Fellow Commanders,
I spent the month of March taking a course which will lead to my 50 Ton Master license. I just passed the final exam on Saturday. I still have to do a bunch of bureaucratic paperwork and take a First aid / CPR class, but by the end of this season I should have my Master license in hand.

This training was run by Boatwise Marine Training. They seem to be pretty much New England focused, but the instructor was great, helpful, entertaining, and a pleasure to spend time with. I went to class four Tuesday and Thursday evenings, four Saturdays, and three Sundays. They have other options too, like 8 days straight (I couldn't do that).

The course was very informative on boat handling, and advanced navigation skills. A lot of it is coastal-focused, like plotting a course taking into account tides and currents. Stuff you don't have to worry about too much on the Great Lakes. But it's still fun to learn. The last week was all about Coast Guard regulations for inspected passenger vessels. I don't know if I'll ever captain one of those, but I could if someone would hire me. Given a little more experience, anyway :)

Now back to getting my boat in shape. We just had another big snowstorm here in NH, but hopefully in a week or two I'll be able to work on the Commander.

Jim in NH

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 Congrats on completing the course. Now you can go after the 100 Ton license.

100 Ton may come eventually. You have to spend time on some big boats to get that. A guy I met in class has a 53 Hatteras Motor Yacht and that's only rated 41 Ton. My plan is to spend one day with him on his boat, and due to a current grandfathering in the rules, that will qualify me for the 50 Ton. Using just the time on my own boat would only get me a 25 ton license.

 Beyond my reach. I was happy passing the Power Squadron Piloting Course-started the Advanced Piloting, but had to drop out due to medical issue. Go for that 50 Ton license - that's a great accomplishment all by itself. That should be fun on that 53 Hatteras.


I wasn't sure the Power Squadron still ran those courses. I did that back when I was in high school, Dad wouldn't let us boys take the boat out alone until we passed that course. Dad and I did it together, I finished, he didn't due to a business trip. And they still use the same training chart, Martha's Vineyard to Block Island.
How do you have to prove your experince?
Mike, it's essentially an honor system. If you claim time on your own boat, you just have to prove ownership. If you claim time on someone else's boat, you have to have a signed statement indicating such.
Cool..My Grandfather had his captains license. Needed it to occasionally charter his Constellation. He was able to use his time in the Marines during WW2 as time on a ship. Lol

Congrats Jim!

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