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Best and worst captains
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2009 8:32 AM
Joined: 04/10/2008
Posts: 4

Oh i work for this self appointed captain who has hired a no experiance first mate who somehow through coversion from a french 200 offshore license to MCA CEC 500t thats bull anyway the so called captain is a pig sits in the crew mess drunk while guests are on board and critisises everyone this pig thinks hes gods gift to yachting but all he holds is a 200 offshore with no eng1 to validate the license using the first mates 500 license to get by its a load of bollacks i have more qualifications than him, He steals ciggarettes off the crew and owner even though he gets paid the most even though unqualified, and then he makes all kinds of crew cuts when the owner starts barking about the money situation when really the problem is his undeserved ridiculously high salary.he is a pig do you wanna know his name??so yea there are good captains and then there are motherf%$#@s like him
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2009 9:54 AM
Joined: 11/01/2009
Posts: 22

Cant believe my eyes...Filipino monkeys ??  Oh My, you are a sad, silly , arrogant man.   Filipino's are the profession seaman of the world.  When you drive your little gin palace across the Atlantic,  realize you've gotten in over your head,  send off the MAYDAY... I can guarantee you that it is a  Filipino radio operator on that big ship over the horizon who initiates  the mayday relay to save your silly yachty ass.   SLUG
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 9:15 AM

I think we should start a name and shame campaign. I am currently a chief mate and in this for the long haul and the anonymous captain says some of us are. I don't fee that simply because someone is on the bottom rung/entry level simply in it for a sabattical of one season or more they still don't deserve to be treated badly. Simply sounds like a case of jealousy to me and you're bitter you're following the money and not njoying one minute of it.

With regards to the name a shame campaign i feel i have had my fair share of miserable captains, but hey everyone has their personality issues and not everyone deals witht he ceo type stresses that captains face well. But it's those dangerous captains i worry about. The ones that run big boats with lots of lifes under their care that constantly put their crew in danger by being drunk or drugged up to the eyeballs! I've even accepted charge of my captain from Police whilst on duty waiting for returning guests at 3am. He didn't even know who i was or where he was and we were setting sail in a few hours.

Another went awol for a few days and after phoning Morgues and hospitals as we were in a pretty remote part of the world he returned as if nothing had happened.

One fairly recently was constantly drunk, let his interior crew do absolutely nothing and simply not even work somedays, possibly in fear that one might let on to his wife about their extra-marital relations? He even had us do warranty work on areas of safety as the reliable companies were charging too much and he was skimming off the books. All this on one of the worlds most high profile owners boats! and no comeback, nothing to protect the hionest crew who's lives are in danger, other than walking off and being left high and dry with a blank on the cv to explain to future captains if even given the chance.

On the other hand i've had the fortune of working for a few of the most professional captains in the industry who handle the pressure remarkably well and also need to be named for their ability to cope and still treat even the lowest member of the crew with the respect they deserve.

So there should be some way of letting crew know whether to take the new job offer and just what they're really getting into even if sometimes they are desperate.

Life's too short to work hard, be treated like dirt despite your efforts and to have to take it lying down becaue you're trapped due to circumstance. There are plenty of boats out there that are run well and have happy crews.

Peri Yachts
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 10:59 AM
Joined: 18/09/2008
Posts: 1

As harsh as that may sound, personally, I agree with you (well, 99% anyway). There are scores of, as you say, "over sexed, over paid, chancers" in this industry, that God knows how they attained the position that they did. Hile I agree that people skills, team building, motivational, leadership skill etc, are a modern-day must for Captains of yachts. As so many of the subscribers here say, there are crew members who AREN'T in this for the long haul, and it is usually the Stews, but good for them, and we need them too. Not everyone dreams about a life at sea. There are thousands of people who are only 'in it for the money', for a couple of years, and that's why we have the luxury (and very effective maketing/charter tool), of crewing our yachts with young, pretty, keen, enthusiastic, cheerful, harworking and clever young women (generally) to do these jobs. Good on them. The young, entry-level deck crew come from all walks of life, some are tertiary graduates, some have a trade, some are ex-merchant, and some are school levers, who have done a variety of jobs before getting onto yachts. We need them too, as they are the breeding ground for the guys and girls who later find that they do actually want to invest the time and money to become an Officer. We, as Captains' (and yes, I am one), definately do need to learn and develop our inter-personal skills. The old addage is very true, a Happy boat, is an Efficeint boat....and all that jazz.


HOWEVER - crew must remember one vital point. I'm not sure who dais this, but it's true of all boats.....

" A ship is not now, nor will it ever be, a democracy".

We could compare a ship (or yacht) to a Corporation, or a small store, or anything else, but I believe that when actually operational, a yacht is most closely compared to a military operation. (albeit a low-key one....). Everyone has been trained to do a specific job (engineer, bridge or hotel services), at designated times, everyone MUST do that job, there are orders, procedures, safety protocols, and international laws. There are junior ratings, there are senior, more experienced crew, and THERE IS A GENERAL. When operational, procedures are followed to the letter, if not, there may be an accident, an insurance claim, a law suit, or even a death. During such times, there is no room for sensitivity or peoples feelings. I think you'd all agree, at the end of the day, we'd all much rather go to sea with a bastard who can handle a force 10, than a cheerful, sensitive, new-age guy who wets his pants in a force 4, but is nice about it.

Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 4:14 PM
How long or hard a person has worked is never license to treat anyone with disdain.  How arrogant to assume that because you are a captain or CEO at any level you can treat others poorly.   How you treat others is a character issue not an experience or education issue.  I watch captains with 20 years of international experience treat stews and deckies with respect and kindness.  The captain expects the same from the crew and they usually get it.  If they do not, the 'employee' is asked to leave.  A vessel is not a democracy but, you often get what you give.  

Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 10:03 PM
Any one know of a Captain who's gone past Hgh School....?!
An Owner
Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2009 3:34 AM
Joined: 15/01/2009
Posts: 53

While I am sure your intent is to insult captains as a whole, yes, my Captain graduated from High School. She also obtained her MBA from The Sloan School of Management. You might know it as MIT.

Please let me know when you're in the mood to insult Engineers and I'll tell you about mine who holds multiple degrees on top of being a Certified Financial Analyst.

Posted: Saturday, May 30, 2009 2:19 PM
Joined: 13/06/2008
Posts: 7

To "An owner", well said. Nice to see there are some sane and intelligent people in this business. I especially applaud your decision to employ a female captain, I am fairly certain her crew is not lamenting her "giant ego" and "lack of people skills"!
Posted: Saturday, May 30, 2009 4:26 PM
Yachtie or commercial/navy captain? People skills: why on earth is managing a crew of 5-15 on a luxury yacht is more challenging/a better school than managing departments on large commercial ships or even a warfighting team! Commercial and navy do this in more adverse conditions daily. I'd go commercial/navy any day of the week. They have formal training in this. Yachties don't! Training: MCA training and certification up to 3000t was instituted and still exist today solely for the purpose of letting glorified yachtmasters run ships they shouldn't. The license is more akin to a distance learning program than formal training. As for slipping in to an unlit harbor at night, you would be surprised at how many commercial ports are poorly lit! Even more so, they are the easy ones, a harbor lit up like Times square is much more daunting, and I have seen my share of senior navigators clinging to a badly laid gps track for fear of looking out the window and causing commotion in the fairway. There is a reason why glorified yachtmasters are not allowed to bring more than 12 "guests", governments simply do not entrust them with more responsibility because of lack of formal training! And insurance is steep, even for a boat that only carries some marine diesel and varnish as dangerous goods (owners licor cabinet aside), why is that? I'd go commercial/navy any day. Title of Captain: In the UK and most civilized countries (UK civilization is a brand in its own right!), only master mariners are allowed to use the title, yachties are not! Even for an MCA IV, the correct formal address should be "yachtmaster" or perhaps abbreviated to "master" or "skipper". Captain is reserved for those who have training and sea time to prove it and endorsed by their flag state. If a yachtmaster presents himself as "Captain", I simply ask him which naval or merchant academy he/she went to! "Ahh, I see, You are not trained then?" is my common reply. I'd go commercial/navy any day. Times are rough, yachts are getting bigger. Yachtmasters, small and big, feel intimidated by commercially/navy trained deck officers, because their corner of the market is slowly slipping from their hands. They know it, and the try to stem the tide with arguments such as "no charter experience", "do not have the people skills", "yachting is a different game", "unexperienced with VIP treatment" etc. Dogs bollocks!!!! Ex navy commanding officer, and a Captain to boot! BTW: I'd go Capt. Bligh any day. He was one of the greatest mariners in the RN's history, reached rank of Vice Admiral, was knighted, fought with Nelson at Copenhagen, Captain Cooks sailmaster and did the most remarkable voyage ever undertaken in a life boat. He crossed the Pacific in a 23ft launch, 3 inches of freeboard, 18 crew, armed with a pocket watch and a sextant. He reached Timor after 3600nm, only one man short (lost in a fight with some very angry Fijians when scrounging for some provisions). Thats leadership! Hollywood made him a villain. Fletcher Christian was never an officer, but a disgruntled mate in charge of the 4-8 watch, unlicensed and as such much like todays yachtmasters!
Posted: Saturday, May 30, 2009 4:41 PM
More over, Sir William Bligh had a reputation in the fleet for being lenient and scolded more than using the lash, and was criticized for this by crews and fellow officers! Aussis do not like him because as appointed governor of New South Wales he tried to quench the "Rum Rebellion" of 1808.
Posted: Sunday, May 31, 2009 10:47 AM
"Any one know of a Captain who's gone past Hgh School....?!" Yes, those who merit the title "Captain" ie master mariners, inevitably need a bachelors degree or similar to be qualified for their certificates. As for glorified yachtmasters, anything goes!
An Owner
Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 2:45 AM
Joined: 15/01/2009
Posts: 53

waves wrote:
To "An owner", well said. Nice to see there are some sane and intelligent people in this business. I especially applaud your decision to employ a female captain, I am fairly certain her crew is not lamenting her "giant ego" and "lack of people skills"!

Thank you. The VAST majority of people in this business are sane and intelligent. For every idiot I have met, I can show you a dozen true gems.

Employing a female Captain was never a conscious goal. Employing the best person that could be obtained absolutely was. All candidates were asked, "If you were in my position and you were unavailable, who would you hire as your Captain?"   Her name was sited most often, interestingly, by all male candidates.

We ended up hiring two Captains. Her and the gentleman that looked me right in the eye and said that she was the best he had ever met.  (yes, we checked to make sure they were not an item)

I have never heard about a complaint siting "ego" or "poor people skills." This doesn't mean I don't hear groans about other annoyances such as a natural aversion toward, "attention to detail", but all in all, hiring a female has proved to be a very good decision.

Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 3:34 AM
Joined: 16/04/2009
Posts: 155

To An Owner:

I have read a number of your posts on a number of forums. You must be the most progressive, understanding and insightful person. I have 20+ years in the industry, both good and bad owners/crew/programs. I must say I was not always the angel...but took responsibility for my actions. You need no "owner training school" but it seems so many crew need "crew training school" and you DO NOT get that from a book or a class. You get it from life experience, your upbringing and a sense of self - I don't mean selfish!

