100 Ton Captain getting out of the tourist trade


#1

I’m a licensed 100 NC Capt with STCW 95 and Commercial Assistance Towing. Ive been working for several years in Florida on Dinner Cruise boats but the market just like most places as fell off. I’m trying to get in with Crew Boats and/or Mini OSV’s somewhere in the gulf so I can advance in my career. Also, being 30 years old gives me a chance to get on with someone long term. Ive been on the water all my life, I come from a VERY large maritime family. I’ve applied anywhere I can but seem to have hit a wall…any advice???


#2

Don’t quit your dinner boat job just yet. Things are bleak in the commercial world, and the predicted turnaround in the maritime industry is 2013. In the meantime, upgrade to 500 ton master as soon as you can, because the USCG is changing STCW soon, eliminating 500 ton, and you’ll have to go for 1600 ton with all the course work and OICNW assessments. If you have the sea time, do it NOW.


#3

What Doug Pine said. I’m also 30, a 100 ton master, made my career on the water, an experienced crewboat captain, and can’t find work. I’m currently on day 3/4 of PSC Lifeboatman class. I’ll be turning in my application for AB Unlimited once I get my diploma from this class, and hopefully get a job chipping paint.

Moral of the story: 100 ton masters are a dime a dozen right now. Don’t quit your job.


#4

It’s worse than that. 1600 ton Oceans Masters with Master of Towing Oceans are a dime a dozen right now. Many of us working as AB these days, or fishing.


#5

Little bit off topic, but… Doug, where did you pull the date of 2013 for a turnaround? Not that I disagree, just wondering your source/referance

Thanks
Ocean


#6

[quote=Ocean31;23195]Little bit off topic, but… Doug, where did you pull the date of 2013 for a turnaround? Not that I disagree, just wondering your source/referance

Thanks
Ocean[/quote]

I got that from Gregg Trunnell, the director of the Pacific Maritime Institute. He recently attended a conference in the Philippines regarding merchant marine manning issues, and that was the word from there.


#7

Mr Pine,

I, like many, am without a job to date and am actually very interested in the fishing industry. It is what I grew up doing on the East Coast but I don’t remember any big commercial outfits on the East Coast like there are on the West Coast. It would not be my “dream job” but at this point, it may be an option. What would you recommend to start as far as going about getting a job on a factory ship or any other job in the fishing industry on the West Coast?


#8

Mr. Shave,

I don’t know too much about the fishing industry other than the three months I spent as captain aboard a Purse Seiner in the Western Pacific. But there is a user on this forum, ordinaryseaman, who got himself a job on a big processor. I’ll bet he (and others) can steer you in the right direction. I think there are jobs up in Alaska. Best of luck to you in your search.

Also, they don’t have fishing boats, but Washington State Ferries is accepting applications for entry level deck positions right now. Walk in and apply if you’re near Seattle: 2901 2nd Avenue. They’ll be interviewing over the next couple of months and the orientation classes start in early spring I believe.

Good luck!

Oh, and please call me Doug!


#9

[quote=dougpine;23218]Mr. Shave,

I don’t know too much about the fishing industry other than the three months I spent as captain aboard a Purse Seiner in the Western Pacific. But there is a user on this forum, ordinaryseaman, who got himself a job on a big processor. I’ll bet he (and others) can steer you in the right direction. I think there are jobs up in Alaska. Best of luck to you in your search.

Also, they don’t have fishing boats, but Washington State Ferries is accepting applications for entry level deck positions right now. Walk in and apply if you’re near Seattle: 2901 2nd Avenue. They’ll be interviewing over the next couple of months and the orientation classes start in early spring I believe.

Good luck!

Oh, and please call me Doug![/quote]

I kinda like Mr.Pine…it has a sense of respectability about it…


#10

Few have gone so far as to name me a respectable type. I’d better be careful.


#11

Howdy:)-

Doug- has Gregg said when they (PMI) expect to have an opening for the Workboat Mate Program? I’ve been trying to get in for 2 years…

OP-

sorry if I’m the bearer of bad news- but most of the jobs I see out there- especially at the lower tonnage levels- are either fishing or cruise vessels.

I too recommend staying put- unless you can afford to go without work.

Fishing jobs-

most are out of pier 90/91 in Seattle and fish in the Bering Sea. There are several seasons per year- “A” season is coming up next month. Usually the best money- but it’s winter, icy, and you’re in the Bering Sea…

If you are able to get to Seattle and call every company daily, watch Craigslist daily- you may still get a spot- people don’t show at the last minute…

The big players are Trident, Premier Pacific (where I worked), American Seafoods, Icicle and a few others.

The vessels range from large processing vessels (like mine- see pics in my album on my profile) to small “catcher boats” which then take their fish to a processor- either floating or landbased. There are also large vessels which catch and process fish.

Some of these companies also have land-based processing plants- which are a good way to get a foot in the door. There are facilities in Dutch Harbor AK, Akutan AK, Petersburg AK,Seattle- and other places…

Unisea, Trident and Westward are some of the big land based players.

If you work one of the larger processing vessels- you may have to start out in the ship’s factory- instead of on deck.

It’s almost unheard of to get on deck without working in the ship’s factory. (I think someone called in a favor to get me on)

Money wise- if you can get on deck on a catcher boat- you may be able to work up to captain- especially since you already have your 100 ton.

You can apply online- but your best bet is to apply in Seattle.

Also Check the Seattle and Alaska craigslist regularly- lots of fishing positions throughout the year.

