June 5, 2014 
If you intend to apply for your Captain's License, or have recently applied, please read the following and be aware of the extended time it is currently taking to process the license applications. 
We have just become of aware of very long processing times for Captain's Licenses. We recently heard from a student whose license took 10 weeks to be issued. This morning, we made a call to the National Maritime Center where applications are processed and were told to start informing our students that they should expect a MINIMUM WAIT TIME OF 8 WEEKS
This is very different than what we have become used to. Up until the government shut down last October, the typical processing time our students experienced was about two weeks. 
So if you've already submitted make sure to respond immediately if they request further information from you. 
If you're planning on getting your license and you need it by a certain date, get on board for one of our live online classes. We'll help you get the paperwork started and you can get your Captain's License with a live online instructor and only four other students at a time. 
- Small classes 
- Individualized attention 
- You don't leave home until the end of class
- Navigation practice and exams usually take two days in our Livermore classroom 
In this issue:
- This week, the Captain's Spotlight is on Captain Maury Hatch of First Hatch Guide Service! 
- The Captain's Corner continues our discussion about life jackets. 
-The topic in Frequently Asked Questions this week is The Top Ten Reasons Why Credentials Are Delayed . 
- Don't forget to check out and pass along the dates of our next Captain's License Classes.
- Make sure you get a look at how our online classes work. See "Our Live Online Classes" at the bottom of this page.
We hope you enjoy this issue and look forward to your suggestions and feedback!


Lori and Rachel Cortez

CQuest Marine 

(510) 573-0641


Captain's Spotlight
To continue our Captain Spotlight series, CQuest Marine would like to introduce Captain Maury Hatch, of First Hatch Guide Service.

Before Maury Hatch became Captain Maury he had experience as a ski instructor and in the restaurant business. He has been successful in both of these careers, but many know that the best job for anyone, the dream career, lies in doing what you love; and Captain Maury loves fly fishing. Captain Maury says "my dream was to take what I know about fly fishing, and turn other people on to fly fishing so I can transition out of the restaurant business". Now, Captain Maury is the owner of "First Hatch Guide Service" which offers fly fishing charters in Northern California. After being "a slave to the restaurant business" for over three decades, Captain Maury believes he'll "be able to do fly fishing full-time...in the next few years".


As a fly fishing guide Captain Maury works with a skilled clientele who have a certain level of proficiency in casting, for this reason he doesn't often take beginners on his trips. His responsibility lies in taking people to the fish. As a Captain, his main priority and biggest challenge is making sure everyone has a good time. He says, "I'm in charge of making sure people have the time of their lives, and when they do it's such a rush to see they've had a good time". This kind of customer service oriented attitude has built him a good reputation and he has many repeat clients, people want to fish with him. 





Captain's Corner
Weekly questions about the ins and outs of running a passenger vessel.

What About Life Jackets?
Part Two

Last week's article focused on the questions Captains must consider regarding life jackets on their passenger vessels. This week we'll dig into some of the aspects of inflatable life jackets that we should be aware of.


There are three main features to look for in inflatable pfds; automatic, manual and oral inflation.


Automatic inflation relies mostly on a dissolvable stopper, like a bobbin or a pill, along with a spring/pin arrangement. The water dissolves the bobbin and the spring powered pin punches the CO2 canister, the gas is released and the jacket inflates. There is a matter of maintenance for this, considering the environment that the PFD is used in as well as how it is stowed. Many see this complication of spring/pin as the weak link in the system. This is the reason that EVERY automatic has a Manual Cord and Oral Tube


The Manual arrangement is simple; you pull a 'rip cord' and the vest inflates. To supply more air, you use the oral tube supplied.


The oral tube fulfills two functions. The first is that many manufactures have a C02 cylinder that does not fully inflate the air bladder. The air bladder may hold 40 pounds of buoyancy lifting air, but the cylinder may only supply the USCG minimum for the Type class 22.5-34 pounds. The oral tube allows you to top off the bladder. The second instance for the oral tube is rarer; there are products that only have an oral tube so that you can inflate the item when you know you are going on the water. There is no USCG approved device that uses an oral tube only.


