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What is the deal with contracts?
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 4:19 PM

Sign here please. What is the deal with contracts? I am basically forced to sign a contract and crew agreement so the boat can charter. I am asked to sign false documents retarding hours of rest and basically lie about the extra long hours I work, why???? Should I not be compensated for these extra hours of work? My employer is very good at telling me what I must do, what I must not do. What is the point of a crew contract and crew agreement if the employer expects me to go the extra mile and not get anything in return for my extra effort. If there are rules to follow, why don't they get followed? It seems crew get the short end of the stick, are pressed for more and not appreciated. Mr. Employer if you want more please come my way a little and compensate me for the extra effort, and please don't give me a B.S. story about times are tough and that I am lucky to have a job, because they wat I see it your lucky to have me because I get the job done and am rather fed up with you quibbling over crew privilages, pay, uniform, food, toiletries and snacks when we just made you a chunk of change during a charter. At the end of the day my rant is about what it takes to be a qualified crew member and the simple fact yacht employers are all about what they want and to he'll with the rules and other people.


Henning
Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 5:04 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


If the boat is in commercial service (charter yacht with provided crew is included in that) then crew members cannot be required to work more than 8 hrs a day and may not volunteer to work more than 12. Crew are treated as they are because they allow themselves to be. If everyone followed the rules then there would be no problem. The problem lies not with the owner, it's with the person that's willing to cut your throat to get your job. That's one of the other factors new South Africans face in this business. 6 years ago your countrymen were underbidding everyone and reducing the standard of living to get jobs. They have since bailed out and left the rest of us with the aftermath. That has been remembered and cultural grudges last generations. Same with visa problems for South Africans still being remnants of the Apartheid system dispute with the international community.

junior
Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 8:25 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Well anonymous....its obvious that this is your first season on the boats and as a result you have been caught with your knickers in a knot when confronted by the intensity of a yachting season. Professional yachting is not for the weak. This is the reality. If you cant handle the hustle and instead look to take refuge under some flaky contract then get out of the game. Anonymous....the high season comes just once every year and its your responsibility as a professional to squeeze 110 percent out of every minute that is available for the benefit of the yachts owner..
rodsteel
Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 11:42 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 275


Anon,

 

As Junior says, "Professional yachting is not for the weak." - maintaining the large yachts to an exceptional standard and providing service to owners and guests to a similar standard is "the name of the game".

 

In general, because of this expectation, private yacht crew are compensated to a higher level than similar roles on land (if you are a "housekeeper" look at the wages for the same job in a four or five star hotel). In addition, although the base rate may be less on charter yachts, the tips are supposed to more than compensate for the additional level of work and weeks of non-private use.

 

In all industries, a job is only worth what the employer is willing to pay. If you do not accept that "fact of life", start your own business and find out how quickly you will change your mind ;o)).

 

If you haven't noticed, "whining" about (previously agreed-to) compensation after the fact is one of my "hot buttons" (i.e., if you don't think the job's pay or conditions are "fair" then don't take it!).

 

Rod

 

P.S. A contract is usually just a formal statement of what the position is and what it is worth (the value should be that it can unambiguously protect both you and the employer if either one "reneges").


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, July 16, 2010 9:39 PM
I recently had an issue with even having a contract written up. The captain as well as the engineer. It took the head honchos four and a half months. Then when the season was up they decided to not keep my position, thus downsizing the size of the operation. When it came time to pay me out as they had agreed in the contract and pre employment, they said I had only been employed for two and a half months. Plus short on pay by two months.
rodsteel
Posted: Friday, July 16, 2010 10:14 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 275


 
 
Anon (#2?),
 
Suggestion?
 
Develop a "personal" contract for your position and keep a couple of blank copies handy. If the hiring manager does not provide a contract in a timely fashion, fill in the relevant information in your version and ask them to sign it (then see how quickly they "produce" ;o)).
 
Rod
 
 
 
Anonymous wrote:
I recently had an issue with even having a contract written up.

Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, July 17, 2010 11:16 AM
The answer to your question as to why you are forced to sign a contract is because its pretty obvious that the vessel you are working on is required by law to have all crewmembers on a contract. I run a 58 meter Motor Yacht registered in the Cayman Islands and we are 1099 gross ton. I am required to have every crew member on a contract. You sound like you are on a vessel that falls under the same laws. The working hours fall under the same requirements. They are not optional they are mandatory. Your point of working more hours than is being recorded is understood but if it makes you feel any better heres the real deal on that. Every crew member on a charter boat and most on private boats are ALL doing the same. It's just the nature of the industry. This is not a 9 to 5 job and prior to entering yachting you should have realized that or you didnt do your homework. Your wages compared to land based wages reflect that. Yachting is not an hourly wage business. There is no time and a half for overtime here for any of us. Heres a dilema that if you can come up with a solution you will become the hero of the entire fleet. You have a charter client that will spend around 500,000 a week to cruise on the vessel you are on. You are doing an overnight trip from Capri to Porto cervo, 8 hours into the trip on a direct course line the entire crew has done there required 8 hours. Do you just stop the boat and shut down and tell the guests your on your own sorry the crew has done our 8 hours so we are off to bed and leave the vessel drifting? Of course not that isnt possible but I am sure you now understand my point. Crew work in rotations if you have enough crew to be able to do it and even then they work crazy hours. If not enough crew are available then they just keep with the program and make it happen. Is it always the safest way to operate? Heck NO but in the world in which we work lets face the facts...nothing is reality. We make the magic happen and it all comes at a price for both the crew and the clients. My only suggestion is if your getting killed by the hours on a charter vessel then maybe try and find a slower program on a private vessel. You still wont achieve an 8 hour day but it might be a little less demanding. I usually find that those crew that are doing the complaining seem to quiet down at the end of the summer when they have 20k in there pocket of cash on top of there wages that they didnt have time to spend for 3 1/2 months. Everything in life comes with a sacrifice and trade off. This business has 2 sides, flat out with your hair on fire and then it switches to foot loose and fancy free with a pile of money in your pocket and doing lavish things you normally couldnt do on a land job salary. At the end of the day the business is not for everyone but there are rules and regulations that are required to be followed but some are up for interpretation just like the MCA rules.......good luck!!
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, July 17, 2010 11:28 AM
i can just imagine the rest of the crew on your boat. Sick of hearing the new guy moaning about every thing. we had a new south african deck hand aboard our vessel for a month. much to my disgust. not so much him being south african but the fact he under cut the good guy we had lined up ( sorry Henning it seems to be happening again ) anyway all he did was moan about the yachting industry, basically he got told to pack his bag as he was effecting the rest of the crew with his attitude. at the end of the day what im saying is sit down shut up and enjoy the ride and think of that massive pay check at the end of the month
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, July 17, 2010 12:26 PM
Henning why all the South African bashing? I have 2 South African crew working for me that are both top shelf crew. One stew and another on deck and my previous chief officer was also South African and all 3 of these fine crew are some of the hardest working pleasant people to be around. They take care of there required visa's and it is never any hassle at all. They are extremely neat and tidy, well spoken, well presented and quite honestly a complete joy to have on my boat. When being interviewed they all showed up with very solid questions that I would expect anyone with good knowledge of the industry to ask and they all requested industry standard wages and by no means tried to offer themselves for a lesser salary to secure the job. And yes I am an American not South African so I am not sticking up for my own Nationality. You obviously judge a book by it's cover.
Capt Kaj
Posted: Saturday, July 17, 2010 4:09 PM
Joined: 05/08/2008
Posts: 83


Welcome to yachting fella. It is a bugger that crew have to follow rules isn´t it. At least your Captain has them and you know that you have to follow them, imagine a yacht without them!! My vast experience with crew is that you let them do what they want, you might as well give up. Young bucks probably like yourself hate discipline, you are all mostly too arrogant and hate being told what to do. You are all taught in schools that you are bullet proof and the world owes you a living.

Nothing has changed regarding hours of work in reality, it is just that Flag States are wanting us to be Merchant Shipping crew which hasn´t so far worked and will never work. Hence why your Captain wants to be seen to be doing the right thing by getting you and the other crew to falsify the records books. At the end of the day, if your yacht did happen to have an accident onboard and there was an investigation carried out, the insurers and Flag State control would very quickly dispel your recorded cooked books by checking the official log book and the two would be completely different! Not that hard to work out.

Regarding the crew contract. The yacht should have an official contract that has been accepted by the respective Flag State, standard with most Flags. If the Captain has altered the contract or added in his own personality and taken away your rights, then he has broken the law and the Flag would like to hear about it.

Regarding your hours of work, if you put the effort in and don´t moan, you might get some rewards, this can take years by the way because that is how it is. If you put the effort in and moan, you won´t and shouldn´t expect to get anything. Yachting never has been in the real world and I hope never will. Times are a changing though and the adage "it aint like it used to be" is ringing true in more ways than one. With social security, taxes, paper work, extra training, less availability of jobs, recession etc etc makes for tough times for many. Take it on the chin, get on with job and keep your nose clean.

