Sea Time Before MMD Book?

I work on a Dredge for Weeks marine. I have a guy asking me how to get his AB so he can make more money. Everything was going fine till he told me he does not even have his book yet. I told him I was not sure if you can get a MMD book as a OS then use all the time you have in the last 4 years. I think you can but I am not sure.

JD can you help the guy out i am going to show him this post.


You can have legitimate seatime as a ‘deckhand’ to get your ab. You don’t need to actually have an MMD with your entry level ratings.

My first license over 20 years ago was a 100 ton master. My seatime for that license was as a deckhand on a charter boat. Didn’t get my z-card and my first ab till a couple years later.

Ctony is correct. I followed the same path and obtained a master before an AB. Your guy will need to document his time through a letter from the company. For service on vessels under 200 GTs, he can self certify service on form CG-719S available online for download.

No, no, no. He can use form CG-719S but will still need the owner’s or master’s signature. He can’t self certify unless he is the owner.

Thanks for the correction. I think of the term self certify when I look back on the process I followed 40 years ago. I’d been teaching sailing on a fleet of over 100 boats administered by a single company in several location in So Cal but owned by different individuals under management contracts.
I was also running charter trips on the same boats, owned outright a few boats of my own and making free lance deliveries and charter trips independently. It was a hodge podge and I remember that it took a while to amass it all and ended up submitting a stack of filled out 719s no doubt some signed by the charter company, some by individual owners and some self certified.
The REC guys probably shook their heads when looking at my pile of paperwork. I was a bit nervous submitting the application in my first contact with the CG since I’d been essentially running charters without a license but they accepted it without reprimand and issued me a license. A 50 ton IIRC.

You can use time as a deckhand, if it was on a vessel where you could be a deckhand without an MMD. It’s pretty routine for towing vessels inland and on the rivers where deckhands do not need an MMC. I normally provide a cite to the regulation or statute to support my responses, but I can’t on this one, there generally are not regulations to tell you what you do not have to do.

As far as the 719-S form, he’d be better with a company letter. While the 719-S form might be acceptable, it might invite some questions and delays if it’s for a commercial vessel.

So long as documents aren’t required for his current position, there shouldn’t be any issue using the time towards his future documents.

I worked on dinner boats under 100tons where no documents were required for deckhands and “mates” and went from completely unlicensed in any way to 100ton Master. The company also didn’t do sea service letters, so I had to pour through log books to put together the 719s and get the owner to sign off on it. My application went through without a hiccup, but my buddy got put through the wringer when his application got to the CG. Our packets were identical and I even looked his over for him. He later got the license, but it took several months and a phone call from our director of marine ops. The form works, but it’s much easier and more believable if it comes on company letterhead.