As Capt. Rocky said in another forum, "...I want to work for YOU!" You get it. So many in this business don't. BTW-I had the pleasure of working with Capt. Rocky as his Engineer under difficult circumstance and we always did our jobs with dignity and a smile.

Posted: Wednesday, June 3, 2009 6:06 PM
Joined: 03/06/2009
Posts: 14

Mmm, a very interesting topic with a lot of opinions. Granted, everyone is entitled to an opinion. My only observation is that there seem to a lot of of people posting their views anonymously. Come on guys & gals, if you have something to say, don't be shy and hide behind the internet, put your name where your opinion is. Cheers Mike
Posted: Thursday, June 4, 2009 11:17 AM

Can anyone provide a definition of a Yacht Captain: ....................... ?

Posted: Saturday, June 6, 2009 4:57 PM
There is alot of comment on "here for the long haul" captains are claiming. From where I stand, every other position on a board comes with a very long learning curve to be good at your position. An engineer and chef do apprenticeships. Stewardesses quite often have hospitality and customer service back grounds and degrees and climb to the role of chief. Often many have managed departments, restaurants, people, stocks.... Then our beloved deckies, which have little direction, no hospitality experience, are rarely taught management skills, along with their boat polishing skills. They too are working out what the want from life them selves. They too are just here for the money and discover if it really is a life at sea they want. Eventually some will decide to become captains..... Here lies the conundrum every position knows what they want from day one and work towards achieving that. Most captains seemed to have spent 4 years polishing and getting drunk, 2 years polishing, driving a tender and getting drunk. Then all in a matter of years decide "I'm gunna stop screwing around and become a captain" They combine all there sea time, get ticket after ticket so that in the next 2 to 4 years they are a captain.... well done them. These captains with some experience at parking a boat for sure. However with zero experience of being "a captain" and all the many hats of diplomacy they must wear. They are first year apprentices by the rest of the boats standard. They have a vague understanding of the interior workings of a boat. A vague understanding of how to drive a boat, a vague understanding of how to manage crew, a vague understanding of book keeping. Everyone else has worked their way up within there own trades to be competent upon reach yachting standards when they arrive except a captain. He is captain before reaching the competent skills required.... to be a captain. No wonder they keep stressing the massive multimillion dollar responsibility they have. They haven't the training or skills to prepare them for this. It is no fault of there own but THEY HAVE NO TRUE EXPERIENCE. By chef standards he becomes head chef in a five star hotel as a first year apprentice on his first day on the job. Im not talking about guys with merchant back grounds and a life time of sailing. Im not saying that this is the rule. There are many fantastic, professional, fun hard working captains out there. What I am trying to do is give an explanation for the wave of smug, completely out of touch captains, lacking confidence and charisma, lazy and egotistical. Im talking about the second generation of captains coming through who's entire seafaring experience is big boat yachting. Serious about a life at sea, maybe cutting your teeth in the merchant navy, working up from smaller boats, a year or two land based or at least learning to sail as part of your career path. It may humble a few, deflate an ego or two and put yachting in perspective for everyones benefit.
Posted: Saturday, June 6, 2009 7:02 PM
Joined: 16/06/2008
Posts: 9

I rarely read and never reply to these, but this sparked up my interest somewhat. I used to be a Captain but have since moved ashore and now manage new build projects. While I agree that there are the Captains with little experience and knowledge out there, natural selection will leave them on bad boats, with bad owners, and bad crews. So if you are on one of those then it says alot about yourself. If you have a good Captain, and a good owner, the you are probably good crew. If you want to have a name and shame approach, then go for it, but make sure it is for the entire industry, deckies and stews through to Captains, owners, yards, contractors and the lot. Then all that this will accomplish is a poo flinging fight and little will be changed in the end as this is not a positive approach. If you are good at what you do, then through Charles Darwin you will float to the top of the chain and the rest will squabble below. What you also need to understand is that as a Captain you are always responsible, until you relinquish the job. It is a highly stressful position, even when you are on holidays in Australia thousands of miles away you go to sleep hoping that all is well and the person you left in charge is stepping up to the plate. If the boat sinks on the dock, it is you that has to explain it. This stress and responsibility does not go away until you leave the vessel. Over the many years that I Captained various vessels, I slept lightly and badly, and you only realise this when you leave the occupation. I must say that vessels in yards, ultimately under the yards' responsibility, give me more well slept nights in a month than I could ever get as a Captain in a year. Oh, and for all the "Anonymos" posters out there, don't be a pussy, put a sticker on it.
Posted: Sunday, June 7, 2009 3:49 AM
Joined: 09/09/2008
Posts: 78

Anonymous wrote:

Can anyone provide a definition of a Yacht Captain: ....................... ?
It is a person who has been employed to Captain a Yacht, and the answer to the question who is buryed in Grants Tomb is ......Grant!

Cap'n C
Posted: Sunday, June 7, 2009 3:53 PM
Joined: 29/04/2009
Posts: 38

It seems to me that the use of "Captain" applies to anyone in charge of a yacht, no matter what size or qualification. As someone said above, only commercially endorsed master mariners may use and introduce themselves as Captain. "Captain" is not a job description, nor is it applicable to anyone who has tonnage limitations. There are some of us that have studied and worked very hard to obtain endorsement as master mariner and it is an affront to the marine community to see the rampant misuse of the title.
Fernando Vallmitjana
Posted: Monday, June 8, 2009 1:38 AM
Joined: 26/07/2008
Posts: 1

Thank you.

