Documenting Your Boating Experience
Below is an outline of the Small Vessel Sea Service Form CG-719S. 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.
Click this link to view the video: Documenting Your Boating Experience
SECTION I: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
SECTION II: This is the record of underway sea service experience. The top part of this section is a worksheet to record a breakdown of the estimated days by year and calendar month. The bottom part of this section contains boxes to record totals of the information from the top of this section.
Use this portion of the form to document the number of days in each month and the corresponding year in which you are claiming service credit.
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.
Average hours underway (per day) can be no less than 4 hours for credit to be awarded.
You must specify the number of days served on each route (inland, Great Lakes, and/or near coastal).
The first box, 1, should be the total number of days claimed on this particular form. It should equal the sum of all the days indicated in the top part of this section. It should also equal the sum total of days claimed in boxes 2, 3, and 4
Box 2 will contain a breakdown of the number of days you are claiming service on waters of the Great Lakes.
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).
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).
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.
SECTION III: This is where the applicant attests to the accuracy of his/her documented service.
Mariners must complete the signature and date of the applicant. If the Small Vessel Sea Service Form you are using is a newer form, this signature and verification box may be located on a second page.
If you are the owner of the vessel, you must also submit proof of ownership with the Small Vessel Sea Service Form. For questions regarding proof of ownership, see How do I document sea service?
If you do not own the vessel, you cannot attest to your own service—even if you are serving as master. You will need to have an owner, operator, or another master attest to the days underway by signing this section and providing 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.