Late hawspipe Engineering DDE?

Hello, I have about 3,500 days documented. Around 1440 is as an unlicensed engineer or 2,200 to 5,500H.P. vessels 150 to 700 tons. Mostly Yachts but a year or so Tug.

I’m probably going to take a DDE course to obtain my DDE 4k then test again at CG for Unlimited.

It appears that I can go quickly to 3rd assistant.

What is the BEST and most direct path to Chief Engineer national?

Additionally I don’t see a national license being as advantageous compared to STCW Chief. What’s the best way to cross over or at what point working up to chief Engineer STCW?

My Engineer time started around 2002.

I have been reading till I’m blue in the face recently but the posts are old or very hard to decipher actual time served.

What’s the best route with old sea time BUT starting now?

With your seatime you can test for dde unlimited/assistant engineer limited. I wouldn’t bother with dde 4000, you should apply for the highest ticket you can qualify for.
If your sea letter is worded correctly you may be able to test for 3rd assistant engineer as well.
If you intend to sail on deep drafts, getting the 3rd assistant is the route to go.
If you plan on staying on yachts and/or workboat, go the dde route.
As long as you have enough seatime for recency, its irrelevant how old the remainder of your time is.
The pain in the ass for either route you take is getting squared up with the stcw requirements for whichever national license you go for. If you haven’t done it already look at the checklists on the nmc website.


Thanks, I have been going over the checklists.
I’m doing the DDE school for speed because I want to get onto my 1600 masters before any rule changes next year.

IF they allow me to sit for 3rd assistant, is the curriculum completely different than DDE?

If not which self study programs are best? I just practice tested a few for general under 3rd assistant and scoring around 55%. I’ve never had some of the systems covered or ballast tanks but it appears to be a very quick study based on 3 practice tests.

IF they let me sit for 3rd assistant, and after passing DDE, if I study hard, is a month conceivable to sit for 3rd?

I do NOT want to be limited to yachts. I worked in the survey and research fields for about 5 years. Gun boats, tasers, dragging fish, etc I was more of a port engineer for a company for mob’s and conversions. I’m experience strong and license VERY light. I’m getting older.

Thanks for the help

The only upcoming change for Master 1,600 GRT is if you apply after 3/4/2019, you won’t have the option of taking the old exams. For STCW, the grandfathering deadline passed almost 2 years ago and you’ll have to meet the (no longer) new requirements.

For the national endorsement (license), the exams are different. Youi’ll probably need to take both DDE and 3rd AE. There are no courses for 3rd AE, you have to take that one in an REC. The exam subjects for each are listed in 46 CFR 11.950.

The requirements for STCW are also separate. The STCW endorsement for 3rd AE is officer in charge of a navigational watch (OICEW), for DDE, it’s Chief Engineer. They are sep[arate and different requirements. For DDE, now that STCW grandfathering is over, you will have to meet the course and assessment requirements for both STCW endorsements, OICEW and Chief Engineer.

It’s totally possible to get approved for both dde and 3rd. The 3rd test will be a minimum if 5 modules. Dde unlimited is 4.
I self studied, so not aware if you can test for dde at the school. and make good self study material. is another great study tool however you need to pay a monthly fee and need internet to use it. The first two I named are a one time fee and no internet required.

I know that Mid-Atlantic has a DDE course that is about a month long where you take the USCG exam at the school. No doubt other schools offer it too.

I have a feeling that by the end of your DDE course that you’ll be ready for most modules of the 3AE exam.

Thanks for that. I just ordered marineradvancment for 3rd assistant. He furnished me with the module numbers for DDE and 3rd assistant which are both in the thumb drive. I have cancelled the school after lots of practice tests and need to turn in my paperwork for evaluation. The school (MPT) and others only allow testing in leu of CG exam up to DDE 4000. I plan to test unlimited but looking at my documented time the majority by far is 3200 -3700. So I guess I may get a 3rd assistant but limited on HP for a year.

It appears some use Lapware AFTER using the two fore mentioned just to expose themselves to more questions. I may or may not do that before testing and study accordingly.

Since the (old) sea service tests will be gone in March, I plan to test with the new and ordered the new material.

Thanks again.

The tests won’t be gone in March, 2019. If your (complete) application is submitted before March 24, 2014, and is approved for testing, you will have one year from the date of the approvval to test to use the old exams.

I stand corrected. I did think what you just stated is true. My logic is for any future upgrades I do, the (old) will be phased out. I don’t know how true that is or harder/easier between the two.

I need to study checklists and threads more for next step after DDE or 3rd assistant if I get that now. Fastest path to chief and STCW. I currently work half foreign and will need full STCW for any of this to be worth while. Plus the 2020 regs and it’s changes to other engineering fields or vessels.

I can’t say if I’ll be working more as master or below deck in the next 5 years. Potentials are about equal or a little more on the engineer side.
Paper captains are a dime a dozen and some are getting hired. I at least have some master time. Many years anyways.

I can tell you from experience chances are you will be working as an engineer quicker than you will in the wheelhouse.
I have both deck and engine licenses and over the last 5 years I can say I have had much better succcess seeking jobs down below than up top.

In my opinion, way more competitive getting a position in the wheelhouse these days. At most workboat companies you can’t turn around without bumping into some academy kid itching to get into the bridge.

Then again, most normal people would take that as opposed to diving into the MSD system when the heads are overflowing, right?

The world needs ditch diggers too, but deep down a lot of folks just want to be captain.

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I dread to think what the “new generation” of engineering question might be!!

Agreed, I have no idea yet. Hopefully things I’m more in tune with. I scored a 90 yesterday on a practice test without seeing the curriculum but it was batteries. Nicad batteries threw me off on 2. Many topics I score 50-65. I’m ready to get the ordered material and buckle down for as long as it takes. The software guy said practice until your all 90’s then go test OR get lapware at that point and keep practicing with some potentially new questions.

I’m practice testing now with free version, sea sources. Your only allowed a few a day. 20 questions.

If you can, take a class at some school. I did that for a week, It’d been rough to pass for me without the ‘cheat’ classes.

The schools near me do a DDE4000 and you test at the school after 4 weeks. I was going to do that because it seems easier and is most definitely quicker. Timing didn’t work out for this class. No big.

I see an awful lot of people not doing the home stidy. Heck the test at school is pretty new.

From what questions and curriculum I’ve seen so far, it really looks like I can home study. If I use this, then lapware, i don’t really see what the coast guard can throw at me that i haven’t seen?

I assume you did a prep at a school for a week not the DDE 4k because that’s a month.

Was it so valuable because of material that wasn’t on your self study programs?

My background is mechanics, AC, welding, diesel racing, electronics, and similar. Most of what I’ve seen is not brand new, I just need to study my butt off to remember / memorize formulas again.

The environmental and that kind of stuff I deal with now as unlicensed chief and keeping up with class and regs occasionally.