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Where are all the qualified engineers ???????
Skilled Engineers
Posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 1:00 AM
Joined: 02/06/2010
Posts: 5

Where are all the engineers?_______What are their salary expectations?________Should an engineer have a technical trade or Degree to ensure they have a solid understanding of machinery systems_______Should engineers be hands or should they call in an expert???_____I want to know what dockwalk readers think because I feel engineers are a vital part of yachting that gets overlooked and more people should consider being an ENGINEER and not follow the crowd and become a Boat Captain..........
Posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 5:17 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049

"Yacht Engineers" are dime a dozen and all over the place, GOOD engineers are another matter. While degrees and courses may give an overview level understanding of systems, only hands on experience gives an in depth knowledge and understanding. GOOD Engineers IMO should BE the experts, just because you change light bulbs and oil and the occasional hydraulic hose and have to call someone in for everything else, you're not really an engineer, you're a caretaker. There are many caretakers in this business who pass themselves off as engineers. Being able to change a part does not make you an engineer, being able to figure out which part to change and why it failed and fixing that first so you don't blow up another part, that's what an engineer does. Diagnostic ability is what separates engineers from caretakers, it's all in how their brains are wired to look at and consider things. Engineers are born, not made, it's a genetic condition. More people go the deck route than engineering route for that very reason, running a boat is an acquirable skill set, plus you don't need the hand skills. The best captains are able to cover both roles. In yachting it's actually important to be able to do so because there are so many caretakers operating as engineers that when things go wrong at sea, someone has to be able to figure it out. Conversely, a good engineer is knowledgeable enough on deck that he can competently stand a sea watch.  A good engineer's pay scale should be right up there with the captain's pay scale. A caretaker's payscale should be around that of a bosun or senior deckhand.

Posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 7:16 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

Almost all the talented engineers I know from the yachts have gotten off the yachts after say 10 years service , started a family and now run their own...two men in a truck...engineering subcontracting firm. All the major yacht ports are full of them...... Does a yacht need a true engineer or simply sub out the work ? Good question. Im filling in my maint. log from last months shipyard blow thru and I dont see one job an onboard engineer could do...an engineer cant rebuild the 2 meter long hydrualic rams on the engine room workbench, cant rebuild the Stiemel pump without a hydraulic press, cant turn down the commutator on the big dc motor without a lathe, cant service the generator injectors.....and on and on. The best engineers are the guys who are street smart, know how equipment operates, know how to use their hands with tools, understand fitting procedure, has intutuion when troubleshooting, personally knows the quality contractors and suppliers in each port and can supervise service work. Should more crew go yacht engineering SURE...Engineers are the most versitle of all crew. They can change hats in a moment notice and be captains or they can move ashore and be marine industry buisnessman. No other crew can do this.
Posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 10:16 PM
Joined: 16/04/2009
Posts: 155

Hey All,

I have to agree with both Junior and Henning. Either you understand how point A gets to point B and eventually gets to point break down calls for a fundamental understanding of the machinery at work.

I've worked as Engineer on a number of boats. Most of the time it's babysitting but there are times when true "engineering" needs to be accomplished. I've always represented myself with the following credo according to my ability...80% I can troubleshoot/fix just by knowing systems, if that fails pull out the manual. Failing that call in the experts for that machinery.

Just as I'm a great cook (and been employed as "chef") I never present I can bone a chicken leaving it whole or do ice carvings with a chain saw.

The Slacker

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