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AV & IT but what about power generation
Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 2:18 PM
Joined: 06/05/2012
Posts: 8

So all these young people talking about AV & IT seem to forget a ships electrical officer (ETO) is the real deal. Power generation, electrical distrubtion, control, automation, alarm systems, lighting systems and so on are the real nuts and bolts skills needed onboard and make people a valuable resources. The self taught computer geek with a few short courses under his/her belt is not going to be much chop when the vital systems need maintenance, repair and operation. More often than not youngsters know little about marine electrical systems because they bypassed formal education and training, which makes it impossible to get them upto the required standard and make them valuable engineers capable of dealing with problems beyond the self taught geek level. In essence the so called ETO in the yachting world is a second grade tech that can't correctly operate, maintain or repair the marine systems of the yacht because they are virtual and not real engineers. At the end of the day it's difficult (impossible) to find a good ETO because there is none and the pathway to become one does exist, if it did would people put in the time and money to become one?????
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 7:23 PM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207

''At the end of the day it's difficult (impossible) to find a good ETO because there is none and the pathway to become one does exist, if it did would people put in the time and money to become one?????'' ETO requirement is mostly in Merchant shipping, Military Naval ships and Cruise ships. Very small demand in yachting for true ETO's, with only the very large (100m+) yachts possibly hiring a full time ETO, and could very easily fill the vacancy by searching the commercial crew agencies. Hence, as you correctly described, the AV/IT posts are being filled by 'geeks' with no E/R knowledge or any grasp of marine engineering in general.
Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 7:55 PM
Joined: 06/05/2012
Posts: 8

Rusty Wrench I agree wholeheartedly, I've experianced what the "Yacht ETO's" and found they tinker and fiddle, create work and like to keep all the passwords because they feel better. We just got rid of the ETO slash second and now the network runs smooth and the kalidescape system bugs are gone. Got a contract with a top AV company and it works cheaper and now have a second who is actually interested in the engine room and being a watch keeper.
Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 8:17 PM
I agree with the three above. i would preffer on my yacht more than a IT a good electromechanic/refrigeration engineer, after all, the software ist still operating contacts, relays etc thro the PLC´s. and lets face it from the owners point of veiw.. he likees to be cool.
Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 9:39 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

Well, at the moment there seems to be a gap in the IT training of many engineers. Keeping the all the satellite entertainment and communications network and gear operating is getting more to keep up with especially on larger yachts.

Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 9:40 PM
Joined: 19/01/2010
Posts: 36

As well as no pathway to become a real ETO in the yachting industry, there is no pathway to become a real Marine Engineer in the yachting industry.
Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 11:30 PM
I think the examples given thus far are related specifically to the role required on your yachts.

Calling someone a virtual engineer because they are not a "Marine" engineer is somewhat dim in my view, engineering is a very broad field - there are many types of engineers, not just mechanical or marine, or electrical.

Recruiting a 2nd Engineer / ETO dual role, it would be interesting to know the size of your yacht / amount and complexity of the AVIT systems. Clearly if you require an ETO/2nd then you need to find a balance between mechanical and electronic/electrical/AV/IT engineering.

Having a 2nd/ETO makes me think maybe you have just a chief and the 2nd/eto.
Why did you feel you needed to recruit this person with AVIT skills to begin with? Yachts are getting more technically complex, especially newer and bigger ones.

On cruise ships they have mechanical engineers, ETOs, AVIT officers etc.
There are commercial paths for ETO's through the MCA. These focus more on Electrical engineering, I am sure they wouldn't be fully up to speed with Kaleidascape's and yacht AV systems.

 Many larger yachts have Chief, 2nd, 3rd, ETO, AVIT and wipers. Pick the person with the right set of skills, if you are small enough to get away with having a company maintain the system then great. If you have mechanical chief's and 2nd's with enough AVIT knowledge to maintain and more importantly respond quickly when the boss is on if there is a problem, then great. If you need an AVIT orientated engineer, then hire one. I don't see what the fuss is about?

Perhaps the question is not that ETO's are lacking in mechanical/electrical ability, but the chief and 2nd hired on a 2-man engineering team don't have enough AVIT skills between them to maintain systems that are, at the end of the day, the engineering departments responsibility.

