Do I have to be getting paid to be gathering sea time for my Captains License?

Paid work isn't required for sea time. Any day you assisted with the safe navigation for over 4hrs is a sea day.

2 mins read・Nov 10, 2022
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Nope! You have earned a sea day if you are assisting with the navigation of the vessel and the boat was away from the pier for over four hours.

If you are on your own boat, your friend's boat out fishing, or even your grandparent's boat and you are helping with the lines, looking for other vessels and/or helping steer, then you are assisting with the navigation of the vessel.

You want to make sure you keep track of every day that you have been assisting with the navigation of the vessel. You want to document the water type (Inland, Near Coastal, Great Lakes) and what your role was (Deck hand, Mate or Master).

When you're ready to submit for your USCG license you will create a separate CG-719S form for every vessel you sailed on and every role you served. If you own your own boat then you can sign the bottom section yourself to "Attest" to your sea service. If someone else owns the boat, you will need to have them sign the bottom section.

We hope this made your life a little easier and if you have other questions the MM-SEAS team is always here to help!

MM-SEAS is free to use on your own and if you need some more personalized help you can upgrade to MM-SEAS Pro inside of the site.

No matter what, when you are ready to submit your application, you can choose to have the MM-SEAS staff create a perfect application, handle the USCG application fees and work with the USCG on your behalf to resolve any issues for a flat fee of $349 or you can choose to submit on your own.

Pro MM-SEAS members get access to unlimited live 1 on 1 calls with one of our USCG Licensing Specialists. We've found that answering questions live with screen sharing in a video call makes both of our lives easier. Pro MM-SEAS members can access these features inside of MM-SEAS under License Guidance.

Need to renew, upgrade or get your first USCG license? We're here to help.

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About the author

Nate Gilman
Nate Gilman

Nate has over 15 years of professional maritime experience and has hawsepiped his way to a 3rd Mate Unlimited Endorsement with full STCW compliance. He is proud veteran of the NOAA Commissioned Corps.

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