The US Coast Guard uses sea service days to calculate a mariner’s lifetime experience on boats and ships, whether recreational, commercial, or military. Your job as a mariner is to always know how much sea service you have accumulated.
A Sea Service “day” as defined by the CFR's: 46 CFR §10.107 is dependent on the tonnage of the vessel.
Whether you're navigating a colossal 1000 ft tanker, working on a 209 ft research ship, or simply enjoying the breeze on your trusty 14 ft sailboat, every day spent at sea counts. Here's an example to help with planning for our friends aboard the massive tanker and the research boat, you get credit for service from date you report to the ship for your voyage and the date you depart from the ship. As long as you work eight hours you receive one “day” of sea day credit for the duration of your hitch.
You start accumulating sea service when you turn 16 and it never expires. That means all of your time on the lake, out fishing with your friends or spending time with your family sailing, count as sea service for anyone as long as they are assisting in the safe navigation of the boat for over four hours within a 24-hour period. Even if they weren't driving!
Any experienced boater has created their own pseudo seatime calculator in some form or another. Some people end up going back through old log books, while others go through old facebook posts and excel spreadsheets. If you have done it you will agree that going back is one of the worst parts about keeping track of your boat time. Not to mention keeping track of the calculation details as you prepare to turn in your paperwork to the coast guard can be daunting.
MM-SEAS sea day tracker puts you in control of seeing how much actual credit the US Coast Guard will give you based on our automatic seatime calculator. The seatime tracker uses the data from the voyage you've entered, the date you entered it and the nature of your voyage so that you can understand what you qualify for right now based on the Coast Guard regulations.
Because MM-SEAS software is fully digital web app similar to tax software you're probably already familiar with, MM-SEAS only asks you for the portion of data and documents you actually need to meet the requirements. We do that with plain language so you actually understand what you need to become a captain or master based on facts instead of what you heard on a forum or at the bar.
To get started, you simply enter basic data into the MM-SEAS web app software such as your boat name, typical voyage data like what position you served and where the boat is operating. Then all you need to do in order to log your sea service, is select the date and then verify you were underway for over 4 hours within a 24-hour period away from the pier and assisting with the safe navigation of the vessel.
The first step to following the dream of becoming a charter fishing captain, running your own sunset sail business or even becoming a professional delivery captain is to understanding how many days you have on the water and then creating perfect documentation that meets all of the Coast Guard requirements.
Log how many sea days you have and MM-SEAS will calculate how close you are to renewing, upgrading or qualifying for your first Coast Guard captains license. What used to be a complicated process that required prior planning to calculate becomes clear and simple. MM-SEAS web app software does the calculation of your time and turns it into the actual credit in a simple view for you to reference so you don't have to try and calculate it all yourself.
After you have logged your time at sea, it's time create create CG-719S Small Vessel Sea Service and get it signed. We've designed everything inside of the MM-SEAS web app software to make sure you pass your official evaluation of sea service from the US Coast Guard National Maritime Center for your application. We create the right forms that will pass the evaluators verification process automatically so you don't need to worry about it.
We look for all of the common errors that cause issues such as the vessel name not lining up with the registration number the USCG has on file, catching bad calculations so that the hours and days don't make sense or proof of vessel ownership for the vessel doesn't match the data provided on the CG-719S sea service form. MM-SEAS software does not allow you to enter data that won't be accepted by the US Coast Guard or documents with incorrect or missing information.
Because the MM-SEAS system won't let you create a CG-719S Small Vessel Sea Service form unless the data passes our strict verification process you can feel confident that there are no mistakes on the forms you've created from your logged time. The best part is that the forms can be digitally signed in seconds by yourself if you own the vessel and you can easily ask the ship’s master, owner, vessel manager or office staff for the company that owns the boat to digitally sign your CG-719S form inside of the MM-SEAS system via email.
“It’s been so cool to see all the different adventures people have taken on their boats! I just saw a user who did a 71 day trip in the Baltic Sea from Stockholm to the Finland Archipelago. Another favorite is the Great Loop all the way from the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi River, around Florida and up the East Coast to New England,” said Nate Gilman President of MM-SEAS. “I’ve also really liked seeing how much time families spend out on the water together. We just had a father and son put in time on five different vessels over a span of 20 years.”
You can get time and a half credit for service on a few very special vessels which are listed in 46 U.S.C. 8104 and 46 CFR 15.705. These ships are authorized to operate a two-watch system during their voyage, which means their watch schedule is a 12-hour working day. You typically only get this one half time multiplier on a voyage where this two-watch schedule is practiced.
In order to get service creditable as 1.5 “days” you need to have been on a voyage on a ship type authorized in the CFR's and your sea service letter must explicitly state that you were working 12 hour days on a two-watch system. MM-SEAS specifically asks for the specific verbiage needed on your sea service letter and you should know that what we calculate inside of MM-SEAS is based on what you enter from your company sea service letter.
The sea service calculations inside of MM-SEAS does take this into account for sea service letters on company letterhead but you typically cannot get the coast guard to give for 12 hour days if you are using a CG-719S small vessel sea service form. Because of this, we do not allow you to track 12 hour days in the MM-SEAS sea service tracker as the USCG will not count the 1.5 time per federal regulations.
As you can see, this can get confusing and we're hear to help. If you have any questions about tracking sea service, creating sea service forms or the USCG licensing process make sure to reach out inside of MM-SEAS using the help icon and our team of MM-SEAS USCG Licensing Specialists will help get you pointed in the right direction.
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.