Topic: License training and certification options
posted February 10, 2006 11:54 PM
By "certification" we mean documentation of your training and achievements within the guidelines of some established marine organization. Such organizations focus primarily on recreational boating, as opposed to commercial maritime activities that often require a professional license issued by the USCG.
The certificates provide written record of your work as your progress though a training program. They are recognized by bare-boat charter companies and insurance companies that offer discounts based upon educational courses. Certificates of this type can be especially valuable for operations in some foreign countries that require documentation to authorize boat operations by any crew other than the declared master of the vessel. Also, most of the sailing associations listed below offer an Offshore Passagemaking certification that requires a certification in coastal and celestial navigation as prerequisite.
"License training" refers to helping mariners prepare for a professional licensing exam in some area of marine navigation. Such exams along with documented sea time and other credentials are required for what is sometimes referred to as a "captain's license." The entry level license is based on the USCG 100 Ton Masters exam. The highest level US license is the Unlimited Masters for deep sea vessels, and there are a dozen or so intermediate licenses, depending on the size of the vessels involved and their activities. We also offer training materials to help prepare for professional marine engineering exams.
American maritime organizations that offer recreational mariners navigation certification include:
US Coast Guard Auxiliary
— offers a certificate of course completion. Basic Coastal Navigation is 6 lessons, Advanced Coastal Nav is another 6 lessons. Course fees are modest, mostly to cover course materials. To our knowledge they do not offer celestial navigation training. Courses are offered nationwide, scheduled as needed.
US Power Squadrons
— offers courses in Piloting and Advanced Piloting with certificates of course completion, as well as Offshore navigation (JN course) and Advanced Offshore Navigation (N course) which cover celestial navigation in detail. They also offer a course in marine weather with course completion certificates. All courses have modest costs, mainly to cover materials. Courses are offered nationwide, scheduled as needed.
Starpath School of Navigation
— offers certification in inland and coastal nav, celestial nav, marine weather, and radar. Each requires an exam worked at home. We provide certificates and logbook certification stickers that can be used in any logbook. Our certification exams are specifically designed to prepare students for similar exams from any agency. Please see notes on certification for more information.
US Sailing Association
— offers certification in coastal navigation and celestial navigation, following a proctored test in the subject. Certificates presented as stickers in their official logbooks. Must be a member of the association. Usually the certification is included in the course fees. Prices vary depending on the affiliated schools, locations, and course structures.
American Sailing Association
— offers certification in coastal navigation, celestial navigation, weather, and radar. Certificates presented as stickers in their official logbooks. Must be a member of the association. When obtained at other schools, the certification fees are often included in the course fees. A proctored test is required. Prices vary depending on the affiliated schools, locations, and course structures. The ASA recognizes the Starpath Certification as qualifying for an ASA certification without further testing. Details are presented within the individual courses.
Our materials and courses will also help mariners prepare for certification from other nations, such as
Royal Yachting Association
— the leading training and certification program in UK and Europe. Excellent materials and courses.
Canadian Yachting Association
— the leading training and certification program in Canada. Excellent materials and courses.
International Sailing Schools Association, based in France with HQ in UK.
— has adopted the training standards of its member schools. Their logbook is in 3 languages. Starpath certificate stickers in all areas can be recorded in the ISSA logbooks. As with the other agencies, if you are not a member, the stickers would go in the "Extra Training" sections.
From: Starpath, Seattle, WA