Horses for courses, recruit the right person for the job. This is why you do interviews and candidates have resumes.
Posted: Saturday, July 7, 2012 1:00 AM
Joined: 19/01/2010
Posts: 36

The best advice would be to get a proper job. Be an accountant, banker, military officer, doctor or lawyer and don't get bogged down with going to sea because the yacht looks flash. The owner is probably a Russian gangster or Arab oil baron cum wahabbist terrorist anyway. No one gets any respect globally for working in the yachting industry. Sadly, it is too late for cynical old fools like me.
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Saturday, July 7, 2012 1:03 AM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207

It would appear that most individuals employed on yachts in AV/IT roles in fact do very little in real terms of maintenance/repair. The majority of problems can be tackled by anyone with access to phone/email of the electronics equipment/service providers. (who btw normally are under contract to fix via remote connection)
Posted: Saturday, July 7, 2012 7:20 AM
I agree with the OP that you cannot be just a self taught computer geek with no other experience of Yachting systems. The defination of an ETO is very loose, and all depends on the individual yacht as to what they want from an ETO / AV / IT Officer. I am a self taught "computer geek" (as you put it) but i also spent three years training to apply my knowledge to the yachting industry. I worked for a "Top AV/IT systems company", trained on satellite communications networks and AV integration systems, such as Crestron and Kaleidescape and thus am able to bring my knowledge that you would get by having an external contractor. I dont however, for one second say i am an electrician. If it came to problems with Shore Converters / Generator issues i couldnt help, so i agree that this is a gap in my knowledge of which i could further my training for but i am employed as an addition to other engineers and not as an Engineer. Most larger yachts (+100m) will employ an AV/IT guy aswell as a dedicated electrician. It is very hard to find one person that can top the class in both departments. I don't consider myself as an Engineer, and thus wont take offence by being called "virtual" and not real
Posted: Saturday, July 7, 2012 12:18 PM
Joined: 14/05/2012
Posts: 10

A work of AV/IT is not very visible.But no less important than ordinary Engineer.Check this article about ETO(AVIT) and their role in yacht industry
Posted: Saturday, July 7, 2012 1:08 PM
Joined: 12/08/2009
Posts: 4

Those Yacht Engineers who feel offended because of the ETO´s on board should also remember that most of you are NOT real engineers unless you come from a Nautical school.
MCA papers for qualifications as Y1 or 2 or 3 after making training in some of the schools dont convert you into an engineer, if not, try to get a job onshore as an Engineer for maintenance in a hotel or wherever, that paper from Bluewater or RYA or IYM or MTN in Ft. Laud with yr MCA approval is useless out of yachting.
A yacht ¨Engineer¨that 1 yr ago was a bar tender and took some basic courses, such as hotel or the rest is not an Engineer. Out in the real Commercial world you would be a Motorman, and asistant of a 3rd or 2nd Engineer graduated from a Nautical School.

For Real Engineers and Yacht Engineers you both already have too much load with all the systems on a modern yacht, automation, MEB, Engines, hidualics, air conditioning, freezers, laundry, galley, tenders etc and currently all this new stuff that we get onboard requested by owners, light scenarios, kaleidos, electrical courtains, video, music all splitted into different decks or areas, interior, exterior, internet and so on is more complex that we think and the presence of an ETO is for that only, not to fix the sensor signal of a diesel tank, they are not onboard to do yr job but to relief you of extras, they are not here to be electrical tech guys to help you with shore power connections or electrical loads distribution. Their role is completely diverse and yes, they are also Engineers, probably much more than most of Yacht Engineers as they are most of the times graduated from a IT University, and then not all f them knows about Domotics and programming and Creston or AMX or IPADS

Posted: Saturday, July 7, 2012 6:56 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277

Anonymous wrote:
... I worked for a "Top AV/IT systems company", trained on satellite communications networks and AV integration systems, such as Crestron and Kaleidescape and thus am able to bring my knowledge that you would get by having an external contractor...


Anon - 07 July 2012 07:20


I have a question if you would be so kind (PM me through the site??)





Posted: Saturday, July 7, 2012 7:33 PM
This is a dig at all you 'real engineers' who think that you are the bee's knees and all of us yacht engineers going through the Y system are useless and have know idea what we are talking about! If you have nothing better to do but to belittle us and rant on about how much training and classroom work you've done, or how hard it is to get your tickets blah blah blah. Nice one, go somewhere else and read engineering forums and leave us yachties to our yachtie website! So what if we haven't done years at college. So what if we haven't worked on 100 million ton tankers for years on end at sea! I'm the sole engineer of a 37m sailing yacht and all I have is 5 years of on the job training and an MEOL ticket, but I can guarantee 99% of you out there wouldn't know a vang from a lazy sheet, and wouldn't be able to sail yourselves out of a wet paper bag and you don't hear us having a crack at you guys for not knowing anything about sailing! Is there a bit of jealousy out there that we find it so easy to get jobs with our supposed 'easy short courses' when you guys have done years and years in the classroom and our tickets mean the same? (ok up to a certain point) but hey if I wanted to be a merchant engineer I would of gone to school and followed the same route you did, but I choose yacht for the lifestyle! I love being on the sea, and I love sailing and boating in general, this is the way we choose to go so don't knock us for choosing a slightly different route and for our supposed 'lack of knowledge cause we weren't trained in your school' I'm not ranting, just sick of all you merchy's thinking your better than us. Your not! Everyone has their qualities! That's all! Now fire away
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Saturday, July 7, 2012 8:02 PM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207

