Able Seaman



Click Buy Now and proceed through checkout to enroll in the Able Seaman Course. 

Once checked out, you are redirected to your “My Courses” page where you can click on your course to get started. Take your Final Examination Online!

If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Full Course Description

Please read through the informational tabs.

Able Seaman Course

An able seaman (AB) is a Naval rating of the deck department of a merchant ship with more than two years’ experience at sea and considered “well acquainted with his duty.” An AB may work as a watchstander, a day worker, or a combination of these roles. Once a sufficient amount of sea time is acquired, then the AB can apply to take a series of courses/examinations to become certified as an officer.

Course Materials

Everything needed to complete the exam modules and final exams are included in the purchase price of the course and located in the online classroom.

The Marlinespike Seamanship Practical Demonstration requires a three strand line to demonstrate splicing and any line about four feet long for knot tying. The line we recommend for splicing is a three strand nylon line with electrical tape whipping as seen in the videos. For knot tying we recommend a double braid line about 4 feet long.

Exam Modules

The three exam modules listed below make up the Able Seaman Course.

  • Navigation and Rules of the Road
  • Deck General/Safety
  • Marlinespike Seamanship Practical Demonstration

Your “My Courses” Page

Upon purchase of a course you are redirected to your “My Courses” page. This page shows your course and exam modules which make up the course you purchased. When you purchase the Able Seaman Course the following courses show up on your My Courses page.

  • Able Seaman – the main course that triggers enrollment in other courses
  • Navigation and Rules of the Road – exam module
  • Deck General/Safety – exam module
  • Marlinespike Seamanship Practical Demonstration – exam module
  • Final Examination Able Seaman – the final exams you take with your proctor
  • USCG Application Packet Course – helps you fill out your USCG Application Packet

In addition to being redirected to your “My Course” page you will receive an email with the subject “US Captains Training Username and Password.” This email allows you to reset your password and access your account details.

Online Final Examination

Take the Final Examination Online as soon as you are ready. The process is convenient, reliable and USCG approved. You are never alone during Online Final Examinations. Your proctor is always present to guide you through the process.


Complete the Exam Modules which make up your AB Course. You must complete your Exam Modules before you may schedule your Final Examination.


Contact us to connect with your proctor for the Online Final Examination. During the initial consultation you schedule your first exam session as well as ask questions you might have about the process.


Pass the Final Exam for each of the Exam Modules as well as the Marlinespike Seamanship Practical Demonstration which make up the Able Seaman Course.

  • Navigation and Rules of the Road – 50 Questions – 70% to pass
  • Deck General/Safety – 50 Questions – 70% to pass
  • Marlinespike Seamanship Practical Demonstration – satisfactory to pass

Answers to FAQs

Below are answers to the most frequently asked question we receive about the Online Final Examination.

  • You may take the final examination in multiple sessions so you can review and study between sessions.
  • Once you start the final examination you have 90 days to finish.
  • You have three chances to pass each exam module.
  • If you fail any exam module three times the USCG requires that you must retake the entire final examination.
  • If you need to start over you do not need to repurchase the course, you simply pay a retest fee to compensate the proctor for a second round of testing.
  • The online Final Examination is the only final examination you need to take. There is no testing with the USCG. Our Online Final Examination has been approved by the USCG and is in lieu of testing at the REC.


The USCG qualifications an applicant must meet to hold an Able Seaman Deck Rating are presented below and based on the USCG Checklists for Able Seaman.

General Requirements

  • Must have U.S. Citizenship OR be an alien admitted for permanent
  • Must be at least age 18
  • Medical Certificate Requirement
    • Original – Must hold a valid Medical Certificate or be approved for
      Medical Certificate
    • Renewal, ROG, New Endorsement – Must hold an unexpired Medical
      Certificate or submit a Medical Certificate application
  • Drug Testing Compliant
  • Mariner Fees must be paid

Sea Service Requirements for Able Seaman Deck Rating

AB Unlimited
  • 1080 days deck service on Oceans or Great Lakes.
AB Limited
  • 540 days deck service on vessels of 100 GRT or more, not
    exclusive to rivers & smaller inland lakes of the U. S.
AB Special
  • 360 days deck service on navigable waters of the U. S.
  • 180 days deck service on navigable waters of the U. S.
AB Sail
  • 180 days of deck service on sailing school vessels, oceanographic
    research vessels powered primarily by sail or equivalent sail vessels on any
    navigable waters of the U. S.
AB Fishing
  • 180 days of deck service, not as a processor, on any navigable
    waters of the U.S. “Combi” is not deck service
  • 360 days of service on vessels 65 feet or over on any navigable
    waters of the U.S.

