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I'm thinking about getting my captains license for the Great Lakes. I've been fishing Lake Michigan since I was 10 and I'm 18 now and I'm thinking about getting my captains license, and I don't know anything about getting it.

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You need to find a job as a first mate and see if that is actually the life you want. One of the license requirements is that you must have had 360 days on the water. Nothing counts before your 16th birthday so the first mate job will help you reach that part of the license requirement.

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What Dan said, also its NOT cheap and its not a immediately a money maker. Remember you are dealing with government agencies and they work at their pace. I was getting mine but it started "tens and hundredsing" aka nickel and dimeing me! So I stopped while I was ahead. If you want to make money at it plan on heading south and fish the ocean.

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Yep what the others said. When time there are a number of schools that give the class and test. You also need drug testing program and first aid ,cpr class. It can be a great thing but don't kid yourself its work. When I was a mate it was my second job period.

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uscaptainstraining.com. You can do the course online and test with the administrators. They also offer classroom courses as well. The website also has all the steps and paperwork requirements spelled out.

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Get yourself a copy of 'Chapman Piloting and Seamship'. Learn everything in the the book. It's the stuff you need to know for operating a vessel safely, and you'll also need to know it for the captains test.

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Like several of my good friends who are charter captains say chartering is a great way to make a small fortune if you started with a large one!:grin:

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I checked everything out a few months ago be prepared to drop hundreds here there and everywhere. I strongly recommend getting a good business plan before you invest a dime. At age 18 I would join the coast guard and get my captains license through them. You will also get plenty of water time.You will also have a full time job at a location near water where you can start as a captain.

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