UFIV to Chief OSV or Chief Limited

What do you think regarding his current approval to test letter? Could he send a request to tack on assistant engineer limited since its the same test?

There’s is no requirement to have STCW to hold a domestic license but there IS a requirement to have STCW to use that domestic license on vessels that require STCW. You don’t have any STCW endorsement as an engineering officer. To sail as assistant you need Officer In Charge of an Engineering Watch (OICEW) and to sail as chief you’ll need Chief Engineer.

You also need Able Seafarer - Engine to sail as Oiler.

Fill out an application and send it to an REC.

That’s only good for a year so hurry up and test. Use that to find a job on a tug under 500 GRT that’s over 4,000 HP.


The Chief Limited can do and job requiring a DDE Unlimited and also do jobs that a DDE isn’t allowed to do. Which do you think could earn more?

Alright so Chief Limited would be the way! So basically if I get DDE unlimited I would still be limited by the HP because I haven’t worked on any boats over 4000hp. Is that correct? I’m sorry, I know I’m asking a lot of questions. I just want to be 100 percent sure when I make the decision. Thank yall very very much.

No, DDE Unlimited is unlimited HP. You’re restricted to vessels under 500 GRT though.

General rule of thumb is go the biggest you can. Chief Limited is a 1600 grt license on oceans, but most likely you would get a 5000hp limitation by what you’ve told us of your sea time.

Even though a DDE is a 500 grt license, its also an oceans license…getting unlimited means the HP is unlimited regardless of your seatime. With the DDE out the gate you can get big HP towards a future upgrade.

You also need chief and oicew on your stcw. Your options will be limited without them. Getting the national license is the first step though.

I was just thinking since you say you already have an approval letter for dde unlimited, that would be quicker than reapplying and shooting for chief limited and plus you could possibly add assistant limited to your open application since its the same test. Lots of options for you to think about.

If you haven’t already, look at the checklists. Chief limited seatime requirement changed a few years ago from 1440 days to 1800. If you don’t have the time right now, that may make the decision about the DDE unlimited/assistant engineer limited easier.

Isn’t there a crossover from DDE to Third Assistant?

Isn’t there a cross over from Chief Limited to 1st or 2nd AE?

DDE is limited to 500 GRT

DDE is limited to 1600 GRT

As I recall Chief FVs requires 1440 days. Plus, he has time sailing on that license.

He should be able to get at least 3 AE right now, with a horsepower restriction.

Not that i know of, but its the same amount of seatime…1080 days.

Once you have chief limited, after a year of seatime using it you can test for 1st assistant. I wanna say a 2nd assistant can take a shorter exam to cross over to chief limited. Not sure on that.

All DDEs are 500 grt licenses

Most likely, but that would involve another application and at least five exams. Just sayin’

He may very well have the time for chief limited then. The OP needs to tally his time and weigh the options. First hand experience, the engineer licenses for a hawsepiper are a bit more convoluted. I know.


I think your fastest way up for licensing is to apply for:

  1. Asst Eng FV’s with a higher ho restriction;

  2. Chief Limited;

  3. 3rd Asst;

  4. Chief OSV; and

  5. Asst OSV

Go take your test for DDE Unlimited.

In terms of where to sail, have you considered:

  1. QMED with SUP (Sailors Union of the Pacific);

  2. Factory trawlers and fish processors;

  3. Tugs;

  4. QMED on large OSVs,


You might want to prioritize taking the required STCW courses for engineers, so that you can sail as an engineer on vessels subject to STCW.

Personally, I like MPT, but I’m not sure which schools are best for engineers, or if you live near other schools.

Thank y’all very much for all the available knowledge. Y’all have helped me and I will be printing this off to help my Engineer co workers/friends! (If that’s ok with y’all?). I will touch base on how everything goes. I believe I’m going to go test for the DDE Unlimited since I have the approval letter and then work on the Chief limited. I’ll ask if I can do both as soon as possible. Thank y’all again for everything. It means a lot and I will send the knowledge down the line! Y’all be safe out there.

They take the full exam. Note the absence of notes on that on page 44 of the NMC Examination Guide. Since 2014 engine exams are different for the operational level (includes 2nd AE) and the management level (includes chief engineer-limited).