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From Mate to Captain....
Posted: Thursday, September 2, 2010 2:51 PM
What is the best course of action/career path for a First Mate/First Officer to get his first Captain Job ?
Posted: Thursday, September 2, 2010 6:17 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

When on the race course the class of 75' IBNA manual recommends two overtaking maneuvers. The classic "Turd blossom takeover" ..... whereby you develope an inside overlap then advise the owner to hire a forensic accountant to review last seasons expenditures and take command once the old captain has been imprisoned. Or the "Crew Coup d'état " method..... were you advise the owner to bring in a professional and perform a complete substance abuse screening of all crew. As the old captain and crew shuffle , stumble, in an orderly single file down the gangplank , you step up to the wheelhouse, take command , bring in your own trusted gang of BNs , drive the bow to leeward, then broad reach thru life ..
Posted: Thursday, September 2, 2010 7:25 PM
Joined: 02/09/2010
Posts: 1

What is the best path to start on yachts industries, to find a job? I am new and everyoane is requiring experience. How can i get the experince?
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 6:12 PM
Thanks Junior, I'll try the "Turd blossom takeover" on his Starboard first. If that doesn't work go straight in to the "Crew Coup d'état " on the port side.
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 8:22 PM
The captain's circle is a really tough one to break into but once you are in it becomes a lot easier. I would suggest working on a boat that may be for sale if current captain is going to a new build for same owner. Yes there is a chance when the boat sells that new owner brings his own captain and hence his own crew as he himself maybe be buying up. However if you are competent there is no reason why you couldn't step up the captain's position. You may only have a few months to prove yourself but your foot will be in the door, so to speak and there is also the chance that it is the new owner's first boat and you may be asked to stay on. Once you're there don't let the fourth stripe power go to your head, remember you need a great team behind you. A crew can make a captain look really good or really bad, I for one prefer the former so give credit where it is due. Good Luck...
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 8:22 PM
Sounds like junior has walked the gangplank a few times after he failed the drug test.
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 8:34 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96

If your asking this question maybe you should slow down a little, taking command before you are ready can have negative results. A few years as mate moving with a Capt. or owner to larger and larger vessels is one of the best career paths, although personally I think command of small vessels is the best way to learn seamanship.

Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 10:45 PM
The best way to get a Captain's job is to have a plethora of different experiences and qualifications: personally, I have been dual hatted as Captain/Engineer for the last few years and am currently working onboard a globetrotting 35m! Here it's all down to the ability to do the job safely, in a timely manner whilst remaining inside the vessel's budget! Hardwork, but enjoyable. But you have to be able to do 'what it says on the tin'. Earlier today I completed a top end overhaul on a generator, while yesterday saw the rudders being dismantled and an inwater repair conducted! So the Owner gets value for money by employing one guy to do two peoples jobs!!! Could you handle this??
Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 11:35 PM
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 3

I agree with yachtone. If you've been working as first mate / officer for a while now; get your Captains licence and once you get it, keep working as first mate for another year or two, you need to experience to own a Captains license and the responsibility it bears from your perspective, you need to have an open communication with your Captain, ask him why did he made this or that decision, learn from him, listen to him, make your own decisions in your mind and see if your Captain made the same. Your Captain and you will know that it is time for you to go, Thank him for sharing his experience, shake hands and we'll welcome you to the burden and responsibility of being a Captain. good luck and blessings.
Posted: Saturday, September 4, 2010 12:22 AM
Thanks everyone, I am seeing a lot of "WHEN" and not a lot of "HOW"....... Are you saying the HOW magically shows up WHEN someone is ready ? I have all the tickets and been working beside good Captains for years, on everything from 300' down to a 60 feet. Most of my time has been spent in the 50-60M range. I guess I was looking for more specific advice like, Change your CV to represent a Captain instead of the usual 1 page blurb. I need CV advice. I have seen a million as mate for just about every position except Capt. I can give CV advice to everyone except myself. Second, maybe I want to hear, Get in Good with Agents and Project managers. Looking for a Captain job is different, takes different methods than just walking up to a boat and handing a CV. What are those methods ? I am looking for hard, tangible ideas and advice like juniors suggestions not philosophical advice on weather or not I am ready. Thanks for any input however relative . Maybe some of you could share how you got your first Command, regardless of size. Cheers....
Posted: Saturday, September 4, 2010 5:49 AM
Joined: 21/05/2008
Posts: 14

