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Good evening gentlemen…or whatever salutation applies<img alt="" src=“” />,
I’m trying to figure out which additions to make to my 100 Ton Master/ Near Coastal/Unlimited Radar Observer license in order to become more “hireable” in the oil patch.
Do I upgrade to 200 Ton Master. Or do I get an AB Limited. Or do I need to get BST first?
I previously held an 800 Gross Ton “Master of Uninspected Fishing Vessels” so I can document the sea service time to apply for any of the above. And I have a GMDSS Radio Operator license.
Thanks for any input.

When asked this question I always simply say: apply for the biggest license, route, and document you currently qualify for. It simply makes sense, and takes care of the question. With regard to STCW and BST, you’re going to need it anyhow so you might as well get started.

Capt. nemo,
It just depends on what you want. In the oil patch thier is a need for 100 ton master. They run crewboats. If you are looking to upgrade then I would say get your AB because you will have to work on deck for a short time to get your assessments done to be able to test for your 500/1600 lic. Do you have a z-card or TWIC card?? If not you may want to get them.

Once again, thanks for the replies.
Capt. A, I agree about BST and STCW. It is my intention to get full STCW by the end of summer 2009. I also see what you’re saying about getting the “biggest” license I can get. My problem is documentation. I applied to the Houston REC for pre-approval to sit for the 500 Ton Master/Near Coastal, based on my previous license (800 Ton Master of Fishing Vessels, for which I had to show 720 day of service). I knew I’d have to have STCW to sit for the license.
The REC wrote back and said I’d have to show 360 days of service while holding the Fishboat Master. That’s going to be difficult, as the company I was employed by has been out of business for some time. I have about 430 days of service while holding but I don’t know where the records are, or if they even exist any more! I’ve asked the NMC if a notarized letter from the Captain I served with and letters from other mariners who have knowledge of my employment as master will serve. I’m still waiting for a reply.
I think I can sit for the 200 Ton license without further documentation, which is why I was wondering whether to get it or go the AB/STCW route.
Chaos, I don’t have a “Z Card” but I do have a TWIC. Thanks for the come back.
If anybody has been in this situation (previous employer out of business, unable to obtain a sea service letter from them) I’d be interested to know what you did to document your time.
Thanks again guys. As usual, y’all are most helpful.

Ahh, the old “fish boat company out of bidness” thingy. What a pain, sorry you have to deal with that. I hope that NMC will allow a letter from the Master of the vessel, I know that at one time that would work, I’ve got a letter or two like that in my file. Keep plugging away, and like Chaos says you might be able to market that 100 ton license and get a crewboat job. Those days will count toward your 500 ton Master.

Yeah, the old “fish boat company out of bidness” story. Standard Products of Kilmarnock, Virginia. They were barely IN business when they were in business. They got bought out by Omega Protein in the early ‘90’s, but nobody at Omega knows anything about the records. The boat I was mate on is still floating and documented but the old converted minesweeper I was captain on is at the bottom in 100 feet of water off of Cape Charles.
I read 46 CFR…as best I could; it’s not really written in english…and it seems to say that a letter from a licensed mariner will do. We’ll see.
From reading some of the posts here, a 100 Ton license isn’t very marketable by itself. Of course, a 200 Ton license probably isn’t much better. I’d like to have a 1600 Ton, but it’s a little too rich for my blood right now, if you smell what I’m steppin’ in?
Thanks again,

Smell I do. I got my 1600 Oceans back in the day when it was free. All it cost me was a couple of weeks at a license prep mill. I grandfathered into STCW, all that fun stuff. It is a completely different world today. I applaud the drive and tenacity that is documented here by many prospective mariners who have taken on the challenge.

I have to disagree with you capt nemo the 100t is very marketable. My younger brother has his 100t and he had no problem finding work. You just have to find a company that has crewboats as there primary vessel type. A company like Chouest only has a hand full of crew boats and AB’s within the company usually upgrade to 100t an fill those spots. I have had 3 AB’s do that.
Once I landed a 100t job I would not sit on it, I would upgrade ASAP. UPGRADE, UPGRADE, UPGRADE, UPGRADE, UPGRADE!!!
Good luck

Cap’n Nemo,
Every upgrade make sure they include it.
I once got a site based on my C/E Uninspected Fishing Industry Vessel, Any Horsepower endorsement, only about 800 of ‘em issued.
You never know what may bob to the surface so keep all your endorsements as you go.
It’s also braggin’ rights.

Bragging rights is right. I’ve got AB Sail and would never let that go. How many of those are still out there?

Thanks for the advice. I intend to keep everything I’ve got and add everything I can. I’m waiting for a response from the NMC about a testimonial letter for my sea time. The people in West Virginia have been very good to work with and vey prompt in responding to my inquires. It’s been a pleasant suprise.
I supplied them with the vessel name, number, port of registry, tonnage and the captains name. Hopefully they’ll accept a letter from him. If not it’s “plan B”…whenever I figure out what that is!
AB Sail? If fuel goes up again there may be a market!

I’m really glad to hear the positive comments about NMC. I’ve had my gripes with them but I get the sense they really want to make this centrailzation work on our behalf.

I’ve got my AB sail and I will keep it always. As a matter of fact I’ve had several job offers because of it, I just wish they paid more than $35/day.

What was an AB Sail for?

To work as an AB on a sailboat<img alt="" src=“” />

If you have Aux Sail on your Master’s license, they should give you AB Sail if you ask for it.

It actually specifies a “sail training vessel”, which are about the only US flagged commercial sailboats these days. ie “tall ships” or “school ships”.

Yep, Mr. Cavo et al seem to be making it work. Dealings have been very prompt and very professional. I’ve had good luck with the Houston REC as well…unlike a couple of other REC’s I’ve dealt with in the past.
Hopefully it will continue to improve.

Deck experienced gained on sailing vessels.
I have AB Fishing and have no desire to upgrade it to AB unlimited. Can’t get recency anyway so it’s just braggin’ rights.