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Master 500 upgrade to Master 1600 - test again?
Posted: Saturday, August 9, 2008 5:25 PM
Joined: 07/08/2008
Posts: 2

Hi Patrick,


I was reviewing your posts about upgrading a USCG Master 500grt to a Master 1600grt / 3000gt and I wanted to respond to it as well.


Master 1600grt / 3000gt


You took your exam for the Master 500grt around the time that the USCG was implementing STCW 95 and adding a new exam.  You should anticipate testing for all or part of the exam but ultimately that will be up to your USCG evaluator when you apply.  With out seeing your file I can’t be sure if you will need to take additional courses for your upgrade, but generally speaking, you should have taken all of the prerequisite courses for the Master 1600grt/3000gt when you got your Master 500grt. I do think that the Coast Guard will ask you to do Flashing Light.  This is no big deal; you can pick up a Flashing Light CD, self study and then test at an approved school such as MPT.  That will eliminate you having to do the Flashing Light exam at the Coast Guard.


You mentioned in your second posting that you were not sure if you were eligible for the Master 1600grt /3000gt.  Let’s take a moment and look at the sea time requirements:


As far as sea time goes you need to have 1440 minimum total career days including:

720 days on near coastal or oceans routes

720 days as OICNW or Master while holding a license

720 days of service on a vessel over 100grt (at least ½ with a license)

90 days in the last three years on a vessel of at least 100grt.


If you currently qualify for the Master 1600grt / 3000gt, it is my recommendation that you apply for that as opposed to looking at the Mate 1600grt /3000gt.  I know that this may sound strange, but currently more training is required for Mate’s license than the Master’s license.  Below please find listed the requirements for the Mate’s license so that you can compare the requirements.


Mate (OICNW) 1600/3000

You may hear the Mate’s license referred to as OICNW or Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch


Sea time Requirements

1080 days of qualifying sea time

180 days as Able Seaman while holding AB (for 1600 – 360 days over 100gt)


Prerequisite Training

Basic Safety Training, Proficiency in Survival Craft/Lifeboatman, Able Seaman


Practical Assessments

OICNW Assessments


Training or Certification with Additional Practicals

Radar Observer, Advanced Fire Fighting, ARPA, GMDSS, Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation, Deck Officer – General Subjects & Rules Exam Prep, Celestial Navigation, Medical Care Provider, Basic Meteorology, Watchkeeping and BRM, Visual Signaling/Emergency Procedures/ Search and Rescue, Basic Ship Stability and Construction, Cargo Handling & Stowage, Magnetic & Gyro Compass, Electronic Navigation, Basic Ship Handling & Steering Control


If you choose to get your OICNW Mate1600grt/3000gt the good thing is, that you probably have completed about half of those courses when you got your Master 500ton.

Bear in mind that should you be interested in obtaining a 3rd Mate Unlimited License in the future that the course requirements are the same as those for the OICNW Mate1600grt/3000gt with additional sea time requirements.



I hope this helps you out a bit.


Julie Liberatore


Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2008 5:41 PM
Thanks for your help, Julie!
Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2008 2:29 PM
Joined: 03/08/2008
Posts: 5

Hi Julie,

Did my flashing light at MPT last year, so I guess it's up to the CG to decide whats next.

Thanks for the additional info!


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