Renewal with limited seatime

Anyone know what happens when renewal rolls around and I’m short on seatime? I’m a dinosaur, a hawsepipe 1600 master. As I near the end of issue 7, I think that coming up with a year of seatime in the last 5 could be a challenge. Does anyone know of a solution? I have been a captain my entire life, just because I got laid off shortly after my last renewal doesn’t mean I have forgotten everything I ever knew.

If you don’t have the sea time they will charge you a testing fee and send you an open book test in the mail. I haven’t ever taken the full test, so can’t say how easy it is. But I suspect that you can probably type each question into google and get the answer. Not that I’m recommending that.

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Another option would be to buy yourself one of the study thumb drives for 1600 grt master to assist you with the open book test.
Isn’t it just rules of the road for a deck license renewal if you don’t have enough seatime?

The rules of the road open book test is if you don’t have 1 year service in the last 5, but hold a job as an instructor or related to operation, construction, or repair of ships. The other option available to OP is to take a refresher course approved by USCG. But I would only pursue that option If you had an extreme distaste for open book exams.

It is all spelled out in 46 CFR 10.227

I just renewed my 2nd Mate without the seatime; it was the mail-in ROTR test and a general knowledge test. Both 50 questions with 90% required.

That’s really not that rare…


Maybe it’s time to swallow the anchor? It might take a bit to get used to not being “SeaCapt” but maybe it’s time to be retired_guy.

I had to do the open book renewal exam a while back, They can mail the exams to you. Which they did and then I just answered all the questions and sent it back.

Actually someone at the USCG told me to google each question then review the answer. They said don’t be that guy who actually fails the open book LOL

And now with everyone having to do the BT re-validation, it doesn’t make much of a difference now anyways with taking the refresher course. I took mine @ SeaSchool for about $300 bucks or so.

So there it is. Less than one year sea-time in the last five just means an easy as pie open-book exam for review and taking a couple of days of BT review class. And if you let your MMC expire, remember you still have a 1 year grace period. I got mine renewed just in time too!

If you don’t have one year of sea time in the last five, you need REFRESHER courses not revalidation courses. Revalidation is only for those with the one year in the last five. The refresher courses are longer (and thus more $$$). You may also need more than BT. If you have an STCW officer endorsement, you also need a refresher for Advanced Firefighting, and probably Proficiency in Survival Craft. And if this is the first time you have renewed since 2017, add a course for leadership and Managerial Skills, So you make be looking at 2 weeks, not a “couple of days.”

You might consider only renewing the license (with the two part open book test) or putting it all into continuity if you don’t think you are going to sail in the next few years. Continuity lets you renwe everything at a future date. If you go this route, you need to do it in the same time frame as renewing now, no more than a year after your MMC expires.