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Thread: Mariners Licensing Factors

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    Default Mariners Licensing Factors

    What is the logic behind licensing?

    What is the difference between running a local water taxi and commanding a supertanker? Should mastering specialized work like anchor handling or towing count to upgrade?

    What about foreign vs domestic? Ocean and coastwise? Rivers and lakes?
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    I've got a license to drive a car
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    I've got a license to cat herd in a rock garden
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    Default Re: Mariners Licensing Factors

    Quote Originally Posted by Kennebec Captain View Post
    What is the logic behind licensing?

    What is the difference between running a local water taxi and commanding a supertanker? Should mastering specialized work like anchor handling or towing count to upgrade?

    What about foreign vs domestic? Ocean and coastwise? Rivers and lakes?
    You can drive mom in the kids around town when ever, pick up a heavy load fire wood from uncle Rays and bring it home on the weekend,
    that doesn't make you qualified and proficient to jump into a 18 wheeler and haul a load of 1203 from the refinery to the local gas station 700
    miles down the road.
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    Default Re: Mariners Licensing Factors

    The road vehicle analogy doesn't get you too far. There are learner's permits, motorcycle, and commercial DL. The variation in vessels is vast but the number of categories of license is not that great. The main division are tonnage and route. TOAR recognized specialized skills as does PIC for tankers and special for license for passengers.
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    Default Re: Mariners Licensing Factors

    Quote Originally Posted by Kennebec Captain View Post
    The road vehicle analogy doesn't get you too far. There are learner's permits, motorcycle, and commercial DL. The variation in vessels is vast but the number of categories of license is not that great. The main division are tonnage and route. TOAR recognized specialized skills as does PIC for tankers and special for license for passengers.
    The companies doing the hiring know what kind of experience they need based on the kind of vessel they operate and in some cases the client hiring the vessel demands the mariners have X number of years on that type vessel.
    Please God don't let the USCG come up with any more industry specific licenses. They can barely keep the ones they have straight in their heads.
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    Default Re: Mariners Licensing Factors

    I say get rid of inland to simplify things. Near coastal would cover everything. Maybe a generic "DOMESTIC" ticket would do. You want to go international on the lakes? You need a internationally recognized ticket.

    Eliminate the "towing" vessel system as well. You want to run a tug, you need a tonnage license along with a towing endorsement. A TOAR and a few months of actual time both on deck and in the wheelhouse to get the mate's license. You'd have to sail on a tug as mate before being licensed as master. Trust me, it happens. I know this somewhat already exists, but you would eliminate the fast track to master of towing without actual mate time.

    Same for OSV, you'd incorporate a DP cert into the license. A few months trainee time would give you that tonnage license endorsed to be a mate on that particular vessel. After time as mate, you could get the restriction lifted.

    Just an example of two, but providing a few months of experience training and then more time as mate would create a better system. This system while adding licenses would eliminate the old ones in the process. I'd say on a 2-1 ratio of removed to added.

    There ought to be a way to upgrade tonnage easier though. If you hold a 1600 ton master's license and sail for a few years on it there is no reason i can think of why you shouldn't be able to become a 3rd mate without unlimited time. You would not be suddenly a ship master, just a 3rd. Having say 2,000 days of seatime with over 1,000 or more as an officer should qualify you more than a kid who went to school for 4 years with a couple hundred sea days and no wheelhouse time. (And yes i did go to an academy!)
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    Default Re: Mariners Licensing Factors

    Quote Originally Posted by tengineer View Post
    The companies doing the hiring know what kind of experience they need based on the kind of vessel they operate and in some cases the client hiring the vessel demands the mariners have X number of years on that type vessel.
    Please God don't let the USCG come up with any more industry specific licenses. They can barely keep the ones they have straight in their heads.
    100% agree with this. No need to specialize the license and make it more difficult for us.
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    Default Re: Mariners Licensing Factors

    Quote Originally Posted by tengineer View Post
    The companies doing the hiring know what kind of experience they need based on the kind of vessel they operate and in some cases the client hiring the vessel demands the mariners have X number of years on that type vessel.
    Please God don't let the USCG come up with any more industry specific licenses. They can barely keep the ones they have straight in their heads.
    Companies do limit who they hire. The license is what would be considered to be the minimum requirements acceptable to the public or other governments. I think some industry specific licensees are to allow lesser requirements.
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    Default Re: Mariners Licensing Factors

    For inland rivers there is probably no need to change anything. For the Great Lakes, coastwise, and oceans the first thing that needs to be done is to re-admeasure all US vessels over a two year period and assign I.T.C. tonnage only. Then eliminate the existing domestic licensing system and use the STCW licensing system only, like the rest of the world does. No more trade restricted licenses, No more OSV licenses. No more towing endorsements. No more sail endorsements. No more unlimited licenses with tonnage restrictions. As far as I know, the rest of the world does not have any of those restrictions or endorsements, and they seem to be doing just fine without them.

    I believe that would simplify the system to three levels of licenses: 500, 3000, and unlimited. There needs to be a logical and practical upgrade path from one level to the next without any unreasonable roadblocks and Catch 22s. Probably, Master 3000 should automatically include 3rd mate unlimited.

    Limited tonnage mariners need to get tonnage credit for the I.T.C. tonnage that more accurately reflects the actual size and complexity of the vessels. Tug and barge guys need to get at least some credit for the combined tonnage of the tug and barge(s).

    The USCG should leave DP certification, towing, sailing, high speed craft, and whatever else, for their respective industries to self-regulate.

    Doing away with the multiplicity of trade restricted licenses and encouraging upgrades to unlimited licenses would do more to promote professionalism than anything else that the USCG is doing now.
    Last edited by tugsailor; February 17th, 2013 at 08:56 AM.
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    Default Re: Mariners Licensing Factors

    Quote Originally Posted by tugsailor View Post

    I believe that would simplify the system to three levels of licenses: 500, 3000, and unlimited. There needs to be a logical and practical upgrade path from one level to the next.

    Limited tonnage mariners need to get tonnage credit for the I.T.C. tonnage that more accurately reflects the actual size and complexity of the vessels. Tug and barge guys need to get at least some credit for the combined tonnage of the tug and barge(s).
    My 2/c here is that the tug/barge guys on the wire should get time counted, maybe around 50% and the ATB a higher but not 100%. Maybe 90%.
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    Absolutely right on going to an ITC system only. Not going to happen especially on the regulatory end but as far as licensing its absolutely necessary. We would get safer vessels in my opinion and more realistic licensing.

    I am in no way saying u/l guys and limited guys can do each-others job, but why can't a guy with tug/barge steering time over 1,600 tons easily get 3/m without any restrictions? When you look at it you're entirely super reding the 3/m seatime and experience requirements. Once again this would be as a junior officer, not c/m or master unlimited.

    If license restrictions/endorsements were done away with the industry would ultimately make the right decision more often than not. The exception is our litigation society that wants to have someone else to blame.
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