Hello to the forum,
This is kind of a “re-hello,” as I signed up late in 2009 as I was beginning to figure out my path in the Mariner’s world (beginning with upgrading my license).
Just then I was sidetracked by a former employer asking me to come back for a very temporary assignment of a month or two (in the boating world, but land-based). I accepted and… it lasted for over a year. Turned out to be a bit more of a sidetrack than I thought, but it was a nice setup, so I was not disappointed.
Now, however, I’m back on track and in the midst of a license upgrade. I took the classes for my AB, plus Lifeboatman and Basic Safety Training. All went well and I sent my application in to the NMC.
In addition to other things, I asked for AB-sail because I thought I qualified.
A few days ago I got a voice-mail message from the NMC. The fellow said that he had approved my application, but that someone higher up had kicked it back, saying I did not qualify for the AB-Sail. The person leaving the message did not sound extremely sure, but said that it was supposed to be for Sail Training Vessels and maybe Research Vessels and my time was not on those, so…
He said that I could write a letter to the NMC asking them to remove the AB-Sail from my application, and then they could get the rest done and sent to me.
Now, I don’t want the AB-Sail if I don’t deserve it, but it sounded a little vague (he also said “…and since your time was on Commercial sailing vessels…,” and my time was not on commercial sailing vessels, so that also makes me want to check into it a bit more.
So, this sent me to the Internet for some searching. In addition to general Googling, I also searched here and at the NMC/CG specifically. I did not find much. The only really concrete thing I found was this in the requirements area for AB-Sail:
“180 days of service on sailing school or equivalent vessels”
Okay, I’m fine on the 180 days, as I have well over 360 days under sail.
I know I did not sail on a sailing school vessel.
But what I don’t know - and can’t find anywhere - is what is an [I]equivalent [/I]vessel? And what is the part that should be equivalent? The part where you are under sail (vs. engine)? The part that it is a school? (The latter does not seem right if it could be a research vessel as the NMC person said.) Equivalent to some size?
Again, I’m not looking to get something I don’t deserve; but on the other hand, I don’t want to “give it away” if I don’t need to. I just want to understand more about what they are looking for, so I can either make a case that I have that, or send in a letter requesting they drop that from my application.
I looked in the CFR but did not see what I am looking for; however I am sure I could have missed it, as there is a lot to that!
Thanks to all for any help, and I hope to be a more active member of the forum now