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Old 22-01-2007, 12:17   #1
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what do i need to work on a ship

hi thought id ask here. i am 18 years old and have just finshed my apprentaship and am now a quilfied plant engneer/ diesel mechanic ive got 3 years work based experiance with diesel engines and genral plant.
im bored out of my skull at work and i think id like to go work on a boat. always been abit of a wondererhate bein in same place too long.
a man at work said i cant just go and work on a boat i need some sort of lisence?? also what would be best starting with a small ship for a private owner or on a big cruise ship. also does anyone know what the pay would be like?
any info would be greatly apreciated/
many thanks
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Old 22-01-2007, 12:24   #2
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Aloha Steve,
Welcome aboard!! I can't help you with your question because I was not a merchant marine. There are others here that might be able to answer your question specifically.
I spent nearly 30 years in the Navy. I know your specialty is needed. For me the pay was low, the working/living conditions were terrible but the experience, travel and retirement was great.
Good luck.
Kind Regards,
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Old 22-01-2007, 12:29   #3
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A frontal lobotomy?
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Old 22-01-2007, 12:44   #4
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You must be a Samuel Johnson fan, I always loved his famous quote about going to sea "No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned." It didn't stop me when I was a boy of 16 though.
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 22-01-2007, 12:58   #5

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Steve, you'll be in GREAT demand. There is a shortage of engineers like yourself in the marine industry. Might I suggest a job for you that will be fun AND profitable?

You could check out crewing on megayachts. I used to do it from the deckhand and first mate perspective. All you need in addition to your current credentials is an STCW-95 certification. They are under $1000 dollars.

The benefit of crewing on a private megayacht is that you work with a small group of people, and best of all... they REALLY need you. Engineers are paid almost on an equal footing as captains!

Other bonuses include some cool destinations - FL, Caribbean, Med in Europe. Those are the most popular spots for megayachts.

You might want to check in with crew agencies in Ft Lauderdale, FL. This is the megayacht crewing capital of the world. Antibes, France is the European sister of Ft Lauderdale.

Take a look at a magazine called Dockwalk and another called:

THE TRITON – nautical news for captains and crews

Also, try looking up crew agencies in Ft Lauderdale. Here is a list of some of them:

Crew Placement Agencies Listings in Fort Lauderdale Marine Directory

Check it out. Even just starting out, your pay is likely to be $40-$50K with NO LIVING EXPENSE. The boat pays for all of your food, transportation, and anything you have to do for the boat. They even fly you to the boat to begin. It's a great gig, especially at 18 when you might want to cruise the world while you work.

Be careful though... check for references, talk to other crew, and make sure the yacht isn't run cheaply. It's important that the owner be well off enough that they pay people right, don't cut corners, etc...

Don't jump at the first job you are offered. There are a lot of people out there who might be stretching it and trying to pinch pennies by not offering you full room and board, or transportation to the yacht. Turn them down instantly. Only work with reputable yachts that have a competent crew.
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Old 23-01-2007, 03:55   #6
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Hi Gord,

I hope all is well, as we are nearing Christmas I think this will be the last jobs list before the new start in Jan 07.

I would like to wish you the very best for the New Year coming up and a very Merry Christmas.

Here is the last job list for 2006.

Urgent Positions.

2. Y4, Chief Engineer, 50m 440 gt, 9 crew, 6000 usd per month, and 2 bonuses a year brings the pay upto 7000 usd. I.e., 14 months pay per year. Start ASAP. Currently in Cannes heading to the Caribbean.

3. 50m Motor Yacht, new built, 2nd/3rd Engineer. No qual’s necessary, 5000 usd a month, must have a B1/B2 visa, start in the Caribbean 12th December.

5. 160 foot Motor Yacht, immediate start Y2 engineer, new build delivery May 07. East coast states. 100,000 usd per year.

13. 54m Motor yacht 630 tons, MTU’s Y2 engineer, 8500 usd. 30 days vacation start ASAP. Currently in yard in Spain until April 07

16. 3rd Engineer, Large Motor Yacht, start December in Antigua, Class 4 ticket. Good overall package.

17. 130 foot Motor Yacht, Heading Caribbean, sole engineer, private, no ticket needed, would also consider a couple with an experienced stewardess or cook. Start within 2 weeks in the states.

19. 200 foot Motor Yacht, 2nd engineer, no marine tickets needed but must have a formal qualification. Good attitude, ability and desire to learn. Good salary and 2 months off a year. Training budget, start earliest Feb. 07 poss April 07. Flight allowance, salary around 5000 to 5500 usd per month.

21. Build engineer, 100m+, based in Germany, ticket y2 or y1, not necessary to sail with the vessel, (flexible) must have proven build experience in the yachting industry, very good benefits and overall package, start ASAP.

22. 2nd Engineer, Y2, 9000 usd per month x 13. All weekends off, logged and taken as leave if worked. Full medical and excellent charter tips. Start ASAP in Germany.

