I am asking this question for the reason that i would like to start my own charter boat but i need to get ny license first . also what is a good size boat for me too start out with ? Thank you and have a good holiday.
Ryan, good luck with the venture. Good place to start is by taking a class with one of the respected co. that teach the capt. class. 3 B's or Sea School are a start. Look in the fisherman magazine, they're advertised weekly. Class takes about 4-7 weekends depending on your schedule and total cost is about $750 plus cost of application to the USCG when you pass. You will learn great information regardless of your experience and you'll make some great friends along the way. Many charter boats in the Cape May area are only 24-25ft so I would at least start there. I've heard it ain't an easy way to make a living but neither is a real job. Good Luck!
Profisher, Here is a list of the things you need to do/have in order to get a license (I may have left some out, hey nobody's perfect)
First aid Certification (current
CPR Certification (current)
Medical exam on form CG719K (must be signed in ink by Doctor, no rubber stamps etc)
Drug test that complies with USCG regs (some schools give the right one at the class)
Must goto a USCG exam center and have your oath read and get finger printed (fingerprints have been a problem, some times the USCG would insist on doing them, other times they said you had to come in with them done.....Who knows what they want now)
Documentation of your sea tim, 360 days with 90 days offshore for a 6 pack
References, 3 I think.
A Certificate of completion from a USCG accepted school (or must pass Exam at USCG exam Center)
By the time you are done, you are looking at about a grand.
I just got mine from the Mariner's School. Fantastic program and I learned a great deal. They made the whole process painless. Bob Figular runs the school and his # is 866-Sea-Capt or MarinersSchool.com.
There is really no way for them to prove or dispove you claims. If however there is some reason for them to take a look or 2 then they ae well within their rights to ask you to give better documentation. For instance our instructor realted this story.....A guy had on his application that he lived around here. He had on his app that he had 20 or so trips in Jan and Feb. The USCG took him to task on it. Hi explantion was acceptable. He was self employed and spent the winters in FLA so the fishing days claimed at that time of year made sense.
If you mated, you would want to have that captain be one of your references and you would want him to endorse your app where it is appropriate...there is a section for that, kinda like which boats were the time logged on and who owns the boat. I had my friend endorse mine as him being the charter operator and me being Mate. My private boat time was taken from my fishing logs. I only logged between 30 and 45 days per year so it took a few years to gather up the needed time.
If it looks reasonable then it will be accepted for face value. If you use your own boat as a vessel you count your time on. you have to prove ownership of that boat.
The days at sea thing is supposed to be operating or performing other related duties. Watch, helm, anchoring and such. Capt Scott can fill in the blanks here I am sure
Supposed to be 90 trips? I think if you have cleared the inlet that counts as offshore but I could be wrong. In the old days private time was not accepted. You had to work the deck and have the time notarized. They have relaxed quite a bit on that. It also used to be that you were given a tiny piece of water to work. You had to run six round trips (again documented and notarized) to extend your area.
Try checking out the merchant mariner liscensing homepage on the Coast Guard Site. It takes you step by step and will answer lots of your questions. www.uscg.mil/stcw/
It even has a section for those interested into going into the charter business right around the top of the page.
Thankyou guys for the information and i have a 20 ft wellcraft now and i was looking in the range of a 28 ft -36ft and i hope too pass the tesat it is just that i love too fish and i know the capemay wates very well . so i hope to make a good capt. and get a great name for my self thank you again and also is there any certain age you have too be i am 19 and i do not want too go too college.
Don't even think about skipping college and going into the Charter business.........Just pay attention to how Chumstain writes You don't want to sound and write like that for the rest of your life do you?
All joking aside, I am not so sure that a full time charter business is the way to go today. With all the limits placed upon the Recreational angler today it is getting more and more difficult to talk people into plunking down greenbacks to come home with an 8 ounce bag of fillets or one fish per boat........regardless of the size. I have a bad feeliong that it will only get worse before it gets better
There is nothing like a good education, once you have that under your belt you can dabble here and there and if every thing fails, you can just "go to work"
If you're serious about making a living as a charter captain long term, I'd suggest going to school and getting a business degree first. How you run your business, and how successful you are in finding additiona/associated revenue streams, will be just as important as whether or not you can catch fish.
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