Posted: Friday, June 12, 2009 1:16 PM
Joined: 23/03/2009
Posts: 8

"There is a reason why glorified yachtmasters are not allowed to bring more than 12 "guests", governments simply do not entrust them with more responsibility because of lack of formal training! "

I am surprised (or rather not) about the underpinning knowledge I can see here.

The captain of Hellespont Fairfax, LOA 380m, 442000 dwt is only allowed to take 6 "guests" onboard and he follows (on that issue) the same regulations as a yacht captain has to!

"I'd go commercial/navy any day."

Feel free...


Posted: Friday, June 12, 2009 5:49 PM
Jorg, the Hellespont Fairfax is a tanker, not a passenger ship. The limitation of commercial vessels is due to lifeboat capacity, and other IMO regs, not because the Captain has a limited license. That very same captain could legally take charge of a 5000 pax cruiseship next morning. Perhaps you should take a gander at the regs. Or are you one of those "distance learning" graduates thatt seem to populate the yachting world.

Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 10:28 AM
Joined: 23/03/2009
Posts: 8


the yacht! is subject to the 12 pax reglations; so is the tanker and it is NOT the lifeboat capacity which is relevant here, the captain of that tanker would not been allowed to take more than 12 pax on a yacht neither. Please refer to SOLAS.


A european country is issuing 200 gt MN licenses, these could be used for the purpose of pax ships as well as cargo ships within limitations of 20 miles away from coast. If the holder desires to use that license on yachts only, the 200 mile limitation may be altered (conditions apply) but a 12 pax limitation would be introduced.

This european country is NOT the UK and the issuing authority is NOT the MCA.

... and to answer a question to someone who prefers to stay anonymous: No, I am not one " of those "distance learning" graduates thatt seem to populate the yachting world."


Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 7:54 AM
Whats the difference between God and a boat captain ? ? ? God doesn't think he can drive a boat..!!!
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 9:19 AM
Joined: 06/05/2008
Posts: 8

But he did suggest Noah build an ark !!
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 7:08 PM

Just a quick history lesson on Captains and Masters. Take it how you want. So far as pax restrictions go, in the US I believe that OUPV is limited to 6 passengers, once you have your 100GT you may carry as many as your VESSEL is deemed safe to carry by both ABS and USCG. This takes into consideration SOLAS, IMO, and various other STATE AND FEDERAL laws.

A Captain title is not only for Master Mariners. It is for ANY LICENSED Captain of any tonnage. Master Mariner is for a Captain who has attained the priveledge of UNLIMITED tonnage. But out of tradition we still call him or her Captain, Master Mariner is a addage to your name, like a doctor's MD or PA, i.e; Captain Joe Blogs, MM or if you have sailed commercialy in the US, Captain Joe Blogs,MM, USMM.

For all you old guys out there, while I apperciate your knowledge, just to clarify, if your on a PRIVATE, not for CHARTER vessel, and whine about the PAPER CAPTAINS, you would not hold the title of Captain. You are a Skipper. Just like all the NON-LICENSED FISHING BOAT SKIPPERS.

I have also seen people on here going on about remembering before the STCW, I think it is safe to say there are only a few of you you can remember that, let alone have worked. The Standards of Training, Certification and Watchstanding were enacted in 1978, while not enforced until 1984. These apply to EVERYONE on a commercial vessel, i.e, one in which someone pays for a service, not if the owner of a private vessel is paying you to bring them out. Anyone complaining about the need for some rules for the safety of others, think about this, even if you own your own plane, in order to fly it, you must have a license. How would you like some idiot to just hop into a plane cause they feel like it, and crash into your house? People live along the waterways, alonside a wide array of marine life. Along with the continuing advancement of the technology in operating a vessel of size, how would you like some SKIPPER to crash into your dock spilling oil and killing the ecology for years in your backyard?

I for one believe it is time that local governments make it mandatory for EVERYONE who owns a boat, to attain a certification of some sort. You have to have a license to operate a car, and boats are just as dangerous as cars. I would never hire anyone on my crew without proper MINIMUM certs before letting them go any further, and would continue to send that person to schools to STAY educated on the latest governance.

Sorry SKIPPER your days of doing whatever you want on a boat and getting away with it cause your not certified are done. You can go start over with an Ordinary Seaman Document till you build your seatime and be the BN that you rant about being so good at. I have workedd on the oilfield, and that is the way you will be treated, as an indentured servant.

And to the rest of you YOUNG PAPER MATES, don't listen to the old guys going on about how it was then. YOU are educated, and have been given the tools in the many schools that you took AFTER attaining your seatime. DO NOT LET OWNERS OR ANYONE ELSE WALK ALL OVER YOU! If these owners think we are a dime a dozen, then let the wanker try to operate the boat himself, and when the rest of the crew walks, and he runs the dam thing aground on a protectedd reef, let him deal with the government taking his toy. Make sure that they get the point that you are educated in your field, and that you deserve respect for your dedication. You don't have to be rude, but don't let them walk all over you, THEY ARE PAYING you for the KNOWLEDGE!

As for those of you who are taking your sabatical or a break from whatever it is you choose to do in the rest of your life, don't be so loud on board. You are jacking it up for the rest of the folks who will stay. I am not saying don't complain, but don't get fussy only to turn around and leave the industry when it is down on it's luck to the rest of us giving dedicated persons a bum wrap.

