Columbia Pacific Maritime Classes

This is a list of the USCG approved courses we offer. This courses will satisfy the exam requirements without taking the exams at the Coast Guard.

Captain License Courses

  • Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) course is an eight-day course that will satisfy the exam requirements for an OUPV Inland or Near Coastal.
  • Master 100 ton course is a ten-day course that will satisfy the exam requirements for Master or Mate 25, 50, or 100 ton Inland or Near Coastal.
  • Master or Mate 200 ton course is a fourteen-day course sequence that will satisfy the exam requirements for Master or Mate 200 ton Inland or Near Coastal.
  • Apprentice Mate (Steersman) of Towing Vessel course is a sixteen-day course sequence that will satisfy the exam requirements for Apprentice Mate Inland or Near Coastal.
  • Master or Mate of Uninspected Fishing Industry Vessels course is a sixteen-day  course sequence that will satisfy the exam requirements for Master or Mate of Fishing Industry Vessels Near Coastal with a tonnage limitation of 500 to 5,000 tons.

License Upgrade Courses

  • Upgrade OUPV to Master 100 ton course is a three-day course that will satisfy the exam requirements for the raise in grade of OUPV to Master 25, 50 or 100 tons.
  • Upgrade Master 100 to Master or Mate 200 tons course is a four-day course that will satisfy the exam requirements for a raise in grade of Master or Mate 25, 50, or 100 tons to Master or Mate 200 tons.
  • Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Upgrade course is a two-day course that will satisfy the Apprentice Mate exam requirements if the mariner holds an endorsement as Master 200 tons or has satisfied the 200 ton exam requirements within one year of taking the upgrade course.
  • Master / Mate of Fishing Upgrade course is a two-day course that will satisfy the Master or Mate of Fishing Vessel exam requirements if the mariner holds a 150 ton or greater officer endorsement or has satisfied the 200 ton exam requirements within one year of taking the upgrade course.

Route Upgrade Courses

  • OUPV Inland to Near Coastal course is a two-day course that will satisfy the exam requirements for an increase in scope of OUPV Inland to OUPV Near Coastal.
  • Master 100 ton Inland to Near Coastal course is a three-day course that will satisfy the exam requirements for an increase in scope of Master 100 ton or less Inland to Master 100 ton or less Near Coastal.
  • Master / Mate 200 ton Inland to Near Coastal course is a four-day course that will satisfy the exam requirements for an increase in scope of Master or Mate 200 ton Inland to Master or Mate 200 ton Near Coastal.
  • Celestial Navigation (200 tons) course is a ten-day course that will satisfy the exam requirements for an increase in scope from Near Coastal to All Oceans for Master or Mate 200 tons or less; Master, Mate, or Apprentice Mate (Steersman) of Towing Vessels; or Mate of Fishing Industry Vessels.

Radar Observer Courses

  • Radar Observer Unlimited course is a five-day course that satisfies the training requirements for a Radar Observer Unlimited Endorsement AND the STCW Radar Task assessments for OICNW on seagoing vessels greater than 500 GT (200 GRT).
  • Combined Radar Observer (Unlimited) and ARPA course is a seven-day course that satisfies the training requirements for both Radar Observer Unlimited and ARPA Endorsements AND the STCW Radar and ARPA Task Assessments for OICNW on seagoing vessels greater than 500 GT (200 GRT).
  • Automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA) course is a four-day course that satisfies the training requirements for the ARPA Endorsement AND the STCW ARPA Task Assessments for OICNW on seagoing vessels greater than 500 GT (200 GRT).

Refresher and Recertification Courses

  • Radar Recertification course is a one-day course that will satisfy the renewal requirements for any radar observer endorsement, Rivers or Unlimited.
  • License Refresher course is a one-day course that will satisfy the refresher exam requirements for the renewal of OUPV, Master, or Mate 200 tons or less.

Able Seaman Courses

  • Able Seaman course is a four-day course that will satisfy the exam requirements for any Able Seaman rating, and the Marlinespike Seamanship practical skill demonstration. This course does not satisfy the requirements for the lifeboat rating.

