I'm in the process of getting my OUPV charter license and have a couple questions for you charter boat Captains.
I haven't been to a school or taken online classes to obtain a license. I've done everything on my own and what an adventure it has been, drug screening, medical exams, letters, sea service, TWIC and the $$$, it's defenitly been an eye opener. Anyways recently I submitted my license package for review a few weeks ago and just got the letter in the mail and email stating that I'm eligible to test for the tonage I requested (OUPV nearshore and inland). I have several yrs of sea service on 3 ships not including my qualifications on many other small boats and could probably qualify for a 200 ton license but I don't want to set myself up for failure, so I want to start off with a 6 pack and upgrade to 100 masters and up from there. I'm a 13 year USCG veteran and a Boatswain's Mate, so I've been driving ships and boats for over 10 yrs. I noticed that in 2010 the test changed from 30 questions on the navigation rules to a 50 question test 90% pass rate. The plotting changed aswell from 70% passing score to now a 90% score. I feel confident in the nav rules test, my CG Deck Watch Officer's exam was about to expire after 5 yrs and I just passed it last month. I'm really not too worried about the other stuff like first aid and CPR and fire fighting, but I hear that the plotting can be a real pain. 90% and I really don't know what they are looking for. Has anyone here recently taken the test, is there set and drift, maneuveringboard or tide table conversion problems? I hear that you can use a whiz wheel (time/speed/distance)? I also hear that you can test 3 times and if you fail you have to wait 60 days to retest, hope it doesn't come down to that, but if it does do you have to pay another 90.00 testing fee?
I'd appreciate any info, tips, etc.
Thanks Billy Jack