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Old 01-28-2007, 02:36 AM   #1
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Default Career Aspects

Hey Everyone,

I'm 20 years old with 6 years experience on small fishing boats from 14-24ft.

I was wondering if I could get some advice regarding Yacht careers and which path should I follow (sailing / motor yachting )that would realisitcally give me a good standing ground for a life long career.

I have been to the website http://www.uksa.org which offers courses in both the sailing and motor yachting.

I am considering doing a course with UKSA (see link above) and the course I was considering is the 3 year long Yachting Cadetship and if I completed the course I'd be walking away with the following qualifications:

Qualifications: Successful candidates will leave with the following qualifications in addition to the skills training:-

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean with commercial endorsement

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory Certificate

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore (sail)

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore (power)

Commercial endorsements for all Yachtmaster qualification (1)

MCA Long Range Radiotelephone Operators Certificate

RYA / MCA Personal Survival Techniques

MCA Personal Safety and Social Responsibility

MCA Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting

Elementary First Aid

MCA STCW 95 Proficiency in Medical First Aid aboard ship

RYA National Powerboat Level 2 Certificate

RYA International Certificate of Competence (2)

RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance Course Certificate

RYA Small Craft Radar course

MCA Approved Engine Course (AEC)

MCA Ship Security Officer Qualification

MCA Sea Survival for Yachtsmen

MCA General Ships Knowledge

GMDSS General Operators Certificate

MCA Navigation and Radar

MCA Advanced Firefighting

UKSA Certificate in Marine Business Management

UKSA Officer of the Watch Orals Preparation Certificate


Now, be honest with me, is this course worth £23,040 (British Pounds - Sterling) and do you think that the qualifications earned would give me a good CV to get decent jobs? Or do you think I'm a fool for paying out that money.

I know this post is 10 times too long and I'd be lucky if anyone read it but if you can offer me any advice at all please do, even if you know of any courses or centers (world wide) that would starty me off please let me know.

Basically i'm just starting off and haven't a baldy what to do.

Thanks for your time and patience.

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Old 01-28-2007, 03:22 AM   #2
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I am guessing you are in the UK? I have a good friend who is a career man in the USCG. He is retiring in 2yrs for a total of 20yrs as a Bosuns Mate. Right now he is busy collecting and applying for any and all licenses that he can qualify for. Since he has literally thousands of hours on all types of vessels much of the process is a "rubber stamp".

My point is that if you are prepared to spend that sum of money and years of your life it may be a better investment to join the Navy, Coast Guard, etc. or whatever service will provide the experiences and training you need to pursure your goals later in life. And you get paid to do it. Just a thought. I wish I was young and could do it all over again, its the path I would take. RT

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Old 01-28-2007, 05:59 AM   #3
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I truly know nothing about jobs in the marine industry, but a quick search on Google provided some clues.

Because I am US-based, the top results are the U.S. Merchant Marine. http://jobsearchtech.about.com/od/jo...a_m_marine.htm

However, I have friends who were in the UK Merchant Marine as well as a Swedish friend (who I've lost touch with) who I assume joined in his home country. As you can see from the link above, there are apprenticeships available, though as noted above one of the naval services is another route, as is the Merchant Marine Academy.

There are private schools as well that train people for careers in the marine industry, and in the US at least there are publications with news of the industry. http://www.the-triton.com/

That's the limit of my contribution, I'm afraid.
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 01-28-2007, 06:44 AM   #4
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It is a lot of money. But it is still far less expensive than even a lower end university degree. I would check with the UKSA to see what chances they see for professional employment.

I am only responding to advertisements that I have seen when I say it appears that some of the qualifications you are considering, would seem to be mandatory for many of the quality jobs which are offered on superyachts in the Med.

If I was a young bloke wanting to carve out a career with the Monaco set, and with extra dollars in my wallet, I would seriously consider formal maritime education through a reputable, accredited body; and there can be no more reputable body than the UKSA.

Best of luck.

"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 01-28-2007, 09:36 AM   #5
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You want to work on boats? Then go get a job working on boats.

Set your sights and go make it happen.

A good idea might be to row to a port which has lots of the sort of vessels you hope to someday become the engineer or captain of and make yourself known.

I've been working on boats all my life. I started by joining the Navy when I was about your age. My first ship was an aircraft carrier. Next was a salvage vessel. After four years in the Navy, I went to work on tour vessels on Lake Tahoe, then oil rigs, oceanographic research vessels, more tour vessels, dinner cruisers, party boats, dive boats, private yachts... and my own sailboats, all over the world.

Positions I've held include deck hand, bar tender, deep sea diver, able bodied seaman, jet mechanic, submersible pilot, bosun, chief engineer, tour guide, toilet cleaner and (finally) captain.

It took me about ten years to get serious enough to start documenting my sea time and then five more years to collect enough days to enable me to apply to sit the captain's exams.

I earned a USCG Master's License when I was 36 and an Australian Masters License at 40 years of age. In BOTH cases, I was offered new boat jobs (as captain) within the first week of receiving the license. I have to renew both every five years.

Now, at 51 years of age, I'm a liveaboard sailor, traveling the nicer parts of the world at a comfortable pace and seem to find work whenever and wherever I desire.

