Where to take Blinker Light?


I need to take blinker light to complete my Second Mate upgrade but I am not sure where it is offered other than the CG regional exam centers.I am in Houston for a week and then I am back to central California. Does anyone know a place in the Houston area? Thanks.


I;m not sure if it’s kept up-to-date since their virtual move to Homeport but the Coast Guard has a list of approved training shools here:


Blinker light is the last listing and is labled: <strong>[Visual
Communications (Flashing Light) Courses](http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/marpers/examques/flash.pdf" target="_child)</strong>


I set fom my second class telegraph at the Houston Federal Building in 1980 and GMDSS Maintainer At Houston Marinein 2002. Houston Marine is a certified testing center for code. injunear


I don’t know of any place in Houston, but if you are in a pinch and really want to get it done you can drive to Raceland, LA. Lafourche Merchant Marine Training Service Corp. (985-537-1222). They can give you the test with little notice. I don’t think the REC’s are even dealing with it any more (Administering the exam). I am almost positive you have to test at a school and then submit the Certificate to the Coast Guard. Which is total BS. It is only good for a year and it is a pain in the butt. Most of these schools are not teaching it. They are just giving the test. www.speroni.com is a radio site that let’s you down load a morse code program for free. It is an old DOS program but it taught me morse code and the crossover to light was OK. I have to do the same soon. Pay my $150 and take a test for flashing light for my 2nd Mate. Houston to Raceland is around a 7 hr drive.


$150 for the flashing light test sounds like a rip-off. I called Houston Marine about testing for the maintainer. They first told me I had to take the $450 self study course. They tried to play the gray area about classroom requirements. The mandated hours are for operator only. Finally I paid $45 maintainer and $15 for radar tests. There were guys testing for flashing light at the same time. I assume they took their study course. I’d inquire about testing fees without taking the course.

These new requirements are BS. If you look at the MERPAC roster, it seems it’s the fox guarding the henhouse when it comes to the testing requirements.



"fox guarding the henhouse" …I would agree with that statement.


Thanks for all of the advice. I actually ended up taking flashing light at the Maritime Institute in San Diego. It is a little pricey, $150, but the instructor, Alex, was great. They do 4 words per minute and Part 1 of the test is 5 groups of 3 letters and Part2 is 5 code groups that you then look up in Pub 102.You can do a few practice runs before you take the exam. It is on he computer so if you study from a program on the computer you should do fine. I was told the Coast Guard will be doing 6 words per minute until their equipment breaks and then they will just stop giving the flashing light exam all together. Sounds like the Coast Guard to me.

I studied using the software from http://hawsepipe.net/ and it worked great, almost the same exact software the school used for the test.

Anyway this means not only did I pass flashing light but that I now have my Second Mates license. Not bad considering i haven’t been on a ship for a few years. Now I get to threaten my husband and little boy that if their not good I am going to catch the next ship out of town for a few weeks[img]http://gcaptain.com/maritime/forum/js/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-wink.gif" border=“0” alt=“Wink” title=“Wink” />.