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Commerical Chiefs vs. Yacht Chiefs
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 9:00 PM

So is it that Commerical Chiefs want too much, or is it Yacht Chiefs are prepared to take less? Cabin size, time off and hours of work are the big three (3) for commercial chiefs. Money was not the problem when it came to each of the commerical engineers I interviewed, it was the overall working conditions and the shear lack of perks on offer. What do people think? I’d like to know because I can’t keep my Yacht Qualified Chiefs and Seconds because they burn out and all the good Commerical Chief Resumes I have set unrealistic expectations, when it comes to living space, time off and benefits.


Chief
Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 12:39 AM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


"I can’t keep my Yacht Qualified Chiefs and Seconds because they burn out and all the good Commerical Chief Resumes I have set unrealistic expectations, when it comes to living space, time off and benefits."

Unrealistic? Commerical chief engineers live on the same deck as the captain, have a stateroom the same size, and often make more money.

Your chief engineers may burn out because some of them may be working out of their depth, which leads to considerable stress, and are fed up with substandard living conditions. Your seconds are fed up with no time off to upgrade, no rotation, plus very little respect compared to their chief mate equivalent.

Don't look for any positive changes anytime soon.

Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 4:14 AM
These REAL chief engineers have rung more water out of their socks than a Class 4 Yacht Master or Y1 Engineer combined. You're comparing apples and oranges. Why would an unlimited chief work in that environment with an unlicensed 2nd assistant, and then sleep (probably shared) in a tiny rat's nest at the waterline? We'll pay you well, but in order to use the money, you'll have to quit the job because there is no time off. Maybe add to his offer a hammock in the focsle, a daily ration of grog, and some salted pork. Even Billy Budd got better treatment than that.
junior
Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 8:28 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Nothing new here. Yachts and specifically big yachts are simply horrible places to live. Trapped in a little box with a bunch of crazy people , aimlessly wandering around under a flag of convenience. I dont care how much money youre paid, once you reach a certain maturity and skill level you will not put up with it. Many of the first class seaman I know overcome this dilemma by working in yacht positions that are far below their skill level, but which give a better life. . Its the paradox of yachting. My next door neighbor for the winter is a Chief Engineer, both commercial and yachting, who is now the captain of a domestically based, plastic 20 something meter Ferratti motorboat , with his 17 year old daughter as stewardess and a nice little farmhouse in the hills where he rebuilds old Norton motorbikes in his spare time. Compare this to the pitiful conditions for crew on all the helicopter class yachts that Ive seen this summer...so big they cant enter port , anchored 2 miles away from the harbour, with all crews trapped like rats in a cage. No thanks... the big yachts are always going to find it hard to attract and keep senoir crew.
yachtone
Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 7:23 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


Yes it's hard to reconcile reality with fantasyland.

Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 7:52 PM

I am currently looking for a Chief engineer on a 50M M/Y. My current guy is making a great living, getting plenty of time off, and a genius at fixing things. The problem lies with the fact that he is low energy, does nothing in the evenings while the rest of the crew work 12-13 hr days, cant wait til he is in the next bar, is pathetic at orginazation. I am going to look at hiring a Filipino due to the fact that ny current chief cannot see salt or dirt in the ER. I need someone that has the whole package and no ego. If you cannot, as the chief engineer, keep the dept. better than I could as master, engineer, deckhand, and  2nd stew, you should hang it up. Get a life and beg on the streets. This is low energy work for  a low energy person.

Bottom line, leave the egos at home and do you job.

capt.


UKEngineer
Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 9:46 PM
Joined: 19/01/2010
Posts: 34


Hi Anon Captain. I maybe able to help you, aged 34, currently helping look after a fleet of over 100 small yachts and well qualified City & Guilds 2451 Marine Engineering, high energy, no ego. Waiting for MCA letter of assessment. Would need 2 months on one off on rotation and a good package. Free, single etc. Not afraid to see the dirt in the ER and clean it up. Very keen guy and not afraid to get in and get the job done 12 hours a day if needed. Only if needed though. Can email you my credentials if you like? My address is: edwarddennisuk@hotmail.com
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 9:55 PM
I have been a Chief on both yachts and commercial vessels for 15 years. The lack of respect that we get on yachts from unprofessional captains is reason #1 that I personally feel working commercial is the way to go. Not to mention the fact that you can actually have a life. You also have time off that you can plan around, the accommodations are usually much larger and private. The politics are not as much of an issue as most of the crew just want to do there job and go home to there families. Commercial crew are usually better qualified and most senior crew went to maritime college, they didn't put on a pair of khaki shorts and a polo, work for 2 and half years on a vessel and expect to make 6 figures.
salty spanner
Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 10:50 PM
Joined: 28/02/2010
Posts: 14