Now to the owners. Unless your a LICENSED CAPTAIN yourself, remember you hired us to do this for you, because doing so keeps your arse out of jail for breaking Maritime Admirality Laws that you did not know about. It is our job, let us do it. If not, good luck on your rotating door crew and keeping up with making the guests happy.

I guess this is probably going to peve people off just about as much as the rest of these posts, but maybe this rant will make some people stop and think about how ridiculous they sound.

Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 5:04 PM
To last; beg to differ! The wiki article actually states "A Ship's Captain must have a Master Mariner's license, issued by the ship's flag state" The IFSMA membership consists of fully qualified Shipmasters who have held Command of Seagoing Merchant Ships and they are addressed as “Captain”. IFSMA fully appreciates the desire of the ruling bodies to raise the profile of their Professional Institutes and to enhance the status of their Membership, but urges them not to cast their net too wide so that the RANK OF SHIPMASTER and the title of CAPTAIN are unwittingly cheapened. Both terms should be restricted to those who are properly qualified as Master Mariners AND who are holding, or have held Command of a Merchant Vessel. "The International Federation of Shipmasters' Associations (IFSMA)" ie MCA IV/USCG 1600 is cheapening the title!!!!!
Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 5:57 PM
Anonymous wrote:
To last; beg to differ! The wiki article actually states "A Ship's Captain must have a Master Mariner's license, issued by the ship's flag state" The IFSMA membership consists of fully qualified Shipmasters who have held Command of Seagoing Merchant Ships and they are addressed as “Captain”. IFSMA fully appreciates the desire of the ruling bodies to raise the profile of their Professional Institutes and to enhance the status of their Membership, but urges them not to cast their net too wide so that the RANK OF SHIPMASTER and the title of CAPTAIN are unwittingly cheapened. Both terms should be restricted to those who are properly qualified as Master Mariners AND who are holding, or have held Command of a Merchant Vessel. "The International Federation of Shipmasters' Associations (IFSMA)" ie MCA IV/USCG 1600 is cheapening the title!!!!!

This is one of the most ignorant posts I have ever read.
"The International Federation of Shipmasters' Associations (IFSMA)" ie MCA IV/USCG 1600 is cheapening the title!!!!!"
What a load. A 1600 OCEANS Captain is no different then a Unlimited Master.In no way are they cheapened. If anything, they might have more skills. I have seen UNLIMITED MASTER MARINERS come to work offshore workboats, 700GT workboats, and destroy a vessel because they have no wheel handling skills. I have also seen a 2nd Mate Unlimited, who got his 2nd Mate Unlimited License simply because he had a 1600GT Oceans, dock a 46,000 GT Tanker giving orders, because the Pilot had no clue what was happening, and the MASTER MARINER HAD NOT DONE IT ON HIS OWN IN SEVERAL YEARS!
People like you are the ones who have made it difficult for those who enjoy the smaller vessels to simply get their seatime, attend the classes, and get licenced for their tonnage. Yoour the kind who wants everyone to go to four years of Maritime School, and snub their nose at those who did not.
Here is the skinny. If it was not for people at all levels, the world would not turn. We need people who go to collage and people who learn on the job. We need people who can take command of a ship, and those who can drive yachts and workboats. An UNLIMITED MASTER MARINER CAN NOT DO IT ALL BY HIMSELF. A good 500GT captain, with one good deckhand can moore the vessel bythemselves.
Just in case you forgot your history classes at your precious Academy, contrary to your belief, MASTER MARINERS used to only achieve the title from their companies, and shipmates. There was no SCHOOLS, they learnt hands on, and applied themselves to years of WHEEL HANDLING SKILLS.
Organizations might want to think twice before they lobby governments on certain things, before you know it there will be no one qualified or willing to do certain aspects of the industry.
Regardless, the guy in charge of the boat, is a Captain, he is in charge of the vessel, by law, and tradition.

Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 6:06 PM
I agree with the last post. If you think your so special because your an UNLIMITED MASTER MARINER, then go back to working on the ship with your PROFESSIONALS. I for one do not treat what I do as a hobby. It is my career, and due to that do everything I can to stay educated in my career choice.
What do you, Captain Master Mariner Unlimited Oceans, suggest you call someone who has spent their lives at sea, going to classes, and being in command of a vessel? How about Mr. Person in Charge of the Boat we're working on guy? Does that sound like it fits?

Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 6:10 PM
We are forced the to deduce that the wiki article, and IFSMA statement is incorrect? The true basis is more if one can run a small ship, whilst having observed fools on the bigger ones?
Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 6:34 PM
Based on anecdotal evidence submitted we must conclude that if one can handle a ship, one merits the title, regardless of license limitations??? BTW: At least I have a horse to step down from, and will do so when the situation requires. You, Sir, seem to be a licensed miniature pony rider.
Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 7:28 PM
Why should we care what some organization says is the definition? The powers that be, have stated the legally with a license, you are the Captain. It appears from all this that a Master Mariner would be one without restrictions. But your still a Captain if your in command of a vessel.
I dare one of you Master Mariners to try to tell a Captain on a workbboat that he iis not a REAL Captain, and that he is cheapening the title. Some of these guys have 40+ years out at sea. All over the world. Most of them do not have some snobby BS organization trying to enforce their happy university educated thoughts of an idealistic world on them.
Go back to your ship, that's not a real boat or ship anyways, it's a building. Look at the size of histories vessels of discovery, none of them weighed 250,000GT and 1000feet long. They were all the size of what we call a yacht or a workboat today.
In todays world, an Ordinary Seaman needs 360 days of seatime, 360 four hour watches to take the class for Able Seaman. An Able Seaman needs 1080 days of seatime, of which he will actually have his hands on a wheel, stand radio watch, and watch the radar, and lookout, in order to even be able to take the $18,000 worth of classes for 1600GT Mate, then needs another 360 days seatime employed as a Mate in order to become a PAPER CAPTAIN and then will go through a vesting period with his company to learn how to dock and manuever the vessel under the eye of one of the companies Senior Captain's for 3-6 months and numerous operations. This is all hands on training. Real Captains can take a wheel at anytime and steer the vessel, as well as being able to navigate. Show me a Master Mariner who has spent 30 years at sea on a ship who can dock a yacht or workboat with one deckhand. All of these so called Master Mariners will need to be trained in how to do this by themselves, becuase they are trained to have someone else do it for them. As soon as a Cheif mate gets his Master Mariner License, he can go sit his happy butt in a Union Hall with his organization, and he gets an assignment, and off he goes.
there was a move by the US Coast Guard to make all Mates go through a four year academy, becuase they thought it would help with the cuase of accidents. It was proven that more accidents are caused by Acadmey Master Mariners and Unlimited Mates then Hawsepipers. These Non-Unlimited Captains have worked for years in the real world and seen many things, and don't take the chances that the others will as they are more understanding as to the reprocussions of causeing an accident.
Master Mariner, ha, what a joke.

Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 10:30 PM
From the last posting we must conclude that master mariners can not handle a ship of any size, only those with 40+ years at sea with a lesser license, preferably in yachts, can do such incredible feats.
Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 10:55 PM
Would you be happy if your dentist was not college educated, but had X days in the service performing dental feats some college twats he read about fumbled ? Would you be happy if your bank manager was not college educated, but assuredly worked the till for 30 years? Would you be happy if your local police officer walking the beat assured you that despite lack of police academy training he is the right candidate for police commissioner? Would you be happy if the whole idea of college/university training was abolished because some of the alumni fumbled, while some of persons who worked their way through the ranks without it didn't fumble?
Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 11:19 PM
Last post; You don't get it. Master Mariner's are Captains who do not stand behind the wheel of the ship. They stand on the bridge wing and tell the Able Seaman which way to turn and for how long. They ask the 2nd Mate where they are, and they tell the 3rd Mate how much engine to request. After 30 years of telling others how to do, they tend to almost always have a difficult time learning to do it for themselves to dock a vessel, no pilot, no help. Not saying they can not, but they are looking at a learning curve of quite some time. I saw 2 different Master Mariners, both smart capable men, be let go from an offshore company, because they could not handle the vessel. They had no experience on anything that they had to put their hands on the wheels themselves, and adjust the props themselves, and gauge the distance by themselves. One, put the boat up against a ship and took out our bridge wing, and part of the house, he was fired, as it was the second boat in 2 months that he damaged. The other was never aloud up alongside the ships because the man could not hold a course in the open ocean to save his life. Well, why not just use auto pilot? Cause you have to be able to handle the vessel. He was offered a position as an Able Seaman, but rather then keep his job, he decided to tell the Port Captain what he thought of the offer in a rather discredible way.
I have worked both ships and boats. I never saw an instance of a lesser tonnage officer having acheived a Unlimited License ever be spoke badly of his skills. Actually in every case over a number of years, these were the officers who would take the time to show you how to do things, and explain why, and were usually taken care of nicely by Captain that were Hawespipers. The Academy Kids who should have been helping by putting in their knowledge of the latest laws and fresh mathmatical minds, instead they spend the time talking trash to ABs on the bridge, I had one tell me if I wanted to learn the knowledge, I needed to go spend the time at an academy and pay for it as he did. He did not have the time to teach me these things. Another AB complained about his lack of professionalism to the captain, who was a hawsepiper, and eventually he was canned, for lack of ability to do his job.
In the end, this all comes down to the posters who are a bunch of closed minded wankers that believe that Master Mariner Unlimited is the only way to go, and that you must spend 4 years in a class room to earn the right to be a Captain. Go back to your freaking wonderful ship if you think the rest of us are so bloody incompetent.
You think your so tall and mighty? Then why, you useless yachtie wannabe, are you down here? Why can't you stay on the ships? Because your incompetent to handle a vessel of that size and magnitude, so to save your ass from being unemployed, you ran to the yachts and workboats where you believe it is easier, and continue to talk down to those who want to do the hawsepipe? God I hope I don't ever have to run across any of you buggers while I am out there. You think everyone is an alcoholic in the yacht industry? You think it is a bunch of rednecks on the workboats? Tootless old guys on the fishing boats? You have not spent enough time on a ship if you think that is not on there. I have seen Master Mariners carried aboad the ship being so drunk and have to be confinedd to a room with armed security because they are so beligerent. I have seen Workboat Captains go toe to toe with a Port Captain to stand up for his crew and what was right by the CFRs. You make it sound like you have to be so special to be a CAPTAIN! NO, it is not. It is the reward, yes, it is a reward for the hard work and dedication of one who studies to become ENTRUSTED to command a vessel and it's crew because of his ability to prove his knowledge. You are one of those people who think your shite don't stink. Well it don't smell like roses. In case anyone forgot, the Master mariner of the Exxon Valdez, along with the 3rd Mate who was getting a blowjob  while on watch, were both professional collage educated Mates and Master Mariner. They caused one of the biggest disasters on the water of the century, if not the biggest. That's your Master Mariner.

Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2009 12:00 AM
Anecdotal "evidence", compelling stories but off the mark. As if "glorified yachtmasters" have never been drunk as skunks, smashing jetties, dropping the iron on submarine cables, bobbing and weaving from port to stb in traffic separation zones, getting bj's from starry-eyed stewardesses? No Sir! Such activities are reserved for the more illustrious and elevated commercial masters, which cannot drive a ship without learning it yet again, preferably tutored by a true master of the trade, namely a hawsepiper yachtie. Abolish high school as well, nothing good comes out that! I have seen so many high school grads make a blundering fools out of them selves. And the nerve these people have, calling them selves graduates!!!
Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2009 1:00 AM
Joined: 13/06/2009
Posts: 42

Hi Ya'll,
 I have been reading what is turning into a heated debate here lately with a lot of giggles and laughs. I don't know who anyone here is, but here is my worthless two cents.
I have been fortunate enough to have served in the US Coast Guard, Military Sealift Command, and with an Offshore Lightering Vessel company. Over the last ten years as a deckhand and a cook, and a management position, I have participated in my own share of debauchery and witnessed it by many others. The going back and forth of whether Hawsepipers or Academny is better seems to be in every part of the industry. While I was in the Coast Guard I had a couple of Mustangs (military term for hawepiper), one was great, the other not so much. One listened and asked his bridge resources what they thought about situations. The other made rash, quick, un-thought desisions. One got his walking papers. I had Coast Guard Academy grads do the same thing. Some were good, others not so good. I had a Hawsepiper Master Mariner. Was in the Army in WWII, got out after his enlistment, and started Merchant Marine. He was a very smart man who looked after us, but a little old, I found out that when he was on shore leave they retired him. His replacement was a Academy guy who was smart, funny, cared for his crew, and wantedd us to learn how things worked, he sent four Able Seaman to PMI in Seattle and asked for them to come back as his Mates. As Hawsepipers. While at the Offshore Company I saw 500GT Captains who could barely read a chart, but knew how to handle a boat. I saw Master Mariners come and work for us, some made it, others didn't. Some just had good hands, others were dangerous as hell. I also saw some very capable hawsepipers who were racist and slobs, and just generally not fun to work for.
In all this time, I saw a lot and learnt a lot about what to do, and not to do. I learnt to research things for myself on rules and regulations, I learnt not to jump the gun when it came time to make decisions. I learnt that I want to be a Mariner for a career. By the time I figured this out, I had amassed some seatime. I have enough money saved and my GI Bill to start by adding my 100GT to all the other certs I have gathered. I plan on adding my 200 on in a few months. I will likely add everything up to 3rd mate Unlimited, as I have the time and tonnage as my pocket will allow. Along the way, if your a Hawsepiper or an Academy grad, I hope that I can learn something from you. Just hopefully it is how not to act. But I think at the end of the day, when I have compleated my classes, I will be well rounded as a career seaman, thanks to the help of both. As to if I am a Captain or not, well, I think that the legallity of it is that I will hopefully have passed the required exams, doesn't matter if I am a University or MPT grad. I need to have the experience and trust of my employers and crew to stand behind me as a good leader they trust to be in command of the vessel. Failure to garner either one, regarless of where I came from or what I am called, will be the loss of my job. When I comes down to it, we need both kinds to make a vessel operate smoothly.

Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2009 12:06 PM
To 23:19 An unlimited ticket is not a graduation gift, seatime is required, endorsement is required. Reading other posts her at forum I have the distinct impression that part of the problem is that yacht industry abounds with "salty seadogs" that actually get their restricted licenses as a parting gift from various training establishments giving week courses.  As for the Exxon Valdez, he was not my master mariner, I distinctly remember that he was one of yours! And ,yes, I am aware that my shite stinks too. Thats why I'm offloading it to you. PS! Being a good helmsman does not qualify for captaincy.
Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2009 5:22 PM
Joined: 29/10/2008
Posts: 7

Well, with the recent "accidents", that have happened in the past, - Yachts on Rocks!!!.. I know who I would rather have as my Captain.....

Give me a captain with 30+years at the wheel-Commercial/Cruise, who has served his time properly...

Not some "yachty Captain", who thinks he knows everything and try's to be the big-man!!!!

Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2009 11:00 PM
I think from everyone's posts here, it is pretty clear that everyone can make mistakes. We have been hearing stories about Master Mariners and Yachties being horrible captains, and both causing accidents.
I think this thread seems to have become high-jacked by the captains bickering with each other like a bunch of primary school children over who is better. It comes down to your professionalism and pride in the ability to do your job that ultimately will prove if your a competent captain or not at the end of the day. Does your employer believe you can do your job?
This was supposed to be about crew talking about their stories of working experience with their captains. Can we get it back on subject?

An Owner
Posted: Friday, June 19, 2009 3:25 AM
Joined: 15/01/2009
Posts: 53

Anonymous wrote:
I think from everyone's posts here, it is pretty clear that everyone can make mistakes. We have been hearing stories about Master Mariners and Yachties being horrible captains, and both causing accidents.
I think this thread seems to have become high-jacked by the captains bickering with each other like a bunch of primary school children over who is better. It comes down to your professionalism and pride in the ability to do your job that ultimately will prove if your a competent captain or not at the end of the day. Does your employer believe you can do your job?
This was supposed to be about crew talking about their stories of working experience with their captains. Can we get it back on subject?

If you put three people in the top tier of any profession in the same room without adult supervision, the conversation immediately turns to who is better, more qualified and more important. I don't care what profession it is, they are all susceptible to juvenile regression. 

In their defense however, ship's Captains are benign compared with Pilots, Lawyers or "Journalists."

