Master OSV 3000 GT upgrade to 10000

I was trying to get him to read the CFR (or even the NMC checklist) himself instead of spoon feeding him the information. It’s not confusing if you make the attempt to answer your own question.


Moving down to move up. That is the problem.

What experienced Master 1600/3000 running a sizable “rule beater” vessel (artificially just under 3000 GT), making $800 to $1000 a day wants to move down for a year to AB sweeping and moping on a ship for $400 a day? Very few people could afford to do that.

There are a very limited number of vessels between 3000 tons and 10,000 tons on which to gain “unlimited” seatime as an officers.

There are a dozen factory trawlers and fish processors between 3000 and 5000 tons.

How many OSVs between 3000 and 10,000? Three dozen? How many during the oil patch busts?

There are less than 200 ships over 1600 tons. How many small ships between 1600 and 10,000 are there? Half a dozen? Almost all union? Will the unions even let a guy with a tonnage restriction register as an applicant?

It’s not impossible for a very modest number of smaller vessel mariners to move up by moving down, or find one of the 1600 to 10,000 niche vessels to sail in. it’s just extremely difficult and impractical for any significant number of mariners to do it.

The time to sail AB on unlimited tonnage is while you are an AB, not after you have a 1600 ton license.

In the case of the OP, he was sailing as Chief Mate on a 2500 ton OSV. He is only looking for an increase to 10,000 tons limited to OSVs. What is the practical difference between a 2500 ton OSV and a 3001 ton OSV? Nothing at all.

This is insanity.

No other country does this. Under STCW once someone qualifies for 3000 or more, they are unlimited. What is the US accomplishing by being different? Absolutely nothing!


I was just trying to help a little not to much.

I understand many people can’t afford to do it. Call me insane, but I was determined to get rid of that tonnage restriction and played the game to get it. So I was an AB with a Third Mate 6000 on a vessel of 10k. Getting rid of that tonnage restriction can help if the oilfield goes “bust”. Currently 90 days away from Master Unlimited, that also can help in being more competitive in the job market and also working on two more endorsements. Their is a reason for my insanity…

I wasn’t implying that you are insane. I applaud your perseverance.

I was saying that all the road blocks the USCG puts up (which no other country does) to keep 1600/3000 mariners from moving up to unlimited is insane.

I think that the unions and academies must have lobbied for this system to prevent limited tonnage mariners from moving up and competing for jobs once upon a time way back when.


By no means I said that. I said “call me insane”, I implied that to myself (lol). Personally think the same, someone lobbied to have everyone licensed with unlimited. It seems that has caused the shortage of AB. I’ve had brand new 3/M starting as AB and they don’t like it. I tell them, how can you supervise the people on deck if you don’t know what going on? Then they get it.


I know my old “Officer” license said that, but I think my new passport credential says “power driven vessels”.

The current wording is “self propelled vessels” either not including sail or including sail.

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HOS has over 3 dozen alone. Chouest 100 easily throughout the world. Harvey, Candies, Jackson, Tidewater each have around a dozen in the gulf. Nobody of note has built an OSV under 3000GRT in over 10 years. There are currently rumors that some 340 mud boats will be built. If I was to guess they would be around 6 to 8k tons. I know Harvey’s 320ft construction boats are 8k. So getting unlimited tonnage in the oil field is not hard.

During the bust those are the boats you want to be on as they keep working.

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