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Old 09-25-2007, 07:22 PM   #1
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Hello everyone, my name is mike and I am new to the sailing world. I found this great site and was hopeing some one may have some insight for me on a few questions I have. My sailing experience is limited to sailing on friends boats around the island of oahu, but after two military deployments and two years of saving my money I am ready to purchase my own cruiser. I plan on takeing some radio corses and sailing courses in the future for passage makeing, but I am curios about the certifications ie.ASA etc. Can anyone tell me if it is mandatory (or law) to have these certifications if your are captaining your own vessel?
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:01 PM   #2
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If you're from the US and will be registering the boat in the US, you don't need any qualifications. That might/probably-will change in the future, but for now, I can't think of a state that requires licensing or other qualifications (except for NJ which requires that you pass a boating safety test, but as far as I know it's only for inland lakes).

I do believe that you should learn to sail, learn about safe boating practices and navigation, and how to handle a boat before you buy one and set off. There are too many boaters out there who think it's the same as driving an automobile, and they are a danger - to themselves as well as to others.
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:44 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard, Mike!

Which branch? I was stationed at the sub base in Pearl Harbor nearly three decades ago.

Knowledge gained through courses and experience are all fine and won't weigh you down one bit. Learn everything you can.

But you only "need" a USCG captain's license if you're taking passengers out for hire. But be careful as "for hire' can be construed as a friend bringing a carton of beer aboard your boat for everyone to share. Lawyers!

If you are still on active duty - you might be eligable to apply your Basic Allowance for Quarters to the purchase of a boat, provided you live on it. Also, there's a good marina available to service personnel within Pearl Harbor.

I found a great deal on my last boat sitting at the work dock in the Ala Wei Marina.

Again - Welcome Aboard, Matey!

Carry On,

Kirk
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacificmike View Post
I plan on taking some radio courses and sailing courses in the future for passage making, but I am curious about the certifications ie .ASA etc. Can anyone tell me if it is mandatory (or law) to have these certifications if your are captaining your own vessel?
Hi,

Even if no licence is required by a particular jurisdiction, some understanding of what are termed Colregs is invaluable , See the USCG's website on the subject :- http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/mwv/navrules/navrules.htm

The lights and shapes that are shown on vessels are very important, to learn them some people find that flash cards are the easiest way. They must be available on line somewhere, they may have already being incorporated into a game.

Example :- what lights does a tug show when towing a barge? (see rule 24)

A close friend skippering a Swedish Swan in the Straits of Malacca misinterpreted the lights shown by the tug - result Swan was dismasted when intercepting the towline!

Regards

Richard

PS :- found some more info at :-

http://a0130204.uscgaux.info/NewFiles/navrules.pdf

http://www.maritimeed.com/software.php

http://shop.sailboatowners.com/detail.htm?...0&group=251
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:10 AM   #5
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Even if no licence is required by a particular jurisdiction, some understanding of what are termed Colregs is invaluable , See the USCG's website on the subject :- http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/mwv/navrules/navrules.htm

close friend skippering a Swedish Swan in the Straits of Malacca misinterpreted the lights shown by the tug - result Swan was dismasted when intercepting the towline!
Richard, your friend was lucky that all he lost was his mast! Some terrible things have happened to boats and crew in their encounters with tugs and barges!

Just another reason why boating needs a bit more regulation/education than is now required in the US. The US Power Squadrons are a helpful organization running lots of education classes. Painless and rather social as well.

Also, they as well as the US Coast Guard recommend Chapman's Piloting & Seamanship book - see this link (I use this link because it was the first on Google search with a decent review of the book - I'm not recommending this vendor, never visited this site) http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inke...9781588162328-0
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In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

= Cruiser's Dictionary, North America,
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:35 PM   #6
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Aloha! Kirk,

Thanks for your reply, I enlisted as a "weekend warrior" in hawaii about four years ago in the guard, but have not yet been able to have the weekend only luxury. They have found ways to keep me pretty buisy these last few years. I don't mind one bit though and I take alot of pride in my service.

After reading your post I did some research on marinas in pearl harbor and was pleasently suprised to find quite a few for military. I even found out that the navy MWR has a program for all branches of the military that offer FREE sailing lessons by ASA certified instructors. This is a great place to start I figure. Thanks alot.

Mike
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