I was 34. Anchorman was probably younger.
You’ll need tonnage. I am sure that going the AB route on U/L ships, and when you have time, testing for your 3rds, is probably the quickest route. I went probably the longest route, which I know Anchorman did the same (getting 1600 Master, then going over to 3rd Mate and moving up from there).
About the tonnage, you want to get on some thing that wont get you a tonnage restriction. Worked with a guy who had a 1600 Masters, and a Chief Mate U/L with 1000 ton restriction (might have been 2,000 ton).