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Training Vs Opportunity
Salvador
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 10:40 AM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97


      Hi there sailors!

Need some kind of experience feedback here, please, off course it happened to a lot! Decision time situation:

After 2 years as a deckhand\skipper in a boat, decided to look for other jobs. As I'm with an AEC(Meol Equiv.)\Coastal skipper certification, most of all crew agencies said  the same to me:

"Do you have a Yachtmaster Offshore? ... no, sorry...."    ok, I agree with knowledge. So

One year passed, I'm now 3 years in same boat, wich is great,  and, I started my ( 6 months) Patrão de Alto Mar course, the equivalent to YM Ocean.

I also found out that  in my Coastal skipper the only thing missing was Astronomical Navigation, It's different in Portugal. We have a strong Coastal Skipper Licence, only limited to 25nm from coast\24 mt lenght of yacht.

So, what happens next... positive replies about job applications came in.... What should I do??? should I leave my course in middle and accept the job opportunity?? take licences latter?? The contract\money helps you to sleep better. Its difficult to find a job, should I waste one on behalf of training??? we learn on site, in the ocean... you know,  so what does your experience says about these kind of situations, does it worth to trust?

  I'm really confused here,   any help will be very appreciated....

Thank you all


Salvador
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 11:55 AM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97


 Sorry, there's a correction: instead of     "AEC(Meol Equiv.)"     The course I have in Mechanics it's a 3years Engineering course unlimited , it's a merchant Navi Book rank Deck\Mechanic and naval construction.

 


junior
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 1:37 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


That's a good question. Do you accumulate all licensing and training then get to work ? or do you get to work NOW and pick up additional qualifications as you go ? History says that right now, you are young, your time is cheap, so as a result the cost and pain of courses NOW is much lower. In the future, when you must leave a good , 5000 euro a month job, and go unemployed while you gain a new paper qualification, this disruption will have created one of the most expensive painful tickets ever !!! Then again by getting to work NOW you have a chance to see inside the industry and decide whether you even like it. Yachts are a tough, personality driven, mirage like career. Are you sure you really want to do it ?
Mike French
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 2:06 PM
Joined: 06/05/2008
Posts: 57


Salvador

It would seem to me that there are both short term and long term goals at play here.  Short term, if they do not require a ticket for the position why do it.  Long term you will probably benefit from further training and securing the next ticket up like rungs in a ladder.  If you wish to follow the MCA scheme,  then the sea time held a various levels will contribute to your overall seatime requirment so it makes sense to get your certificates at the earliest opportunity.

 

 

 


Salvador
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 2:48 PM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97


    Thank you. Very helpfull.

Yes, a career, (each day I like it more), definitely,  and yes , it makes sense to do it now. I guess I needed a confirmation, career wise, and your help worths a lot.

Thank you

Best wishes

 


Salvador
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 2:50 PM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97


  If you need anything from Portugal...

 


Chief
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 3:24 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


"The course I have in Mechanics it's a 3years Engineering course unlimited ..."

 

In that case don't waste the time and experience you have worked for. Your Portugese certificate may qualify you for an MCA Certificate of Equivalent Competency. Go to the link below and read the procedure for assessment of your current certification level.

 

If you have enough seatime you may be able to get an EOOW certificate that most yacht flag states will endorse for service as chief engineer on yachts. Please contact the MCA and see where you stand before you waste time and money on a yacht limited certificate of any sort. As a professionally trained seafarer you do not have to hold a yacht limited certificate, especially as an engineer. In addition, contact the maritime authority of Cayman Islands and Marshall Islands to enquire as to what level they will endorse your existing certificates for service on yachts in their register.

Cayman Islands:  http://tinyurl.com/yjjt64a

Marshall Islands: http://www.register-iri.com/

 

MCA assessment:  http://tinyurl.com/yznstd8


Fitzy
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 3:34 PM
Joined: 03/10/2008
Posts: 12


Salvador, Not to steal your question away from you but I'm kinda going through a similar thing not knowing which certification road to go down. I'm from Vancouver Island and have been working on yachts since 2003. After putting it off and putting it off I've decided to take a break from work and pursue my licenses and certification. I'm going to be attending the Pacific Marine Training Institute in North Vancouver. All courses are Transport Canada approved and one of my questions was are Canadian Tickets accepted on Foreign flagged boats? I'll be doing a total of 20 weeks of schooling and will be full of knowledge....lol....I hope!! My second question is after quite a break from being in the yachting industry will this hurt my chances of employment? I figure I've been doing this long enough now I need the paper work( certificates). There's alot of younger guys walking around that have more qualifications than I do and I figure the only way to find the career opportunity of a life time is to go to school. Please any kind of feedback would help. I love this industry and want to do this for many years to come!! Thanks everyone!!
junior
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 6:18 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


