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Old 25-07-2011, 10:50   #31
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

I'm on my third license. Without going into details, I make $60.00 or more an hour from the time I step on to a commercial boat to the time I step off. High risk stuff sometimes,but it's just another day at the office for me.
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Old 25-07-2011, 11:43   #32
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

I make $200-$300 a day for deliveries or charters. I work as a relief captain making ~$100/day on a sport fisher but that's a little different because I'm helping the guy out and I don't mind taking the hit because it's good experience.

I take a bit of exception to upper tonnage guys crapping on 100-ton masters. Inexperience can be on both sides of the fence but there are some amazing guys who can spin circles around on a single screw boat within inches of concrete and they have 50 ton licenses.

I was in the Navy operating helm on a 300' warship when I was junior enlisted and those skills really don't do beans for operating a small pleasure craft.

The most valuable thing I've learned is that nearly every vessel handles differently and until you've gone in and out of a dock a dozen times or more on a specific vessel you're really not going to be good at handling it. Screw count, # of hulls, displacement, freeboard, rudder(s), thrusters, fixed vs. outdrives, not to mention naval architecture and sea conditions make every boat really unique. And when you've got 12" of space between you and $1,000,000 of fiberglass and stainless to your left the only way you're going to get it right is to be conscientious and experienced.
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Old 25-07-2011, 12:09   #33
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

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Originally Posted by S/V Antares View Post
In the last 10 years the rate was about 125-150 day + tips. This means you fix the clogged head and empty the trash, cleaned the boat when done. Not a glamorus job but beats working for a living.
Let me get this straight. For less than $55,000/year, these people not only keep the boat spick and span, but also ensure the money cow for their owners keeps giving milk?

Seems to me, they are under paid.
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Old 25-07-2011, 12:44   #34
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

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Let me get this straight. For less than $55,000/year, these people not only keep the boat spick and span, but also ensure the money cow for their owners keeps giving milk?

Seems to me, they are under paid.
A lot depends on the clientele. On some fishing boats you can be a bitter captain that sits in the wheel house chain smoking while playing angry birds on your iphone.

A small boat charter where you're going to be 3' away from people all the time and showing them around (and somewhat teaching them about sailing / boating) you need to be much more personable and friendly. You need to bend your will to their's, and be the kind of person people would want to be around all day. Look clean, be decent, etc.

On a delivery (or again a lot of fishing boats) you can sit around telling fart jokes reading a book while the thing is on autopilot.
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Old 25-07-2011, 14:05   #35
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

While what you say is true Eric, if I am trusting my home and sizable investment to someone, I look at what they are providing ME. Unless I have a warm fuzzy, they ain't going anywhere on my boat.

That said, paying someone $2,500 for a 10 day trip for a $500K boat, is a good investment. Trying to do it on the cheap for $1,000 for the week, doesn't (IMHO) make good financial sense.

I realize not everyone has that much cash laying around, but letting some jabroni with little or no reputation (and/or experience) take your boat to save a few bucks, is "stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime".

Keith
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Old 25-07-2011, 14:43   #36
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

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And when you've got 12" of space between you and $1,000,000 of fiberglass and stainless to your left the only way you're going to get it right is to be conscientious and experienced.
Or lucky as hell!!!
Retired now but 7-8 years ago was making about $2.50/mile on deliveries and $300/day if aboard in port.
Steady clientle, same boats, principally on west coast, Costa Rica to Alaska.
Boat sizes 55-85 feet, with owners/guests except on deliveries. Not a full time job but usually 8 months out of the year.
Charged $200/day on call if not aboard.
Lived my own boat when not working... great life! Capt Phil
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Old 25-07-2011, 15:11   #37
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

Quote: "Let me get this straight. For less than $55,000/year, these people not only keep the boat spick and span, but also ensure the money cow for their owners keeps giving milk?

Seems to me, they are under paid.
"

Kahgan, This is for general pick up work. 55K looks pretty good to many of us these days. Some " Paper captains" think they are too good to empty the trash on a day charter. If you work on a larger yacht you will have crew to do this for you. A real commercial working captain has usually earned his position. Many think they can buy the course and become one overnight. Got to pay your dues.
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Old 27-07-2011, 10:49   #38
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

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While what you say is true Eric, if I am trusting my home and sizable investment to someone, I look at what they are providing ME. Unless I have a warm fuzzy, they ain't going anywhere on my boat.

That said, paying someone $2,500 for a 10 day trip for a $500K boat, is a good investment. Trying to do it on the cheap for $1,000 for the week, doesn't (IMHO) make good financial sense.