There is also Omega Protein down South- they hire a lot- but opinions vary on the company…

Money is good- but not “Deadliest catch” good.

PM me for details/contact info.

Washington State Ferries- seems like an easy gig- if you’re a people person. be aware that you have to join the union- and that your initial employment is “on call” so you need to live in the area. But- there’s nothing like coming into Seattle at night:)

Application- here-http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/employment/dh_application_102009.pdf

Another lead for those interested in ferries- Alaska Marine Highway (ferries) is hiring Stewards for the summer season. BEAUTIFUL up there in the Summer! And a foot in the door.

Good pay for what you’re doing.

There are two routes- Southeast Alaska- work 7 on 7 off (12 hours) or Southwest- which is, I believe, 4-5 weeks a hitch.

Link-

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/employment.shtml

You need to be an Alaska resident- or at least state that you are…

Lastly- have you tried American Commercial Lines? www.aclines.com They list more low tonnage jobs than any other towing company I’ve seen…

Hope something helps someone-Anthony:)


#12

I agree with your advice to upgrade before the rules change. I’ve been a 100T Master for awhile now and just recently got my AB Unlimited endorsement. My understanding is that I need to accrue some tonnage above 100T, before my sea time qualifies me for 500T. Kind of a catch 22, or am I missing something? I get the part about sailing on my AB, that of course is the strategy. Is that my only course or am I missing something. I’ve read the CFR but does anyone have some relevant experience as a hawsepiper to offer someone in my situation? I realize that it is more than just a seatime req. to upgrade, classes aren’t really my issue, tonnage is.

Mahalo!


#13

[QUOTE=Shellback;23222]I kinda like Mr.Pine…it has a sense of respectability about it…[/QUOTE]

Haha,

I think “Mr. Shave” sounds equally respectable.


#14

[quote=brengus;23781]I agree with your advice to upgrade before the rules change. I’ve been a 100T Master for awhile now and just recently got my AB Unlimited endorsement. My understanding is that I need to accrue some tonnage above 100T, before my sea time qualifies me for 500T. Kind of a catch 22, or am I missing something? I get the part about sailing on my AB, that of course is the strategy. Is that my only course or am I missing something. I’ve read the CFR but does anyone have some relevant experience as a hawsepiper to offer someone in my situation? I realize that it is more than just a seatime req. to upgrade, classes aren’t really my issue, tonnage is.

Mahalo![/quote]

I believe you are wrong,its over 50 tons for the 500 ton,correct me if i am wrong


#15

[QUOTE=dougpine;23181]It’s worse than that. 1600 ton Oceans Masters with Master of Towing Oceans are a dime a dozen right now. Many of us working as AB these days, or fishing.[/QUOTE]

If the union dispatch is any indicator, unlimited Chief Mates & 2nd Mates are also a dime a dozen. Nobody should quit anything right now!


#16

[QUOTE=brengus;23781]I agree with your advice to upgrade before the rules change. I’ve been a 100T Master for awhile now and just recently got my AB Unlimited endorsement. My understanding is that I need to accrue some tonnage above 100T, before my sea time qualifies me for 500T. Kind of a catch 22, or am I missing something? I get the part about sailing on my AB, that of course is the strategy. Is that my only course or am I missing something. I’ve read the CFR but does anyone have some relevant experience as a hawsepiper to offer someone in my situation? I realize that it is more than just a seatime req. to upgrade, classes aren’t really my issue, tonnage is.

Mahalo![/QUOTE]

You can get a 500 ton with time on your 100 ton license. No AB time required. And Skinny Stick is correct. You need 3 years, of which 2 years that have to be on a license, of which 1 year needs to be on vessels over 50 GT.

By the way, how did you get an AB Unlimited with 100 ton time?


#17

**for the aspiring wantabes…it might be advantageous to learn to “navigate” the NMC website as well as the other USCG sites before attempting to “run” a boat…please find below the NMC licensing “checklist” page??

http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/checklists.asp


#18

[quote=danzante;23831]You can get a 500 ton with time on your 100 ton license. No AB time required. And Skinny Stick is correct. You need 3 years, of which 2 years that have to be on a license, of which 1 year needs to be on vessels over 50 GT.

By the way, how did you get an AB Unlimited with 100 ton time?[/quote]

Negative, to upgrade to 500 ton you need 720 days as master or mate, 360 of which need to be on vessels over 50 tons, and you still technically need AB time. You need 90 days in an AB or higher capacity while holding an AB credential. You do not need to “sail” as an AB, 100 Ton Master (while holding an AB) would qualify for this.


#19

Oh, and I totally concur with Seadawg’s recommendation above, but also add to that the pertinent CFR’s. Many checklists seem to be missing off of the NMC website right now, hopefully they will get it fixed. This is a self-promotion industry, no one is going to do it for you, and you owe it to yourself to find out exactly what you are qualified to sit for.


#20

Alright, I think I’m following this. Sorry if this thread got derailed. As far as how I got the AB Unlimited, I’ve been working as a 100T Master NC for about 11 yrs. Which gives me waaay more than 1080 days of seatime which is all that is required for an Unlimited endorsement. Hey, I didn’t make the rules.

As far as NMC, the checklist which is referred to is actually for ‘Mate,’ which last time I checked warn’t the same thing. On checklist site, there is one for Master 500T Inland and Great Lakes, but nothing for Master 500T NC. Which one to use?

Granted, I’m not a Salty Dog, but I have spent my fair share of time trying to sort through NMC rules and checklists. Thanks for everyone’s input!

~brengus