wow... I have been reading this tread for a while and I find it interesting, that people know so little about the whole lic. issue. Even the ones who work in the industry and I am not talking about the recreational industry. If anyone follow the USCG's new policies, would know, that there are certain tonnage licnses are elliminated due to the fact that they are not recognized by the IMO. (international maritime organization) the US is a member
of this organization. The 100GRT lic, is not known or recognized by eny country outside of the US. It is also available as an inland or near coastal. the only reason for those licenses is that there aare still many small push boats, tugs, crew boats and utility boats out there. hey need to be maned and no company would be willing to pay an unlimited master or not even a 1600 master to drive one of those things. No one will be grandfathere in for higher tonnage, simply because of their qualifications would not meet basic international standards. the lowest level of tonnage that is know beyond the US is the 200GRT which is equal to 500 GT internationl tonnage convention. there used to be an oceans endorsment for it, but that was degraded to, what was called domestic oceans endorcement. Meaning, that you can go to any US posession or to Hawaii
as a payed crew as long as you did not enter into any other country. If you did, more than likely the company would be required to replace you with someone who holds the proper ticket with all the STCW endorsements. That happened in the bahamas
with an offshore
tug crew. the company thought in their arrogance, that they just send the crew over with out proper credentials, and the Bahamanians will bow dow to that. Well, the tug and barge was held untill the replacement crew arrived. Anyhw, long story short, USCG licence is not all that. Actually the requirement for the US license is one of the least stringent anywhere in the world. Most of the reason for the system the way it is, is political and thanks to the lobbyists for the companies who does not want to pay the momey for unlimited ticket masters.
Any license under 3rd Mate unlimited is considered a lower level licence, that includes the 1600 GRT master with oceans endorsement.
Because the US is heading toward the international standards in shipping
and licencing, it is very difficult to do the hawspipe route
. takes a lot of classes
and seatime to get there, and onc you actually achieve a 3rd mates ticket, you will in all probability not be able to land a job. All the ocean going merchant man comapies looking for maritime academy graduates. this leaves you with basically with some ferrys and oil field boats to look for work.
Tugs a little different, after the allision with the bridge in alabama
, the new regs required that one takes a steersman class, work as aprentice steersman for 360 days of seatime. then he/she get a mates ticket for an other 360, before the MOTV. Master of towing vessel. Well, with this new reg. the coasties shot the industry in the leg, so the reently watered it down. now, if you have 3 years actual experience in the capacity of your licence, you can get the endorsement. BTW, MOTV is not to be confused with the vessel assist endorsement on you 100GRT lic. that is only good for seatow and tow boat us or the likes, will not qualify you to tow or push a barge.
There is a lot of confusion about STCW also. That is required for any license that will allow you to go beyond the 200 mile limit. that is a whole bunch of classes
that you have to take, not just a 5 days basic training course.
So if anyone entertain the thought of getting into this business, which btw a well paying profession if you can get a job, would be well advised to go to an academy. If one insist on the haws pipe, be ready for some expensive classes, that will only teach you how to pass the test, hence why you wont be hired on a cargo ship with such background in education. You need an merchant marine
credential with OS, Wiper, Steward/food handler endorsement. that is entry level. also you will need the TWIC card, (what a joke that is) then you travel to louisiana, go down the bayou on LA1 and 308, or Morgan
city, and start ponding the pavement. that is how you get in. My advise is to stay away from agencies, they are the biggest rip off you ever seen. A car and a motel room for a week will get you a job. Not now of course, there is no work out there now in light of the recently passed events
with BP. Start as a deck
hand/rigger. Make sure you stay away from under 100 GRT vessels such as utility and crew boats. You need tonnage for getting any kind of licence that counts in the long run. You need to work toward your AB unlimited ticket to be able to get a 1600 GRT lic. no AB unlimited, not lic. that in itself will require you to get a basic safety
class, a "combined basic and advanced firefighting, RFPNW, (rating forming part of nvigation watch) the AB prep class, life boat endorsment and CPR. Also you will need 720 days of sea time. You can get that in 2 years on the typical schedule in the gulf. 28 days on, 14 off. then after that, you continue working untill you get enough time to take the class and take the test for 1600 grt mate. after that you'll need and other 360 days as a mate to up the lic. to master. to get there you will need radar
, Arpa, bridge resource management, ship's stability, medical
care provider, GMDSS, appropriate radio
lic. Celestial navigtion, terrestrial navigation
, and flashing lights. I am sure I missed something.
Now, you can get something like a OSV restricted lic, thats an other US invention for those who are academically somewhat chellenged, but like anything with restrictions will sverely restrict you employability.
Anyways, this is the long and short of it. I am sure that I have missed a bunch of things, but for anyone who is interested, all you have to do is to go on the USCG's website, and read a bunch of dry policy letters and intentions of policies and also the list of requirements for each licences that are available.
If you go in with a 100tonne lic. to the gulf, with only pleasure boat experience, the only time you can get a job when the patch is booming and they are desperate. Most will not make 3 hitches, some might go as lng as a year, and very few who stays with it.
can be good, there are companies who payed a 100 tonner around 350 to 475 a day. typically on the larger supply vessels you can see 500 to 650 a day, some may make more if its a speciallity vessel. An OS (ordenary seaman) would be between 120 to 180 a day ( dollars) an AB from about 185-325 a day. Tugs especially anchor
handlers pay well, but there is a better than averge chance to get hurt or killed on one of those.
As for the shortage of mariners. "Captains" are a dime a dozen. Comapanies are crying about shortage, but wont hire. they are lobbying against the Jones act, so they would be able to hire foreig crews. Much cheaper, and better qualified the most seaman I had the missfortune to work with. They were mostly good people in their own ways, but their knowledge and understanding the maritime trade
was miserably poor.it takes 4 years actual experience on ocean going essels before you are considered for an AB position outside of the US. Here, we have AB limited, AB special and AB unlimited. Go figure. anywhere else its AB. it is known that that in itself is an achievement.
You would be better off in the engine
department. easier to get a job, and as chief eng. the pay is damned close to the master's pay. more people want to be in the ACd wheel
house, than down in the belly listening to the motors screaming in the heat and cralling in the bilges changing out valves and pipes.
I would also reccomend to anyone who has any ticket to keep tabs on the going ons at the USCG concerning licencing issues, they are changing and changing fast. you all should keep up with it.
As to the recreational aspect of the work, I cant say much about that, but if telling stories on a tour boat for 10-15 bucks an hour part time suits you, then there is nothing wrong with that either. Yachts...I am sorry if I hurt anyone' feeling here, but being a glorified buttler is just not my idea of making a living. My family
have been working around the yachting industry and we have seen these guys running ragged taking care of the owner's dogs
, cars, picking them up at the aorports and carrying their luggages. Also running a kindergarten class called crew and sit in ports
most of the time with no time off but a week here and there a couple of times a year. As for their pay....some make less, some makes a little more and some makes the same as I do except I only have to work 6 month out of the year. So pick your poison.
Wow, did I write all this crap? I hope it may shed some light on the subject, and I sincerely hope I didn't bore anyone to death.
CaptV USMM master unlim. upon all oceans for what its worth.
at the end of the day, it is still just a job, and I still have to wake up and go to work, and have a bunch of landlubbers as bosses. So don't think that its all that.