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CHESAPEAKE AREA PROFESSIONAL CAPTAINS ASSOCIATION

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RESOURCES

FOR YOUR INFORMATION...

Looking for information about a maritime-related subject? Click on the links below to explore our collection of Internet resources. You don't have to be a member to take advantage of this service. If you know of other sites that you'd like us to add to the list, please send the URL (website address) to communication@capca.net. Please note that CAPCA is not responsible for content on external websites.

Here's our list so far:

CAPCA TWEETS

CHESAPEAKE BAY

FAVORITE LINKS A TO Z

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

          EPA

          DHS

          MD DNR

INTRACOASTAL WATERWAYS

LICENSING, MMC, LEGAL

MISCELLANEOUS

MOBILE APPS

NAVIGATION

NAVIGATION RULES

NOAA

ORGANIZATIONS

USCG GENERAL LINKS

        Recall Notices

        Safety Advisories (MSAs)

        Safety/Security Bulletins 

              (MSSBs)

        Small Passenger Vessels

VENDORS and SERVICES

WEATHER and TIDES


 

 

 

Want to earn a captain's license?

You can do it—but you need to become familiar with Coast Guard procedures and follow them closely through the agency's step-by-step licensing process.

Licenses come in a wide variety of categories, from so-called "six-pack" licenses—which permit you to operate a small uninspected commercial boat that carries a maximum of six passengers—on up to unrestricted tickets for skippers of oceangoing vessels.

If you're just starting out, you'll want to consider applying for a six-pack license—known as OUPV, or Operator of an Uninspected Passenger Vessel—or a Masters license, which enables you to serve as captain of commercial vessels of less than 50 or 100 tons, depending on how you've acquired your sea-time underway. Licenses also specify the kinds of waters in which you may oeprate as a paid captain—inland, near-coastal, and various other categories up through all-oceans.

Caution: Because the requirements, procedures, and forms may change from time to time, you'll want to peruse the website of the Coast Guard’s NATIONAL MARITIME CENTER (NMC) for the official word. Note: the Coast Guard’s term for what's popularly known as a captain’s license is Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC). Don't be put off when you see that term on the NMC's website.

Here's a summary of what you need to qualify for a captain's license:  
                               
1. Accumulate a minimum of 360 days of service as a crewmember of a vessel (or several vessels) while they are underway. You must have logged 90 days of that total during the past three years. To count your time on the water as a day of service, you must spend at least four hours underway. And you'll need to document this service on the Small-Vessel Sea-Service Form that the NMC provides in the package you download from the website. You'll need the signature of each vessel's owners to document your service. You can claim credit for a day on the water if you've spent it as a crewmember, but not as a passenger.

2. Study for and pass the U.S. Coast Guard written test for your captain’s license, along with additional exams if you’d like to upgrade your license to a master's level or qualify for any additional certifications—know as “endorsements”—for specialties such as operating a towboat or a sailing vessel.

     You can meet this requirement in one of two ways:

      —First, by reading a commercially available study manual on your own, and then taking the written exam through a U.S. Coast Guard Regional Exam Center. You'll need to make an appointment to take the test. There's an exam center in Baltimore, if you live in this area. For a website with practice questions from the USCG licensing exam, go to Boatsafe.com.

      —If you don't want to do it on your own, you might consider completing a privately conducted course approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, and then taking a Coast Guard test administered by a designated proctor from the same institution. You also can take an online course to meet this requirement, provided that the test is administered in person by a proctor. (We can supply you with a list of those courses in the area served by CAPCA.)  

3. Go to the National Maritime Center website and download the entire packet of forms for your license application. Read everything very carefully.

4. Get a physical examination. It must be performed within the 12 months preceeding your application, and the physician must file his report using forms provided on the NMC website. Details are spelled out on the application forms. Besides the usual physical examination, the exam procedure will include a vision test and a hearing test.

5. Take a USCG-approved Adult CPR and basic first aid course. The first aid course must have been taken within the 12 months preceeding your application, and the CPR certification must be current.

6. Take a drug-screening test. The test report must be dated within six months of your application. If you are enrolled in a drug-testing program you can get a report from the company. (We can supply you with a list of drug-testing programs in the area served by CAPCA.)
      
7. Complete any other requirements spelled out on the National Maritime Center website.

8. Submit your application packet to your local U.S. Coast Guard Regional Exam Center. Follow the instructions carefully and pay attention to the dates and the details. Take your time!