That advise from Chief is very valuable. The sea is awash with red ensigns. You should investigate and make sure that your existing schooling is transferable. The last time I was at Gravesend, many of the students were Non British seaman simply qualifying there licenses for work on MCA compliant vessels. As far as what kind of ticket to pursue, Its a shame that sea schools and crew agents never seem to provide good counseling. I'm a really bad guy to advise...I HATE TICKETS. Every time I'm forced to get a new one, the Owner must drug me, place me in handcuffs, physically bundle me into the tender, then hand deliver me to class. Once in the classroom ,as those drugs wear off, I become so disruptive , lashing out like a taunted animal at every opportunity, inevitably causing the instructor to have me gagged, straight jacketed and chained to my desk. Kinda like Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs......Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...... From what I see around me, the Yachtmaster Offshore with Commercial Endorsement is a very powerfull calling card for a multi purpose young guy working the Mediterranean waterfront and best of all it lets you hit the ground running while you figure out what direction you wish to go with your career..
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 4:09 AM
Fitzy. I am also Canadian and I hold a 3000 chief mate MCA license. I will be going for my 500T master in January. I also took the commercial BridgeWatchman course from BCIT in North Van (MPTC, I think that is the 20 week course you are after). It was an excellent program and a proper seaman school. I gained a wealth of knowledge from Navigation, wire splicing to morse code. Without it I would have never climbed the ladder as quickly and as confidently as I have. BUT If you are going to remain in the yachting industry and only yachting then I would highly recommend you take the MCA route to a commercial yacht restricted ticket. The BridgeWatchman program would parallel an AB ticket and basically allows you to act as helmsman on a commercial deep sea vessel or as a deckhand on a SeaSpan tug. If you already have yacht experience and you are sure you want to stay in yachting then i wouldn't spend the money twice, unless you have a bunch of it and you want the merchant marine experience. The yacht tickets trim off the commercial components and cram the rest up your but in a quarter of the time but nevertheless is the same information. The real learning starts at sea. It would take you about 6 or 7 years to gain the seatime required by Transport Canada for an Unlimited Watchkeeper, the MCA equivalent yacht restricted ticket is about three. Hope this helps. My information is a year or so old so just incase i told you something incorrect before the hounds set in on me you should go to the Transport Canada web site and check the Canada Shipping act on Seafarers Education Training and Certification. http://www.tc.gc.ca/marinesafety/mpsp/training-examination-certification/menu.htm
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 4:27 AM
FITZY http://www.tc.gc.ca/marinesafety/mpsp/training-examination-certification/menu.htm
Salvador
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 10:40 AM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97


   Hi

Thank you Chief. The  MCA CEC or Coc, It's another exame to do and ..., I'm still missing sea time, it's not forgotten!! I asked for it last year when a crew agency didn't recognised my Eng. course and send me to MCA,( I must point in their defense...) But, it seems to me that this assessment is a new one.

 As for the Cayman Islands they still require for some recognitions that are not made directly. Right now they would give me a Deckhand endorsement, and with right training most everything can be done. To the Marshall Islands, also very similar. By the way, very kind people to work with!

Fitzy... It's ok, welcome, hope it helps you to!

  I my case I will allways have to be examined by an RYA examiner. Since we have a distinct program, and most every authorities recognise RYA\MCA.

 


Chief
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 1:41 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


 “I asked for it last year when a crew agency didn't recognised my Eng. course and send me to MCA,( I must point in their defense...) But, it seems to me that this assessment is a new one.”

 

You seem to have found one of the rare crew agencies that knew what they didn’t know and sent you in the right direction. I suggest you do the MCA assessment process with your engineering training and see what they offer in the way of real certificates. It is important that you know where you stand and only the flag maritime administration can tell you this. Do not make career and training decisions based on what you read on a chat forum.

 

 

 “As for the Cayman Islands they still require for some recognitions that are not made directly. Right now they would give me a Deckhand endorsement, … Marshall Islands, also very similar.”

 

It sounds like you submitted the deck certificates. Those things are pretty much useless as indicated by Caymans only recognizing them as being worth a deckhand rating. Do you want to be an engineer and use the 3 years of professional training you have now or do you want to start from scratch as a deckhand?