Requirement for all ABs


*Important* Lifeboatman (Proficiency in Survival Craft)

In order to get an AB endorsement you must complete an approved Lifeboatman (Proficiency in Survival Craft) Course as well. We do not offer the Lifeboatman (Proficiency in Survival Craft) Course at this time. The links below bring you to Lifeboatman Courses from other schools:


Compass Courses Maritime Training


Training Resources Maritime Institute

USCG License Application

You must submit an Application Packet to the US Coast Guard (USCG) to earn a license. You may submit your application packet to the USCG before or after taking a course.

IMPORTANT: Your course completion certificate (Certificate of Training) will satisfy the testing requirements for your license however, we recommend preparing your application and submitting it ASAP. The application evaluation process typically takes 4 to 6 weeks. You do NOT need to include your course completion certificate with your application. If your application is evaluated and approved for issuance, you will be given one year to complete the course!

If you need help putting your application together, we have prepared the following resources:

  • A USCG Application Packet Course is included with your purchase! This course contains videos that guide you through each section of each form that makes up a USCG Application Packet so you can submit it to the USCG yourself.
  • We have created an Application Form Generator to help prefill some of the forms for you.
  • The National Maritime Center website has resources including live chat if you have questions for the USCG.
  • If this process seems overwhelming, time consuming, or if you just want professional help putting your application together, we recommend contacting Diamond Marine Services. The team at DMS have credentialing experts and former National Maritime Center evaluators on their staff and can quickly guide you to a complete and properly prepared application. You can reach them at 877-335-6341.

Application Packet

A USCG application packet contains everything the USCG needs to process and issue your captain’s license. Fill out the Forms and complete the Tasks below to create an application packet. Don’t forget to try our Application Form Generator!


The US Coast Guard (USCG) application packet consists of the following USCG forms. Visit our Application Page for video tutorials of each form.


To complete an application packet you must complete the following tasks.

  • TWIC – Applicants for original licenses must apply for a TWIC and include the receipt in their application packet.
  • Pay.Gov – Go to Pay.Gov and pay processing and issuance of your license. 
  • CPR & First Aid – Take this USCG Approved Online CPR & First Aid Course. Send a copy of your CPR & First Aid Card in with your application packet.

Application Packet Costs

The total cost of completing a USCG application packet will vary. The figures below are cost estimates based on our experience.

  • Physical and Drug Test – $160 – This is our best estimate for a physical and drug test.
    • Any primary care physician can complete the USCG Physical (719K).
    • We recommend US Drug Test Centers 866-566-0261 for scheduling a drug screen at a local lab.
  • TWIC – $125 – Applicants for original licenses must apply for a TWIC.
  • Pay.Gov – $145 – Pay for processing and issuance of your license. Renewals and modification of an existing license will cost less.
  • CPR & First Aid $74.95 – Online and USCG Approved.

Certificate of Training

The Certificate of Training satisfies USCG testing requirements. Once you complete the course and online final examination your Certificate of Training is issued. As a reminder, you can prepare and submit your application before completing the course. Keep in mind that due to USCG regulation, your Certificate of Training is only valid for one year.

  • If you completed the course first, please include your certificate of training with your application.
  • If you have already submitted your application, you can send your Certificate of Application via email to

Email your Application Packet

Please follow the USCG Electronic Submission Instructions to email your complete USCG Application Packet to the Regional Examination Center (REC) nearest you. The USCG processes and issues your license once they have evaluated your application packet. The USCG evaluation process takes about four to six weeks.

If your packet is incomplete or filled out incorrectly the USCG will mail you a letter explaining what additional information they need. Get that information together and send it to the USCG to keep the process moving.