National Master 200 Ton Near Coastal

Is additional testing (such as Rules of Road, Nav Gen, etc) required to upgrade from a Master 100 Ton Near Coastal to Master 200 Ton Near Coastal?
Or is it simply a matter of having the required Sea Service?

Stupidly enough, you have to take another module.

Increase in Scope: From Master Near Coastal Less than 100 GRT to Master/Mate Near Coastal Less than 200 GRT take the following module

Q156- Navigation and Deck General/Safety

Copy that.
& Thank you for the reply.

Also, I am currently taking a 5 day Able Seaman course that I believe has an exam on that same module - Nav and Deck General

Would passing that AB course/exam mixed with Sea Service satisfy the requirements for Master/Mate of LT 200 Ton NC?

Doubtful. The 200 grt charting is a little more complex than the 100 grt master. Pretty sure there are some tides and current questions, for example so most likely there is no way around taking a 200 grt test at the REC or an approved upgrade course at a school. Usually the 200 grt upgrade is the first week of a 500/1600 prep course but you can test at the school.

There are schools that offer a short course with an everybody passes exam and completion certificate that replaces taking the real USCG exam at the REC for the licenses under 500 tons, and for certain modules up to 1600 tons.

There ought to be a full meaningful comprehensive USCG exam for moving up to a higher license.

The thing that is laughable is that unlimited license mariners only test twice for four licenses in their entire career, but limited license holders may take similar exams many times for a wide variety of trade and tonnage restricted licenses.

No - it has to be the exact module number specified (Q156 in this case).

You can print an example Q156 module from the NMC site. Have a look. I think any course for this single 50 question module would be a big waste of money. You only need a 70% to pass, and the questions are generally very easy. I had this module when I upgraded to Oceans. I studied for celestial, but went in cold for this module and did fine.

The best tip I could give one is look over the CFR tables of contents and be prepared to look up answers in the exam room. There were at least 6-7 of these questions on the exam. Also, know the diagram of a liferaft inside and out. Also will probably be a sailings question, gyro error by Polaris azimuth, and sun’s amplitude.

Exams are required any time you go from Less Than 100 GRT to Less than 200 GRT.


Copy that.

Thanks for the replies.

My question is why do you want this license? Whenever I see guys that have this I think “wannabe” As far as I know getting this tonnage will not get you any work. There are no 199 GRT vessels running around anymore and this will not get you steering a tug with a TOAR despite some common belief.

That’s a good point. There are not many jobs that require 200 ton. 500 Tons is where a bigger license really starts to become more valuable.

However, get all you can. If you are competing for jobs on yachts (which do not require any license) or jobs on 99 ton passenger boats, you might be a bit more competitive with a 200 ton license.

There are some tug companies that hire/employ 200 t masters and mates. Granted, the path to getting a MOT with a 200 t is harder than with a bigger ticket.
The 200 t had the 500 gt conversion for stcw, or at least it used to. That was beneficial for guys wanting to run crewboats overseas but I don’t think there are a lot of opportunities in that niche anymore.

There really isn’t a path from Master 200 unless you have a fair amount of time serving as Master with the license. If you have 3 years as Master, you can get Mate of towing vessels by getting at least 30 days on a towing vessel, completing the TOAR, and taking an exam. Then 12 months as Mate TV to Master. If you don’t already have a license as Master, the path from working on deck is faster. And, as already noted, the quickest path is from a 500 GRT license.

As far as STCW, There are now training and assessment requirements for Less Than 500 GT, see NVIC 3-18. They are less than what is required for 500 GT or more, but are considerably more than what was required in the past.

1 Like

There is a whole thread on this that I started. Some tug companies are hiring these individuals with mistaken belief that with 200 tons and a TOAR you can steer a tug. The rule reads “license greater than 200 tons” [500 tons and a TOAR] emphasis mine.

The last tug I worked on was 199 GRT which, prior to the present licensing scheme you would have needed a license like this to steer it. I have a hard time explaining the whole MOTV to the guys that show up to work.

Give it time. It’s only been 18 years.


People, even mariners refer to it a “towing endorsement” . I cringe and think about SeaTow whenever I hear it.

Would there still be exam requirements going from Less Than 200 GRT Inland/GL to Less than 200 GRT Near Coastal?