Studying for an Upgrade

Ben Eriksen Carey News, Words 6 Comments

I’m busy studying for a 500 ton mate’s license as well as a 200 ton master upgrade. I’m knee deep in the cargo handling section right now. There’s alot of information too absorb, most of it about subjects I have no first hand experience with… like the use of the psychrometric chart to avoid damage to cargo. But it’s interesting, and I thoroughly enjoying learning it all.


I’m a hawsepiper through and through. There are classes you can take that will walk you through the subject matter in one or two weeks time. They prep you to pass the exam. But I’ve never tried that, as I prefer to take my time and dive deep into the subject matter. It takes me months. The advantages of taking a course are that you are forced to study and cover all the material, and you do it within a specified time. That can be a real bonus if you have trouble motivating yourself.  But I just motivated myself by setting a test date of Feb 6th. It’ll take a me a few days of testing to get through the 8 modules I have to take — 3 modules for the 200 upgrade and 5 for the 500 mate.

I’ve always been a fan of the MET books — known as the Big Blue Books. I used them ever since I first got my original license in ’97. This time ’round I invested in some software… Upgrade U is an iOS/Android app I use nearly everyday for on-the-go quizzing and studying. It comes with the complete question database plus all reference materials available in the exam room, like the CFRs, the chemical data guide, etc. In addition it has documents you need to know and love like the Rules of the Road and Chart #1.

Well, I should probably get back to it.





Comments 6

  1. Kim Young

    Very interesting Ben! Out of curiosity (and if you care to share), what do you intend to do with a 200T Masters and 500T Mate’s license? Is that on the order of “large ocean research vessel” ? Large tall ship? General knowledge for your own continuing education?

    1. Post
      1. Kim Young

        Very cool. Best of luck to you!

        So, if I was hoping to take a Teresa & Ben Morse Alpha sailing class in the next year or two, it would seem that I better get hopping before that is not longer an option!

  2. plio

    Mr Eriksen , have you got the licences ? ( I wish you the best ) .

    Can you , please , explain , WHY, you use your wife’s last name ?

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