I realize not everyone has that much cash laying around, but letting some jabroni with little or no reputation (and/or experience) take your boat to save a few bucks, is "stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime".

Keith
So yeah you're willing to spend a few bucks on the right kind of person to take care of your boat and do a good job.

I'm not trying to say anyone should hire the wrong person, but just pointing out that there are a *a lot* of different types of captain opportunities out there. Crew size, demands via the owner in regards to schedule and route, vessel's equipment and other circumstantial factors play into whether or not the job of a captain is easy or difficult.

Moving a twin engine power boat around in a tight marina is a lot different than a single engine catamaran, and working for a decent and thoughtful owner is worlds apart from working for a jerk.

I've gotten a chance to do a lot of different types of work on the water with my master's license; there's a lot of variability out there and it all comes down to you (as the owner) finding someone who's the right fit.
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Old 27-07-2011, 11:03   #39
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

RebelHeart, I imagine you don't like the "helpful" owners. I do a lot of custom cabinets and I get irritated at someone telling me how to do my job. I figured they pay me to do a job for a specific result, they aren't paying to tell me HOW to get the results they contracted for.
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Old 27-07-2011, 11:10   #40
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

My sentiments exactly, Eric... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 27-07-2011, 11:30   #41
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

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The most valuable thing I've learned is that nearly every vessel handles differently and until you've gone in and out of a dock a dozen times or more on a specific vessel you're really not going to be good at handling it. Screw count, # of hulls, displacement, freeboard, rudder(s), thrusters, fixed vs. outdrives, not to mention naval architecture and sea conditions make every boat really unique. And when you've got 12" of space between you and $1,000,000 of fiberglass and stainless to your left the only way you're going to get it right is to be conscientious and experienced.
Well spoken points Rebel Heart!

I ran a sailing charter business for a number of years and based the rate off of the number of people and length of the trip. It was fun but I could only do it as a secondary job. It just didn't generate enough income.

I have also found relief captian jobs available for fishing charters that paid around $100/trip.

I think I would really like being a water taxi captain if I could do it part time.
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Old 27-07-2011, 15:38   #42
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

well, I am reading a lot of stories here, and I find it to be amuzing for the most part. The deliveries that people do, really doesn't require a license. This license issue is only important here in the US. Reason for that is, that the profession is so diluted here that it borders the rediculous. Having a license, what is called a lower level license by the USCG which is 1600 and underfor the most part can be had from any license mills. it have gotten a little more complicated in reent years to get one, which may improve the quality. Havinf said that, being a licensed professional mariner, whether it is a deck officer or engine room rating takes more than passing a multiple choice test. As to the drug use and alcohol abuse on board commercial vessels in the gulf of mexico. Don't let anyone fool you its there. Not as bad as it once was, but it is still a problem. So yes, there are idiots who put their bot drivers license in jeopardy for a hot in the crack pipe of the bottle. Mostly you will find it with 100-200 GRT lic. captains who works on utility and/or crew boats with small mom and pop companies who don't do as thorough testing as it should be. There are ways to get around the required percentage of tested within the company. Believe me, the owners and the management of the companies know how to do it. SO all those who think that substance abuse is not an issue, think again.
Now whaat is the problem with smal tonnage licenses...? Fundamentally not much, beyond the fact that you can get one with a two weeks course if you lied enough on your seatime letter. incidentally even that is harder to get now, because writing time on a jon boat is no longer enough for 100 ton. so they back to 6 pack, 25 and 50 ton lic.
By the way, the reason for these licenses in my opinion, and it is my opinion based on my conclusions from my experience and what I see ONLY and NOTHING more is, that the US merchant marine is actually very small in world wide scale. Mostly consist of tug and barges supply, utility and research vessels. I said mostly. The US has a very small fleet of merchant man sailing under US flag, for various reasons, in comparison to other nations. There are several academies here, but still not enough of the graduates want to go to sea, or forced to work on flag of convinience ships due to the small size of the merchant fleet. There are other factoors involved of course, but this is not the place to go into it. So, since not one small little company is willing to pay for an academy graduate to drive a small charter fishing bot, we came up with these lower level licenses.
By the way, those of you who think, that driving a boat is what constitutes a merchant marine master is sadly mistaking. there is a lot more involved in being one.
Most people outside of the industry knows very little about the job, and those who are involved nows or should know the stigma that is attached to the profession. it has a lot to o with what is going on in Louisiana and the history of the "coonass navy" anyone who want to learn why things are the way they are should read the book with the title of "the rise of the cajun mariner" or something like that. If you can actually read between the lines and know anything about the industry, you will understand why the mariners in this country trated like crap by the very companies they are working for and why there is very little protection they get from the authorities. Now before you start with the Jones Act, please, first understand what it is, and also note its antiquity and irrelevence to today's issues. There is very little protection to the welfare of the mariner in it. It is more to protect the companies from foreign flag vessels doing buiness here, which BTW being circumvented constantly.
But I degress... The whole world, with many countries with larger fmerchant fleets all agree, that there is two levels of licnsing. Master unlimited and Tug Master. There is a yacht master in england, that is adopted by other countries... but by and large there is only two for the international trade. So most of the licenses that people posess in the US will not be recognized as anything anywhere else. even 1600 master isn't valid without some endorsment as required by the IMO (international Maritime Organization) of which the US is a signitory member.
OK, what does that mean for the purpose of this discussion, in reality, not much. I just want to say, that if you want to pass some tests in a license mill and spend your money on TWIC go ahed. if you thinking about finding a job with it, sure, why not. but don't expect a good steady income unless you enter the actual commercial field beyond the pleasure boat industry. As long as you work for a small dive/fishing/snorkle boat outfit, you will have to be jack of all trades for a low per trip pay plus, and thats a big insentive , tips. There are a lot of people running around for those positions, so good luck. I can't say much about other places, but here in south florida, 40-80 bucks per trip is all you can expect. water taxy..? perhaps 15 bucks...well, if its for supplamental income, its OK especially if you like to be around people all the time. At least it gets you out on the water. The rest, you find them ant the end of the warf in the bar, as someone said it earlier, telling stories about their highseas exploits, which only shows their incompitency and stupidity to put themselves in those situation not because they were making a long deep sea passage but because of their own idiocy goig out in weather when even work boats staying at the docks if they not stuck offshore.
NOW, let me get off my soap box and sit back and wait for being flamed by all the fearless old seasalts out there.
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Old 27-07-2011, 15:56   #43
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

