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Captain's Application Process Documenting Boating Experience: Form CG-719S

You can download and print Form CG-719S here


What form do you use to record sea service time for the USCG?  

To document your experience on the water, use the Small Vessel Sea Service Form (CG-719S) and record to the best of your recollection the number of days that you were on the water in any given month and year.  


The Coast Guard is not looking for law books or official records to certify this time. If you have these documents and records, great! You can use them to reconstruct the time you’ve spent on the water. If you don’t have them, don’t worry. 


How many CG-719S forms do I need to complete?  

You must complete one form for each vessel you are claiming experience on. One form is good for 1 vessel over a 5-year period. If you have time on multiple vessels, you will need multiple forms. If you have time on 1 vessel over a 10-year span, you will need 2 CG-719S forms.  


What information do I need to include on CG-719S? 

The documentary evidence that you submit must contain the amount and nature of your experience, the vessel name, gross tonnage, official numbers, the routes upon which the experience was acquired, and approximate dates of service. 


Please read the form carefully. Be sure to complete all sections, as required. Failure to complete the required information will result in rejection of the form and the sea service credit sought on that form. 


What do I fill out for Section I: Application Information? 

This is where a mariner documents his or her personal information, boat information and a description of the waters on which his or her experience was obtained. Please note: Individual forms must be completed for each vessel on which service is claimed. A single form claiming service on multiple vessels will not be accepted. 


This form is only for vessels 200 GRT and less. Service on vessels of greater than 200 GRT should be reflected in an approved alternate method. 

  1. Only one vessel per Small Vessel Sea Service form. 
  2. Vessel Name: If the vessel is not documented, you must provide a name and this form must be attested to by a party other than the applicant. If the vessel does not have a documented name, the vessel name box may be left empty. 
  3. Official Number or State Registration Number: An applicant must provide an official number or state registration number. Please do not try to “make up” a number from identifying information on a document pertaining to the vessel that you hold. This practice will result in your form being rejected. If you have questions as to what numbers are the vessel’s identifying numbers, please call our the NMC Customer Service Center 888-427-5662 for assistance. 
  4. Vessel Gross Tons: To receive credit toward endorsements with tonnage limitations of over 25 GRT, the applicant must supply the GRT (water displacement) of the vessel on which they are claiming service. If unsure of the GRT of the vessel, please be sure to provide the width, length, and depth of the vessel on this form. All three measurements are required so that displacement may be calculated for you. 
  5. If you do not know the Gross Tonnage (GT) of your vessel and you know the width, length, and depth, you can use this calculation to get the GT: Length x Width x Depth x .67 divided by 100. 
  6. Served As: The applicant must indicate which department(s) he or she served in. There are only three service departments aboard a vessel: deck, steward, and engine. An applicant must not serve in a position for which manning is required by the Coast Guard without the corresponding endorsement or they will not receive credit for the service. If multiple departments are indicated without a specific breakdown of time served in each department, then overall service will be split equally between the departments listed. (Example: One hundred days submitted as “cook and deckhand” will result in a credit of 50 days in the steward department and 50 days in the deck department). 
  7. Name of Body or Bodies of Water Upon Which Vessel Was Underway: The applicant must provide a written description of the waters on which they served. This may be a general description (i.e., “Atlantic Ocean”) but must correspond to the breakdown provided in Section III. To receive credit toward endorsements with Great Lakes or near coastal privileges, the applicant must supply a description of the specific waters on which they are claiming service. All descriptions of waters which do not qualify as Great Lakes or near coastal are considered “inland” for the purposes of evaluation. Lakes, Bays, sounds, Rivers, and Inter Coastal Waterways are considered shoreward/Inland (i.e., Chesapeake Bay or San Fransisco Bay are considered shoreward/Inland water). 
  8. Propulsion: For auxiliary sail endorsements, service aboard vessels with sail or auxiliary sail propulsion must be demonstrated. For service to be credited toward these endorsements, the propulsion type must be specifically listed. 


Common errors on this section:  

  • Leaving required boxes blank 
  • Claiming “owner” as position served 
  • Claiming engineer service on a vessel without an engine room 
  • Not including all requested vessel measurements 
  • Claiming service on a vessel of over 200 GRT on this form 
  • Claiming Great Lakes or near coastal waters credit when no matching written description is provided 
  • Providing identifying information for someone other than the applicant (usually the information of a person attesting to service) 
  • Not providing a reference number and/or Social Security Number 
  • Not listing an actual state registry number or official number of a vessel 


What do I fill out for Section II: Record of Underway Service?  

This section is where you count your days of experience; treat it like a calendar. List the number of days that you were underway for each month of each year, based on your best recollection. 


TIP: Take your time and complete each block individually and accurately for each year that you served. Use multiple forms for periods claimed of more than 5 years. 


Most CG Regional Exam centers (REC's) will accept 4 hours to count as one day for the OUPV/Six-pack/Charter Boat Captain or 25/50/100 Ton Master License. In no case will this period be less than 4 hours. 