I guess I'm an "intermediate" yacht engineer. I have been in the industry for about 3 years, I am very close to getting the Y4. I have been a 2nd on a 50m & have worked as solo (or "chief" if you like) on two yachts around 35m. My mech/engineering skill-set & practical experience was high before I started in this industry. I am exactly the kind of engineer that the commercial guys scoff at as a "pretender". But that doesn't bother me much - I have a lot of respect for the commercially trained engineers in the industry (I'd prolly be a little arrogant too if I had an MCA comm. unlimited ticket). I would challenge any commercial chief to fault my abilities & skills on a day-to-day basis & I have a sneaking suspicion that some of my exclusively yacht-specific experience & knowledge may be more useful than the large ship oriented training in the commercial sector...? I love many things about this industry & I derive huge satisfaction from successfully maintaining/servicing/troubleshooting/upgrading any vessel I work aboard. I have been a natural "gear-head" all my life & since I went solo I have never really felt out of my depth, in-fact kinda the opposite. BUT.....I am about to take a long break from full-time yachting because I am sick & tired. Something is wrong with this game. I could not agree more with Juniors comments above & the other comments regarding "burn out". I definitely do not have a commercial chiefs expectations about living quarters/pay/leave etc. I have had to work for my tickets & references & I know this industry takes no weaklings or fools. I am happy to work 15 hour days, every day, if I am able to do my job properly & improve whatever I turn my hand to. I understand that this is a 10-star service industry & the show must go on no-matter what. I consider myself to be thick-skinned & pretty flexible for an engineer, but I am also human & I have my pain/sleep/stress/salary/bull-sh*t limits just like everyone else. Unfortunately I am personally very bitter about some yacht Captains. Can someone tell me exactly who some of these guys think they are??! NEWS FLASH FOR ALL CAPTAINS - the engineer is not your "bitch". The engineer is a person too. The engineer needs the odd day off (even if he is the only one who knows how the yacht works & what to do when an alarm goes off!). NEWS FLASH FOR ALL CAPTAINS #2 - Sometimes the engineer needs TIME to fix things.....so grow some "guts" & tell the boss what's really going on with the yacht instead of either a) sticking your head in the sand or b) cracking the whip even harder despite the obvious safety/mechanical compromises that will be forced upon me & everyone onboard. Some of the Captains I have worked for are absolutely scared of talking to the boss about the mechanical & safety integrity of the vessel. Instead they adopt this "this is just the way it is /it's not that bad / I can't do anything about it / we don't need new procedures" attitude. Or they try to make you feel like a pedantic/neurotic stress-head by hosing you down when you raise a serious issue. So often I feel like I care more about the yacht (& therefore the crew & guests safety) than the Captain. I would like to know exactly where it says on the Skippers tickets "This certificate entitles the holder to no longer lift a finger to help any one else on the yacht because now that you are a super-yacht Captain you have finally "made it" & you don't need to do much of anything anymore. NEWS FLASH FOR CAPTAINS #3 - Many engineers could have taken the deck path at one point in their career but chose engineering because they were better at it or recognised their own strengths/weaknesses. You are not almighty because you can park a yacht & draw lines on a chart. Any engineer could learn those things fairly easily, if he/she wanted to, so drop the ego. Chances are the agency/charter-broker found the job for you, not your "brilliant" rich-people networking skills. I am an intelligent, extremely motivated guy that loves marine engineering & super yachts but this industry is about to lose me....too much "anti-reality" & too many egos. There's never time for me to have a little bit of fun anymore. The bottom line for me right now is that doing what I love makes me feel frustrated & miserable. So if you want to keep good yacht engineers, stop treating us like robots. OK, I'll get off my soap-box now & stop ranting. (For the record I have also worked for two Captains that were excellent, well-organised, realistic team-leaders who inspired me to work harder & smarter. They both taught me a lot of good stuff & I am grateful every day for the time they gave me).
bobmo
Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 1:46 AM
Joined: 30/06/2010
Posts: 4


Rusty spanner, you are so totally the captains biach, and a cry baby too, But the point is that Yachting is a service industry, thus all you bitches are servants. An imagineer in yachting can stay under the radar sometimes but not forever, and you will wind up walking the dog or fixing the sink at the condo or well you get the drift don't you. I jumped ship for commercial work 10 years ago, being a combat veteran, I just don't have the time in my life for rich deuchbags and aspirating there phallic ego's. not for me, ya'll have fun though,,
salty spanner
Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 7:35 AM
Joined: 28/02/2010
Posts: 14


Yeah, maybe you're right. I think I'm gonna look for a different gig. Maybe a ship-yard job or a ferry job or something yacht/marine related without being full-time crew.... I've lost my "walk-the-poodle" care-factor!
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 7:39 AM
Generallly, the lack of respect or consideration for the basic requirements of professionals makes it almost impossible for professionals to build long term careers in the yachting industry. There is nothing like years of actual seatime working with other career seamen to create a relaxed, professional and, therefore, safe environment. But also one needs the tools. Entusiastic backpackers on gap years or on holiday, STCW or not, are no substitute if they can't tie a knot and don't really understand seamanship, but at least they will 'work' for many months at a time without rotation and they only complain about stuff like where to charge their f%$# ing IPods. MOST of the yachting industry is stuck with them. But a few are not. Note the difference and learn.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 3:39 PM
I don't know where this "backpack" bashing mentality comes from. I have worked in this industry full time for 7 years on several well known boats and yet to meet one of these people that keep being referred to as backpacker crew. I think perhaps the term is outdated. The industry is constantly moving towards safer, cleaner seas and there hasn't been room for these types in a long time. I have only ever worked with career Yachtsman (I think we need to crush the term yachie). Albeit sometimes not very professional socially but never the less, in it for the long haul and well certified.(Pertaining to the law in regards to specific vessels). I think a lot of times the disputes that break out on here come from attitudes in the different genres. Sailing is different from Motor. 80 foot is different from 130 which is different from 160 which is very different from +220 which is completely different to Commercial Merchant. Those boys grew up in a different world all together. They have skills that no Yachtsman will ever acquire, but having said that, there are skills a yachtsman has that commercial boys will never acquire. The funny part is, the Y wants to aquire the Comm skills, but the Comm can't see what it takes to work on a yacht cohesively.(For what ever reason). Tonnages also play into it as does method of propulsion. Engineers for example have issues with each other and different skill sets based on the type of vessel they work on. Some don't even think others should be allowed to be called engineers. Regardless, the point is that each genre has a very different skill set and mentality, and when someone who offers, what might be correct advice for their situation, may be completely inappropriate for another, the war breaks out. Granted there are bad crew out there but overall there are just differences between vessels. One thing we all have in common is the love of the sea. I race sailboats in my spare time, I work on Power, there is nothing more beautiful than watching the Bluenose II under full press. Let's don't be haters. SO, If you are a Commercial Chief Engineer and can handle the differences from the switch to Yachting, then by all means Go back to the Merchant fleet where you were happy, don't bring your negative vibe and bitterness on my Yacht and bring happy crew down.
André
Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 7:04 PM
Joined: 10/01/2010
Posts: 1


I am surprised about the limited view of people here, when they divide the companies on sea in just comercial an yachting,
To my opinion the main streams are off shore , dredging , war ships and the merchant fleet divided in tankers ( gas oil ) , cruise , dry cargo, and yachting .

I worked in off shore , dredging , naval ships , and gas cariers every area with the highest respect to their own area , but when you proof you know you skills, you can work in every area .

Then communication with crewiing responable persons in yachting ..... They are still wondering when  you can operate an highly  advanced dredging or off shore equipment with stcw aproved licenses... you also can operate just a propulsion / generator set and some accomodation equipment ..
with this knowledge of employees working on sea you can not expect agencies can send allways capable crew .

 About some working conditions i allready noticed ;
-Indeed salaries are a mostely a joke , i  blame the engineers who accept bullshit salries ( because they have no familie home and live their live as backpakker ).Accepting low salaries hold all salries under pressure .
( of cours you can hire philipino officers , i worked with some very good ones , but mostely after i send back the first 2-3 engineers they send , once experienced with advanced equipment they earn about 2500Us dollar with 2-1 rotation ( also blaming him working with those conditions next to me; so this salary / rotation changes slowely to my standards ).Question is who do you realy want for the job ??
 -No rotation ?? in what time does some employers live ???
-Shared accomodation ??...That one is perfect of course ,but only with female stewardesses( cup b/cwill do !
-The lack of respect from other yachting crew to each othe is also a big minor ..i am surprised some one working a few years as just a navigator ( mate ) suddenly is master and manage all personal ??( what a joke , does he also advise the cook how to order food or make is soup ???) .

Of course i am still interested in switching to tourist like industrie, but change is big i choose for more organised, and advanced industrie as cruising with also more educated personal ( tss still am highly surprised 2 collegues calling eachother eachother's bich in public ...)

 



Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 8:08 PM
I’ve worked commercially and have been exclusively on yachts since the mid 1990’s because the commercial jobs basically disappeared from my homeland because other nationalities would do the same job for less. Today I am on a yacht that is well above 80 meters which is comparable to a small cruise ship. My time on smaller yachts taught me a great deal about yachting and the expectations of marine engineers in this industry. I am a Y engineer by default and very proud of it, I am also very proud of my commercial tickets even though I never got my class 1 and I am equally proud of the technical apprenticeship I completed during my youth becasue it provided me a solid skill foundation that I use everyday. At the end of the day education, training, experience and performance on the job determine whether a person is competent enough to be deemed a “responsible person” and this is exactly what commercial and yacht engineers are. The size, power and operational area of a vessel do increase and decrease technical complexity, logistical problems and competency levels. I know my limits, I know there is always more to learn and I truly believe pieces of paper and what marine college you went to mean absolutely nothing when its go time, because I’ve work alongside all kinds of engineers. Paper qualifications are no guarantee that a person can actually do the job or fit into the vessels crew profile. Over-qualified or under-qualified there is always more to learn, do and refine. I recently employed a commercially qualified second and he was lethargic and tiresome to deal with, whereas my Filipino assistants that hold no real qualifications know precisely what to do and work tirelessly. I’ve had Y engineers as seconds also and these engineers tend to lack technical skills, unless they have completed a trade apprenticeship of some kind. So getting back to the original question about commercial and Y chiefs, I am going to say its Attitude – Aptitude and Persistence that defines how good or bad an engineer is. If my Filipino assistants wished to become Chiefs and gained Y tickets I can assure you there would be far less Caucasian yacht engineers, so again it is Attitude – Aptitude and Persistence that determines whether an engineer is worthwhile or not and unfortunately it is peoples attitudes that exceed or limit their worth potential. A valid CoC is precisely that and if there is limits on the CoC so be it, because the will forever be a shortage of marine enigneers and I welcome all commercial guys into the industry so long as they reconize the need to venture outside the ECR and get dirty.
salty spanner
Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 9:14 PM
Joined: 28/02/2010
Posts: 14


Hey "anonymous" on the 80m with the Filipino assistants.... Just out of curiosity, and for the benefit of this thread, could you list, say, five factors in rough order of preference that would determine your longevity aboard a yacht? I ask because you seem to be very well positioned to answer the question/topic first raised in this thread. Do you feel that you are duly respected onboard your vessel as a professional or do you feel like a very well trained, well experienced, well qualified slave?
salty spanner
Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 9:17 PM
Joined: 28/02/2010
Posts: 14


I'm just curious that' all. I have always believed that if I can slowly work my way to a larger yacht (say 55m+) the level of professionalism, procedure, & respect would naturally increase. Is it true? Or is it just a bigger shit-show?
Noel
Posted: Sunday, August 29, 2010 3:02 AM
Joined: 15/07/2008
Posts: 5


This is to all the engineers out there & especially salty spanner. I came up the hawse pipe in yachting and committed some 13+ yrs to the industry but never made it to the "almighty" Captain position. I'm now commercial & working in Brazil W/ 70on/35/off & luvn it... as relief master!! At the end of the day it comes down to people. "hente primero", "people first" in all my experience, which is proably little compared to most people on here, it comes down to treating people right, no matter what there position is. Captains or anyone for that matter, that disrespect there fellow crew are on the path to looking for another replacement, simple as that. Yes in my experience w/ commercial, the engineers make more money...as they should, screw the ego, it's there alot of the time for sure...and in both positions equally as a whole, but it's up to you, on how you deal w/ it. I guess what I'm trying to say, is it's all about people first. I luv yachting and always will...it's in my blood, but I tell ya, from my experience thus far, yachting engineers earn there pay through there work alot more so than what I've seen thus far on the commercial side. Just an observation, not a "declaration". Good luck! -N-
Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, August 29, 2010 11:41 AM
I have worked all three sides of the fence. Started of as merchant Chief, then as a Yacht Chief and am now a Yacht Captain on an 85m. The question will only be answered when we yacht trained Captains & Engineers are allowed to act as a Captain or Chief on a merchant vessel. Is that going to happen, not likely!! The merchant fleet jealously guard their leave ratios, year round salaries and tax breaks and will never let us into those protected areas. I have worked for many years for and with the commercial Captains and Chiefs and they are appalled at the hours we have to do in yachting, with the tiny cabins, crews messes and living areas. The only ones that stay are the real grafters, the whingers and moaners soon scuttle back to their pampered lifestyles on the ships. Mind you, I have just heard of my last Chief on my last yacht going back to Disney Cruises (where he initially came from) and leaving after his 1st contract, because he was not allowed free internet/Skype at ses, and he is now trying to get back into yachting. This is a guy that called me a bastard after I told him he was definately not getting holiday pay on top of his (fully paid for 12 months!) 3on/3off rotation!! Hey ho.
Chief
Posted: Sunday, August 29, 2010 1:44 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


"I have worked all three sides of the fence. Started of as merchant Chief ... "

I would love to know how one "started" as chief engineer on a merchant vessel. Only in yachting can one start at the top of the ladder.

"The question will only be answered when we yacht trained Captains & Engineers are allowed to act as a Captain or Chief on a merchant vessel. Is that going to happen, not likely!!  The merchant fleet jealously guard their leave ratios, year round salaries and tax breaks and will never let us into those protected areas."

 And as far as "jealously guarding" the benefits and working standards, anyone with the required training and certificates can apply for the job. Your comments sound like those of a recreational pilot whining about not being considered for a position as an airline pilot.

"I have worked for many years for and with the commercial Captains and Chiefs and they are appalled at the hours we have to do in yachting, with the tiny cabins, crews messes and living areas."

And after all those "many years" you still think they are "whiners and moaners" who have been spoiled by their "pampered lifestyles" rather than admit that tiny or shared cabins really are appalling to adult professionals? Mariners with professional credentials and training go to sea to make a living and to enable a life which doesn't involve their workplace.

Manning a yacht is not like volunteering for Mercy Ships, it is not doing good works for the betterment of humanity. It is not sailing into harm's way to ensure the freedom of others. A modern coal miner would be equally appalled at the idea of working a 19th century pit, no matter how gilded the pick and shovel. There is no nobility in working in conditions the rest of the maritime industry left behind a half century ago.

Pardon my skepticism but there a few holes in your post that leave this cynical old chief a bit less than convinced of its veracity.

Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, August 29, 2010 2:09 PM

I don't mind ... neither with seize of the yacht... I still see yachts as exclusive excentric toys, for those who can have them, and to work in them is for those who can and whant to,   I don't see the point of discussion, or whining about... as well as for any role in a yacht  (ok... maybe exclusive charter yachts can have a different aproach, as tool for business) all the others,  we're been let in wonderland, or we want to or not...

I can be wrong though, haven't seen much either... just an opinnion  : )


salty spanner
Posted: Sunday, August 29, 2010 6:00 PM
Joined: 28/02/2010
Posts: 14


So in the interest of returning to one of the original questions raised by the first post.... Burnout: If we say that any engineer, commercially trained or a journey-man like me ("imagineer" if you like), that makes a willing commitment to work on a yacht and then leaves after less than a year because of some of the issues raised above, is he a wimp/whiner/quitter/out-of-his-depth/dreamer...?? Or does the industry really push some engineers too far? Is the burn-out rate the same for Captains?...or career Chief Stews? I don't have any hard answers but I'd love hear from the more experienced guys that have been posting....?? Where do you draw the line? (Maybe this is not new news to the older guys, but I feel like the industry needs to change a little to really keep the GOOD, intelligent, well-adjusted guys?)
Capt Kaj
Posted: Monday, August 30, 2010 2:18 PM
Joined: 05/08/2008
Posts: 83


It is high time alot of engineers pulled thier heads out of the arse. Poor guys, small cabins, working hard and long hours, no time for the 100 cigarettes a day, no booze when on charter. LEAVE THEN. We don´t need you, go back to the merchant navy where you can do all those things. The MCA will just have to invent a different set of rules, they did that in the beginning anyway when they set up the system to benefit their own people. It is hight time a new set was invented.

Time on time off, well if there is anyone who deserves more of that then it is the Captain and then the heads of departments, probably least especially the engineer, unless the boat is falling apart, they often do the least work onboard and are the last on the list for time on / time off rewards. If it doesn´t fit equally for the crew then why should engineers be the only ones to benefit from thime on / time off? Poor little puppies.....Now how does that light bulb come out.....better check the drawings.....pull your heads in guys, work hard like the rest of us.

Capt Kaj


Chief
Posted: Monday, August 30, 2010 3:24 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


Thanks for that post Kaj,  it is a crystal clear example of why the original poster said his Y engineers burned out and commercial guys just laughed.

 

Just for grins, tell us how you would like to see the MCA change the licensing system.


Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 12:37 PM
I fail to see where a Y engineer can do/does thing that a commercially qualified cannot/doesn't. Just because there is less equipment and of lesser dimensions on a yacht, doesn't mean it is that da.. hard to do. As Chief stated, you don't start at the top in the merchant world. You start at the bottom. That means that before you enter ECR with 4 bars, you have as an engineer fixed/maintained all sorts of equipment, such as outboards, lifeboat machinery, mobile fire pumps, all kinds of hydraulics, windlasses, hvac, boilers, black and grey water systems, cranes, whinches, safety/firefighting equipment, showerheads, doorlocks, the lot. In the merc world, when you get the 4 bars you are no longer the "man on the spot", you are the manager of the ships technical department. You don't have to prove your skills everyday, you have a team for that, but make no mistake, cheng has been 2nd, 3rd and apprentice/cadet and has paid his dues on all four in the bottom of the ship fixing something while choff screaming "fix it now, cap's getting anxious!", and when push comes to shove, cheng is in coveralls throwing him/herself into the fray. In the merc world chengs often get the same accommodation, salary package and share office with the captain or choff. When Capt Kaj is asking for engineers to buckle up, stop whining and get down to business, he is clearly unaware of how things are done on the other side of the proverbial fence (btw a fence has only two sides, no?). And it is a kind of attitude towards the engineering dep(and other deps as well) that simply doesn't belong in this century, and is the very definition of bad leadership. I suppose the afore mentioned skipper is a graduate of the homeopathic version of nautical training, the MCA yacht scheme, and therefore has issues/prejudices with the merc world.
Chief
Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 2:49 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


"In the merc world chengs often get the same accommodation, salary package and share office with the captain or choff. "

 

The chief has his own office and stateroom, the same size as the captain's and never shares space with the mate who is very much junior. The chief officer or first mate is equivalent to the 1st assistant engineer (2nd eng in MCA speak) and they both have their own office space except in the case of very small ships where there might be extra space in or near their stateroom  for filing cabinets and bookshelves. The junior officers use the engine or deck office as appropriate.

 

" ...fixing something while choff screaming 'fix it now, cap's getting anxious!' "

 

No one in the engine department works for the chief officer. The mate might well politely inform the chief that something is broken and the captain is unable to cope with the situation but he does not tell the chief what, when, or how to do anything. If there are safety or operational issues related to the failure of some piece of deck equipment, the chief will discuss the matter with the captain and they will consider the solutions available. A screaming mate will likely find himself rapidly and most unceremoniously removed from the scene and quite possibly from the ship upon docking at the next port.


Capt Kaj
Posted: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 1:41 PM
Joined: 05/08/2008
Posts: 83


Dear Anon,

Firstly it always amazes me how you hide behind your ANON. If you had the balls you would be proud enough to put your name to it right, enough said?

In answer to your pathetic statement "I suppose the afore mentioned skipper is a graduate of the homeopathic version of nautical training, the MCA yacht scheme, and therefore has issues/prejudices with the merc world" well actually I am the proud holder of a fully fledged commercial ticket, not of the MCA ilk and I do have a very good background in the commercial industry and know very well how it works. Sorry about that.

I actually don´t care where an Engineer has received his or her training or experience, just get on with the job, I don´t decipher between the two. Do it well and we will all get on like a house on fire. It is those that want their time on time off, flights, cream cakes and mamby pamby attitude that knarks me big time. If they don´t like this industry then go back to their coastal or ocean lark. Super yachting isn´t for everyone, neither is commercial shipping, you have the choices in life, just don´t make life difficult for those who live around you onboard.

Roll on the days where there will be rotation for Captains who work a busy schedule, then they could join the Engineer on the outgoing flight! I am not bothered about being paid on the days off either.

Anon, you are also unaware of how many stripes a Chief Engineer carries, for your into it´s one more than the Mate and the same number as the Captain! Did you get your ticket from a Cornies packet?

By the way Chief, I haven´t forgotten your question regarding the MCA engineering system, I will get to it shortly!

Capt Kaj


salty spanner
Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 9:00 PM
Joined: 28/02/2010
Posts: 14


Capt Kaj wrote:

It is high time alot of engineers pulled thier heads out of the arse. Poor guys, small cabins, working hard and long hours, no time for the 100 cigarettes a day, no booze when on charter. LEAVE THEN. We don´t need you, go back to the merchant navy where you can do all those things. The MCA will just have to invent a different set of rules, they did that in the beginning anyway when they set up the system to benefit their own people. It is hight time a new set was invented.

Time on time off, well if there is anyone who deserves more of that then it is the Captain and then the heads of departments, probably least especially the engineer, unless the boat is falling apart, they often do the least work onboard and are the last on the list for time on / time off rewards. If it doesn´t fit equally for the crew then why should engineers be the only ones to benefit from thime on / time off? Poor little puppies.....Now how does that light bulb come out.....better check the drawings.....pull your heads in guys, work hard like the rest of us.

Capt Kaj


This is exactly the attitude that perpetuates the problem. So many Captains hide behind "this is just the way it is, so shut-up & keep working" line. OK, I'll keep working, and working and working and working & I won't ask questions & I won't complain & I'll exceed all known guidelines/regulations for fitness-for-duty & anti-fatigue & I'll keep working & I'll go days & often weeks with out enough sleep & slowly I'll get more & more tired, but I'll keep working because I love what I do & I don't want to "rock the boat". But eventually I'll make a mistake, probably a big one too. And the mistake will happen doing something I have done one hundred times before but it will result in a MARPOL situation or a personal injury or significant cost to the boss. Why? because I'm so mentally & physically tired I start missing crucial details, details that only I know about that are specific to the particular system and, by that time, it's long abandoned procedures. But despite this, the second I ask the Captain about doing things differently (ie - smarter) I'm a whiner.

And why does this happen to a physically fit, super-keen engineer like me who doesn't smoke, hardly drinks, has no kids or house back home (and therefore asks for less time off than other crew), absolutely loves the work & wants to progress ????????Because you, the Captain, are too sh!t-scared of ever speaking to the owners about sensible schedules, crew time-off, realistic levels of service, sane passage planning, spares & stores budgets, responsible use of water toys, appropriate yard-periods, realistic deadlines, etc etc etc etc....why?? because you're a "yes" man with no intestinal fortitude and it's easier to whip the crew, call them whiners or just turn a blind eye, than it is to grow a set of "guts" & tell the boss that the crew are not robots & the vessel will be operated me, the professional Captain you hired to do so.

I find your comments about "...engineers doing the least amount of work onboard..." particularly offensive. If I had a dollar for every day I worked three more hours than any other crew member (including the Captain). How many times the rest of the crew took Saturday & Sunday off but I chose to keep servicing, checking, logging & preparing because I knew the work needed to be done. Finish at 17:00, off-charter?? Never have, prolly never will. Saturdays off? Ha, don't make me laugh. Have I ever received the "one flight a year home" bull-shit that is always promised in the interview?? In my experience it doesn't exist. Do I complain about all the extra hours?? Not often, because I love what I do, but after a while anyone (and I mean anyone) starts to feel like they're being taken advantage of. Does the 2nd stewardess get up in the middle of the night to check something or answer an alarm?? Do I go out all night on the grog with the bosun & the deckie whenever there's a break in the schedule? ...and then work the next day hung-over? Not on your life mate - there's too much at stake. What friggin' planet are you from Capt Kaj?? Not one that has yachts on it that's for sure.

But have I seen Captains regularly shooting off on Friday morning (off-charter) to check on the house/farm/wife/mates for the weekend?? Plenty. My last Captain manoevered the vessel completely drunk (with guests onboard), vomited down the side of the boat & then fell asleep at the helm 5 miles out (not a word of a lie).




Rusty Wrench
Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 9:54 PM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


Salty, You should know well enough that four stripes in the engine room are equal to and never overpowered by four stripes in the bridge. The E/R log carries the same weight in a court of law as the O.L.B. Important to note; THE CAPTAIN IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE CREW. He/she is the Owners' representative. Captains on yachts have always perceived themselves as demi-gods, over and above any sort of control or culpability. Interesting to note the MCA yacht regulations have upset the 'Shangri La' captains gravy train. Salty, you are also 100% correct in stating the majority of captains do not possess the balls to approach/confront the owner and inform them of the correct, safe, sensible methods of operating the vessel. I have only met ONE captain who clearly and specifically stated to his boss' If you don't listen to what I say, why am I here!'
Anonymous
Posted: Monday, October 25, 2010 4:28 AM
Please do allow me to shed some light on this... A commercial Chief in the Gulf of Mexico with a Limited Chief/ Unlimited 2nd AE motor/turbine can expect to have his own stateroom, live on the Officer's Deck, and make at least 600$US a day, but he will not be the Chief, he will be the 2nd AE. An unlimited Chief, that is, Chief Of Anything That Floats, can expect to make >800$US a day in the oil industry in the the G.O.M. SO... until the Megayacht owners get on board with paying at least 600$US a day for a Limited Chief/Unlimited 2nd... Well, you get the idea.
Henning
Posted: Monday, October 25, 2010 11:05 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


Anonymous wrote:
 SO... until the Megayacht owners get on board with paying at least 600$US a day for a Limited Chief/Unlimited 2nd... Well, you get the idea.

Most of us that came over to yachts took a pay cut for quality of life issues. This thread is funny, y'all must work for some really poor examples of owners captains and engineers. I'm a captain, I don't have to "stand up" to my owner over issues of safety/quality of the vessel and its gear, I just do it and tell him about it next time I see him and he's stoked that it's right. As for "Yacht Engineer" vs "Commercial Engineer", I know excellent as well as dog meat from both sectors. The difference lies with the individual, not the industry sector.

Rusty Wrench
Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 7:37 AM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


Exactly, and well said Henning! the very same ''excellent as well as dog meat'' analogy applies to captains too...
Henning
Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 9:10 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


Rusty Wrench wrote:
Exactly, and well said Henning! the very same ''excellent as well as dog meat'' analogy applies to captains too...


You bet, actually it applies to all positions in all industries and walks of life.

Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:39 PM
Never seen an engineer fire a captain before.....Seen a few Chiefs get done by the Captain though. I had a crew chef tell me once when I was a deckhand that he was my superior and i had to listen to him because he had two stripes, albeit they were silver and consisted of a knife and fork. hahaha true story, I got him fired.
 
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