23. MEOL/Aec engineer, no ticket really necessary though, 135foot motor yacht, private, Salary negotiable according to experience, medical and 4 weeks vacation. Start ASAP.

24. 60m+ Motor Yacht, Y4, class 4 commercial 2nd/3rd engineer, full rotation, 2 on 2 off, 60000 usd per year. Start first week of Jan 07.

26. Chief Engineer, 145 foot trinity in Florida, $6500-7000.Need a Y4 (or MEOL with less than 6 months sea time needed to sit oral). Start this week

27. 50m+ Motor yacht, Y3 or Y4 (near to y3) second engineer. Based Nice for the winter, charter and owner use. 4 to 4500 euros a month, proficient with computers an advantage.

31. 47m Motor yacht new build project, Y3 ticket, must have excellent IT and electrical skills. Highly organised, meticulously clean and presentable. 3508 Cats. Salary will be in the region of US$8500/month. We will rotate the Engineer should this be desirable. The yacht will be extremely busy, and will be circumnavigating.

Relief and Rotational.

12. Chief Engineer Y1 ticket, 73m Motor Yacht, 1:1 leave ratio, (rotation periods dependant on schedule), salary package negotiable, Private boat with excellent Owners and schedule (heading to Australia/Asia). Around the $6000 X 12 ($72000 pa) mark.

18. Based south of France, 1 year old motor yacht, 1st Engineer –up and down 6 weeks second, 6 weeks Chief, 6 weeks off, paid year round 66000 Euros Y2 minimum and electrical experience/ability a distinct advantage,

20. 50m Motor Yacht needs a Y4 and a Y3 engineer to start a rotation program, 3 months on and 3 months off, superb negotiable package, exotic travel, charter and private use, yacht with lots of travel.

29. Chief Engineer, Y2 ticket. 3 on 3 off. 10k a month worked, plus charter tips. All flights paid and full medical, Med based.

Sailing Yacht.

4. 40m Sailing yacht, 7000 usd, Y4 engineer sole engineer, ideally near Y3, very good working conditions and a superb yacht overall. Very good tips also. Start early Jan 07.

10. Ticketed build engineer northern east coast states. 45m, 17m wide, Sailing Cat, 499 Gt, Caterpillar C-12, Northern Light generators, sea recovery water makers, Atlas panels, Aqua Air chiller plant, head hunter systems, Muir windlasses Lewmar hydraulics and Freeman openings. Start Jan 07, delivery expected end of 07. Cruise Caribbean and then Pacific, build engineer is expected to commit to the boat after delivery.

Class 2 Commercial or Yacht 2 and above tickets.

25. 80m new build in the final stages of the build and require someone ASAP. Second engineer with a class 2 com or Y2, the pay is 5000 Euros/month with 5 days leave per month worked with weekends off. There is a bonus of 1 months pay per year served up to a max of 3 years.

28. 60+m new built Motor Yacht, Y2 second engineer, $5000pm x13, (65000 usd) 3 on 1 off, Flight money $1500 pa, Longevity bonus paid after 4 years, Gross pay generally around $90,000.

44. New build Yacht, Y1 or class 1 ticket, couple with Chief Stewardess, good salary package for the couple,

Yacht 3 or commercial class 4 (acting as second) tickets.

8. New Build 120 foot Motor Yacht, Y4 and above ticket, yacht to be completed Feb/Mar 07. Start in the next month, operate Med, Caribbean. Salary 7500 usd per month, good holiday and flight package.

Yacht 4 or commercial class 4 (acting as chief or sole engineer) tickets.

1. 60m Motor Yacht, commercial class 4 engineer, 4000 euros per month. 6 weeks charter a year. Med summer, currently Caribbean, start 12 Jan 07, good leave program.

6. Y4 Second Engineer, 5500 usd a month, good bonuses and possible rotation in the near future. 5 days holiday per month. Start in Bali, then Maldives, Med then Caribbean.

11. Y4 Engineers, 4 year old 42m commercially registered motor yacht. Currently in refit. Start Feb 07, busy charter yacht. Prepared to put in place a time share program with any engineers that are interested but I require that they propose the time share partner and they interview together.


9. Large Motor Yacht Electrical Engineer. 3 on 3 off, leave and flights paid, Dependant on experience, 78000 usd per year, an intelligent and hard-working engineer, with sound IT and electronics experience. To start in March '07.


7. Must be a ticketed engineer. U.S. Citizen or green card holder, 130' 2- 12v4000 MTU and 65kw Northern Light gensets. Total crew will be 6. Schedule: Nov-Mar Caribbean, Mar-Apr Costa Rica, Apr-June Bahamas. All plans subject to change, but this should be pretty close. We do limited chartering, i.e. no more than 8-10 weeks per year. Summer in Palm Beach with little to no use. Great owner. Primarily fishes. Good pay with benefits for full time employment. 401k if with the boat for 1 year. Insurance in 60 days. Liberal time off.

14. 90 foot Motor yacht based in Honolulu, Hawaii, full time engineer. 4500 usd, US flagged. Start ASAP.