  1. Box 1 will contain the total number of days claimed on this form. It should equal the sum of all the days indicated in the top part of this section. It should also equal the total of days claimed in boxes 2, 3, and 4. 
  2. Box 2 will contain a breakdown of the number of days you are claiming service on waters of the Great Lakes. 
  3. Box 3 will contain a breakdown of the number of days you are claiming service on inland waters (i.e., shoreward of the boundary line). 
  4. Box 4 will contain a breakdown of the number of days you are claiming service on near coastal waters (i.e., seaward of the boundary line). 


      Check out this video on documenting sea service time. 




      Common errors on this section: 

      • Using lines, arrows, or other shorthand, instead of individually writing down days served 
      • Attempting to cover periods of more than 5 years on one form 
      • Claiming a greater number of days served in a month than the number of days that month has in it. (Example: Claiming 31 days of service in February.) 
      • Claiming the same periods of time served on forms for different vessels. Coast Guard policy allows mariners to only claim the maximum number of days in each month across all vessels served. For example, do not indicate 25 days underway for the month of March 2012 on “VESSEL A” AND 25 days underway for the month of March 2012 on “VESSEL B.” There are only 31 total days in March. 
      • Do not list underway days per month repetitively. For example: If you record being underway 30 days for every month for 5 years this will raise a red flag. You will be sent an Awaiting Information Letter from the National Maritime Center requiring an accurate accounting of this time underway. 


      What do I fill out for Section III: Signature and Verification? 

      Completing this section is considered documenting your sea service experience. This is where the applicant attests to the accuracy of his/her documented service. 

      It must be signed by the applicant and the vessel owner, operator or master. If the applicant was the vessel owner than proof of ownership, such as state registration or vessel documentation, must be included. 

      1. Applicant will always sign and date this line. 
      2. If YOU are the OWNER of the vessel listed on this form, proof of ownership must be provided. Proof of ownership should include your name (name of applicant) and the official number or state registration number of the vessel. Acceptable forms of proof of ownership include registrations, proof of insurance, and bills of sale. If you are signing as the owner of a company such as an LLC, then you will need to include proof of ownership of the company such as articles of incorporation. 
      3. If you are the applicant and owner of the vessel on the form, you do not need to sign and date this section. If you are the applicant and do not own the vessel on the form, then you will need to have the owner, operator, or master sign, date, and provide his/her address and phone number. If you are the Master of the vessel, but not the owner, you cannot attest to your own service. You must have the owner of the vessel complete the days underway and sign in this section and give their address and phone number. 


          Common errors on this section:  

          • Not signing and dating each form submitted 
          • Printing the applicant’s name instead of signing as the applicant 
          • The applicant signing as person attesting to experience 
          • Not providing legible required contact information for the person attesting 
          • Not providing an address and/or phone contact for the person attesting 
          • The applicant failing to sign after obtaining the signature of someone to attest to their service 


          Check out our blog on documenting your boating experience here.  


          Where can I see the boundary lines for my area? 

          You can view the boundary lines of the country here. If you are located in the Gulf of Mexico, check out this article


          How can I calculate my tonnage of my vessel? 

          Look over this guideline document on calculating tonnage of a vessel you are claiming time on.  


          How do I document my military sea service time?  

          Military sea service may be counted towards the sea service required to become a mariner. This military sea service is only part of the evaluation process. Documentation is key and must be submitted with the MMC application package to a Regional Exam Center. 


          The following military service is evaluated in accordance with 46 Code of Federal Regulations 10.232 and Marine Safety Manual Vol III, Part A, Chapter II: 

          • Vessel name 
          • GRT or displacement tonnage 
          • Propulsion Power 
          • Dates assigned to the vessel 
          • Position served (BMC, SK1, LT, etc.) 
          • Propulsion Power 


          Per 46 CFR 10.232(d), as interpreted in Marine Safety Manual Chapter 2, military evaluations require the applicant to provide a Transcript of Sea Service (TOSS), History of Assignments, or acceptable military tracking software printout documenting all information required by 46 CFR 10.232(a). 


          Sea service documentation must contain vessel information such as the name of each vessel or its official number, the period of time the mariner was assigned to each vessel, horsepower, tonnage, area of operation, rating for enlisted or rank for officers, and position held while assigned to a vessel. 

          • A DD-214 form will not be accepted to document sea service because it does not include all the required information 
          • Shipboard- or Unit-generated letters may only be used to document service for the currently assigned vessel or unit, provided it is signed by the commanding officer. It cannot provide past sea service and vessel information.  


          Sea service MAY be creditable for up to approximately 70 percent (60 percent plus 25 percent of time assigned to vessel other than while underway) of time served onboard vessels, provided your service started prior to March 24, 2014. If service is after March 24, 2014, it will be credited at 60 percent. 


          Individuals who have the qualifying service as indicated above are eligible for this consideration regardless of present status. Therefore, active-duty members, reservists, retirees, recently separated personnel, and civilian mariners with qualifying service on uniformed service vessels are eligible to be considered under these provisions. 


          You can read more on this here