thankyou,. captv!!!!
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Old 28-07-2011, 10:25   #44
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

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well, I am reading a lot of stories here, and I find it to be amuzing for the most part. The deliveries that people do, really doesn't require a license. This license issue is only important here in the US. Reason for that is, that the profession is so diluted here that it borders the rediculous. Having a license, what is called a lower level license by the USCG which is 1600 and underfor the most part can be had from any license mills.
No, on the contrary, that is a very well thought out description of what goes on in this industry and it lacked a lot of the usual "my opinion counts the most" statements you often get on here.

In truth, most captain's courses are diploma mills, mine included. All they really do is make sure you know the rules of the road and know that navigation without gps is a thing that excists. Most people with their papers that I know have already forgotten the simple 60D/ST formula.

I think the Yachtmaster qualification is a whole lot better system to qualify people for delivery/charter jobs. At least they have an actual on the water test.

Any of the Merchant Marine schools here in the states will obviously qualify you for being on a ship a whole lot better than a uscg captains test, but I think they are apples and oranges.

It feels good for someone to tell you you are official. You get to put on your epaulettes and pretend like you've been there. But you haven't been there until you are retired and haven't killed anyone or sunk your vessel.

The guy who's position I took, ran the passenger boat for 13 years through the winters in Maine. He is now retired, he couldn't tell you the first thing about what he learned in his captain's class, or what anyone else learns up the bay at Maine Maritime, but he got his passengers to the other side every single time. At the end of the day that is all that matters. Everything else is just ego and posturing.

That, of course, is just my opinion.
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Old 28-07-2011, 11:09   #45
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Re: Hourly Rate For Captain

I must admit looking back on a lot of years working afloat, most of what I learned was not studying for a Masters ticket but from experience watching and working with other folks who have spent their lives on the water.
There are some things you cannot learn anywhere else but through experience. Judgement and leadership are two of the most important attributes for any skipper and there isn't a lot of time spent on these issues in licensing exams.
Over 50 years of kicking around boats gives you a certain confidence to deal with almost any issue that comes up but insurance companies have no way of measuring competence other than standardization of knowledge through licensing. Marine Academy's turn out well qualified seamen, many of whom spend a life at sea to attain a 1st or unlimited seagoing skippers certification.
The comments here from licensed Masters, whether USCG or Academy grads are on the mark IMO. It certainly isn't necessary to physically drive a 100 ton vessel but combined with appropriate experience, your chances of coming to port with as many as you leave with is greatly enhanced. Capt Phil
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