An automatic is supposed to inflate on contact with water - and not just spray, to make it inflate. A type V hybrid inflatable could save your life if you were knocked unconscious while going overboard. An automatic inflatable could also inflate inconveniently if you plunge through a wave and take water over the bow.


The manual inflatable requires you to be conscious and aware of what you are doing to pull the release for the cylinder. The manual inflatable is the most reliable of the two and requires less servicing.


Because of the distinctive design of Inflatable PFD's, they are not recommended for all water sports activities. The possibility of impact should be considered when choosing a pfd. Inflatable PFDs are not for use for active water sports activities such as skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, white water, or PWC.


One size fits almost all. The Coast Guard requires a user to be a minimum 16 years old and  not less than 80 pounds to wear an inflatable PFD. The Coast Guard also takes the position that non-swimmers should not wear this type of PFD.


Inflatable PFDs require regular user checks and maintenance and are available in adult sizes only. The table below is an example of a maintenance schedule recommended by Stearns.

We'll continue our discussion about life jackets next week. Help make the next few articles more meaningful by sharing your thoughts and/or questions with us.

Our Live Online Classes
A New Way to Get Your Captain's License! 
We have received an approval from the Coast Guard to conduct all of our Captain's License Classes in an online format. These are NOT the sit-by-yourself-in-front-of-the-computer classes that you may have seen elsewhere. These are live, online, face-to-face by webcam classes with an instructor and five students at a time on a secure platform. 
It's a new and convenient way to get your license:  
- Easy to fit into your schedule  
- All course materials will be mailed to you 
- No daily traffic hassles  
Find out more about our online classes here:

In This Issue
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Our Next Captain's License Classes
There are still a few seats left in each of these classes!

Start Dates:

June 16 Evening Class
July 7 Day Class
July 21 Evening Class
Our July Classes are starting to fill up.
Give us a call to reserve your seat!
510 573-0641
Check out our website for classes scheduled throughout the rest of the year.

Frequently Asked Questions
Here we cover the Who - What - Where - When - Why and How of Captain's Licensing
Top 10 Common Errors and Tips for Mariners to Avoid Delays with their License Application
(1) Medical Condition - Additional medical information is required whenever a significant
medical condition is identified on the Merchant Marine Personnel Physical Examination Report. 
(2) Sea Service - If there is missing or conflicting information on sea service letters or forms. Further, if a small vessel sea service form is used, it must be certified and signed by the owner/master. If you are the owner operator, proof of ownership is required. 

(3) Applications - An incomplete application will be returned for correction if the application is
missing mandatory signatures or the "Applying for:" block is left blank. 

(4) Physical Exam - If the CG 719K/719KE form, Merchant Marine Credential Medical
Evaluation Report is not complete, this may result in delays as well. Particular attention is paid to the "competent," "not competent," and "needs further review" boxes in Section X - Verifying Medical Practitioner Recommendation, which are frequently left blank. 

(5) Training Certificate(s) - If training certificates are not included with the application, additional information may be required. 
(6) Copies of Required Certificates/Documents - Additional information is required if photocopies of essential documents are not provided. Essential documents may include First Aid and CPR certificates or 
citizenship documents when required, etc.

(7) User Fees - Fee payments are missing or incorrect with application submission. 

(8) Drug Screen - A drug screen is often rejected because it does not contain the Medical
Review Officer's signature.

(9) Current or Past License or Document - A mariner who is holding, or who has
held a license or MMC, and does not indicate it on the application, or does not include a copy of their credentials, with the application package, may experience delays. This especially applies for renewals and mariners with previous transactions. 

(10) Conviction Statement - Additional information is required if mariners fail to disclose all prior convictions that they have not reported on a previous application. 
We've been helping our CQuest Captains submit their applications for ten years now. While we not in the position to make any decision regarding our students applications, we are happy to share our experience.




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