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2nd Engineer Training
Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2009 6:03 PM
Joined: 27/03/2009
Posts: 1

Hello everyone. I have been working on a 130' yacht for a little less than a year now as a deck/engineer. In this time I have discovered that the engineering side of yachting is what I really enjoy, and is what I would like to pursue as a career. After discussing this with my captain he agreed that based on my mechanical aptitude I should follow this route. He suggested I should get some type of formal training if I wish to find a 2nd engineering position. I have been looking into the Marine Systems program at IRYS, I was wondering if anyone had any comments on this program. Also any other advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2009 4:51 PM
Joined: 05/09/2009
Posts: 10

The best way is to get world wide recognized tickets , and that means  MCA .  They have a complete training route
on their web site     mgn 156    gives you all the details .
That was the easy bit , to find the msn ...... thats not so easy .
Type www.     
select      ships and cargo
select      legislation and guidance
select       marine  M notices
select      MGN
search     for  MGN  156

With regard to training 

You will need  42 months time on a boat ,  as an engineer . This is difficult  because there isnt a dedicated position for an inexperienced engineer on a yacht , so sign on as an engineer    but do deck / engineering time . Your seamans discharge book  , nor the testimonials must not reflect your time as   deck / engineer . If it does then the MCA will only recognize 1/2 your time as an engineer
 If you dont have a recognized trade then you will need to do    an AEC  course  and a skill test.
You also need to get    3  STCW modules,  Advanced fire fighting , Advanced sea survial and   Advanced Medical?
you will need a valid ENG 1
To wards the end of the  the  42  months training period  I suggest that you start doing the 3  Y4 modules . Auxiliary Equipment . Hotel Services. Marine Diesel .
Do not wait until you have all 42 months before writing the Y4 Modules . Start  studying after  30 months  .
now  listen very carefully .
even going to school .   I suggest at least 2 hours per day  yes that means  at least 120  hours of  honest studying , before even going to college . Why   well  world wide ,
20% of students pass Y4 auxillary  engineering    
60 %     pass Hotel services
80         pass   Marine Diesel .

You are not doing a MICKEY MOUSE   DECK course where you need to learn a few nursery rhymes to  pass and where the success rate is 95% .
The failure rate for Y4 is very high   irrespective of which college you go to , the SQA  and MCA regard the 1 week
period at college as a revision period , you must arrive there knowing the subject ,  the lecture doesnt have time to
teach you .
Sounds terrible ? Well it is , just ask the many engineering students that have had to rewrite  the various modules .

I hope that I havent discouraged you . All the training is worth while and been an engineer is a great profession .
There is a huge shortage of Licensed engineers and the situation isnt getting better .
Every yacht has to have an engineer  sometimes two . Yet at all the colleges they enroll 4 to 5 times more more deck students than engineering students . So 4 or 5 times more Captains and 1st mates than engineers . That adds up to a deteriorating situation it just doesnt balance .

Stick to engineering if you have the aptitude for it , as Ive said earlier it is a very rewarding career . 

Posted: Saturday, November 28, 2009 2:20 AM

I am not sure what your ultimate goals are, whether yachts are a career for life, or something you are wanting to do before future commitments make you choose some other path?

The route to yacht qualifications can be a long one, but obviously quite pleasurable.  The MCA issued these time frames for yachting I suspect on the fact that there were several very experienced yacht engineers already in the industry and when the regulations started getting tighter they wanted clear cut proof of experience before allowing people to apply for tickets.  Now while this may be fine for those who had been in the industry for a while, as they may have already achieved much of the required sea time, it isn't such a good prospect for those who are just starting out.

In response to the previous posting, I would strongly dissuade anyone from any attempt at trying to deceive the authorities on your level and type of experience regardless of the country and system involved.  It does you no favours appearing at an exam that you aren't properly prepared for, and does the yacht and your pocket no favours when they fail you.  Perhaps this approach is common from those in yachting and why there is such a high failure rate?  Added to that making fraudulent claims may very well see you being black listed and having existing qualifications revoked.

My advice to young engineers who have had a taste for the engineering life at sea and wish to pursue it as a career is to investigate the commercial route as this can often be a quicker option believe it or not, with most courses being completed in a 30 - 42 month period.  In several instances the course fees are picked up by a commercial shipping company you are assigned to as an Engineering Cadet, along with accommodation costs etc, whilst they may pay you for your time too!  Admittedly not yacht wages though...  Whilst this isn't applicable to all situations as different companies and different countries have different approaches, the opportunities are out there none the less.

Additionally obtaining your commercial OOW ticket (STCW Reg III/1) or alternatively your 2nd Engineer Limited (STCW Reg III/3) opens up a whole load of other prospects for your future.  Yachts like I said can be great fun when you are younger but the time constraints may become too much as you obtain more responsibilities and family commitments in the future when the time given for leave in the commercial world may be more favourable, often on a one month on, one month off basis.  That said there is definitely a move towards rotational positions in yachting although the tours tend to be longer.  Commercial tickets also have the advantage of allowing you to switch to and from between the commercial world and yachting, whereas (Y) tickets will only allow you to sail as an engineer aboard yachts.

Hopefully I have given you (and others who read this post) some insight to another option that you may have available to you.

Feel free to contact me at should you have any further questions and we will do our best to answer them as quickly as possible.

S. Hutchison (Engineering Liaison)