having been down this road. Seek the Captains position, accept only one that your skill sets allow you to shine and not stumble. Do not over extend your abilities, one hundred great dockings can be wiped off the charts by one go awry because it exceeded your skill set. Starting with a small group to manage and where you may wear several hats will serve to keep you close to the action and build self reliance. Even if the small team means running a boat by yourself with a freelance deck or stew until the full scope of the responsibilites come into full focus. Unless you have real commercail experience don't step into a job on a commercially registered vessel. Then study alot. Make freinds with captains who you find you respect or have proven track records and ask loads of questions. Google "ways to improve your decision making process and read them all. Understand that is a key element in being a good captain, how to go about making decisions. that's the difference, when the consequence of your decisions come to bear full weight. Study more. Ask for the job, ask brokers, owners, placement peole. Maybe start by when you are serving as mate to work into the position of relief captain. Being approved by the insurance company as the releif captain is the proof. Make sure and document those days when you have served. It will be the insurance company that will eitehr give you the final green light or not. good luck
Posted: Sunday, September 5, 2010 6:23 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

You need to market yourself as a captain. is good, brokers are also a good source of leads as are dock masters and marina managers. Crew agents have a very limited value at the captain level.
Posted: Sunday, September 5, 2010 8:02 PM
What are the major insurance players in yachting, is it worth the while to talk with them regarding a Masters position.
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 8:57 PM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207

Two alternative and rather unconventional methods of progression from 1st mate to captain:

Conduct an expensive but effective smear campaign designed to ruin your captains' career whilst maintaining your position of unwavering loyal support and dedication to his now failing command. Quietly approach the owner with your perfect answer to the unhappy situation; BINGO! instant promotion to captain. 

High powered rifle equipped with an accurate 'scope from a safe distance.....  

Posted: Friday, September 24, 2010 4:10 PM
Continue being a great mate who masters every skill in the yacht (minimum two years per yacht) when the captain leaves you could be the new captain. I had captains experience on a smaller vessel, became mate on a bigger one and grew from mate to captain. I got my first captains experience by working underpaid, getting a lot of sh*t, but clocked my two years, left in peace, took a lower position on a bigger boat and grew further and further. Remember: the best job goes to the person who doesn't pass the bucket and who doesn't come back with excuses why he couldn't finish the job.
Posted: Saturday, September 25, 2010 1:11 PM
Joined: 16/06/2008
Posts: 6

There are many mates in All of the Maritime industries that are great Mates, but should NEVER hold command. First, you should ask yourself why, you wish, or need to hold Command? What do you bring to the table for a Client? What does your Commander think about your wish to move up into a Command slot? Any Captain worth his salt, constantly improves the people who work for him. Deckhands to Mates, Stews to Chief Stews, Mates to Command Positions. These Captains also may have been Mates for numerous times within their Career. In the Commercial Sector, whenever a Mate shifts to Captain, it is for a vessel which he has been qualified to Command. When the Company choses to change his Command to another vessel, he shifts to the new Vessel as a Chief Mate for a time, prior to taking Command. The yachting industry tends to promote people into positions where they have the lack of experience to Command, but they get the job anyway. Many times, they have gone from being a good mate, or Captain of a smaller yacht, to a Lousy Captain of a Larger one. Be patient, Keep adding to your bag of tricks and keep pushing to prove yourself to your current Commander, and those around you, that you are Ready for Command. When you are ready, Everyone around you will tell you that you are ready for Command, the same time that you can honestly tell yourself the same.
Posted: Saturday, September 25, 2010 6:14 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

Be careful with what this guy is trying to feed you. When a mate turns pro and establishes his mark, captains always endeavor to keep him in his place. A captain without a first class mate is forced to abandon the golf course and actually run the yacht himself. Also remember that a captain is not chosen with regard to his deep resume and inherit skills...captains are political appointees. If you wish to move into captains shoes, you must cultivate political connections inside the yachting industry that are completely free of captain manipulation. First class yacht brokers and established project managers wield 100 times more influence than a yacht captain and are always the first point of contact when a client purchases a yacht. Never let some yacht captain tell you that you are not yet ready for command.
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