Sea Service time

The PDF from the NMC already shared notes “Average hours underway (per day) can be no less than 4 hours for credit to be awarded.”

That’s under the small vessel section…

I have had seatime letters were we spent like a day at a dock on vessels over 100 tons and they did not credit that time… Only the underway days. Wondering if this is an error now.

Did you get a discharge certificate? Or just a sea service letter. The discharges I have were from a research vessel and casino ship that were both more than 100 GRT. They covered the entire time from homeport to homeport, which usually included a handful of days at the dock. Pretty sure the blue water guys do the same thing.

All my USCG, tug, crewboat, T-Boat time is on a letterhead. The crewboat company specifically stated in the letter something to the effect of “sea service should be credited at 1.5 times total days as these vessels are authorized to operate a two watch system per certificate of inspection”.

I’ve seen no mention of Sea Time vs “Credible” Sea Time. Especially since the Coast Guard only counts Credible sea time.

That depends on the vessel and operation. Some companies have been scrutinized by the USCG so write very specific sea time letters.

My experience with most vessels was the same when I received discharges. We get discharges/credit all the time we are operating. We did not get discharges/credit if the ship was laid up for an extended period or in the shipyard. This is my experience with almost all commercial vessels; whether correct or not, that’s how the captain would write things.

I also received special letters for government-owned vessels (MARAD or MSC-owned) that differentiated between Full Operating Status and Reduced Operating Status, in which ROS received reduced credit.

I believe the false info you have to be underway for credit is present in the large ship / offshore/ and Great Lakes industry. The worst personal experience issue I remember was on a Lakes freighter. When the captain was not aboard, we would not get discharged/credited even if we had the generators online and were laying up or fitting out.

One incredibly annoying captain would go home when we had any delays on cargo in his hometown and would not write discharges for the day he was at home because, of course, his physical presence made it a ship. (I should also mention he was paid for that day he played hooky too; the rest of us actually worked, and the ship was not out of operation, but he was simply playing hooky.)

I also had a NOAA vessel that got pretty weird about single days at the dock, but that one might be legitimate as they have some special rules. Anyhow, it did not affect my career path enough to care.

For vessels under 100 tons, they need to have a COI that indicates they can operate with just two watches (such as one captain and one mate). Without a COI, you can’t get the time and a half credit when the vessel is under 100 tons and privately owned or when using a small vessel sea service form. See the bottom of the first page of this document.

If the COI does say you can do two watches, you should indicate that on the letter and that the mariner was actually working a 12-hour day.

That is not completely correct.

There are thousands of commercial fishing vessels up to 5000 GRT without COIs that can and do, write a 12 hours a day seatime letter for every day onboard regardless of hours worked or whether the vessel was underway, at anchor, in port., or hauled out for a couple of weeks.

Years ago commercial fishing boats had no logbooks and few records. Now they have fantastic fishing logs that are routinely reported to NMFS, a federal agency, and therefore become official government records (same as the discharges).

10 years ago, I proved some of my factory trawler seatime from the 1990s with my copy of the fishing logs sent to NMFS. The evaluators wouldn’t accept it, but it was accepted on Request for Reconsideration.

I think very few people, and only the rarest of companies , would paw through old logbooks trying to figure out who did what for how long on everyday aboard. Thats impractical, expensive, and rare.

If anything, seatime from the majority of recreational boats is overly optimistic and very generous.

Seatime letters from 99% of companies is based upon the payroll. If you were on the boat’s payroll, you must have been working.

The only companies that would spend time and money scrutinizing your seatime to write a letter , are the ones who have be caught and prosecuted for persistently writing fraudulent seatime letters. The only company I can think of like that was Tyson Seafoods over 30 years ago.

I vaguely recall that some of the OSV companies had similar problems long ago, and that a couple of USCG officers at REC New Orleans were convicted of help people cheat.

If there is a COI for a vessel, and it mandates three watches, the USCG is not supposed to allow 12 hour days. But one never knows what some evaluator may do.

We are saying the same thing. Note my post was regarding under 100 tons. I did miss saying “under” in the first sentence but said it all over the rest of the post. I just updated that first sentence via a edit to say “For vessels under 100 tons”

For vessels over 100 tons without a COI as I read the regulations you are correct. Its also spelled out in a different portion of that document.