The easiest way is to become a Master 100 GRT Near Coastal under 46 CFR § 11.428, which you will need to provide the USCG 720 sea days in the deck department, with 360 of them on Near Coastal or Ocean Waters. You hold a Master 100 GRT Inland under 46 CFR § 11.457 so you're already halfway there.
Because you hold a Master 100 GRT Inland under 46 CFR § 11.457 you can take an "Upgrade" course from Master 100 ton from Inland to Near Coastal. These are short classes and they are taking care of two USCG tests for you. (Q150 - Deck General and Q152 - Navigation General: Oceans or Near Coastal)
If you hold a Master 100 GRT Inland under 46 CFR § 11.457 and you would like to become a Master 100 GRT Near Coastal we really recommend taking a Upgrade" USCG Approved Course from Master 100 ton from Inland to Near Coastal when you have 720 sea days in the deck department, with 360 of them on Near Coastal or Ocean Waters.
If you have 180 days on vessels 51 GRT or larger OR 360 days on vessels 34 GRT or larger you qualify for a 100 ton.
If you have 180 days on vessels 26 GRT or larger OR 360 days on vessels 17 GRT or larger you qualify for a 50 ton.
No worries! Tonnage limitations will apply if you are on smaller boats. This also makes sense as you will probably be working on smaller boats anyway. We recommend not worrying about them and just focus on getting the right type of license for what you currently want to do.
Tonnage limitations are really simple and easy to remove with just 90 sea days once you hold your new MMC! For a mate and a master under 200 GRT all you need is sea time while holding your license to remove them. Here's a blog post that goes into detail.
We hope this made your life a little easier and if you have other questions the MM-SEAS team is always here to help!
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 $299 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.
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.