I only hope that it remains fashionable to hire grizzled, old boat captains.

I hope I don't sound like I'm blowing my own horn... I only wish to illustrate the aspects of my own nautical "career" and a way you might go about it yourself, as well.

The courses you mention are all fine and dandy. Knowledge is a good thing... however passion and a keen desire to learn will get you invited up the gang-plank a lot faster than a box full of diplomas with anchors printed on them.

If you want to work on boats... then work on boats. Work on as many as you can get aboard, keep a good attitude, lend your shipmates a hand, learn everything you can, be careful and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.

Finally, in my opinion, - the best money now-a-days seems to be in the Mega Yacht industry.

"How long have I been sailing? ALL ME BLOOMIN' LIFE! Since Christ was a Cabin Boy. My father is King Neptune and my mother's a Mermaid. I was born on the Crest of a Wave and rocked in the Cradle of the Deep. Me hair is Hemp and Seaweed and when I spits... Aye spits Tar. I'm tough, I is, I am, I are... arrrr arrrr arrrbeegarrr."

Now... get a length of shore line and fetch me a bucket of prop wash.

Good luck, happy hunting and have fun,

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Old 01-28-2007, 11:16 AM   #6
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You might be interested. This was printed in the January, 2007 Triton. http://www.megayachtnews.com/index.php?news=1221

The Bridge is a roundtable discussion each month.

Bridge Jan. 2007: Captains find crew the old-fashioned way

In addition to brokers, business people and media walking the docks at St. Maartenís boat show were crew looking for work. Some went down to volunteer for the show, hoping that if they hung around enough, they might find some day work. Others came to find full-time positions.

Walking the docks is a bit easier in the Caribbean than it has been in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001. So that got us wondering if captains in need of crew follow the same, haphazard way of finding crew in the islands as they do in the states. With pressures high and the next charter right around the corner, how do captains find crew in the Caribbean?

As always, individual comments are not attributed to any one person in particular so as to encourage frank and open discussion. The attending captains are identified in a photograph on page A20.

"You look down the dock for unhappy crew," one captain said, only half joking.

A discussion ensued about how captains often discuss with each other their crew who are not the right fit or those looking to move up and unable to do so on their current boat.

"The previous captain on this boat was notoriously stiff on rules, so if they made it through him, I know Iíve got a solid crew," a captain said. "Itís tough to teach crew the business of charter yachts. The charter doesnít start and end at noon, like the contract says. It starts the day before, when you are loading provisions at 11 oíclock at night and ends when youíre cleaning the boat at 5 in the morning, ready for the next one."

So if you donít have an already-trained charter crew on board, where do you find a new crew member when you need one?

"There are a lot of resources down here," a captain said. "Iíll use the agencies and go to the crew houses. And youíre always meeting people on the docks."

"Networking is important," another said. "Iíve changed mates three times. I can find a mate tomorrow if I need to."

"Itís pretty easy to find temporary people to fill in in a crunch," said a third. "You always know of someone whoís looking."

Whatís hard to find, they agreed, is the experienced charter crew member.

"In the Med, it used to be easy to find a woman ashore who was willing to go out for a week or two, but you canít do that anymore," one captain noted.

"Boats are getting so busy now that people are making their money and getting out. It used to be a full-on life. Now its 16 hours a day when the owner is onboard and four or five weeks without a break. You can see your crew get fatigued."

"The trend in the industry is that people are working short-term," another said.

One captain said that in interviews, he often asks why the candidate wants to work in yachting. "Because I heard you can make a lot of money," they say.

"Thatís not so bad for them, but itís bad for the industry," he said. "Who do we expect new crew to learn from? There are chief stews out there with one season of experience."

Another captain said when he interviews crew, he looks for people with goals such as buying a house, because they are motivated to work hard and, yes, make money.

There was a lot of discussion about scheduling time off during the season to give crew a break.

"If we have a lot of charters scheduled for the season, we schedule some time off," one captain said. "If a charter comes up, we wonít take it. But if a charter comes up and we donít have a lot booked, weíll talk about it. You have to make hay when the sun shines."

Youíll turn down a charter? Even if the owner wants you to take it?

"Owners need to be trained, too, just like crew," another captain said.

There was also some discussion about the reasons some crew members fail (too much partying prime among them) and what sort of rules and guidelines captains impose.

"I treat them like professionals," one captain said. "You have to be able to perform the next day. If you canít get up, you know you canít party like that."

"After your first charter, you know who your problem children are going to be," another said. "Thereís no drinking on charter and when weíre tied up at the dock, they can drink in moderation."

When the drinking rule gets abused, one captain said he has imposed a no-alcohol-at-all policy.

"That just hurts the ones who can handle it," another captain said. "Youíve got to give them some latitude for crew morale."

As for finding crew in the Caribbean, none of the captains used online crew placement services and only occasionally called back stateside for help from an agency there. Most preferred the old-fashioned way of meeting crew ē on the docks."

Well, I found it interesting. And informative.
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 01-28-2007, 06:14 PM   #7
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<font size="5">IF</font id="size5"> you are determined to be in the top 10% AND keep up your studies. You will have a great future. Your teaches will help you get your first job if you are in the top 10%.

Most people with a degree do not work in their field because of this.

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