can also use your seatime since you got the original license. Licensing has changed. These days, you can just take a one week course that includes the exam right at the school, without testing at the USCG. That is the fast and easy way to go.
You will need at least 90 days or 60 12-hour days of seatime in the last five years to get approved for AB. If you have that, you might as well get approved to test for AB at the same time you get approved to apply for your license. I think there are a couple schools that combine the week long AB course with the week long 100 ton class so you can do both in the same week.
You also need to take another one week class called BT (or BST). Also, you’ll need to take a two day RFPNW course. If you do it right, you are looking at two weeks to three weeks of courses to get 50 ton and AB Special with RFPNW (lookout duties).
If you are actually a good boat cook, there is usually strong demand for AB/Cooks. That would probably triple your chances of finding a good job fairly quickly.
I don’t know how long you would have to sail as a deckhand while holding your 50 ton license, but it probably isn’t all that long, to upgrade to 100 tons. If you are a good worker and good shipmate with decent skills, you could move up quite quickly.
Also, apply for your TWIC card right away. Make sure you have a current passport.