Anonymous, yes, you are ranting. You also seem to have sailing confused with engineering. Five years on a sail vessel is fine. However, your MEOL certificate is not an IMO recognised document; it's an 'In house' MCA issued 'engine operators licence'
Posted: Saturday, July 7, 2012 8:51 PM
The point I'm getting at is to be an engineer in the yachting industry requires diversification, especially on the smaller yachts like mine, why do the merchys always give us crap for holding yacht tickets? Like I said, everyone has their qualities, just because we don't hold commercial tickets doesn't mean we are useless!
Posted: Sunday, July 8, 2012 1:15 PM
Joined: 15/02/2009
Posts: 13

How should I start to join this Forum?

Saying that electronics and salt water don’t go together?

That since electronics have become the major safety issue and requirements on board, there are more accidents today due to electronic failure, misinterpretation or lack of knowledge by operators than for other causes?

Or just tell you that I am proudly from the old guard and I rely on my experience, my hands-on engineers and a ready well trained crew waiting to cast of the lines to take the sea and show the owners the nice places where nobody else goes and just do our job we were born for?

Personally I walk around the boat with a pair of cutters in my pocket … to cut and bypass electronics when override is not possible ....

What is a boat without without a real engineer and when I say a real engineer I mean the species of apparently rude and dirty guys which are taking care about the mechanical functionality of everything in a boat including shit tanks and hidden things in bilges, greasing and maintaining the heart of the creature who suppose to bring us safely from A to B … with knowledge and love. No Captain and no boat can exist without his engineer … The Engineer and believe me, old Captains and Engineers did their home work in learning about the few important electronics.

The new generation of electronic engineers are a laughter and dangerous for all floating devices around the globe. New courses from the MCA …. Good help us! The whole yachting industry has been transformed in a transsexual fashion show for bored owner wifes … the important thing is to have a beige and white uniform with a lot of golden stripes, a smile with white teeth in front of an empty mind.

Some boats are driven by way too young paper holding guys and electronic engineers with handbook, PC instruction and no sea time. The amount of crew being sea sick I have seen lately is just impressive! Boats are managed by land based agencies and owner’s PA and persons of trust. New generation of Captains do not have power anymore but in change of that, they have a huge load of nearly useless paper work which is distracting them from the real task, the safety.

The best engineers I’ve come across in my 35 years of sea time are without a job today because they don’t have the necessary papers … they all were at sea to earn their salaries instead of going to “school” but probably we are not needed anymore, it is likely today that boats are not going out to sea anymore …. the expected average navigation is from Antibes or Palma and the maximum for the seagoing boats is the triangle Baleares – Sardinia – Corsica – Portofino, Monte Carlo and Saint Tropez or upside down the Caribbean …. the other boats stay where they are and go out from time to time to have a bath if the weather is perfect ….

Ohh, I forgot … there are some boats crossing the Atlantic to go or come from the Caribbean …. on Dockwise!

I had once to deliver a 350 ton 1960 built British converted Tug boat and I needed an engineer. I remember at least 10 MCA engineers applied for this 2 week job at rates going from 300€ up to 600€ (!!!) per day plus expenses …. At the end I called an old friend of mine in retirement who promptly came with me for 200 a day. The other engineers, when they saw the engine room with the Lister Blackstone engines, the first type of Alfa Laval, no electronic at all, the air cylinders and so on, all told me … “interesting, but I have to think about”...

Well, sorry, I got a little bit emotional and this sorry goes to all the many good sailors which are still around the oceans doing their job as we always did … it’s not just a job, it’s commitment … a wonderful commitment and I hope that some of the youngsters will follow our path, “override” the electronics, use them only as a pleasant additional control function and be ready to learn what it takes and how to do when electronic systems are failing or even "lying", to bring the ship home safely.