A few questions

Hi folks I have a few questions. I am sure they have been asked before and i am just doing a poor job of searching for the information at the moment.

Firstly I am someone that is looking at trying to get hired on in the industry as just a deck hand or something to start with. As to make sure that life aboard boat would mesh well with me before I pour a lot of time or money into training and everything. I just got my TWIC in the mail and plan to get my MMC in the works next time I get paid.

I have read here and there that a passport would do me well but not all jobs require them. Is that something I should wait on or get in the works pretty quickly as well? I am also curious as to what i should make sure to have already setup as a go bag. Required footwear ,eyewear, or general attire that will hold up to daily work ect.

I would happily take any advice you may have for a middle aged guy looking to transition to such work as well.

Thank you for your time.

RE: passport
I suggest mariners get passports because it makes it much easier to fly within the USA. (See announcement below). You can fly with a MMD as ID in most cases (and other forms of ID) but the passport is always accepted.

Beginning May 3, 2023, you will need have a REAL ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of ID, such as a valid passport or U.S. military ID, to fly within the U.S.


Consider all of these questions In terms of a cost/benefit ratio.

Without a passport you are restricted to the US. With a passport you can travel basically anywhere in the world. For less than $200 you’ve expanded your employment footprint literally to the max possible. Cost/benefit….very favorable.

Same for some (not all) training, and gear/equipment. The difference between being ready to hop on a plane for a job, and being ready to take the training to be ready for a job can mean the difference between you working or not.

Not for nothing, some companies offer boots and all required ppe. Some don’t. Do you want to pass up a career opportunity because you didn’t want to pony up $150 for a pair of steel-toes??

Just start looking for jobs right now.

Many tugboats, crew boats, and other vessels under 100 GRT ( that’s most US vessels) do not require an MMC.

Just go get a job on a crewboat or small tug and start accumulating seatime.

With 120 (12 hour) days of seatime, typically 4-8 months of work experience, you can qualify for AB-OSV.

Once you have your MMC, you can start looking for jobs on larger vessels, if you want to.

Get your passport (and passport card) too. Everyone knows what a passport is, and accepts it without question.

Your TWIC card already gives you TSA Pre-Check. In the past TSA did not accept TWIC Cards, but recently they have accepted mine.

A Global Entry Card is very valuable for international travel. It speeds you right through customs and immigration. It also includes TSA pre-check.

Oddly, TWIC cards do not appear to be Real ID compliant.

I have had several instances where airport TSA did not know what my MMC is, or their scanner did not accept it, and they then asked for alternate ID.

Some states are in the process of getting read for Real ID. Several mariners have told me they had problems renewing their drivers licenses because states want residential utility bills and other things to prove place of residence.

No I wouldn’t want to get passed up for a job or training for lack of boots or ppe. That is why i was asking what one should have ready on hand in a go bag. edit I found the answer to that question a moment ago in the employment sticky thread I hadn’t seen before.

Also thank you all for the information about the passports and the coming requirements for flights.

if you’re sticking with “boats” it might not be a big deal on what credentials you get but if you are aiming for blue water you’ll need all the ‘stuff’. twic, pport, health, … the more the better and there are a LOT of them! anytime a chance comes up get it. cfc, tanker endorsements, there is no end to it and somewhere in there you’ll decide where you’ll be concentrating on and follow those.