Able Seaman

  • Length5 Days
  • Pre-requisiteNone

Course Description

This five-day able-bodied seaman course (MITPMI-1) is for mariners at the entry-level position. It provides you with the knowledge, understanding and proficiency to work safely and efficiently aboard today’s merchant vessels as a mariner with an AB Unlimited, AB Limited or AB Special license. Marlinspike seamanship proficiency is demonstrated by actually tying various knots, bends, hitches and splices.


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What You Will Learn

  • Marlinspike Seamanship, Shipboard Terminology
  • Rules of the Road
  • Aid to Navigation
  • Watchstanding and Helmsman Duties
  • Ship Construction and Cargo Handling, Anchoring and Mooring
  • Fire Fighting, Towing, Deck Maintenance
  • Shipboard Emergencies and Life Saving
  • First Aid
  • Marine Pollution
  • Identify the fundamentals and requirements of standing a proper wheelhouse watch, lookout watch, and steps to properly relieve a watch
  • Identify the fundamentals and state the requirements of being a helmsman of a Navigational Watch
  • State the various emergency situations that may occur aboard ship and the proper actions that need to be taken in order to survive
  • Identify the emergency radio equipment found aboard ship, which aids in survival and rescue; as well as a pyrotechnics and lifesaving signals.
  • State the environmental protection procedures and regulations
  • Define and identify common terminology associated with ship construction
  • Define common terminology and definition as applied to the Navigation Rules of the Road
  • Identify lights, dayshapes, and sound signals when used in accordance with the Navigation Rules of the Road
  • Identify Distress Signals, and signals to attract attention
  • Identify terms associated with ship construction and the basic components that comprise vessel structure
  • State how to measure, advantages and disadvantages, and care of natural, synthetic and wire rope

Any student who completes the U.S. Coast Guard-approved able seaman course will satisfy the following Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 2010 and Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) training requirements:

  • The written examination requirement of 46 CFR 12.405(a) for the “Deck General and Navigational General,” “Deck Safety and Rules of the Road;” AND
  • The “Practical Marlinspike Seamanship Demonstration” requirement of 46 CFR 12.405(c); AND

  • The written “Survival Craft” examination requirements of 46 CFR 12.409 for any endorsement as Able Seaman restricted to vessels without lifeboats; AND

  • The training requirements of STCW Code Section A-II/5, Table A-II/5, and the competency requirements of 46 CFR 12.603(a)(4); AND

  • The following Tasks from Enclosure (3) to Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars NVIC 14-14: 2.1.A, 2.1.B, 2.2.A, 2.2.B, 2.2.C, 2.2.D, 2.3.A, 2.3.B, 2.5.A, 3.1.A, 3.2.A, 4.1.A, 4.2.A, 4.3.A, 4.4.A, 4.4.B, 4.4.C, 4.4.D, 4.5.A, 4.6.B, 4.6.C, 4.7.A, 4.8.A, 4.8.B, 4.8.C, 4.9.A, 4.10.A, 4.11.A, 4.12.A, 4.13.A, 5.1.A, 5.2.A, 5.3.A, 5.3.B, 5.3.C, 5.4.A, 5.5.A, 5.5.B, 5.5.C, 5.5.E, 5.6.A, 5.6.B, 5.6.C, 5.7.A, 5.8.A, 5.9.A, 5.10.A, 5.10.B, 6.1.A, 6.1.B, 6.2.A, 6.3.A, 8.4.A, 8.4.B, and 8.5.A. Applicants are not required to present the completed record of assessment sheets when applying for STCW endorsement.

How to Get an AB Endorsement

To get certified as an able seaman by the United States Coast Guard (USCG), you must meet these general requirements:

  • Be age 18 years or older
  • Provide proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Pass a drug test
  • Provide a valid medical certificate
  • Complete the CG-719B application

Additional requirements rely on your desired AB type, which can include:


  • AB Unlimited: Mandates 1,080 days of deck service on a vessel transversing the Great Lakes or ocean.
  • AB Limited: Requires 540 days of deck service on a vessel traveling U.S. rivers and inland lakes. The ship must have a gross register tonnage (GRT) of at least 100.
  • AB Special: Demands 360 days of deck service on a vessel navigating U.S. bodies of water.

Less common types of AB include:

  • AB OSV
  • AB Sail
  • AB Fishing

Our ordinary seaman training courses provide the necessary skills to meet the above able seaman requirements.


Related Courses

Available Dates - BALTIMORE

  • CourseAble Seaman
  • DateApr 13 2020 to Apr 17 2020
  • Price$1,100
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Available Dates - SEATTLE

No available course sessions at this time. Please check back at a later date.