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Do I have the wrong certifications?
Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 4:12 AM
Joined: 24/08/2011
Posts: 4

I'm trying to find out if I have the wrong certifications here...I have a USCG 100-ton Masters w/ Tow & Sail, PADI Rescue Diver, ABYC certified Marine Electrician, and a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science.  Oh yeah, and STCW 95.  They all seemed like a good idea at the time, but it really is looking like nobody cares about any of those.  For the last 10 years I've been able to get work driving charter catamarans, dive boats, harbor tours, sailing schools, etc fairly easily, but I really want to get into the bigger boats.  I've mostly been captain, but only boats up to 70' or so, and mainly charter boats.  Right now I'm running a fairly busy marine repair business fixing diesel engines and electrical systems, and I was born and raised on a boat my whole life, so I think I may be qualified for an engineer-type spot experience-wise, but don't have any certifications other than the ABYC stuff.  I don't really care - I'll wash the windows if the pay's decent and I'm learning something new.  Does anyone know where I can get the right ticket to get into real yachts?  Is it worth flying to Ft. Lauderdale or something like that to get into the "scene"?  All my captaining and crew experience has been in places where yachts seem scarce - Hawaii, Honduras, Turkey, Bahamas, California, Dominican Republic, Azores, so I've never been able to connect with the right crowd, I guess.  Advice?

Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 10:43 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

If you want to expand your maritime career and operate big boats, not necessarily yachts, then head for the oilfield. With your qualifications talk to Edison Choest, use me as a reference, you can google me. They need you and pay well. They also run the best operation in the oil field with the best equipment they build themselves. You have to work hard for them. I'm almost to the point of heading over there. I have close kin and friends with them so when it gets desperate enough, I'll go over there. They also have a government research fleet including Ice Breakers which I may try for as a way to get my Unlimited. They have other big boats as well and agreements with the Coast Guard over the fiasco that happened when the big boats came to the GOM and they had to hire Unlimited Masters. Now they hire who they want, prove the insurance will accept them and the USCG issues an endorsement to your license for that ship or class of ships on which you are employed. The pay is good and the work right now is there. There are now deep water Crew Boats and Utility Boats that measure 99ton and DP 1 or 2 and Edison Choest has always had one of the most technologically advanced fleets. There are some of us who started 25 years ago in yachts and have gone back and forth to commercial. Every now and then I'll pull into a port or even a company and find a fellow member of Weinberg's Navy.

Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 1:04 AM
Joined: 24/08/2011
Posts: 4

Thanks captain, I appreciate the advice and the referral.  I should have been more specific - I'm looking to get into the private yacht industry.  I've had a number of friends working in the oil fields, heard good things for the most part, but not for me right now.  I spend the majority of my days for the last 3 years saving old boats from sinking in the marinas of San Diego, repairing old engines that have no business still being used, and removing the wire nuts and aluminum foil that the owners have been using to keep the lights on.  I want a job where I have to dress nicely, travel a bit, and I can work on something new and complicated - I want to learn something.  Maybe even use some of my computer skills some day

Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 4:34 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277



With your experience, the MCA Engineering process may be the easiest route to "crack" (scroll down to see each MCA ticket's requirements) - it is possible to gather up your educational and sea-time credentials and ship them to the MCA for a "letter of assessment" - which may shorten the process a little.


Any MCA approved school can provide the courses (not just the one in the link ). The advanced STCW parts can be done at some of the California/Oregon/Washington Community Colleges.


The bigger motor yachts seem to want the minimum of an MCA Y4 engineering ticket for a 2nd or 3rd's position (the sailing yachts are not so picky - but you usually have to know how to sail).






P.S. Following Henning's advice for one year to formalize and document your skills/time (and pick up the money for the courses) may actually be quicker (and less painful).


P.P.S. If you speak Spanish (and assuming they don't have an anti-US bias - which many large FF yachts seem to), you could give this a try:


10/25/2011 Engineer/bosun needed for a busy Westport 130' Marshal Isl. Flagged, MUST BE BILINGUAL ENGLISH & SPANISH. 40% of your time is engineering 60% deck. Must have B1/B2, non smoker, no visible tattoos. SAN DIEGO


Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 7:07 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

Yachting is a special game . You already have great yachting qualifications. Instead of guessing what additional qualification you may need its best to associate yourself with a first class management company, then listen carefuly to what they require for their yachts. When seeking a captains position I will guarantee you that management first matches your disposition with the clients needs , then they advise you as to what license upgrade you may require to fulfill the position. Associate yourself with a first class management company and listen to what they tell you. Every license upgrade Ive ever done was at the insistence of management
Posted: Thursday, November 3, 2011 6:28 PM
Joined: 24/08/2011
Posts: 4

Any recommendations on who to go to for a management company?  I've signed up with several crew agencies over the years, even paid for a few - and never even gotten an offer. 

Posted: Friday, November 4, 2011 4:14 AM
Joined: 30/06/2010
Posts: 7

Hello,I was responding to your Post. First Chouest ,That is the Correct way to Spell it.If you want some sea service,Get up to date on your Secretarial,Management skills,upograde.Here is the place.I worked for Chouest in the early 80,s.then they were a small mom and pop Huge.Just unreal. I left in 84.Returned in my 1600/3000.Got my oceans with a unlimited DP.Working in Brazil for them.Good Benefits.They have a yacht ,well Sportfishing side.If you need to get your feet wet start here.when your off your off.they have there own school.ui did take my 1600 school at MPT with CG.Thats the only thing they Don't offer.You can get your towing endorsement.6000 endorsement.I am working on it now.The only thing I have seen is that it is easier to make the jump from yachting to commercial rather than switching back.I drive a 260 foot work boat with Azipods.DP-2 Class Well stimulation boat.Wouldn't trade for the world for a CP boat.Google then.Get a downloaded application fill it out send it to Nicky Collins.Dont Call on Mondays.Thats new people.You wont get him .Good luck.There short help in Brazil.Blake

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