Quickest Way to Get 497 Unlimited Sea Days

Hi Everyone,

I need 497 days of seatime on vessels >1600GRT to be eligible for my 3rd mate unlimited.

A bit of background- I’m an American who has been working on super yachts for the past 4 years. Prior to that, I worked on pearling ships in Australia for a year. I obtained my MCA OICNW3000, but am switching over to the USCG system and am working in the commercial maritime industry. I’m currently on a 180GRT OSV awaiting the issuance of my MMC with AB (including BST, VPDSD, RFPNW).

I’m looking for the quickest way to get those last 497 days of unlimited seatime. I assume it would be working on a large vessel with a two-watch system so I could get 1.5 days per day worked. I’ve also seen that ATBs can provide unlimited seatime but it seems to be a point of contention whether or not the days can be accumulated on a 1-for-1 or 1.5-for-1 basis.

Can anyone point me towards a company or type of vessel that would be ideal for this? Hoping to get the seatime in less than two years. Happy to work over to get those extra days but I’m not looking to work for MSC.

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Look into Crowley 750 class ATBs. Not sure for deck side but for engineers USCG recognized the 12 hour day as 1.5 days towards your sea time and counts for unlimited licenses.


OSV over 3000 GT(which is most OSVs these days) We work 12 hour watches so it equates to 1.5 days of seatime.

Edison chouest
Harvey gulf
Otto candies

I worked ATBs for 6 year and yes they do offer 1.5 days but you still will get a tonnage restriction because only a certain amount can be used for unlimited time, unless you get on one of 3 750 class ATBs with crowley like the above poster mentioned.

With that being said, I was never given a tonnage restriction working on the smaller class ATBs but that’s because the evaluator didn’t pay close attention. That happens a lot.


Thank you very much! I’ll definitely try to get work at one of those companies. If I get hired on, do I have much say in where I end up in terms of the tonnage of the vessel?

Also, if I get my remaining days on OSVs, will it make me a less attractive hire as a new 3rd if I wanted to work on container ships, tankers, etc? All of my unlimited tonnage experience would be from large yachts and OSVs.

I personally work for ECO(Edison Chouest) and they are pretty accommodating in the sense that they will place you on something you want to be on, if you mention that you are working towards an unlimited license and you want to be on something over 3000GT they will put you there as best as they can.

It doesn’t matter as far as experience. Once you have the 3rd mate unlimited and associated endorsements in your MMC you can get on a container ship no problem, they don’t really look for experience as much as they just need to fill a billet with a certain license. Any union will take you in with open arms if you have an unlimited license.

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Great advice, thank you. I’ll try my best to get a job with them.

Is a 180 GRT OSV a real thing? Didn’t know such a thing existed?