9. The Coast Guard will determine the category of license that you'll be issued—OUPV, 50-ton, or 100-ton—based on the size of the vessel on which you performed your required sea-service and on the kind of waters in which you worked (lakes, rivers, bays, oceans). 

10. Meeting the requirements listed above will most likely qualify you for an OUPV, or six-pack license. If you want to earn a master's license—50-ton or 100-ton, for example—or for one of the special endorsements, such as auxiliary sail or towing-assistance, you'll need to study for a "master's upgrade" and take the appropriate exams either at the school you attended or at your Regional Exam Center.

Please let us know if we can be of help in answering your questions. E-mail us at info@capca.net. 

JOIN US!

Not a member yet? 

CLICK HERE AND JOIN US

We offer you

•  JOB OPPORTUNITIES

•  NETWORKING

•  CONTINUING EDUCATION

•  PROFESSIONAL MENTORING

•  DISCOUNTS

•  KNOWLEDGEABLE SPEAKERS

•  FIELD TRIPS AND EVENTS

•  UP-TO-DATE-INFORMATION

          ON MARITIME TOPICS

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NEED A SPEAKER
FOR YOUR GROUP?

Yacht club, association or maritime organization?

Ask one of our Coast Guard-licensed captains

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We've set up a new CAPCA speakers bureau, with a group of captains who'll be happy to talk to your group on a wide array of maritime-related topics.

Click on this link for more information and a partial list of topics. Then fill out our form. We'll take it from there. 

CAPCA: Serving our members and the maritime public.

GOT A FAVORITE APP?

We're looking for more boating apps. Can you help?    

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Do you have a favorite boating app that you'd like to share with people who visit the CAPCA website?                                                     

Please CLICK HERE and fill out the form that pops up. We'll look over your suggestion and post it under MOBILE APPS in the RESOURCES column at the left-hand side of this webpage. 

Thank you!

Please note that CAPCA does not endorse or recommend the apps in this listing. We provide it for your information so you can decide if the app is right for your use.

 

MEET ONE OF OUR CAPTAINS

CAPCAmeetAliciaTyrell

CAPTAIN ALICIA TYRELL is typical of many of our members. She spent 15 years as a biotech products developer before deciding to switch careers and become a full-time captain. She earned her Coast Guard captain's license (a 100-ton master's for inland and near-coastal waters) in 2014 and now operates water-taxis year-'round for the Baltimore Water Taxi Company. In the summer, she also works as a part-time captain for other maritime companies. 

"Before I got my license, I was working so I could afford to spend more time on the water," she says. "Now I get paid to do that." See Alicia on the Patapsco River or come meet her and other captains at one of our monthly meetings. CAPCA meetings are public and you're welcome to attend.

Got a Coast Guard captain's license? Join CAPCA today and take advantage of the many benefits that our members receive.

NEED A CAPTAIN?

Sea Ray 58

 

BOAT-SHOW BUYERS, DEALERS, BROKERS, BOATOWNERS

Need a delivery captain?

We have 300 Coast Guard-licensed captains and a FREE online job-posting service.

Read HOW OUR JOB BOARD WORKS, and fill out the hiring form to place your ad. We'll notify our members immediately.  

CAPCA Resources

FOR YOUR INFORMATION...

Looking for information about a maritime-related subject? Click on the links below to explore our collection of Internet resources. You don't have to be a member to take advantage of this service. If you know of other sites that you'd like us to add to the list, please send the URL (website address) to communication@capca.net. Please note that CAPCA is not responsible for content on external websites.

Here's our list so far:

CAPCA TWEETS

CHESAPEAKE BAY

FAVORITE LINKS A TO Z

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

          EPA

          DHS

          MD DNR

INTRACOASTAL WATERWAYS

LICENSING, MMC, LEGAL

MISCELLANEOUS

MOBILE APPS

NAVIGATION

NAVIGATION RULES

NOAA

ORGANIZATIONS

USCG GENERAL LINKS

        Recall Notices

        Safety Advisories

        Safety/Security Bulletins

        Small Passenger Vessels

VENDORS and SERVICES

WEATHER and TIDES


 

 

GET ON OUR MAILING LIST

WANT TO RECEIVE OUR E-MAILS even though you're not a member? To get notices about our speakers and courses, plus Coast Guard alerts and information about maritime topics, click here and fill out the form.