NorthEast Maritime Institute - Cel Nav

Hey folks,

Anyone have experience taking courses through NEMO? Any feedback on the place?

I need to upgrade a 1600 Near Coastal Master to Oceans. It appears the program at NEMO is approved for domestic upgrades, but I can’t find any info on whether or not it meets the criteria to upgrade the international side of the license. I’d like to move the 1600GRT/3000ITC up together and I’ve heard of guys taking courses that satisfied one but not the other. People at NEMO couldn’t immediately provide an answer and the internet on the tug is too slow to access the NMC site of approved courses. Any help is always appreciated.


Any applicant who has successfully completed your Oceans Navigation /

Celestial Navigation (500/1600 Tons) (NOREMI-107) course will satisfy

the professional examination requirements for increasing the scope of the

following endorsements from near coastal to oceans:

⦁ Second or Third Mate of self-propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage from

near coastal to oceans; AND

⦁ Master or Mate of self-propelled vessels of less than 500 or 1600 GRT;


⦁ Master or Mate of self-propelled vessels of less than 200 GRT; AND

⦁ Master or Mate of Uninspected Fishing Industry Vessels from near

coastal to oceans,

⦁ The Celestial Navigation training requirements of 46 CFR 11.309(a)(4)

(viii) for an STCW endorsement as OICNW on vessels of 500 GT; AND

⦁ The celestial navigation assessments 1.1.A; 1.1.B; 1.1.C; 1.1.D; 1.1.E;

and 1.1.F from NVICs 02-18 and 12-14(Ch-2), Officer in Charge of a

Navigational Watch."

Applicants who have successfully completed your course need not

present completed Task Control Sheets for these assessments in

application towards STCW certification.

When did the NMC start letting unlimited guys not have to take the exam at an REC?

So it doesn’t upgrade Master, just OICNW.

Not too long ago, according to the schools that I have been talking to. Some schools have their course approvals written so that the unlimited 2nd or 3rd guys/gals no longer have to take the exam at the REC.

@Flyer69 thanks for the info on the course approval!

The folks on the phone said something about needing a couple weeks to hear back from the USCG for some additional approvals. Maybe they’re waiting on the approval for the coverage of the unlimited stuff? Not really sure, but I want to make damn sure it’s going to cover everything I need. I’d hate to do the course at NEMO and then still have to go to PMI or MPT and blow another few grand and 3 weeks.

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Why wouldn’t you just go to Crawford’s, PMI, MAMA, or MPT in the first place?

You cannot beat Crawford’s. This time of year, MPT has its attractions.

I looked at taking a course at NEMO. It seemed more expensive than average, and I just got a bad vibe from the staff.

I’ve been eyeballing all of the schools and trying to weigh the options. PMI and MPT have good programs and I’ve been to both before. Haven’t tried MAMA or Crawford’s yet.

The big appeal is that NEMOs course is an online course with only 2 days in Boston. The rest of the places are 14-19 days in the classroom, lodging, car, lack of wages, etc. I live in a small town in Alaska so travel is part of the plan no matter what, but I’d like to minimize the expenses/losses where I can.

If you’ve got any experience with NEMO I’d be all ears. I hadn’t heard of them until a week or so ago.

CMTI. Hayes Va. skip NEMO. They are always overpriced, take too long, and aren’t as willing to accommodate our work schedules.

I take it you don’t live in Seward, so Avtec is not a good option. Frankly, Avtec is on the expensive side after lodging.

The problems with Seattle are traffic and expensive lodging. Crawford’s is reasonably priced and high quality.

AirBnB within easy walking distance is your best bet. There is also an inexpensive hostel in Fremont that has cheap private rooms. It’s very close to all the fun places. Its probably about a 1 mile walk to Crawford’s. You could also take the bus or Uber.

In March, MPT sounds good to me.

Celestial is not a topic for distance learning. A lot of practice with immediate feedback from the instructor is the key.


Get in a classroom, the instructor will be able to help you fix any and all of the tiny mistakes or overlooks you will be making in the learning process. I predict that trying to learn this subject online will not be very successful.

If I were going to try to learn online, I’d start with that $49 Starpath app. Someone showed it to me and I think it looks pretty good.

However, time is money. The fastest, cheapest way to get an oceans endorsement in hand is to go to a 3 week in person course.

I think Crawford’s offers an on premise guided self study option in addition to their formal course.

@cappy_208 @tugsailor @Flyer69 Thanks for all of the great input! I looked into Crawford’s and Chesapeake Maritime last night and both seem to have good programs, so I’ll probably end up going with one of them when the schedule allows. This hitch is going to be 90+ days so I think the wife wants me home when it’s over. In the meantime, it’s probably worth the $49 to get the Starpath app and start poking around to get a jump start on things.

GCaptain pays off again!

If I were going on a long hitch and was in your shoes, I’d also get a copy of Dutton’s. I used that text and the sample NMC exams to teach myself the theory. But then you’d also need a copy of the 1981 almanac and Vol. 2 of pub 229. Plus add some plotting sheets and tools.

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I learned from the Starpath book by David Burch. I don’t know about the app but it’s from the same people. It’s the best way to learn to actually navigate with celestial. It’s not the best way to learn to pass the exam. You CAN pass the exam with what you learn, but it’s geared towards actually using it, not exam passing. Just a heads up.

If you have a YouTube downloader, the Practical Navigator series is an excellent resource. He’s a good teacher and they are very good quality videos.

I was given a copy of the Crawford Celestial course manual from an AB who had gone to their class. It was excellent and broke things down in very simple terms and examples. It has you master each little step of the process starting with time and moving on. I was on a 4 month sea project with MSC. At GLMA you don’t take cel nav until after your oceans project and you are one semester away from sitting for license. Using the Crawford manual I was able to teach myself everything. After a month I had everything down well and would shoot morning stars, a morning sun line, and LAN almost every day. The Mates had me doing azimuths and amplitudes every time I came up for watch. I became very proficient working everything out long hand. An old Filipino AB who sailed licensed before becoming a US citizen even showed me all the ins and outs of using pub 249 “selected stars”. Going back to GLMA I knew everything and the cel nav class was boring. I did make a good deal of money and beers tutoring my classmates.

I use to be the instructor for that NMI course for 11+ plus years. it was approved as Flyer69 reported, you can find the course approval letters on NMC website for each course, which clearly will tell you what the course is approved for.

I for one, DO NOT recommend Cel Nav to be taken ONLINE. As so clearly stated by others, have an instructor on hand as you go through the material is key. Basically the course JAMS, 2 semester worth of Academy material and over 16 cel nav problems into 80 hours/2 weeks. It’s just NOT the way to learn Cel Nav. if you have never done it before.

I highly advise getting tutored or take it at a school over a period of time. If you really want the art of Cel Nav and learn it as a profession, it takes time simple as that. If you just want to pass the test, well that’s a different Course to steer for sure.

The Crawford book is very good. Read it twice before you go to whatever course, even if you don’t actually work the problems, you will find the course much easier and you will get more out of it. You will also have a little free time during the course.

The Chesapeake school may be great, but the Norfolk area is not.

I took a good course at Mid-Atlantic. Good school. But it’s more expensive to fly in. Traffic is bad (stay close to the school or spend a lot of time stuck in traffic) even if it costs more. There are many unsafe areas to avoid. I would go to Louisiana before I would go back to Norfolk again.

@MickAK I will definitely be looking into the YouTube videos when I get a strong internet connection again. I appreciate the tip on the Practical Navigator series.