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What are the Chances?
Murrman
Posted: Thursday, September 2, 2010 9:55 AM
Joined: 31/08/2010
Posts: 5


So here I am at the age of 41 contemplating a career change almost two years after the death of my 6year old son and going back to what I love... the sea. I was 9 years in the Navy in Canada and got out to go into Commercial aviation as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Helicopters) which I have been doing for the last 15 years. Been a manager... had my own business putting Turbine Engines into raceboats... all sorts of life experience. I want to follow the Deck oriented career path but dont mind working on technical things... I AM pretty good at it but I would rather go Deck. I have visions of taking my STCW'95 and Megayacht crew course at the end of the month and from the job postings I see around... I was hoping to land something fairly quickly... What are the chances? I know I have a great deal to offer in the way of seagoing experience albeit in a military environment where there is, I am sure, a higher utilization of colorful metaphors than on your typical yacht. (I do have the ability to flip the kid friendly vocabulary switch when required.) But does that realy give me enough of a leg up (and maybe with my ability to help out in engineering as well) to actually expect a job any time soon. What do you folks see as a likely career path. Luckily I can still work the aviation career if I have to as I am currently on a 6 week on 6 week off rotation so I might be able to fill my time off with short contracts or day work. Just looking to get back to sea.... any thoughts?
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, September 2, 2010 3:09 PM
Without a huge song and dance GO ENGINEERING, you will always have a decent paying job, There is a major shortage worldwide for Engineers. Deck is harder to get into, especially at your age (though not impossible). Follow your heart, but seriously consider engineering.
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, September 2, 2010 3:18 PM
PS, daywork you will be painting bilges, not going to sea and most yachts will be going to sea with a full compliment of permanent crew, so not really a lot out there in the way of short contracts. If you really want a deck job wielding a toothbrush and chamois for the next three years then you need to really jump in feet first and commit to the possibility of a job. If you went engineering someone will scoop you right away for a perm position. Age not as big a deal in the E/R. Go with what you know. Good luck. There are some deck/ER jobs around but most likely you will be more in the E/R and only help with wash-downs. Underway you wont be on the bridge, but rather doing E/R watch rotation with the Chief.
rodsteel
Posted: Thursday, September 2, 2010 3:25 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277


Murrman,

 

I agree with Anon.

 

You have two very marketable skills that are in demand at this time in certain segments of the higher-end Yacht world; helicopter operations and gas turbines. Get your basic STCW and Medical Certificate and distribute an Engineering oriented CV to the placement agencies (after you get your STCW go visit one or two if you can afford it).

 

Once you get an Engineering position and some longevity, you then will have the luxury to pick and choose your ultimate career path (in addition, I don't think any mate or bosun would turn down an offer of assistance on the deck - in your "spare" time ).

 

Good luck,

 

Rod

 

P.S. With your military sea time, you may want to consider obtaining a Canadian Merchant Mariners Document. I know some yacht insurance companies do not "like" US certified crew. I have not heard or seen any discussion concerning similar bias against Canadian certified crew (maybe it is worth a thread of its own?).

 


Murrman
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 1:28 AM
Joined: 31/08/2010
Posts: 5


Thanks for the input guys. I will certainly consider the engineering possibility carefully. I just hate to get sidetracked down that road, but if it is a valid method of breaking into the business... I am all for it. Just concerned that it will get to a point where I cant get a Deck Job because of the engineering. Is there any industry stigma with changing paths? I know in the aviaiton business it is rare that you find a Pilot Engineer and when you do... rare that anyone (Companies) support it as they all feel you can only be good at one thing... not both. Personally I think thats crap... but that is what the general feeling is in the Aviation business. Same with Yachting? or is that an ok thing to do? Is the Chief Engineer going to resent time spent on Deck... Is the Captain or Mate going to take a part time Engineer-Deckhand seriously... You said no one would turn down help in my "spare" time... and so i get the feeling that there is not a lot of spare time at sea to put towards a second career... thats not how I want to go about doing it i dont think... I want to be dedicated and focused on my primary goal. DECK. having said that.... lol... I want to go to sea.. so i suppose I will hire out to whoever wants me for whatever skills of mine they need. I will have a look at the Canadian vs American as well. I know there is an IYT affiliate school in Toronto which would be right near home as well as one out in B.C. which would be a little harder to accomplish but not impossible. Just kinda had my sights set on doing it all in FLL aspecially as it will be near the Boat show time and I would assume one of the main centers for work in North America
Murrman
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 1:37 AM
Joined: 31/08/2010
Posts: 5