I wish I could bring back flogging.

Capt Kaj


Chief
Posted: Saturday, July 17, 2010 11:04 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


"If the boat is in commercial service ... crew members cannot be required to work more than 8 hrs a day and may not volunteer to work more than 12."

Where on Earth do you get this stuff Henning? I for one would love to see a citation for that little gem. I am about ready to add the term "a henning" to my lexicon. It means any statement presented as fact that really has no basis in fact whatsoever but serves to add to the post count of an internet addict. 

Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2010 1:06 AM
Every seafarer must be provided with not less than 10 hours rest in total in any 24 hour period, provided that: • The 10 hour period may be divided into not more than two periods one of which shall be not less than 6 hours; and the interval between consecutive periods of rest shall not exceed 14hours; and the minimum hours of rest shall not be less than 77 hours in any 7day period. Situations when a seafarer is on call but is free to sleep may be counted as rest. All vessels are required to have an “Hours of Rest Schedule”. This is a document, or a computer display, drawn up by the owner or manager in conjunction with the Master. It has to show the maximum watch periods and minimum rest periods to be observed by all crew members. This document may not be changed. The operator has a duty to ensure that sufficient personnel are provided so that the rest periods can be complied with. The “Hours of Rest Schedule” must be posted up in a prominent place on board accessible to all the crew. Port State Control Officers, and United Kingdom Surveyors, will expect to see this when they come on board and will record a deficiency if it is not posted Any deviations from the hours of rest in the schedule must be recorded with an explanation of why the deviation occurred. These records must be available for inspection on board at any time. Exceptions: Emergencies and situations likely to become emergencies unless action is taken, Musters and drills, Essential work on board which cannot be delayed for safety or environmental protection reasons; and Factors beyond the control of the Master or the operator other than commercial needs. So basically, no rest.
Henning
Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2010 6:27 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


Anonymous wrote:
Henning why all the South African bashing? I have 2 South African crew working for me that are both top shelf crew. One stew and another on deck and my previous chief officer was also South African and all 3 of these fine crew are some of the hardest working pleasant people to be around. They take care of there required visa's and it is never any hassle at all. They are extremely neat and tidy, well spoken, well presented and quite honestly a complete joy to have on my boat. When being interviewed they all showed up with very solid questions that I would expect anyone with good knowledge of the industry to ask and they all requested industry standard wages and by no means tried to offer themselves for a lesser salary to secure the job. And yes I am an American not South African so I am not sticking up for my own Nationality. You obviously judge a book by it's cover.

Reading comprehension 101, where am I bashing them? I'm just pointing out history, not making judgments. I don't care where anyone is from so long as they can do their job and get along.

Henning
Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2010 6:30 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


Chief wrote:
"If the boat is in commercial service ... crew members cannot be required to work more than 8 hrs a day and may not volunteer to work more than 12."

Where on Earth do you get this stuff Henning?

BRM module of STCW 95

Chief
Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2010 4:02 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


That is a prime example of a "henning." It ups your post count without adding anything other than more smoke and noise. 

Bridge Resource Management or BRM is a process, it is also the title of a course required by the STCW code for deck officers to meet the training requirements for a certificate as an officer in charge of a navigation watch. It is not a regulation and it certainly does not dictate working hours.

Anonymous posted the latest IMO regulation concerning hours of rest. That is the law and it only applies to watch standers at this time. The revisions to Section A-VIII/1 of the STCW Code coming along with the new ILO standards suggest a broader application but still does not say anything about 8 hours or "volunteering" for anything.

What license do you claim to hold?



Henning
Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 3:29 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


Chief wrote:
That is a prime example of a "henning." It ups your post count without adding anything other than more smoke and noise. 

Bridge Resource Management or BRM is a process, it is also the title of a course required by the STCW code for deck officers to meet the training requirements for a certificate as an officer in charge of a navigation watch. It is not a regulation and it certainly does not dictate working hours.

Anonymous posted the latest IMO regulation concerning hours of rest. That is the law and it only applies to watch standers at this time. The revisions to Section A-VIII/1 of the STCW Code coming along with the new ILO standards suggest a broader application but still does not say anything about 8 hours or "volunteering" for anything.

What license do you claim to hold?


