I saw a recent thread on here with questions on getting your Captains License, which got me thinking about it.
Hopefully I can have my questions make some sense......
I took the boater safety course 20+ years ago, and when I decided to buy a boat again a couple years ago, I retook the test with the idea it would be easy, and refresh some common sense things about boating. It was easy.
So now I am thinking I would like to learn more, and really have more confidence on the water.I think most of boater safety is common sense, and avoiding being in situations that can be dangerous. That being said, conditions can change quickly, and I think its better to be overprepared than underprepared.
So the most "basic" of Captains Licenses is the "6 pack"......which if I understand correctly allows you to take charters of 6 people or less.
I dont really every see me wanting to be a charter boat captain, but would like to have the knowledge. I did some research, and to obtain the "title" or certifacation, it looks like I would need a $600 course, tests, and several other things......
So if its really just the knowledge I am after, and not concerned with the "title", does anyone have recommendations? Kinda seems senseless to spend that kind of money if I never intend on using the title? or is it better to just take the course and make it official?
if you don't need the license, then really you don't need to take the course...would it help you, yes...but, that being said, 99% of the people out there with boats have no clue as to the Rules of the Road, General Seamanship, navigation, etc. All valuable skills you could pick up at the Captains course. The boaters safety course is a joke and more of a CYA thing for the state, but it isn't required if you are say 40 years old, but if you are 35 years old you have to take it. So some 45 year old guy with no experience and a lot of money can buy a 47 foot boat, never take a course, and go out there and be a menace on the bay, but a 30 year old guy who with a 22 foot boat, who was say Navigator on a Navy Destroyer, has to take the boaters safety test. Explain how that makes sense? Sorry, not answering your question just venting
you can only benefit from taking the captains course, but it is a lot of money to shell out. I have had years of maritime navigation, practical and classroom, many years in practical seamanship situations, and I still learned things in my captains course. That being said, there are plenty of study guides for the captains course you can pick up and read and study in order to learn even if you don't ever take the test. You also don't have to take the class to take the test. You would just have to pay the fee and test at a REC (but it's a lot harder that way than a class). I wish everyone had your desire to learn and apply that knowledge on the bay...it would be much safer out there. But therein lies the problem, you take the course, you learn all you need to know, there are still a majority of people out there who have no idea and will put you in danger.
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I would purchase 2 books, the Chapman's Piloting and Seamanship book and and the Coast Guard's Navigation Rules for the rules of the road. Or, just the Chapman's which includes the rules of the road. They'll include more info than you need to know. Unless you really need the license, I wouldn't go through the hassle.
agreed, the water is a great place to find idiots........but my opinion is, if I am taking my family or friends out, its my responsibility to be as educated as possible to be prepared for anything........years on the water is probably the best training, but until I get that time, I want to be confident that I took the right steps.
Ive taken classes both with 3B's and Charter Captain Courses at Del Tech.
With either of these, it will cost more than $600.
Closer to $800 at 3B's, plus the expense of completing the licensing process.
Regardless to which way you go, in order to run parties, you'll need a guide license.
You can potentially gain alot by taking the classes, and the license can present opportunities, outside of fishing parties (deliveries, etc), plus education will make you a more competent mariner (hopefully).
If you do decide to move forward, I'd recommend taking the class over a period of time other than the 1 week cram.
But, of course, only you can make the decision as to whether it makes sense... but, I will say, I'd be more comfortable with more educated mariners on the water!
Stanley who is a member of the Coast Guard Aux at Riverside used to teach this class at Essex CC a few years ago and that is the class I took. Far more involved than the basic boating class. Taught bending lines, how to use lines to get in and out of tight docking areas, navigation, touched on sailing, maintenance, rules of the road. Good class.
Phil Krausz Aboard the "Krazy Phisch"
Back River, Essex, Maryland
Fishing from Pooles Island to the Bay Bridge and sometimes beyond.
I would second Brian_p,s suggestion of getting a copy of Chapman's Piloting and Seamanship book. Before the days of 3B's and other such classes it was one of the go to reference books for aquiring a captains license. Every boater should have it in there library. I have held a license for almost 20yrs. and have used it commercially ,but if you do not intend to use it the expense and regulations to keep it are probably not worth it. Good Luck
After you get your license,you'll need to renew it every 5 yrs.That will include filling out paper work on your boating trips over the last 5 years,a physical by a Coast Guard approved physician,a drug test, and a twic card(Transportation Workers Identification Credential) for screening you on any possible violations of the law.This will cost you a few hundred dollars every 5 years.If you plan on getting a guides license,you'll need it to qualify as a guide with the DNR.I presently am halfway through my 5th license.I got my first one in 1990.