Richard Plant has over 27.5 years of teaching experience in the maritime industry. After 3 years of sailing, Richard began his teaching career by spending 3 years at Texas Maritime Academy in Galveston, Texas and then the next 24.5 years at MITAGS – the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots (IOMM&P) world class Conference/Training facility, located in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. Richard has earned his reputation developing and teaching numerous courses at MITAGS.
Richard is also known for his 1975 editions of “The Multiple Choice Study Guides for 3rd and 2nd Mates” and “The Multiple Choice Study Guides for Chief Mates and Masters”. Both were published by Cornell Maritime Press, and stopped being produced in the late 1980’s, once the National Maritime Center (NMC) made available to the public, under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), the actual USCG questions utilized for all levels of license exams. Richard also published, through Cornell Maritime Press, now Schiffer Publishing, Inc., “The Formulae For The Mariner”, which is still available. Richard brought together both his knowledge and skill in teaching and computer programming, utilizing initially Access 97 and Microsoft Office 2003, to develop a sample database program from which LAPWARE was developed. But Richard Plant could not do it alone! Richard needed someone with present knowledge of the NMC database of exam questions and how to possibly categorize questions. Richard turned to the most knowledgeable person in the industry, Captain Joseph Murphy from Massachusetts Maritime Academy, author of the Deck Guide Books or “Murphy Books”.
Since the partnership was created in 2001 developing LAPWARE, LLC and the LAPWARE Deck program going live on the Internet in April 2002, all state and federal maritime academies, most major maritime labor organizations, a few small mom-and-pop training schools, as well as larger ones, a few Community Colleges, and hundreds, if not thousands, of mariners utilize (have utilized) LAPWARE to prepare for their credential. In March 2010, LAPWARE ENGINE was introduced and LAPWARE has been a leader in working with the National Maritime Center to encourage them, and the USCG, to repost the questions database taken down in July 2010, and reposted in September 2012, September 2013 with updates in February 2014 (posting of illustrations) and May 2014 (posting of Electricity updates). The NMC posted illustrations for Deck and Engineers on the NMC website for which Richard Block and Richard Plant have been acknowledged by Captain Jeff Novotny, Head of the NMC, for their actions, as posted on the NMC Website.
In March 2014, LAPWARE introduced a new eBook server – www.LAPWARE-StudyAids.org on which is posted both eBooks for Deck and Engine mariners. These cover Stability, Rules of the Road and the Books needed to be studied and reviewed for Engineering Licenses. Other books are also being developed and will be posted when completed. Presently this website ONLY allows Windows operating computers having Internet Access to purchase, download and view the files. It is hoped that by the end of 2016 a new program will be developed allowing purchase, download and viewing of the eBook files WITHOUT the need for Internet Access to view the files. The “Ship Stability by LAPWARE” and Rules of the Road Handbook (Regulations, Questions and Illustration) are presently posted as an eBook for MAC users and are available from Apple.
Richard, since retiring on December 31, 2010 from MM&P has been very actively involved in working on LAPWARE (Deck, Engine, Study Aids), as well as guiding the LAPWARE programmers in making improvements to the programs to keep it as the best license preparation program on the market. As of September 11, 2017, LAPWARE has updated the program in HTML 5 so that it will work on all modern devices and browsers. We hope you find this beneficial.