December 16, 2020

Back to School… How an oyster farmer grew his business by becoming a professional captain  – Part 3

Part 3 of our new Building Better Businesses Series follows Capt. Matt Behan back to school as he continues his journey to develop and evolve his career.

Building Better Businesses Series brought to you by the Professional Captains Association

In 2018, Matt Behan decided to pursue the 25/50/100 Ton Master Captain’s License course through Confident Captain. Certification of a USCG approved captain’s course is required in obtaining the Master 100 GT Captain’s License. 

The course as offered by Confident Captain ensures that graduates of the Master 100 GT course are prepared to obtain a US Coast Guard-issued master’s license which range from 25 to 100 GT. Confident Captain was founded by Captain Kent Dresser with the mission of supporting captains as they pursue various paths of career development and advancement. 

Behan describes,  “I liked Kent’s no bull-shit approach. He is not going to sugar coat it and tell you that this is easy. He is going to get you into the mentality that it is tough, and to complete it you have to be in the right place.”

The course offers 80 hours of curriculum, and a hybrid learning model that balances both online courses and the option for virtual tutoring and classroom instruction. This model provides students with the tools they need to break down and digest the material that the test requires them to know. “The great thing is the course is super quick. I was finished in ten days,” describes Behan. (Note: at this time all classroom only courses are on hold but our virtual tutoring and online courses are available).

Testing for the Master Captain’s License has earned a reputation among mariners as being tough, mainly due to the time commitment required for passing.  “I got myself right into college exam mode: I made lots of flashcards, and took a lot of self-tests. I was studying before work, lunch breaks, and wherever I could.” 

For those who take the course through Confident Captain, a variety of extra-help options exist. Individual or group-tutoring is offered online so that participants can be fully prepared to take their exam with confidence. 

The exam itself comprises 5 sections, that range from Rules of the Road, Plotting, Weather, and Safety, each of which allows a very thin margin of error. Behan describes, “They’re pretty stringent on the test, so it’s all about being prepared.” The exam is monitored and offered in person, with a variety of locations available for participants.

For more information on the course and exam, read “The Truth About Surviving Your Captain’s License Course and Exam: Three Tips.”

The Building Better Businesses Series will follow the journey of Captains in the workforce. The Professional Captains Association is here to support mariners from training to advocacy, advice, and membership deals. Learn more about joining: