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Young Enginneer - Am I doing the right thing?
JMcC
Posted: Thursday, November 3, 2011 9:37 AM
Joined: 31/10/2011
Posts: 7


Hi All,

I am just about to finish uni with a masters in mechanical engineering (IMechE accredited). I have been around yachts a lot in my school years sailing on the Jolie Brise. I have alot of expreince in the Auto industry but my real passion is yachts.

I want to get into yacht engineering and crew as an engineer. I have booked myself a STCW 95 and my RYA power boat lvl 2. And looking at doing an approved engine course. Am I going about this the right way?

Any advice would be greatly appricated!


Thanks

James


robadcock
Posted: Friday, November 4, 2011 9:17 PM
Joined: 17/08/2011
Posts: 3


hi james if you intend to make marine engineering your profession you need to go for the best qualification which in the marine industry is chief engineer unlimited any vessel any size any hp/kw trading w/wide dont go for a short term restricted ticket ask your relevant licensing authority you will find it pays of masively in the longer term regards r adcock mca chief eng unlimited
thomas howell
Posted: Friday, November 4, 2011 10:39 PM
Joined: 06/05/2009
Posts: 1


Ditto previous comment. Your obviously a smart guy, you will be far far far too overqualified to go down the yacht engineering route, and you will also fail to gain get the jobs you really want on the big boats over 3000kw, as you will be limited by the Yacht Engineer ticket. I am doing a degree in Mechanical Engineering after being in the Merchant Navy for 6 years and yachts for 6 years, in order to get a well paid shore side position..Make sure you make the most of your qualifications, as marine engineering and mechanical are completely different and certificates of competency are highly regulated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and ususally require a minimum of 3 year engineering cadetship to get a UK Class 4 CoC....think carefully and good luck. Any more info just ask, Tommy H
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2011 3:00 AM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


You did not state your nationality.

USCG only allows US citizens to become engineer (or deck) officer under the US flag.

However, the MCA (UK coastguard) allows any individual from almost any nation to become an engineer (or deck) officer under the 'Red Ensign' flag group. 

The Yacht Engineer coc system (Y4, Y3, Y2, Y1) states engineering sea time and sea service may be accummulated onboard any vesssel under any flag. (for details refer to MGN 156M) 

With your present knowledge and education, your best bet is to secure a position in the engine department on any motor yacht which requires an unlicenced junior engineer, then you can gain experience. Make sure you record all sea time and sea service in testimonial form (see MGN 156M) 

AEC is a good start.

 

 


rodsteel
Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2011 3:30 AM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 275


James,

 

When I took my AEC the first thing the Unlimited Chief type instructor asked all students was if they were 27yrs old or under. His immediate recommendation was "go to a real marine college"

 

Jolie Brise seems to be a UK ship therefore I assume the following marine college would be close to you.

 

http://www.warsashacademy.co.uk/home.aspx

 

Your current degree should give you a real "leg up" and thus would not require that much time to get your commercial engineering qualifications.

 

Regards,

 

Rod


Rusty Wrench
Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2011 11:49 AM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


Rodsteel did not mention that if you choose to persue a commercial engineering certificate you will need to join a merchant shipping company as an engineer cadet. This career path will require many years at sea combined with many, many months of study at a nautical college. This will enable you to progress step by step up the merchant engineering ladder, sometimes spending a few years between the higher levels of certification to gain more experience before promotion, ultimately leading to Class 1 chief engineer.

Obviously, this will prevent you from working on yachts.

However, the MCA yacht engineer programme allows/enables you to work on yachts, gain experience, accumulate sea service and sea time, and progress at your own pace up the Y Certificate ladder (again refer to MGN 156M)


JMcC
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 3:48 PM
Joined: 31/10/2011
Posts: 7


Hi Everyone,

 

Firstly, wow. Thanks for all the advice, amazing that so many people are willing to contribute their thoughts and advice.

 

@robadcock, I am not entirely sure I understand. To gain a Chief Engineer Unlimited, what is the path to getting there, what experience and what prerequisites in terms of qualifications would I need to get myself to that level?

 

@thomas howell, Thank you :D certainly wont feel that smart when it come to finals I'm sure! The route that you are taking sounds interesting with 12 years already under you belt what made you decide to move from the practical experience and take a degree? When did you start on yachts and the merchant navy? I think being a typical young lad I am attracted by the world of yachts and I am aware that my theoretical knowledge may make me not the first choice for an on-board engineer but I feel like I need to start grass roots and get my hands dirty. What do you think? Thanks for your advice.

 

@Rusty Wrench, I am British. Studying in Oxford so unfortunately about 4 light years from the nearest port!! From the reading that I have done the Yacht engineer CoC system seems like an interesting path, any ideas where I would find MGN 156M? What would you recommend I do to give myself the best shot of securing a place as junior engineer, what qualities do they like (how should I word my CV)? I am a very adventurous sort of person, I have a solo skydiving licence, my PADI openwater and a fair bit more. Is this good stuff or not really of any interest to employers? Am I correct in thinking that people look for staff that are adaptable and can turn their hand to anything as I would think that in the isolated environment of a yacht this would be helpful? Sorry for all the questions, and thank you for your adivce!!

 

@rodsteel, Sounds like the type of person I would expect a chief instructor to be. If I am honest I will be 24 by the time I graduate and will be very keen to get out into the industry when I still have no ties to land! I don’t really fancy spending more time in education as I will be PhD age by the time I finish with no letters in front of my name!  What would you say the real benefits are of taking the commercial marine engineering route compared to the Yacht engineering route? Thanks for your time.

 

Again thanks to everyone,

 

James

 


Chief
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 6:44 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


James,

 

Please follow this link to the UK MCA guide to certification of marine engineers:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga-mnotice.htm?textobjid=5731290832F60BA1

 

MGN 156 refers to yacht limited certificates only. If you want to make the most of the education you have already received you do not want to go the yacht limited route. It has no validity or application to shoreside employment or future advancement in the engineering professions.

 


rodsteel
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 12:40 AM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 275


JMcC wrote:

Hi Everyone,

@rodsteel, ... What would you say the real benefits are of taking the commercial marine engineering route compared to the Yacht engineering route? Thanks for your time...

 

James,

 

 

I was just passing on the advice provided (to a class of mostly currently serving or experienced yacht crew) by a knowlegeable senior Chief Engineer with many years service on luxury Motor Yachts over 200'.

 

 

Besides the advantages outlined by Chief, you can see from the following diagram that the MNG 156 route to certification (as posted by Rusty Wrench) does not seem to save you any time in the sea-service part of the qualification process (and the resulting certifications may limit you to private or charter yachts - however, that being said, I have seen ads for positions on yachts that excluded holders of otherwise equivalent commercial certificates).

 

 

http://www.warsashacademy.co.uk/courses/professionalstudies/commercialyachtengine/resources/crafttrainingentryroute.pdf

 

 

The following link describes the standard options to obtain an initial commercial EOOW certification (MCA STCW '95 III/1). The option I think most appropriately applies to your situation (as a degreed mechanical engineer) would be the "Specialised Route to initial EOOW certification". I believe this route would recognize your University degree and courses as satisfying a significant portion of the schooling requirements and seems to only require six months sea-time with four months served in the engine room (and arranged by the school? - if so, this bypasses the, not trivial, problem of finding an entry-level position on a yacht).

 

 

http://www.warsashacademy.co.uk/courses/professionalstudies/merchantvesselengineering/engineerofficerofthewatchtrainingoptions.aspx

 

 

Both regimes require the same basic STCW '95 safety courses, so taking them will probably be beneficial in either case.

 

 

Good Luck,

 

 

Rod

 


Rusty Wrench
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 3:10 AM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


Best case scenario, beginning from engineering cadet, progesssing all the way to chief engineer (1st class unlimited) within the MCA certification system for merchant mariners will take eight to twelve years, perhaps longer. This is assuming you ace all written and oral examinations first time at every level. also, you will be required to work/train exclusively on merchant ships in addittion to lengthy study periods at nautical college  

Some dispensation upon entry may be granted to you with regard to your degree in education.

rod steel and chief seem to be unaware that unlike the USCG system, (where all mariners are under the same commercial certification system) the MCA has three systems: Merchant, Fishing and Yachts.

Everyone seems to be pushing you toward the commercial certification route, which is in complete contrast to your desire to work on yachts...?

 

 

   


Chief
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 5:46 AM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


"Some dispensation upon entry may be granted to you with regard to your degree in education."


Yes, like a relatively instant OOW certificate that will be endorsed by nearly every yacht flag state to serve as chief engineer on many yachts, and second engineer on the rest. It is also a doorway to working on the >3000 ton yachts that are becoming more common. No Y ticket holders can even apply for those jobs.

"rod steel and chief seem to be unaware that unlike the USCG system, ...the MCA has three systems: Merchant, Fishing and Yachts."


You are so very wrong on that point. The fact that the MCA offers a crippled yacht certificate to those who don't have formal engineering training and certification is precisely why I and most others are advising the gentleman to use his professional qualifications to obtain a professional certificate that can be used on yachts and will be useful ashore where the only thing a yacht certificate will get you is a cup of bad coffee if you staple it to a 5 Euro note.


"Everyone seems to be pushing you toward the commercial certification route, which is in complete contrast to your desire to work on yachts...?"


Because with his academic qualifications he doesn't need to spend years onboard a yacht and quit his job to take week long cram courses in pursuit of a ticket that has no value when he leaves yachting to pursue a professional engineering career. He can obtain a universally recognized marine engineering certificate based on his degree and a short few months at sea, and that  certificate will far exceed the qualifications of any Y licensed engineer. To advise someone with his qualifications to squander them on a dead end path is just plain ignorant. He can work on anything that floats with a commercial license..


What you don't seem to understand is that an engineering degree and a commercial license hold great value and will serve him the rest of his life. A yacht license is good for a few years of mucking about on boats but means nothing to an engine builder, a powerplant operator, a marine engineering design firm or any other professional employer.


JMcC
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 10:13 AM
Joined: 31/10/2011
Posts: 7


All,

 

Again thank you for your input, if nothing else I am definitely getting the feeling that there is a community out there willing to help, much appreciated.

 

@Cheif, thanks for the link. It seems like that is geared towards people who have completed college level (HND, BTEC ect, which probably would struggle to get you onto my current course). Is there a course that would perhaps not cover a lot of the material I already have, although I am aware that there would be a lot of new bits as well in terms of application specific learning?

 

I can see what you are saying about putting myself into a situation where I will be limited in terms of how my experience/qualifications will be viewed. I personally can see benefits to both routes. What would you say employers (in the yacht industry, because at the end of the day that’s where my passion seems to be) think of both routes, and which would look better in their eyes?

 

In response to your later comment, thank you. It is good to hear people voicing their opinions (helps me a lot). If I were to look at going into yacht engineering/design surely they would prefer someone that has been down the yacht specific route with an MEng and perhaps 5yrs experience actually on the yachts with a Y1/2 rather than a commercial qualification, what do you think? Sorry for the essay but I have loads of questions! Thanks again.

 

@rodsteel, Thanks for the links, very helpful!! It seems that the world is quite divided in terms of what people are looking for. Good to hear the STCW ’95 is useful for both, means me booking it wont be a waste. How does the school go about organising the sea-time as I feel that this will be the hardest thing to get. Thanks

 

@Rusty Wrench, In your experience how long would it take a yacht engineer that followed the Y4,3,2,1 route to reach Chief Engineer (1st Class Unlimited), I am aware that this is also dependant on jobs and experience? I am keen to gain the best qualifications, but I am worried that if I move away from my desire to work on yachts I may loose interest as I have been struggling to keep interest over my degree when simply studying the broad “engineering” subject. May I ask what route you took and how you got to where you are now? Cheers

 

If there are any Capitans/Employers (anyone actually) reading this thread it would be great to hear what you’re prospective is!

 

 

Thanks again everyone,

James

 


Chief
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 12:01 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


James,

Please contact the MCA directly to enquire as to how they will evaluate your degree with a view toward obtaining marine engineering certifications. You have already completed most of the requirements for a real marine engineering certificate that is recognized world wide. Let the MCA tell you where you stand, there is no one on this site who can do that and taking the wrong advice at this stage can cost you thousands of your favorite currency and years of your life.


I may be mistaken but it appears that you do not understand that a Y license is very limited and is recognized only for service on yachts. It has no direct path toward commercial licensing, it is a hobby license that might be compared to holding a BSAC diving certificate and hoping to work on the Norwegian Sector oil rigs.


There is no "they" in yachting. If the captain happens to not like commercial engineers he will not hire one. If the captain has commercial experience he will welcome you. Don't ever make the mistake of thinking that yachting is a monolithic and well organized industry with defined career paths. It is a recreational activity with a recently imposed regulatory regime based on international maritime laws. There is a lot more to STCW than Basic Safety Training.


I will repeat one more time: A commercial license is valid onboard private and commercially operated yachts. It "trumps" a yacht license and in most cases the lowest commercial license is higher than a mid level yacht license for service on yachts. A yacht license is only valid for service on yachts. It has no value for any other type of service. It is not recognized by shoreside employers and may actually work against you as the requirements to obtain a yacht license are minimal and do not represent a structured and recognized level of training and performance.


You can work on any yacht with a commercial license. You can use it to build your CV when you decide to use your degree later on. A yacht license will do nothing for you. As far as holding a yacht limited certificate being a plus with yacht industry employers, quite the opposite it true, just ask any manager at any shipyard or builder that works with yachts and has to deal with Y route engineers.


Speaking as an unlimited chief engineer with a long time in both the commercial and the yachting industries, I suggest you take one short year, a tiny part of your professional life, and obtain a legitimate, recognized, professional marine engineering certificate. At the end of that year you will be able to serve in any position on any yacht and you will know what you are doing. You will have made an investment in your future and made yourself a valuable asset to any employer, shoreside or at sea.


Whatever you do please don't make career decisions based on what you read here. Many of the posters who suggest that commercial licensing is not the way to go simply don't know what they are talking about. It is like asking a high school student about graduate school ... they can't possibly speak from a knowledgeable foundation because they don't have one. Talk to the MCA, they issue the license, talk to IMAREST, talk to the nautical colleges, talk to professional marine engineers.


Whatever you do, spend a great deal more time learning about the maritime industry.

rodsteel
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 5:23 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 275


JMcC wrote:

 

...@rodsteel,... How does the school go about organising the sea-time as I feel that this will be the hardest thing to get...  James

 


 

James,

 

I do not know.

 

As Chief suggests, give the MCA office or a Warsash career counselor a ring and ask (they are there to assist students like you and they provide eduction for both commercial and yachting candidates  - if you have the time, go and visit the school - just a short train ride ).

 

Rod.

 

P.S. If you look at the diagram in the link I provided showing sea-time service requirements for each level of the yacht tickets, each level does not seem to be any "shorter" than the commercial requirements for a comparable rating (and, like Chief pointed out, a year or maybe less will give you a first-level EOOW rating that will allow you to work solo or second on many yachts - and this seems to be less time than it takes to qualify for a Y4)


Chief
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 8:13 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


"...  and this seems to be less time than it takes to qualify for a Y4."

 

Well, that doesn't count the years of formal engineering training required to apply for that "shortcut."

 

It isn't just about the time though, James. It is possible to obtain a Y1 license without ever having served a single day working under the supervision or observation of a licensed marine engineer. That is ludicrous. The industry name for that process is "zero to hero" and it is all too accurate. How the MCA can expect someone to learn engineering practices and techniques in a vacuum, without supervision or tutelage is beyond my understanding. The fact is they know better and that is why the yacht limited certificates are worthless for any other application. Don't fall into that trap.

 

Zero to Hero is the equivalent of your showing up at Oxford and taking a seat in a lecture hall with a stack of books with the stipulation that in X months if you don't visibly break the building or set it on fire you will be asked a few questions then awarded a master's degree. That system is critically flawed. How much engineering knowledge have you obtained without guidance and mentoring?


marco
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 9:49 PM
Joined: 14/11/2010
Posts: 2


[Post deleted for violating forum guidelines.]

John Doe
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 1:46 AM
Joined: 13/10/2008
Posts: 60


I am on the "Go Commercial" team also. I hold MCA Master Yachts 3000gt and after 9 years yachting have just registered at proper Nautical Collage to get a Commercial License. I will end up paying less for the Commercial Ticket in about as many years as the yacht qualifications but I will be able to have a great, well paying life after yachting. It is a short unpredictable career. With a university degree and commercial ticket you will be unstoppable. The advice from the Unlimited Chief Engineers here is valid. We are all talking from experience and the decision you make now will have a great impact on your future success. Choose wisely.
Chief
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 2:29 AM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


Thank you for that post John Doe.

JMcC
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 11:13 AM
Joined: 31/10/2011
Posts: 7


@rodsteel, Rod, again thanks. I will its is a very short drive down there for me and I will see if I can get myself an appointment with their advisor and see what they think of my plans and my career position. I am eager to “fast track” my learning as much as possible. On the commercial route, would the experience I have to gain to get my EOOW be limited to being on commercial shipping or would I be able to get this through yachting (would it be viable experience?)? As from my perspective it would give me the ability to get my commercial qualifications but also keep myself valid to get the “Y” route accreditation as well, and all I would have to do for that would be to pay the money and sit the necessary tests that way I would not be limiting myself in any way. Perhaps a bit of overkill but what do you think?

 

@Chief, thanks for your post. I will do exactly like you say and call/talk to the people who offer and have done this route (the main reason I am on this forum) and see what they say about it. With regards to your second post, I can see exactly what you are saying and that type of issue seems to be common across all industries. What do you think about what I said above about combining both my experience and studies efficiently I may be able to “cover all my bases”?

 

@John Doe, Thanks for your post!! It seems like there is some very sound advice coming from almost everyone. I will be spreading my net further and asking more people of course. Please could you explain what a MCA Master Yachts 3000gt actually means, sorry? As a young (say 24) engineer with all necessary qualifications and commercially trained (EOOW certified) working on a yacht full time as a 2nd Engineer, what would one expect as a salary? I need to figure out how quick the payback is from the cost of courses etc.

 

Can’t thank everyone enough, amazing advice.

 

Regards

James


Chief
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 12:31 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


" What do you think about what I said above about combining both my experience and studies efficiently I may be able to 'cover all my bases'?"


If you obtain an MCA EOOW in addition to your masters in Mechanical engineering you will have a very wide umbrella, it covers all bases.

There is absolutely no need to pursue a yacht limited license. It is a waste of time and money and is completely uneccessary. It would be like opening a small umbrella under your large one.


Let's describe the most likely first-time yacht employment scenario that you will experience. You hold a MCA EOOW certificate with no kW limitation. You are employed on a Cayman Islands flagged large yacht as a second engineer.


In order to comply with flag state (Cayman) regulations you must apply for a Cayman Islands endorsement on your MCA EOOW certificate. That is required  because you hold a UK certificate but are working on a Cayman vessel and Caymans reserve the right to require a Cayman certificate to fill the manning requirements for their vessels. Cayman will issue an endorsement based on your underlying (MCA) certificate. That endorsement might be at a greater level than your underlying certificate depending on your educational or training and experience. Even though an EOOW is not a "chief" it might be endorsed at the Y level required to serve as chief on that yacht. If you hold a Y certificate it is highly unlikely that any flag state will endorse that at a higher level, there is just no need for them to stick their necks out. But an EOOW and a degree verifies a specific level of training and knowledge that doesn't exist a the Y level.


With your degree and a commercial EOOW, all your bases are well covered, now and into the future.


With regard to your experience being "limited" to commercial, get over that misconception immediately. The main engines used on  yachts are often used as generator engines on smaller freighters, the auxilliary equipment is often identical and in any event works on exactly the same principles and has identical parts. A commercial operator does not pick up the phone to have the smallest item repaired, there are no cell-phone engineers on a ship. You learn how to operate, maintain, and repair equipment by helping an experienced engineer do the job. You can make a mistake and learn from it rather than trying to hide it or just don't even know you have made it as often happens when no one is looking.


For the past 20 or 30 years it has been possible for a single pilot to drive an airliner around the world. But if you notice, there are aways at least two. Do you think that is because there is a concern that the single pilot will die? Not really, that happens far less frequently than accidents caused by one or the other pilots screwing up. The reason is that it is absurd to expect someone who has no experience flying an airplane to take command of that aircraft without ever having observed an experienced pilot or having been trained and corrected by an experienced pilot. A monkey can be trained to fly the airplane but only an experienced tutor can supply the wisdom that comes with experience.


There is no "pay it forward"  concept with the Y licenses because, as so often posted here and on other yachting forums, no one wants to pay for training they "don't need" or take courses that they don't understand a use for. Working alone from ab initio only builds bad habits. The yards see the results of that every day, ask any contractor or any yacht builder. This is not a popular idea with many of the Y guys and you will read the most heated and vulgar rebuttals to my position but you won't find many factual ones. You will receive advice that a commercial license is the wrong way to go "because this is yachting." They have to say that because they don't have any other information to work on and none of us want to think we have squandered our fortune or time on the wrong path.


The Y route is the right path for  a young school leaver or someone with a mechanical bent but no formal training or education who wants a quick start. It is a way for an accountant or a car mechanic to change careers without having to learn a new trade. It is a system developed by the MCA a few years ago to put a retroactive umbrella over a group of yacht crew that had no certification at all. It has become an income stream for storefront training schools and the MCA itelf. It is a low barrier to a good job but it doesn't build a solid career that has universal recognition.

John Doe
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 1:24 PM
Joined: 13/10/2008
Posts: 60


Well, it appears you are going to keep asking the same question until you get the answer you want so good luck to you. I personally think you will be too intelligent to survive the smaller yachts, the crew will offer you no stimulation and you'll go crazy. You will probably also be smarter than the Captain, so he will feel threatened and sack you. Maybe go down the sailing route, more cerebral types there.
rodsteel
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 5:48 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 275


JMcC wrote:

@rodsteel, ... On the commercial route, would the experience I have to gain to get my EOOW be limited to being on commercial shipping or would I be able to get this through yachting (would it be viable experience?)? ...

 

James,

 

I believe from the following specifications, the MCA only seems to require that the ship's engine power must be greater than 350kW and the engine room should be professionally organized and supervised by an MCA certified engineer officer (and the ship is MCA certified – or has MCA equivalent certification??). Therefore the ship could be either a commercial seagoing ship or a large yacht. In any case, verify the requirements, as they apply to you, with an MCA or Warsash career counselor.

 

Good Luck,

 

Rod

 

P.S. “Young Enginneer - Am I doing the right thing?” – famous US university graduation “put-down”

 

– "Last week I could not even spell ingannear, now I are one!"

 

 

Sea Service requirement as specified by MCA (from the MCA web site)

 

 http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga-mnotice.htm?textobjid=9381EF6FC619196F

 

 

STCW 95 III/1 OOW - Motor Ships (M)

Minimum watchkeeping on main propulsion machinery or UMS
duties (on ships of 350kW or more) =  4 months

Total minimum sea service = 6 months

 

Watchkeeping/UMS duties

Where watchkeeping service is required, this means that the cadet/rating carried out watchkeeping duties (under supervision of a certified engineer officer) for not less than 8 hours out of every 24 hour period. Where the vessel is operating an Unattended Machinery Space (UMS) system, it is expected that a 24 hr duty period is carried out in every 72 hour period i.e. "one in three" duty rota.

 

Day Work

Engineering work carried out at sea, other than that performed on regular watch, will be counted in full towards the overall minimum sea service required. However, this time cannot be counted towards watchkeeping service.

 

Acceptable proof of sea service

All sea service testimonials, discharge books and certificates of discharge must be signed by the Chief Engineer or Engineering Superintendant.

For a sea service testimonial pro forma please see MGN 91 Appendix 1D
For a pro forma of a certificate of discharge please see MGN 123 Appendix 1

 

 


Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2011 1:22 AM
Hi James

I am a currently serving 2nd on a 65m+ MY.
I went down the Yacht route so am limited to 3000GT.
My current employer is building a 90m+ MY so most of us will not be able to carry on with him onto that vessel even though he would like us too.

You are young so I would recommend a couple of more years study and do your commercial cadetship. As other have said you should be able to considerably shorten it with your qualifications.
I like many other yacht engineer friends of mine wish we had done that. Its just that many of us started before qualifications were required so did not even consider it.

Others may correct me but I believe once you have your EOOW you can then use time served on yachts to progress up the commercial ladder.

Regards

A

Gnutem
Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 8:30 PM
Joined: 03/02/2010
Posts: 1


If you do decide to go down the yacht route be sure to get a letter of initial assessment from the MCA. I have a bachelor of mechanical engineering and my initial assessment cut approx 3 years off my sea time on my Y tickets. Depending on where you got your ticket you will need a Naric comparison on your degree first, which basically states what your degree is equivalent to in the UK system. I was also granted exemptions from 2 Y2 modules. Well worth a letter. Good Luck.

Richard

Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 4:14 AM
The sensible thing to do is get a Letter of Initial Assessment from the MCA and apply to Clyde Marine Training for a place on their graduate conversion scheme; the engineering cadetship lasts only 18 months as a engineering degree exempts you from most of the academic stuff and you end up with a EOOW class 4 unlimited ticket, you even get paid(badly) while you're doing it! I did it, and still have most of my marbles left.

DaveRobson
Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2011 1:17 AM
Joined: 24/11/2008
Posts: 21


Hi James,

    The first thing I'm going to say about the commercial cadetship route that doesn't seem to be mentioned by anyone here is that they are increasingly difficult to get on to at the moment. I am a yacht engineer with a Y4 (from Oxford!!) and I, like you, have been trying to decide whether I should stick with the yachting licenses and continue up to Y1, or whether I should take a sideways step and do some commercial engineering training and work towards the commercial licenses. I spent time down in Warsash speaking to their careers advisors etc and the upshot of it was 'You're going to struggle to get a cadetship'. Now I don't have a degree, I dropped out of a University course (a useless one unlike your engineering degree) to start down the Y engineering route, but the truth of the matter is that the majority of shipping companies that will sponsor you for a cadetship (and as far as I have been able to find out, I'm sure other people out there will correct me if I'm wrong) you MUST have a sponsorship to compete a cadetship to get a commercial ticket, otherwise you cannot get the requisite seatime on a commercial vessel. Cadetships have been thrown around a lot in the last 10 years, often with the cadets having no obligation to remain with the shipping company once their cadetship was completed. The reason that this happened was that the shipping companies were receiving massive tax breaks from the UK government if they take cadets. This tax break scheme is going to end as part of the cost cutting measures in the UK, and from now on the shipping companies are going to only take the cadets that they actually require to staff their vessels, and there will much more likely be a commitment to several years service with the company once the cadetship is completed, which is not really any bad thing if you intend to continue working in the commercial field and progress to 2nd or Chief Engineer licenses. What I found when I applied for a few cadetships (and to be fair I wasn't able to apply for a graduate cadetship, not having a degree) is that 24 is too old, they're looking for school leavers (16 to 18) only and they seem to be of the opinion that anyone older with engineering experience is going to be more difficult to train in the way that they want to run their company. Now if there is a specific degree entry route, and I saw a comment from someone saying there was, then that would clearly be a much more appropriate cadetship route for you.

As for the whole commerical verses Y ticket argument, it's something that you're going to keep hearing about if you work in yachting. It is completely beyond question that a commercial license is of far more value that a yachting one, as Chief says, Y tickets are not recognised ashore, they limit you to 3000GRT and 9000 kW (but to be honest, unless you want to work on the top 5% of yachts out there, that isn't a problem) and you will have to take on a huge amount of the training off your own back rather than being in a well structured and organised training scheme if you go down the Y route.

I've worked with plenty of commercial and Y engineer's so far in my career and I have always been very jealous of the knowledge and skills that the commercial guys have amassed, their fault finding and mechanical knowledge is second to none, but one thing that I want to reiterate which seems to be lost in the argument is that JUST BECAUSE YOU DO Y TICKETS DOES NOT MEAN YOU CANNOT BE A GOOD ENGINEER. I have worked for bad engineer's who have commercial tickets and bad engineers that have Y tickets, and good Engineer's that have both. The written and oral exams that you have to pass in the Y structure are taken directly from commercial licence exams (and before anyone jumps down my throat on that one, I have spoken to the guy who writes them) and when you consider how much less training and guidance we get in the Y route, with, as someone says, a weeks cramming course before the exam, it actually makes the exam result more impressive in my view.

I think what it comes down to for your career is, where do you want to work? If you only care about working on yachts then you can probably get away with just doing Y licences. Your engineering degree will serve you well ashore when you've had enough of working afloat. Definitely apply for a letter of initial assessment from the MCA as this may well cut down on the sea time and exams required to climb the Y ladder.

If you're looking at marine engineering as a whole as a long term career, look very carefully at the commercial cadetship route and, if you can get one, its a much safer and more secure way into marine engineering as a whole, with more options at the end of it when you want to move ashore. Be aware though, that you'll get much less money in the short term, and from what my commercial friends have described to me, you won't have all that much fun doing it either.

Another thing to look at, and I don't have much info on this as I have only just started looking into it myself, is that the New Zealand commercial licenses do not differentiate between yachts and commercial vessels, you can attend their training courses (several months) and sit their oral exams for commercial licenses (which are STCW Compliant and can be used to get a Certificate of Equivalent Competency from the MCA) with yacht service time, which you can then use to get an MCA licence. Now, again, before anyone jumps down my throat, I know full well that no shipping company is going to hire an EOOW who has a CEC from NZ that is based on yachting experience, but it will make working ashore easier once your floating life is over, and is probably a cheaper way of getting that EOOW, and definately a more in depth and higher quality of training than if you were to go the Y route alone.

I didn't mean to write quite as much of an essay as I have but in closing, when I mentioned to my commercial licensed friends that I was thinking of dropping out of yachting for 5 years to get commerical training and a licence the general response was 'Are you crazy? Most commercial Engineer's spend years trying to get OUT of commercial engineering and IN to yachting!'

Dave



Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2011 8:28 PM
I wrote the comment immediately above yours; I have added my comments in italics.

DaveRobson wrote:
you MUST have a sponsorship to compete a cadetship to get a commercial ticket, otherwise you cannot get the requisite seatime on a commercial vessel. Cadetships have been thrown around a lot in the last 10 years, often with the cadets having no obligation to remain with the shipping company once their cadetship was completed. The reason that this happened was that the shipping companies were receiving massive tax breaks from the UK government if they take cadets. This tax break scheme is going to end as part of the cost cutting measures in the UK, and from now on the shipping companies are going to only take the cadets that they actually require to staff their vessels, and there will much more likely be a commitment to several years service with the company once the cadetship is completed, which is not really any bad thing if you intend to continue working in the commercial field and progress to 2nd or Chief Engineer licenses. What I found when I applied for a few cadetships (and to be fair I wasn't able to apply for a graduate cadetship, not having a degree) is that 24 is too old, they're looking for school leavers (16 to 18) only and they seem to be of the opinion that anyone older with engineering experience is going to be more difficult to train in the way that they want to run their company. Now if there is a specific degree entry route, and I saw a comment from someone saying there was, then that would clearly be a much more appropriate cadetship route for you.

There are no plans to stop the tonnage tax scheme or stop SMarT funding; it was floated in a consultation document(yuckspeak for 'it was written by some chinless researcher with a degree in PPE who's never had a real job'), but lobbying by a variety of groups stopped it. There are several cadet sponsoring companies and they all use different criteria(some want young 'uns, some will take mature entrants; the oldest recently was 45 I think), it's true that demand and competition for the cadetships has risen with the financial crisis, but unless you've applied to all the companies you won't know if you fit the bill or not.

No current cadetships involve commitment by either party beyond completion of training/qualification, I doubt many ever did. For most shipping companies, offering cadetships has never been about creating new employees(Zodiac Maritime, one of the most prolific cadet sponsors, employs very few UK nationals); it's solely a tax break allowing the likes of the late Sir Sami Ofer to make even more money. The fact that lots of little cadets get trained is merely a useful byproduct, a quid pro quo. To find out more look at www.careersatsea.org for info on current training and sponsors, and www.officercadet.com for more personal and informal information from current cadets and qualified officers.


Another thing to look at, and I don't have much info on this as I have only just started looking into it myself, is that the New Zealand commercial licenses do not differentiate between yachts and commercial vessels, you can attend their training courses (several months) and sit their oral exams for commercial licenses (which are STCW Compliant and can be used to get a Certificate of Equivalent Competency from the MCA) with yacht service time, which you can then use to get an MCA licence. Now, again, before anyone jumps down my throat, I know full well that no shipping company is going to hire an EOOW who has a CEC from NZ that is based on yachting experience, but it will make working ashore easier once your floating life is over, and is probably a cheaper way of getting that EOOW, and definately a more in depth and higher quality of training than if you were to go the Y route alone.

Don't bet on it; given the quality of some of the relief(temporary) engineers with CECs we get at my company(standby ships in the north sea), you'd not have much problem getting a start with a CEC. Some are just bad engineers, others can't speak any english; I hate our manning department.

I didn't mean to write quite as much of an essay as I have but in closing, when I mentioned to my commercial licensed friends that I was thinking of dropping out of yachting for 5 years to get commerical training and a licence the general response was 'Are you crazy? Most commercial Engineer's spend years trying to get OUT of commercial engineering and IN to yachting!'

Dave

The grass always looks greener, etc.


jaustin
Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 5:09 AM
Joined: 25/12/2012
Posts: 1


James,

I was wondering if you could give me an update on which path you ended up choosing. I am also a recent graduate of Mechanical Engineering (only Bachelor) and I am wanting to get back into the yachting industry as an engineer. I have worked on yachts my whole life but mostly as a deckhand and would like to change directions a bit. Any input would be greatly appreciated

Thanks!
Jeremy

wanderingengo
Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013 9:19 AM
Joined: 23/05/2013
Posts: 1


Great to see so much good advice. 

Go the commercial route, for all of the above reasons. The only thing I can think to add is that the initial ball-ache of spending time learning is thoroughly worth it.You see "three years" but in reality it is a term at college, a period at sea, two terms study, another sea period then a final term of studies. 

Take the hit now and reap the rewards later!


 
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