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Entry Level Engine Job

American Queen Steamboat Company has an opening for an Oiler. This is an entry level engine position. Advancement from Oiler to QMED (Qualified Member of the Engine Department) is based on 180-days of experience in the engine department and completion of USCG QMED exams. Contact Jake Baird at (360) 713-8581 or email JBaird@aqsc.com

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Entry level position.

American Steamboat Company

 

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No Exam MMC Upgrades

While most MMC upgrades for deck endorsements require taking USCG exams or approved an approved course, there are several upgrades that do not require an exam. These upgrades are based on qualifying sea service alone.

  • Upgrading from Mate 25, 50, 100, or 200 ton to Master without changing the tonnage limitation or the route.
  • Upgrading from Mate or Master 25 to 50 tons, or 50 to 100 tons without changing the route.
  • Upgrade Able Seaman (AB) Special to AB Limited, or AB Limited to Unlimited.

Other upgrades for MMC deck endorsements can be accomplished by completing a USCG approved course. These courses cover only the material necessary for the upgrade, and in most cases a much shorter that the original course. Please call us at (503) 841-6066 or visit the upgrade page of our website for more information on upgrade classes.

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Sea Service Experience: What is it and how to document it.

There are many miss-conceptions about sea service experience; but here are the facts. Sea service experience is a measurement of your experience on vessels. It accumulates over your lifetime, and it never expires, and is not “used up” when you apply for a Merchant Mariner Credential endorsement. There is no minimum size that a vessel must be for it count, BUT you must be able to document it for it to count.

Must of us will use Coast Guard Form 719S, Small Vessel Sea Service Form, to document our sea service experience. Use one form for each vessel you wish to document your sea service experience on. Read the instructions on the form and complete it exactly as per the instructions. have the owner, operator, or person in charge of the vessel sign the form, OR provide proof of ownership when documenting experience on vessels owned by the applicant. Proof of ownership is a copy of either the state registration or the Certificate of Documentation (COD) issued by the US Coast Guard.

 

 

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Able Seaman (AB) Endorsement; Who Needs One?

With a few exceptions federal regulations require sailors working on deck of seagoing vessels greater than 100 gross registered tons (GRT) to be credentialed. meaning they must hold a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) endorsement as either Able Seaman (AB) or Ordinary Seaman (OS). These are called National Rating Endorsements; and holding an MMC Officer endorsement does not qualify the mariner to serve in any position requiring a Rating Endorsement.

All ABs must also hold the MMC rating endorsement of Lifeboat-man or Lifeboat-man Limited. The Lifeboat-man rating requires 108 days of qualifying experience on vessels operating on ocean or navigable waters.

There are several different AB ratings, all require documenting sea service experience. Any mariner holding an officer endorsement will have enough sea service documented to qualify for one of these ratings.

  • AB Unlimited may sail on any size of a seagoing vessel. This AB rating requires 1080 day (3-years) sea service on ocean waters.
  • AB Limited may sail on seagoing vessels of less than 1600 GRT, and makeup 50% of the required ABs on vessels greater than 1600 GRT. This AB rating requires 540 days on vessels greater than 100 GRT operating on ocean waters.
  • AB Special may sail on seagoing vessels less than 500 GRT, and makeup 50% of the required ABs on vessels greater than 500 GRT. This rating requires 360 days on working on deck on ocean or navigable waters.
  • AB Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) may sail on any oil industry vessel, and requires only 180 days of experience.
  • AB Fishing Vessel (FV) may sail on any fishing industry vessel, and requires only 180 days of experience.
  • AB Sail may sail on any sailing vessel, and requires 180 days experience on sailing vessels.

If you do not have the qualifying sea service experience for the AB endorsement and you want to sail on seagoing vessels greater than 100 GRT than you will need the OS rating. This entry level rating does not require any training courses, exams, or qualifying experience.

