Renewal without the requisite 360 days of seatime

So my license is up in January 2020; I haven’t really sailed since I renewed it in ‘15.
I’m anticipating sailing again within the next few months but looking at how much time I’m thinking I’ll get I may not get the days.
Anybody do that “take-home” test the USCG mails out in recent years? Any experiences, advice, or words of wisdom?
I have a 2nd Unlimited Oceans, AB Unlimited, etc… the capacity I hope to be sailing in will only really require the AB, but it’d be nice to keep the mate portion.
FWIW I think I’ll be able to get the days by sailing unpaid as an observer on “off” days/the layoff season (it’ll be with WSF if All goes well) but wanna start lining up my ducks.

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You will be looking at refreshing the STCW portion as well as the domestic side of things.

The take home test isn’t tough, except that some of the questions look like they were written by Admiral Zukunft.

Ctrl F is your friend.

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How is shipyard time counted for renewal only, not for upgrades? I’ve seen 3 to 1 and 2 to 1 for upgrading a license, but if its just to keep the license going I feel like I saw something saying in the CFRs that it is day for day…

See 46 CFR 10.232(e).