Oh.... and I am ALL for a LONG contract if I can land one.. I will always have aviation as a backup.... but I am hoping at this point it will only be a backup and there as a mental security blanket while I wade out into the waters of Yachting. Thanks again
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 2:49 AM
Hey Murrman, People are going to push you towards engineering because there are current, long term, well paying jobs available and you will get in right away. They are also trying not to tell you how difficult it is going to be for you to break in the industry in the deck dept. You will have to start at the very bottom and rub shoulders with very young peoples doing the worst jobs under the direction of a cocky 23 year old. Deck jobs are the hardest of all the departments to get hired in and most captains hire young whipping boys with gold flowing locks to dance around with a chamois and a toothbrush. Having said that, there are exceptions to the rule and you might consider small (90-110 footers) as Mate/eng, A path that will certainly lead to a captain position down the road having both Eng and Deck/bridge experience. You learn more on small boats, but positions are more limited. Look at private, small and focus there. Just my opinion.
Henning
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 4:29 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


Well, your AME helps you out if you want to get on big boats, you can probably negotiate a a deck/helicopter care position. The variable in that position will be the transposability of your AME license to the tail number of the aircraft and the rules of the registering nation. Lots of the helos are N tail with the second largest group being F best that I can tell. Also if you look at smaller vessels that don't require a mate (mate being a licensed position) you can probably find a deck/engineer position.
junior
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 8:04 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


When youre a new guy you must stand clear of the yachties on the charter yachts and super yachts who sit in the marina 10 months of the year, staffed by crew who have nothing better to do than eat three square meals a day and acquire then display ever more paper ticket boy scout badges. Barely a month goes by without a new build project manager or broker emailing me with some kinda CREW SEARCE inquiry. The most recent "full crew needed for new build 45 meter sailing yacht " that will be doing a three year circumnavigation. The project is so intense, so lifestyle crushing , so grey hair producing , that no senior crew will touch it. These yachts happen all the time and represent an effective entry vector for new guys like you, with worthwhile skills , who don't have the connections to secure a comfy , PYA Golf this afternoon ? superyacht dock position. Go ugly early and only move into the scene once you have acquired contacts, a fist full of paper tickets to defend yourself against aggressive green horn vampires and bought your convertible BMW. Only then may you store your safety gear and go mainstream yachting . One of the reasons you see so many scrappy, stand aside or loose a limb, Australian, Kiwi , SA seaman on the big yachts is that they know well this street fighter entry into the scene.
Murrman
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 9:22 AM
Joined: 31/08/2010
Posts: 5


@Junior- OK so the gist of your post seems to be that i am going to have to get on a ship that is going to be at sea quite a bit.... um.... kinda the point isnt it? (Sign me up for that three year Circumnavigation!!! I am all over it... ) Which brings me to another related question... Sail or Power... easier harder... one or the other? I love it all..having served on board large ships in the navy as well as our Sail Training Vessel and "Goodwill" ship HMCS Oriole. I have been Sailing and Power boating since I was 7 so I realy would love either one although i have to say I probably would edge towards Sail if I had to make a choice. Anyone have pros and cons on any of that?
rodsteel
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 5:14 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277


Murrman,

 

Sailing experience is another marketable skill for an engineer these days (I also believe that all crew work the deck at times on the sailing yachts).

 

Here are samples of recent openings (for after you get your basic STCW - by the way, my comment about Canadian versus US Merchant Mariner Docs did not apply to where you get the STCW training certificate - Florida would be good, from a networking standpoint, but is more spendy - both for the course and accomodation for the week - however, the water might be a little warmer than Vancouver or Toronto at this time of year ):

 

http://www.jf-recruiting.com/notice_board/detailed.asp?msgID=20714

 

http://www.crewunlimited.com/crw_moreJobInfo.asp?oid=2144253046

 

http://www.superyachtjobs.com/jobs.asp?contact=N&search=Y&id=9179

 

This one you have to register for:

 

https://www.ycocrew.com/

Mate/Engineer 30 M SY looking for someone with a yacht master and AEC who is a strong sailor and mechanically minded this position is to start in September possibly earlier for the right candidate

Deckhand/2nd Engineer 50 M SY looking for someone with an AEC and ideally some sailing experience as when on charter they will be expected to help out on deck

Chief Engineer 47 M SY brand new build immediate start in Spain must have MEOL minimum and build experience would be a plus, onshore accomodation for duration of project, salary and conditions negotiable

 

Good Luck,

 

Rod

 

P.S. "Longevity" in this business seems to be greater than six months on the same boat - probably not long enough to get "locked in" as an engineer 

 


junior
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 10:34 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


The point is ...what sector of the yacht industry you choose to compete in. If you go after the Lauderdale "good ole' boys" sector , be prepared to enter a superficial world in which you are " too old," "too dam ugly", " to inexperienced" or "too whatever " the flavour of the day is . If instead you hit left field and purposely compete in the back breaking.... "you gotta be crazy, Im not sum'kinda slave " sector as a green horn, you may very well be able to catapult yourself clear of the lightweight yachty academy, professional toilet paper folding charter yacht cannon fodder, in a very short time . I say seek these positions out.
Salvador
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 11:03 PM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97


Hello!

