From the beginning we were impressed with the school. The registrar, Bruce, is very knowledgeable and always goes out of his way to make sure you have the right information. The registration process was simple for us, due to his efforts. The school was 11 weeks long and covered all areas of seamanship from sailing theory, customs and courtesies, marlinspike, basic vessel maintenance, STCW training, and USCG exam preparation. They also provide a hands on portion which is a great advantage of taking this course in lieu of a 100% classroom option. We had the opportunity to sail on 3 different sailboats around 25-30’. We operated around 12 different power vessels as large as 52’. All in all we operated around 15 different vessels ranging from 20-52’.
All the instructors were fantastic, but I have to give a special thanks to Jim and Tom who helped run the program and still found time to provide excellent and engaging instruction. All instructors have a wealth of knowledge and most have decades of experience in the Navy or USCG, so they kind of know what they’re talking about when it comes to USCG regulations or operating vessels. They use the Chapman Book of Seamanship for their textbook. So, if you want to get ahead and be prepared you should read Chapman’s. They will issue you one when you attend so you don’t necessarily need to purchase one. The classroom facilities, textbooks, and training aids were all top notch as expected from a school bearing the name of Chapman’s.
Overall the course is designed to provide the classroom instruction, training, and testing for up to 100 GRT USCG Masters credential and supporting training to operate a vessel in the US and internationally. What credential you receive is based upon your experience. They not only train you for the USCG standards which most institutions do, but give you the training on STCW, CPR, First Aid, and Firefighting that can allow you to work on a vessel internationally. The course isn’t really designed for someone like us, since we are only recreational sailors. It’s geared more for someone that wants to run an offshore fishing boat, ferry, dinner cruise, or a myriad of other positions in the marine industry.
The great thing about having attended the PMT course is that we are now credentialed to run vessels with more than 6 paying customers. We don’t foresee a lot of work in this arena since we are retired, but it’s always good to have the option if we need to make a few dollars. And if anyone is buying a new vessel to sail around the world like us, and you are looking for a fully qualified captain that is living aboard and circumnavigating drop us a line. We can do a delivery from factory to you or sail with you for a short time while you learn your vessel. We’d love to help if we have the time.
Be sure to check out our YouTube video on the course.