Originally Posted by Bestathook
Check out the website of MSC, which is Military Sealift Command.
Contact the Seafarers International Union.
Both are usually looking for ABs, and MSC is the cheapest to start with.
Their jobs are on ships, but it will do you good to get some real experience before you try the yachts. It will also get you free training, and put some cash in your pocket.
Indeed. If you sail at least 180 days a year with SIU and keep a good grip on your money
, you should be able to buy yourself a boat
in a year or two that you can live aboard and hone your sailing skills on. Your time spent on ships will teach you a lot, if you are actually trying to learn. On sea watches with no traffic and good visibility, most mates will be happy to let you learn hands-on navigation
. You got paper charts
and you got ECDIS. You got radar
, and you can practice plotting with ARPA, and manual plotting on a maneuvering board plot sheet. If you are on the 4 to 8 watch, you can take an amplitude and do a compass
check. Shoot stars. On the mid watch you can do LAN. Sun lines whenever the sun shines. You will learn about proper radio
procedures and the Rules of the Road, how to properly avoid a close quarters situation, how to identify a vessel by its lights, stuff like that. You will also learn a lot of stuff on deck
that will carry over into yachting.
Working on somebody else's sailing yacht for a living might be okay but most folks simply don't pay enough or offer any benefits. Union employment
on ships gives you retirement
pay, overtime and penalty pay, and other stuff. Also free educational and upgrading courses. An AB Unlimited should never have a problem making well over $40k and on the right ships, if you sail a lot and work all your overtime, quite a bit more. Then take the money
and the time off and sail your OWN boat
Heather, how did you get your required sea time for your AB ticket? Were you on tugs?