 

You may already have the qualifications to obtain an engineering certification that could get you an engineer’s job on a yacht. There are a thousand deckhands for every engineer and once you are in the industry you are in a much better position to move down to a deckhand job if that is your choice. Right now you seem to be restricting your opportunities by joining a very large crowd of entry level job applicants.


junior
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 3:05 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Again sage advice from Chief. Concentrate on your Engineer qualifications. Engineer is the most resilient position in yachting. Throughout your career you will have to weather many economic downturns. Engineers are the only crew who are versatile enough to power through. I just saw it this past winter. The 40 metre Feadship next to me was mothballed, seeking a new owner. Unemployed captain after unemployed captain stopped by my yacht and asking me for info on the Feadships owner or broker. For months she was looking lonely and forgotten then all of a sudden, three crew appeared. These crew were Three Engineers hired by management to put her thru a maintenance cycle. All the deckies , mates and captains were sitting on the beach complaining. Hey !!!...they cant move the yacht to the shipyard without me !! They sure can. A strong engineering background is critical if you expect to do the time required to call yachting a career. When you combine it with a Yachtmaster ticket you are unstoppable.
Arron
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 6:18 PM
Joined: 29/05/2008
Posts: 1


Hi Salvador, Concerning your question to either work or study. There are still a lot of yachts out there that offer to pay for all your courses as long as you commit a years service. As said before. The Yachtmasters offshore commercially endorsed does hold a lot though most yachts up to 180ft only need a deck rating certificate (which you already supersede with your qualification at hand) So as I am saying, why not work and study at the same time?
Ask Amy
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 10:43 PM
Joined: 19/08/2008
Posts: 8


Hi Salvador. Your question is such a good one and yet so hard to answer. In the interest of transparency and therefore a skewed perspective, I work for a school, MPT in Fort Lauderdale. I have read the other replies and they are all good. I will tell you from my point of view that since you are already in a class, I would finish it. If the job came up right before you started, I would say postpone it, get the money, the sea time and the opportunity, and of course the experience. Once you start your training, though I think it is a good idea to finish. It seems like this is what happens so often, people will start a class and then as if karma is paying attention, that is when a dream job is offered. Sometimes, a long term job will let you complete your certification first. However a short term delivery or charter cannot wait for you. Since most upgrades require prerequisite sea time whilst holding a lower ticket, getting that ticket is really important. If this is the equivalent of a Yachtmaster, I think you should finish your class, get your ticket and I really do believe that a job as good or better will come along quickly because the better the ticket you have the more versatile you are in todays market. The point someone made about counseling is so smart, and not to sell our school, but one of the things that we have always done is to counsel crew (for free) as early in their careers and as often throughout their careers as we can. Versatility is the key and knowing what experience and which classes will really help you will save you a lot of time, money and stress. This "career counseling" is available to everyone whether they come to school here or not, so if you would like to, call us and we'll set up a session for you by phone or if you come to the area, we'll do it in person. Long story short no one can make this decision for you, but between friends, I would tell you to stay in school for now. We have students who have been trying to get their tickets done for years because every time they start they get an offer and cannot finish a class, in the long run it sometimes hurts them....I also know what it is like to need your paycheck, so just weigh your options and decide whether you need a short term solution or a long term solution today. Good luck to you and keep in touch!!
Fitzy
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2009 12:41 AM
Joined: 03/10/2008
Posts: 12


Thank you for advice to everyone on this forum. It's been frustrating trying to figure out which road to go down, but now I have a great idea of which way to go.. I think at this point in my career I'm going to focus on what is important to me further down the road. The bottom line is in 6 months not only will I have the experience but i'll have the licenses and qualifications to succeed in yachting. I only hope one day I'm working along side some of the knowledgeable and helpful crew on this website. Thank you again. Your opinion means alot. Good luck with the upcoming season!!
Salvador
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2009 2:15 AM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97


Hi.

I'm speachless.    Thank you.

Processing now, digesting all wise information.  (I've just arrived from classes  : ) and I see all these knowledge. It's very gratifying, like being in the water!! I've looked at it that way, long run!!

Thank you, really!

and yes, keep in touch

 


kapt_mark
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2009 3:20 AM
Joined: 30/06/2008
Posts: 81


A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Take the job if its a good one. You can still study in your own time and get the knowledge but not the C.o.C I did the Coastal Skipper first (1999) then Yachtmaster after, too. The theory is the same, only the practical exam is a bit less forgiving. Unless the process has changed much since I did it. But beware, too small a vessel or too small kW then the sea time won't count with the MCA for deck and engineer. When I went for my Engineer orals in Southampton and mentioned I was on a 24m yacht they nearly discounted the time, as she had 2 x 2000 hp propulsion engines they allowed it.
Henning
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2009 12:13 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1053


