First off, this forum is of course a delight and a wealth of knowledge. Thanks so much to all the frequent posters I see over and over again in my search results. Having never before posted a thank you or a question I want to put that out there before getting into my first post. Thanks again.
So, I’ve been working on deck in SF bay for the last few years. I have around 400 documented sea days from that time. My work has been mostly passenger vessels, but I’ve spend some time on crew launches, and conventional/tractor tugs, also did a month of set-netting up in AK a few years ago. All inland work, aside from the occasional foray past the demarcation line (like, maybe 5 times). Pretty much all under 100 tons, except for those few tug jobs (like say, 10 days).
During this last wintertime slow down I started taking classes and filling out the paperwork to try for a license and an AB rating. The CG should be sending me a 100 ton inland license any day now. According to their online status checker, its in the final review stage.
Just today I went in to the Oakland REC to turn in my paperwork for an AB Special. Among other things, I turned in completion certificates for Lifeboatman/PSC and BST.
I have a few questions. I feel like I should have had these answered months ago, but for some reason I am stumbling upon them now.
I have (just now) seen reference to a 65 ft vessel requirement for sea time towards an AB special. Around half on my sea time (180 days) is on vessels over 65’ and the other half is on a 56’ vessel (200 days). Does this mean I don’t qualify for an AB Special? Shoot.
Regarding the above question, some of the references to the 65 ft requirement contain an asterix indicating that this requirement may be interpreted differently at different RECs. Now that things have been standardized in WV, does anyone know the current official/working interpretation?
Looking at the requirements, I won’t have the appropriate type of sea time to qualify for RFPNW. Is it possible to turn my BST and PSC completion certificates into a STCW without the RFPNW?
I’m worried about converting them to an STCW, because I was told that as course certificates they are only good for 1 year from the date of issuance. Is this true? (I’m pretty sure it is). Any way to work around this?
Although I don’t have the appropriate sea time for RFPNW, I have found a qualifying ship/master that is willing to go through the 21 assessments with me. Is there any benefit to doing this now, w/o a clear vision of how I will acquire the sea time required for RFPNW(180 days - 90 over 200 tons, 90 over 100 tons)?
I’m doing my best to ask clear questions and give y’all enough background to know how to answer them. I hope I’ve done a good job and I appreciate whoever answers taking the time to read through all this.