Junior!!!! You can put me for that one too "full crew needed for new build 45 meter sailing yacht... ""   : )

 Murman, you can be with helycopter yachts! You see a problem in that??

Anyway, follow your .... heart!! I followed my intuition and it didn't got it quite right !!!

: )

Good Luck


Henning
Posted: Saturday, September 4, 2010 4:53 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


Sail vs Power... Sail usually doesn't pay as much, nor will it have a helicopter. It's hard to break into the industry at a low level position as an older person. The thing you have pulling for you is the AME ticket and helo experience. That means you best market to break in will be those vessels which Junior disdains, big yachts because those are the ones that carry helicopters. There are some smaller yachts that carry helos on deck, but as you can imagine, those will greatly increase your work load. The bigger yachts have hangars. Once you have a place in the industry, it is much easier to change and get other positions and you'll get the sea time in to get deck licenses.
Murrman
Posted: Sunday, September 5, 2010 5:35 AM
Joined: 31/08/2010
Posts: 5


Thank you all for the continued discussion. Unfortunaltly my AME licence is likely to be of limited value on ship. I am M2 and the smallest thing I ever really worked on was a Bell 205 (Huey). Trended towards the heavy iron and other than the Military I am pretty sure there are few private yachts with Sikorsky 61's 64's and Hueys. so... I am putting forward that I have a definite ability in things mechanical and a desire to pursue Deck as well. While I couldnt use the AME licence right off the bat it would actualy not take much for me to put it in play with a factory course on the owners machine and a quick conversion of my licence to the appropriate tail designator. However I am not going to run right out and take a bunch of couses right off the bat as who knows what kind of machine may be aboard any given ship. My heart says.... um.... sail... but it realy is pretty close. Love both aspects. I certainly wouldnt turn much down so long as it was reasonable pay and a good sailing schedule... hardly the time to be contemplating putting limits on my career! Anyhow... I am very excited about the prospects and cant wait to get my ass home from Papua New Guinea and on course to start this new adventure. Thanks again to all for all your varied input. yay to the interbabbler for providing a forum such as this where a newbie can interact with old salts even before he gets near the water. Further comments welcome. (Does anyone know how to send private messages on this?)
Henning
Posted: Sunday, September 5, 2010 5:57 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1052


It's kinda goofy, the only way I have found is to go to the "My Dockwalk" page then go to "Friends" and "Find Friends" and send a message with a friend request. I wish they would use vBulletin for the forums, this format is goofy and cumbersome.
rodsteel
Posted: Sunday, September 5, 2010 7:35 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277


Murrman,

 

Here is a sample of the yachts which have main or auxiliary turbine power plants:

 

http://yachts.monacoeye.com/files/category-gas-turbine.php

 

Here is at least one more (used to belong to Roger Penske):

http://www.charterworld.com/index.html?sub=yacht-charter&charter=sea-racer-2912

 

I believe that many of the helicopters used on the larger yachts are made by Eurocopter (EC135's ?).

 

Good Luck,

 

Rod

 


Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, September 5, 2010 8:39 PM
Have you considered the offshore oil/drilling option? They are ALWAYS looking for people, and with your qualifications, would probably get an offer directly. May mean a move overseas to Oz or NZ, Indo or the like, but can't beat the pay. There are a lot of options, from engineering on the supply boats to the platforms, to actually working on the platforms. Have a friend who had NO experience whatsoever in anything boat or oil related, and got a job as a "porter"--basically serving food to the rig workers and cleaning up. Two weeks on, three off, and if I told you the amount of money (think $$$$$$ a year!!!!) would make you cry. Fly you in and out as well, usually via helicopter. Made me reconsider yachting, but have a one year contract I need to finish.
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 6:48 PM
If you think the economy is bad in aviation, then stay out of yachting. There are very few long term oppotunities and literally thousands of qualified unemployeds looking for work. With your background. you should work for Transport Canada or some other govermental agency. Yachting, like aviaiton, is the big Lie.
yachtone
Posted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 7:51 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


Please do not think me unkind but you are unlikely to find a deck job on a yacht unless you are prepared to work for almost nothing (DON'T). If you don't want to work as a helo tech. or turbine eng. on a Gigayacht but you want to get to sea I suggest you buy a sailboat and do some cruising between rotations, you can buy a seagoing yacht for as little as 10G. if you are prepared to put a little work in.

rodsteel
Posted: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 4:59 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277


Murrman wrote:
... My heart says.... um.... sail...

 

 

Murrman,

 

I don't know if it is still available, but take a look at the last position on this page (should be #273)

 

http://www.crewandconcierge.com/pages/latest_opportunities

 

Good Luck,

 

Rod

 


 
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