NauticEd announces some pretty exciting news today regarding gaining your USCG Captain’s Licence. We have made a partnership alliance with Mariners Learning System to allow NauticEd Students gain a United States Coast Guard Commercial Captain’s License.
Why would you want a USCG Captains License?
Simply stated: If you are ever planning on receiving remuneration for operating your vessel in the United States waters, you must obtain a Commercial Captains License.
The Captain’s License is often referred to OUPV (Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels) or 6-pac license meaning you’re authorized to carry up to 6 passengers.
The USCG Captain’s License does not necessarily contain any specific sailing education but is very much related to boating and boating safety. There is a sailing endorsement that can optionally be attached to the captain’s license but the information and test is very basic.
How does the USCG Captain’s License compare to the NauticEd Captain’s Rank?
The two are designed for completely different purposes. The USCG Captain’s License allows you to gain valuable boating safety information and legally authorize you to captain a boat in commercial situations.
The NauticEd Captain Rank is NOT a commercial boating license – rather it is a recognition that you have studied and passed extensive courses relating to operation and safety of a sailboat and that you have practical boating experience to back it up as indicated by the levels awarded, Level I, II or III.
What are the requirements of each?
USCG Captain’s License:
- 360 days of any type of boating experience logged (4 hours counts as a day)
- US Citizen
- Security Background Check
- Approx 40 hours of study plus 4 hours of exams
- Total costs involved about $1500 including security checks study materials etc
- Acceptance: United States Government plus Bareboat Charter Companies world wide
- Can legally make money with your boating services
NauticEd Captain’s Rank
- minimum of:
- 50 days of Sailing Experience (4 hours counts as a day) for level I
- 100 days for Level II
- 200 days for Level III
- 50% of which must be skipper of the vessel
- 50% of which must be on a sailboat greater than 28 ft
- Approx 55 hours of study incl 10 hours tests
- Total costs – about $300
- Acceptance: Bareboat Charter Companies world wide
- Can not offer your skippering services for remuneration
Can the License and Rank work in Unison?
Yes absolutely. If you’re intending on offering skippering services on a sailboat we’d recommend doing both the USCG Captain’s License for boating safety and legal reasons plus the NauticEd Captain’s Rank for extensive sailing and boating operations.
If you’re just going to be operating a power boat we recommend Mariners Learning System for attaining your USCG Captain’s License.
More about Mariners Learning System
Mariners Learning System™ Suite of Coast Guard approved Online Captain’s Licensing courses offer an alternative to the regular testing process held at the USCG Regional Exam Centers. Over the years Mariners Learning System™ has trained thousands of students to get their Captain’s License. Our clients currently enjoy a 98.7% pass rate with our Coast Guard Approved Licensing programs.
We enjoy this high level of success because our curriculum is based on teaching understanding not memorization.
Mariners Learning System™ is an extraordinary learning tool that incorporates broadcast quality, on-demand audio lectures, professionally produced training videos, and integrated online computer based training. Included with each Mariners Learning System™ approved course is 24/7 access to our online instructors. Every instructor is a USCG Licensed Master that has gone through a rigorous approval process meeting the standards of the United States Coast Guard to become a certified instructor. They bring a level of knowledge, experience, and professionalism that adds to the total learning process. In the rare event that an online instructor cannot answer your question, toll free telephone support with one of our Staff Instructors will be provided.
Upon successful completion of your course simply submit, within one year, your application package to a Coast Guard Regional Exam Center. Upon their review and approval of your package, they will issue you an original Captain’s License.
ANYTIME, ANYWHERE LEARNING!
Mariners Learning System™ Coast Guard approved Online Captain’s Licensing courses offer an alternative to the regular testing process held at the USCG Regional Exam Centers. These courses are structured for those pursuing a professional career in commercial boating operations (including carrying passengers for hire) and for recreational boaters wishing to increase their knowledge and skills.
Here is a question posted by Nancy KnudsenEditor Sail-World Cruising. Sail-world is one of the largest and respected online sailing news companies (http://www.sailing-world.com) to NauticEd this week. Followed by our answer.
On 1/16/10 6:47 PM, “Nancy Knudsen Cruising Editor Sail-World” <email@example.com> wrote:
I have a question about the sailing certification video you have sent me. The practical experience that is mentioned in the video. For a sailor not within practical distance of your facilities, how does this happen. Do you take the word of the sailor that they have completed this? – or what happens.
As my readership is international, this is a very important point for me. (I understand that if it is an honour system then the ‘verification’ process at the end would make up for this)
TetraMedia established in 2000, operates the largest online marine news network in the world. It now has regional sites around the world, with Sail-World UK-Europe, Sail-World Asia, Sail-World NZ, Sail-World USA, Sail-World Australia, Sail-World Cruising International, Sail-World Cruising USA, Sail-World Cruising Canada, Sail-World Australian Cruising, Powerboat-World and Marine Business News.
Each week, more than 165,000 newsletters are sent to subscribers, by its seven editors. More than a million individual boaters have visited Sail-World and Powerboat-World in 2009.
This is NauticEd’s response
Yes - as with all charter company resumes – it is the honor system. It is completely impossible to verify time. Additionally the United States Coast Guard accepts the honor system for the USCG Commercial Captains license as do most other country licenses.