15. Our owner is upgrading, boat is a 120' Tri-deck just being purchased in Europe. Will carry an American flag so will need US crew. Need an engineer by Jan 3rd to fly with me to Italy to help take delivery and handoff from existing crew. Will be based in Fort Lauderdale.

30. I require an engineer with a knowledge level of around Y4, experience and longevity a plus. Salary between 6000-7000 USD per month, 37m globally based sport fish cruiser with a crew of 6. Unlicensed candidates with good experience considered. Private yacht no charters.

Kind regards,

Joe Hodgson.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 23-01-2007, 09:11   #7
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Another very important point is to check into the SOBRIETY of the captain / crew. Unfortunately there are way too many "rummies" putting their crews and owners at risk.... and then the druggies are around too.....

Steve - what part of the country are you in? Good friend of mine is Captain of a 90 footer (private MY) in Seattle. Just had to fire his engineer a few weeks back ... caught him partying aboard with several ladies/gents he met at the local strip club.... which would've been not so bad had it not been for the red wine all over the salon carpet... oh and the messed up linens in the owner's suite....
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Old 23-01-2007, 09:28   #8
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not so bad had it not been for ...
It's usually the extra effort that gets you really in trouble.

Good rule of thumb aboard or on shore is don't party where you work.
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Old 23-01-2007, 11:31   #9
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thanks all of you for you advice. i achally live in the UK near Dover. i am thinking of maybe just trying it out as crew on one trip say someone after crew from A to B this way i can earn bit of money and see if i like it. what are peoples ideas on this?
many thanks
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Old 23-01-2007, 11:44   #10
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Without experience I think you'll find people more interested in you if you sound more serious about it. "Getting paid to just try it out" may not go so well. "Trying it out for a short time without getting paid just to see if it works out" may be more attractive to them. They after all could be right back where they started after they have wasted time with you. You'll do better if you both feel like it could work before you start.

It just depends on how you communicate the idea. Most good positions are looking for someone that will stick with it and perform well for some period of time. It does not have to be your whole life but maybe more than one leg of a short trip.

In any event you want an arrangement you feel good about. Bad deals more often get worse.
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Old 23-01-2007, 12:51   #11

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One way to "try it out" is to head to where the yachts are. Walk the docks and offer your services as a certified diesel engineer. This is called "day work" in the profession. If you can catch the train down to Antibes (and have an excuse to head down there to party!!), you can easily find work.
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Old 23-01-2007, 13:18   #12
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You tried posting on - probably 99.9% do not own these sort of boats, but someone may be able to point you in the right direction - plenty of folk their who do keep their yachts and MOBO's in Southern Europe so know the "Lay of the land".

Otherwise maybe phone up a couple of the major motor yacht charter companies based down there.

Alternatively if you are just after a season in the sun, why not approach one of the sailing yacht charter companies (eg Sunsail). They always have a need for marine engineers in addition to the usual skippers and hostesses.

When I was 16 my father was approached to see if I wanted to sign up as an apprentice Marine Engineer by a mate of his. He never told me, I ended up in a Bank I know which skill set I would prefer to have now.........

Just being nosey - How long did it take you to train from scratch to be "qualified" and how / where?
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Old 23-01-2007, 14:50   #13
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Friendly Broker?

Have you tried having a card printed and visiting your local yacht brokers?
My impression is that many boats are sold are in less than perfect condition.
Some experience in fixing large outboards could also serve you well.
Or you could come to Australia. Some of the minning companies are reputed to pay obscene amounts of money to competant diesel mechanics.
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Old 24-01-2007, 11:43   #14
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in reply to david, i trained in england in place called norfolk at the NCC, (national construction college) it was a 3 year aprentaship my work sponsered me to go there, it was basically 42weeks training staying up there then a portfolio to do back in work collecting evedeince i did this qiucker than the alot time so got my tickets earlyer, i got a city n guilds in plant mataneice n fitting at destinction level, only problem is were i work for a plant hire company its alot more remove replace than repairs and rebuilds which we were tought at college. the course was split into many differnt things IE 4 weeks of power units 4 weeks of eletrical, 4 of hydrolic, ive done bench fitting, fuel systems, transmissons, brakes, electronics. and a few more. engines are my strong point electrics are my worst ive never worked on a boat engine but an engines a engine. just bigger or smaller, what sort of motors do most boats use? ive also been on a perkins course and am very fimiliar owith the Duetuz and kabobta engines. many thanks for all your advice and web links its really helping
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Old 24-01-2007, 12:41   #15
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I would say that Volvo Penta are probably the most popular / widespread on both Motor boats and sail.

Perkins of course have been around since Noah was a lad

Yanmar seem to be popular with the sailing crowd.

Kubota is the base for a number of marine Engines whose names escape me at the moment - if my Perkins (4107) ever gae up the ghost I would probably get one of these, from comments I have read over the years and from my experiances with Jap Motorbikes times passed, the Japs build damn fine engines.

I am sure however I have missed a few off..........
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