Posted: Friday, June 19, 2009 4:25 AM
Can someone please tell me what a "HAWSEPIPER" is? This is probably a really stupid question so I posted it anonymously, but I swear to Neptune, I've never heard of it. Thank you in advance.
Posted: Friday, June 19, 2009 6:04 AM
Anonymous wrote:
Can someone please tell me what a "HAWSEPIPER" is? This is probably a really stupid question so I posted it anonymously, but I swear to Neptune, I've never heard of it. Thank you in advance.

A Hawsepiper is a Licensed Mariner who has come up through the hawsepipe. An anchor chain rides through an area to the chain locker that is the hawsepeipe. Someone who starts by being a deckhand or ordinary seaman, and gets their Able Seaman rating, then after ammasing seatime will go through schooling and hands on learning to get licensed. It is another way of saying that you have come up the hardway of learning, instead of going to a traditional four year Maritime school. It is a term used by the person who is one, as a proud way to make it clear that they learnt the hard way. Generally you will tend to hear it more on a ship or working vessel where the deckhands have to have a UNlicensed rating of Ordinary Seaman or Able Seaman endoresment on their Merchant Mariner's Document or STCW.

Posted: Friday, June 19, 2009 8:54 AM
So, for the few who have both merchant background and training and then have gone on to yachting for many years, does that mean they have the worst of both, or the best of both? Why are so many posters slagging off either, merchant or yachties ? Surely there are brilliant and awful examples of each, this also applies to every profession, and in fact to all humans, infighting is so unattractive, and ridiculous. Surely all training and experience is valid, a lack of acknowledgement of that is small minded, and indicates a superiority complex, Value others for their worth.
Posted: Friday, June 19, 2009 10:36 PM
Thanks so much for the definition. I knew what a hawsepipe was but for the life of me couldn't figure out what the poster meant by calling a person a hawsepiper! Reminds me of the term "little nipper." There's an interesting historical etymology on that one.
Capt. Fernando Niochet
Posted: Saturday, June 20, 2009 3:48 AM
Joined: 04/06/2009
Posts: 2

Hi all. Anonymous and not so.


I'm a first time reader who wants to introduce himself with an apology for not having the English as native language.

It is a real shame to read some postings that prove the unpleasant theory that sailor's worst enemy will always be another sailor. Landsmen had to become centuries ago the lifesaving at sea not only a mandatory, but also an economically attractive activity in order to incentivize rescues. Otherwise, very few to none would ever come to answer a SOS. Worst than that, many would pretend not hearing while others just laugh at the fellow loser. Have any thought of that? Please don’t answer.

Regardless any selfish feelings, the Captain (always with capital C) of a vessel, navy or private -where yachts and freighters happen to fall together into-, licensed (legally) or not, is expected to behave in such a way that results in an example to follow. Captains are to be individuals that others -seamen or landsmen- would respect, admire and envy, for it has taken several years at sea, previously schooled or not, with lots of chipping and painting, false and real alarms, near misses (and complete ones!), freak waves, gales, whales, jerks and mates, and still one is alive and insane enough as to long for more.

How great it would be that we all behave accordingly and represent what we are expected to represent.


You all have a good time.


Capt. Fernando Niochet

Master Mariner.

Posted: Saturday, June 20, 2009 3:28 PM
if you had the knowledge you would understand why yachts only are built/ certified to 12 pax. If you take more than 12 you must go full SOLAS. which means when you are building a superyacht, Lots more money and yes those unsightly orange lift must comply to every degree to solas, although the large super yachts are everything else. ISM ISPS certification and so on. So a super yacht is classed as a CARGO vessel. that it is any other vessel that is not certified to carry more than 12 pax
Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2009 1:18 AM
Joined: 04/06/2009
Posts: 1

Reading this forum I see a lot of bitching and backstabbing, mostly posted anonymous.

I also see latent racists and sexists remarks, again mostly posted anonymous.

I see talk about professionalism and blah blah blah, but how professional is it to “bag” nearly everything and anything, again mostly     A N O N Y M O U S L Y ?????

A bit more understanding  and respect for each other’s  individual positions and a bit less of who or what is more important.....It is not a certain position that is at fault here, but the person behind the job implementing it.

Constructive criticism and trying to find some common ground goes a long way towards trying to solve the problems addressed instead of perpetuating  the same behaviour that can create so many problems aboard?  i.e.

 the backstabbing, the bitching and the whingeing, mostly done anonymously.......

If you've got something to say or have an opinion to voice do it without hiding under that "ANONYMOUS" tag.

You all have a good day out there on the high seas!

Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2009 6:35 AM

Well just the number of posts should  send up warning signs as to the quality of Captains in this still Mickey Mouse industry. Ive been a Chief Engineer for over 12 Years on 150+ Motoryachts ex Forces and understand that respect must be earned not a right because of length of tendure i.e Backpacker to Licensed Captain.

Ive had them all Powercrazied Megalomaniacs so insecure they have to micromanage all the departments, to the Emotionally unstable having meltdowns during charters to the downright dangerous who will risk the life of the crew and damage to the yacht to get there for an owner. The Morally corrupt that use their position to intimidate (sexually harrass) young stewardesses. The Weak willed that allow anarchy amongst the crew.

Occasionally theres is a REAL LEADER that is a real talent (not just good boat skills), great personality with good interpersonal skills, great in a crisis. The Cohesion that bonds together the Ultimate PROFESSIONAL Crew.

Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2009 10:35 AM
Joined: 01/05/2009
Posts: 2

Comercial guys are much better trained and more responsible? Hmmm. How many times have I had to perform an illegal and or dangerous manouver to avoid a collision with a comercial vessel who blatently ignores the "rules of the road" just because they are bigger.  
 Average 4.5 out of 5