 The one I do hold says "U.S. Merchant Marine Officer Master of Steam or Motor Vessels of not more than 1600 Gross Registered Tons (Domestic Tonnage), 3000 Gross Tons (ITC Tonnage) upon Oceans; Also Master of Auxiliary Sail Vessels of not more than 500 Gross Registered Tons (Domestic Tonnage), 1600 Gross Tons (ITC Tonnage) upon Oceans; Also, Master of Towing Vessels upon Oceans and Western Rivers; Also, Radar Observer.

Is that a complete enough answer for you?

Chief
Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 12:29 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


"Is that a complete enough answer for you?"

It helps explain a lot, yes. Probably got the time in the GoM right? It is a sad reflection on how lax the CG was when they handed out those lower level tickets down there. While it explains how you acquired a piece of paper, and provides a clue as to the low quality of your input, it still doesn't explain why you keep posting such idiotic statements about stuff you obviously lack any knowledge.

Do you have a bet going with someone about how many posts you can make in the shortest time or something?

Henning
Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 1:37 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


Chief wrote:
"Is that a complete enough answer for you?"

It helps explain a lot, yes. Probably got the time in the GoM right? It is a sad reflection on how lax the CG was when they handed out those lower level tickets down there. While it explains how you acquired a piece of paper, and provides a clue as to the low quality of your input, it still doesn't explain why you keep posting such idiotic statements about stuff you obviously lack any knowledge.

Do you have a bet going with someone about how many posts you can make in the shortest time or something?


Well, I got about 1/3 of my time in the GoM and other oilfields around the world, but my original issue was in Long Beach and I spent significant time on the west coast and up to Alaska including a trip to the north slope, started on old schooners, Avalon Shore Boat, ship assist in LA and SF. Hauled 580 & 730' RoRo barges all over the world as well as a drilling rig from the GoM to Lagos. Pushed barge strings of grain and coal down the Ohio and Mississippi, typically 15 ups, 2 ups of Benzine all over the place as well as fleeting work in the lower Mississippi. If you think think that they give the licenses away out of the GOM, then I suggest that you go on down to New Orleans and get one. None of mine have been issued from there. If you think running an oilfield boat is easy, please, be my guest and give it a shot, try not to tag a rig though. But then, you hold an engineers ticket don't you, not a Masters, and your deep sea engineers ticket wouldn't get you on a modern oilfield boat unless you're DP qualified and experienced.

Chief
Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 1:45 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


" ... it still doesn't explain why you keep posting such idiotic statements about stuff you obviously lack any knowledge."

So where did you get that 8 hour and the BRM thing? Do you just pull this stuff out of your stern tube?


"Do you have a bet going with someone about how many posts you can make in the shortest time or something?"

 


Henning
Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 1:56 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


Chief wrote:

" ... it still doesn't explain why you keep posting such idiotic statements about stuff you obviously lack any knowledge."

So where did you get that 8 hour and the BRM thing? Do you just pull this stuff out of your stern tube?


"Do you have a bet going with someone about how many posts you can make in the shortest time or something?"

 

Try to follow the bouncing ball chiefy, the 8-12 hr thing cam from the 3 day BRM class I had to take for my STCW 95 certificate. I realize that you don't understand that since you haven't actually held a job in quite some time that required any certification, but those of us who actually still work boats have to take these classes. That is where that tidbit of information came from right or wrong.

As far as posts, nah, no bets. I'm often on the boat with not much to do. We don't get sat TV here and it gets tiring watching movies. I know what I'm doing so I don't have to waste a bunch of time, plus I have a good crew that I don't have to continuously chase after to do their jobs. This is pretty much just a time killer. I realize that it may be a foreign concept to you to not spend every spare moment one has drinking in a bar somewhere, but that's not what I do.

Chief
Posted: Monday, July 19, 2010 3:04 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


 

Sounds like the old lederhosen might be a bit too tight.

"I realize that it may be a foreign concept to you to not spend every spare moment one has drinking in a bar somewhere, but that's not what I do."

Despite the huge amount of evidence to the contrary, I will take your word for that.

Actually, my unlimited chief's ticket is a condition of employment and my function fulfills the requirements for renewal. Believe me there is a ladder in the maritime industry that extends well beyond boatsitting. I know you can't see it from where you are but if you take some more classes and get some sea time you might learn something.

As amusing as pulling your chain can be when things are slow or you produce another classic henning, this one has run its course. And you might benefit by spending more time reading about the maritime industry than watching movies and posting more hennings, the folks who read them will, that's for sure.


 
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