What I’ve been able to do is to also back this up with a Proficiency Verification by a NauticEd affiliated sailing school. Right now we are encouraging schools to be affiliated with us because there are a ton of “students” (we are all students) out there who don’t see the value in taking a basic course if they are already past that point. Thus the entire sailing school network is missing out on touching many students. With the verification check out, schools now can actually add this to their income stream thus it’s a big incentive for them to align. Students benefit by solidifying their resume to charter companies and by picking up a few professional tips along the way.
The technology is simple but clever. When an instructor is finished verifying a student’s proficiency, he or she simple logs into the site and clicks the verification button against the student. Before the student can get home, their certificate is updated with the Verification stamp.
We’re making it pretty simple for a school to sign up with us. They must be an established school with a website and have commercially legal instructors and follow our standard when performing a verification. A new system that we will implement shortly is a way for students to publicly rate the experience with the school on-line on our site. This ensures the school is providing an excellent learning experience for the students else they may get a bad rating. This I think is essential for the growth of the industry – no one in the sailing industry wants a single student to have a bad/boring/unprofessional initiation experience to sailing.
So to answer you question specifically – we plan on expanding our verification-training schools. However even with out a verification the honor system for building a resume is fine. Whats’ exciting to us is our sailing iPhone app which makes it easy for a student to update their resume on the dock in 2 clicks.
If you have any more questions please let me know.
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I recently finished my Coast Guard Captain’s license and then further completed my Master Mariner license with a sailing endorsement. I took the course through the Mariners School (www.marinersschool.com). The experience was good. The requirements to get your USCG Captain’s license are extensive so here’s a quick list.
- About 3 full weekends in class
- Very extensive test out in 3 sections in a 4 hour exam. Multiple choice but there was plotting involved to attain the answers.
The sections were:
- Rules of the road
- Deck General
- You need to have spent 365 days on the water since you were 15 yrs old
- To get an offshore endorsement you must have had 90 days outside a demarcation line from the USA (which is usually less than 5 – 10 miles out)
- Practical time needs to be documented
- any practical time where you are not the owner of the boat needs to be signed off by the boat owner.
- Completed a Red Cross first aid course – about 1 evening.
- Present your social security card and proof of citizenship
- Present 3 letters of character recommendation
- Do a drug test
- An in person trip to the local Coast guard office
- Total all up cost is about $1500 and about 120 hours of time
Beyond all that it’s an interesting process. What it gets you is the ability to charge money to up to 6 people when captaining a boat. With out the USCG Captain’s license it is against the law to charge money.
Once you get through the whole process, even if you were completely competent before, you have definitely learned some things. Many of the people in the class that I took in Austin Texas were solely doing it for safety/knowledge purposes because they were planning extended trips. So the course is not just for people wanting to charge money to captain a sailboat.
I can certainly say that most of the boating knowledge is contained in the Courses and Clinics of NauticEd but I’m also recommending that if you have the time on the water documented then you should go through and get your USCG captains license.
The course is all theory knowledge and theory test out as the Coast Guard assume that if you have 365 days on the water then you probably have some decent experience.
What’s really interesting is that most countries through out the world require this kind of process to just operate a boat. Some states in the USA require a water safety class but still no where near what some of the European countries require. Here in the USA we tend to have a Laissez Faire attitude when it comes to water. ie Let us govern ourselves. It’s an interesting debate and we are staying out of that argument. However, we are certainly promoting boat knowledge and handling education as we believe this will reduce accidents, increase water sports participation and generally increase peace on the planet because every one is having too much fun on the water – right? We’d all like to think that the other guy operating the boat heading towards you is competent and responsible.
There are about 12 states right now that require a water saftey class and i did read a blog somewhere where the USCG is considering federally to require everyone to have a boating knowledge certificate before operating a vessel. That may be a while but I’m still sure that the course will be pretty watered down (pun intended).
However – right now regarding real boating knowledge and certification, in the USA there is the USCG Captians License and nothing below that except various associations offering boating knowledge certificates such as by the American Sailing Association and US Sailing. Power boat certificates are almost non existent. Similarly, the NauticEd Certificate represents that you have passed a boating knowledge course and is not federally recognised because again the only one recognized is the full on USCG Captains license. That’s it!
But with a short plug for NauticEd if you don’t mind, the NauticEd courses have been written by practical training authors who have really experienced what it takes to have the knowledge and be safe on the water. The courses can be adjusted as needed because of its online nature and therefore are about as uptoday as you can get and with contributions via this blog we can monitor the wishes of our students. Thousands of hours have been invested in the courses and major companies like West Marine, Beneteau, Sunsail, Moorings, Profurl, Blue Water Sailing magazine, Latitudes and Attitudes Magazine are linking in and endorsing the NauticEd courses and certificates. Additionally, sailing schools themselves are linking in and using the courses as part of their coriculum.
As stated in previous blogs, NauticEd does not propose it is a replacement for the USCG Captain’s license or any of the current association offered Certificates. What NauticEd is proposing is that the knowledge is at the finger tips of everyone in the world and therefore the information can be accessed simply and easily and therefore more people will be safer because of the simple access to information. And having taken the courses here, a person showing up for practical training will be so far ahead of someone who has not.
So… in summary – if you want to be safe on the water, be confident and be able to deal with the situations that will arise, get as much education as possible. You will never regret it.