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Which Way to Mate of Towing

With one exception, you must hold and sail on an MMC endorsement of Mate (Pilot) of Towing Vessels before you can qualify for Master of Towing. The exception is holding a  MMC endorsement as Master 500 tons or higher. For mariners working on towing vessel there are two paths to mate of Towing; Apprentice Mate (Steersman) and Mate 500 ton or higher. The path that is best for you depends on how much sea service experience you have.

If you are just starting your towing vessel career than the Apprentice Mate (Steersman) path is likely the best path. The big advantage of the Apprentice Mate is that all the exams may be satisfied by taking an approved course, The sea service requirements for the Apprentice Mate is 540 total days, that include 360 days on towing vessels. The other 180 days can come from experience on any type or size of vessel; such as a skiff power by an outboard, a ski-boat, or any other recreational or commercial craft. Once you have the sea service experience you can apply for and complete the classes for the Apprentice Mate. To qualify for Mate (Pilot) of Towing you need to gain another 360 days of experience on towing vessels, while holding the Apprentice Mate endorsement, and complete the TOAR (Towing Officer Assessment Record) and a Radar Observer Course. This path requires two-years (720 days) of total experience on towing vessels to get the Mate (Pilot) of Towing endorsement.

If you have been a career deckhand with years and years of experience on towing vessels than the faster path may be for you to get the Mate 500 ton endorsement. To qualify for Mate 500 tons you will need to document two-years (720 days) of total experience that includes one-year (360 days) on vessels greater than 50 tons, and 90 days as Able Seaman (AB) on vessels greater than 50 tons while holding an endorsement as AB. In addition to documenting this sea service experience the mariner must also complete an Advanced Fire Fighting course, and a Radar Observer course. Once these requirements have been met the mariner may apply for the Mate 500 ton endorsement. Upon approval of the application the mariner will receive a letter stating that they are approved to test and have one year to complete the exams. Preparing to test at a Coast Guard Regional Exam Center (REC) generally takes from a few weeks to a few months of license prep, depending on the individual. A mariner holding a Mate 500 ton endorsement, and having 30 days of training and observation on towing vessels, and a completed TOAR may sail as mate on any towing vessel within the restrictions on the Mate endorsement. This path requires two-years of total sea service experience, with only 30 days experience on towing vessels.

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Which License: OUPV or Master?

I am often asked, “Which license do I need, the OUPV or the Master?”. The simple answer is if you only intend to carry a maximum of six passengers than the OUPV endorsement is all you will ever need, which makes it the perfect license for fishing guides; But if you intend to carry more than six passengers, or operate an Inspected Vessel you must hold a Master endorsement.

The OUPV (Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel), or 6-pack license, authorizes the authority to operate one type of vessel, a small uninspected passenger vessel. According to federal regulations a “small uninspected passenger vessel” is a vessel of less than 100 gross registered tons (GRT) carrying six or fewer passengers, not counting the crew or operator. The term GRT has nothing to do with the weight of the vessel, it is a measurement of the volume of space within the hull; where every 100 cubic feet of volume is equal to one GRT. To determine the GRT of the vessel reference the Certificate of Documentation (COD) issued by the Coast Guard. If the vessel does not have a COD it is most likely less than 5 GRT. The OUPV endorsement is issued with either an Inland or a Near Coastal Route. An Inland route includes all navigable waters of the United States, a Near Coastal route includes all Inland waters and ocean waters within 100 miles from shore.

To carry more than six passengers, or to operate an Inspected Vessel the operator must hold a Master endorsement with an appropriate tonnage limitation for the vessel. All Inspected Vessel are issued a Certificate of Inspection (COI) by the US Coast Guard (USCG). The COI identifies the vessel and clearly state the manning requirements for the vessel, the total number of passengers the vessel may carry, the route the vessel is authorized to operate on, and all lifesaving and safety equipment required to be carried onboard. Getting a USCG safety inspection does not make the vessel an Inspected Vessel, or allow the operator to carry more than six passengers. Inspected Vessels are built, maintained, and operated to a much higher set of standards than an Uninspected Vessel.

Columbia Pacific Maritime (503-841-6066)

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