Tough call, especially in todays job environment. The questions that come to my mind are, how mch longer is this course to complete and get the license, and will the owner allow you that time so you can join the boat with your greater certification. This is something also you can use to judge the job opportunity. If it is a good owner and opportunity that affords advancement, the owner would be keen on giving you the time to finish. If the person providing the opportunity could care less if you have the new rating, chances are you won't be advancing into that position if it's where you want to go. I don't know how your celestial test is, but for mine that goes with a 3000 ton Oceans US license, it took me 10 days of full time study to get it learned and take the exam. So maybe he'll let you finish up and you can get it done in a few more days or really cracking at it, and you can have both the job and the rating. BTW, the Yachtmaster rating the Crew Agents are asking for is the RYA one.
SBC
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2009 1:03 PM
Joined: 14/10/2008
Posts: 33


Hi Salva, Whatever you do, do not quit studying! It will always be to your benefit. Definitely! I was in contact with the MCA recently, as I also hold a non-UK engineering certificate, and their answer was unequivocal: If you hold any STCW 95-approved maritime qualification from any country on the white list (Portugal is most definitively on there), they will do a a traight swop to a UK CEC. Good luck
Salvador
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2009 2:20 PM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97


 Yes. few more months, been doing chart navigation, starting celestial, and then all the rules, weather, tides, I'm shore you know whats comming next!!!! 

 Yes... I guess your right, if it's meant to be the right position (owner wise), it will surely be. I prefer to do it now anyway.

Hope for the best

Thank you


Salvador
Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 3:36 PM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97


Hi!

 I don't know  if I'll ever use celestial navigation again ,  I don't even know who uses paper charts these days, maybe in remote locations, less known or crossings (?),  but man, I'm getting the kick out of it!!!! Against all odds, Celestial navigation is one of those things that surprised me. The connection it brings, the belonging to understanding of cicles and.... Well, I did for sure the right thing and vividly recommend to those who enjoy this part of sailing.

The beginning, ho, it's difficult, my brain seemed it was in a brake from exercise, it was rusty, now I really like doing this, and hope these technics and knowledg keep going thru the gennerations.

Can you imagine those guys 500 years ago, going to cross oceans !!!  I never thought I'd be so happy with this step. I feel more connected now and very... whats the term, bloatted (?) (bragging ??)

ho ho ho, I'm a celestial navigator      ho ho ho  !!!!!

Kidding, but really, a good investment, its nice kind of knowledge!

 

Thank you all

good sailings


junior
Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 5:13 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


You would be surprised how handy celestial navigation is. It keeps crew busy on a long trip and Twice in recent memory Ive had to use it....lightning strike and equipment failure. By the way you should seek out a copy of the compact sight reduction tables HO 208...that is... HO two hundred and eight.... the complete set of tables is about 100 pages long. In your country the tables may carry a different label..they are univerally know as Dreisonstok's Tables and may very well no longer be produced. The book called SELF CONTAINED CELESTIAL NAVIGATION WITH HO 208 by John S. Letcher jr. is the best book on the subject of small craft navigation and contains all HO 208 sight reduction tables as well as easy to understand chapters on how to both gain your longitude and latitdue at noon...how to construct plotting sheets in a standard notebook, and many basic principles like making landfall parralel to latitude to reduce position error. You will always forget the techniques, you must alway sail with the book...it is the best and fits inside my sextant box. And concentrate on perfecting your technique of using and out of date Nautical Almanac...you always seem to have last years on board.
Salvador
Posted: Monday, March 8, 2010 11:38 PM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97


Hi,

Did it , passed the exam. Think I've might lost some weight in nervous and anxiety, but did it!

It's Oceans ,  I'm very proud of it, I was trying to do it for 2 yeas, now I have it! It's great stimulation for the brain and the thirst of  knowledge starts to get you. Really enjoyed doing it.

And, BTW, if one is comming to this side of the Ocean And ( Med via Portugal = Vilamoura \ Cascais ) and need extra crew for the journey  : )  It will be a great satisfaction to join and help!

I'll be around this waters, for now! And if not, it was a pleasure sharing this with you all.

Thankz

Salvador


Manolo
Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 12:34 PM
Joined: 20/03/2010
Posts: 4


Hello Salvador,i missed it...what are you studing?i just started the OOWW,your english its soo good
junior
Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 4:51 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Congratulations...now you have your piece of paper. Next step is to look towards your future. Why not continue eduction, contact Francisco Lobato, sign onto his oceanic program as a free crew, live on cans of tuna fish, breath world champion air.....and learn how to become the best in the world http://www.franciscolobato.com/online/clip_2009.html
Tristan
Posted: Thursday, April 1, 2010 5:38 PM
Joined: 25/09/2009
Posts: 4


Ola Salvador, Espero que esteja tudo de bom consigo. Ainda bem que encontro um portugues ja envolvido nesta area. Precisava de umas dicas. Em relacao ao impostos como e' que voce faz? Voce desconta, tem muitos problemas? O meu mail e' tristanxavierdebrito@live.com.pt Bons Ventos Tristan
 
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