Sea service is a measure of a mariner's experience on boats. It can be
counted from age 16 and accumulates over your lifetime. This
experience is measured in 8-hour calendar days. Any day that you are
on a boat, had a position of responsibility (not a passenger), and were
away from the dock for more than four hours counts as one day of
experience. One month is 30 days, and one year is 12 months or 360
days.

Sea service is considered Inland if the boat operated on inland waters
shoreward of the COLREGS demarcation line. This is a line drawn
between the ends of the jetties at the entrance to rivers and harbors
(it is clearly shown on the chart). Experience gained on ocean waters
seaward of the COLREGS demarcation line is considered near coastal
or ocean experience.

On commercial vessels that are operated on a two-watch system and
the crew is contracted to work 12-hour days the mariner may be
credited for 1.5 days of experience for each 12-hour day worked.

Documenting Your Sea Service Experience

For your sea service to count towards a license you must be able to
document it. Use the small vessel sea service form 719S provided by
the Coast Guard to document your experience. Complete one form for
each boat you are claiming experience on. Read the form carefully
and complete it exactly as instructed.

Here is an outline of form 719S

  • Section I is personal and boat information, and a description of
    the body of water that the experience was on. Use the name of the
    waterway to describe it, such as Columbia River, or North Pacific
    Ocean.

  • Section II is the record of underway sea service experience. The
    top part is a worksheet to record the estimated days by year and
    calendar month. The bottom part of this section contains boxes to
    record the above days.

  • Section III is where the signatures go to document your sea
    service experience. You and the vessel owner or operator must
    both sign the form; for boats that you owned you must provide
    copies of government issued ownership papers, such as state
    registration or federal Certificate of Documentation.

Some Notes on Sea Service Experience

Sea service is a measurement of your lifetime experience on boats, it
is never used up when you apply for a license and it never expires.
Always keep copies of all sea service records, you may want to use
the sea service again for an upgrade. The Coast Guard has stated
holding an MMC endorsement is not evidence of qualifying sea
service experience.

Recent sea service is experience within the past three years. For any
MMC National Officer Endorsement 90 days of the required sea
service experience must have been within the past 3-years; the
remainder can be from anytime over your entire lifetime, you just have
to be able to document it.
Call (503) 841-6066
Sea Service Documentation Help
Columbia Pacific Maritime INC
10580 SE Washington Street - Portland, OR 97216

We are located just east of the 205 Mall off Interstate 205 on SE
Washington Street.


For more information or Email Questions to:

Class & Scheduling: info@columbiapacificmaritime.com

Radar, ARPA, AB: john@columbiapacificmaritime.com

OUPV, Master, Mate: dennis@columbiapacificmaritime.com

Please call or email any questions, we are here to help.

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