Sea time / Company letters


I was wondering if you guys wait until you need to renew or upgrade before you ask your company, for letters or do you ask for them at regular intervals…90-180- 360 days…thanks


I’ve generally waited until I needed the letter for the USCG, or if I was going to quit or had quit.


I’ve only used letters of time for 2 exams. The others, I used discharges. One letter took 60 days, the other 90. But that was years ago. I asked for a random drug test letter for renewal last month and received seatime and random drug test letters in 3 days.

Over the past 25 years, I have requested seatime letters from the company and contribution reports from the union every 3 years for pension tracking.


I myself ask for one on the anniversary of my employment. Throwback from my NAVY days.

Ain’t nobody responsible for my paperwork but me


I usually wait until I need it. But once that bit me in the arse when the company that I had been sailing for for over 3 years when bankrupt on me during the holidays. The bank took over the ships and wouldn’t even let me on to copy the deck log. I’ll never get credit for that sea time, so I really like Jolly Tar’s suggestion of an annual letter to minimize your risk.


I recommend you keep your own log of your sea time, too. I like to give the HR Mgr or Port Captain a rough draft of the sea time letter, complete with dates, routes, tonnages, etc. I’ve found that I get my letter a whole lot faster and a whole lot more accurate that way.


I have only requested a sea time letter and random drug test letter when I am doing an app with the USCG. I do however, keep a “log” of the date, vessel, company & location in an excel spreadsheet. Along with expenses and mileage (for tax purposes).