A piney point student with questions

Hey every one, thanks for taking te time to check out my thread, i very much appreciate it. So, like the topic post sais, Im in Piney point going through the SIU’s UA program. Im an 18 year old from wisconsin that has no maritime background as well. I’ve been in for only 3 weeks, but i have managed to fit right in the program and my intenton is to hawse pipe my way through the system. So, as I have been learning about the industry and what it entails, it becomes moe apparent that the best way to get a job is by knowing people at the halls and having as many upgrades as possible.

While i like the idea of seeing the world, I am very much more interested in job stability, where i work for x amount of time on, and you receive x amount of time off. This leads me to the Tug industry where that becomes possible. I am very much interested in working for a company like Crowley with a steady program. I was wondering if anyone in the SIU or outside could help guide me with how i should contact crowley about employment, and whether i should talk to them while im still at piney point, if so, when during the program.

Any guidance or suggestions would be very appreciated.

Hey buddy welcome to the industry. Crowley is not hiring and jobs as I have heard are in the rare. But anyway the best way is to fill out an application but the the only problem I see there is that they usually ask for a copy of your mmc and all endorsements. Look at all tug companies don’t just limit yourself.

The best thing to do when coming out of the trainee program, especially in this down turn, is to get your seatime for your AB or QMED rating. Don’t be picky to start out. Sometimes, taking a job no one wants, the port agent will appriciate it. Sometimes you have to remind them next time out.

After you get your first rate, take the PIC course. That’ll give you a big advantage to get a permanent job with Crowley, Penn ect. Take advantage of all of the training there at Piney Point. Good Luck!

Do they offer the opportunity to work inland during the trainee program? Like injunear said, take what they offer you. You’re in a great program to get your foot in the door, especially at your age. unless I’m mistaken, when your done, you’ll have your b-book which will really help when shipping. Unless you have your heart set on being a skipper someday, I would go engineering. A lot more opportunities to hawsepipe. If you get on a gov’t contract ship (prepo, tanker, etc) I think you can stay permanent, which will give you 4 on/2 off (may have changed some). I know a guy who has been on the same ship since '90. He is a recertified b’osn these days, and has his permanent gig. Get out to the fleet, learn what you can, upgrade, and let the road take you where it will. You’re still VERY young, so don’t be in a big hurry.
As far as shipping out, it doesn’t matter who you know in the hall, unless a peirhead jump comes along and your in the hall. There are good halls to ship out of, and good times of the year to ship. Unless you have a wife and kids (and I hope you don’t, yet), there are certain, great times to ship. Look at shipping page in the newspaper. You should figure it out. Feel free to pm me if you have questions. Good luck to you.

Wow, first off, thanks to you guys for the very quick responses. I very much appreciate it. I think your all absoloutey right when you say dont be picky about what you can take. When im in school, i will take my assitant tankerman but ill have to do the onloads and offloads to get to that PIC. When I finish the program next year, Ill have my AB limited with a few other endorsements this program supplies. Piney point garuntees me my first job of 4 months after i complete the program while im an STOS, and with the other accumalated sea time from the 3 month tour as an apprentice and the fact that i get a day of sea time for every day im at piney point, ill be able to upgrade at the end of the program.

As far as working in the engine room, at this point the idea of working ont he deck is much more appealing to me but I’ve yet to do my apprentice ship where i do 30 days deck 30 days engine 30 days steward. Im going to keep my eyes open and if i like working the engine room, ill absoloutely do it.

I will come out of the program with a B book rating. Around here they call it a B plus rating because piney point grads are taken above non piney pointers. SO i do have that going to me. Im not sure how easy it will be to get job though because my closest union hall is Joliet, IL. (im from green bay) In the Seafarers log they sent out like 12 jobs last month so I dont think Id geta job there. I do have family i can stay with in California and work on getting a job out of the Oakland hall.

At this point in my life, I really want to advance myself as fast as possible and establish my self in the industry. SIU will give you free classes and room and board all the way to 3rd mate, as long as you have the sea time. I know my goal is to advance in what ever i do.

If anyone has any suggestions for me please throw any ideas out there. Im trying to absorb as much information as possible. Thanks

hey johnny,

I’m surprised you haven’t fallen off a stool and accidentally killed yourself. You should probably just go Salvation Army.

Best of luck buddy.

haha rzwllm is in my class here at Piney Point. He’s friendly. really

[B]Port Captain at Crowley Maritime Corporation – Jacksonville, FL[/B]
Thursday, 19 Nov, 2009 – 6:41

[B]This is in shoreside / jobs on gCaptain. Thats big statement to “speak” for a company. [/B]
[B]Let’s not let the minutest thing discourage anyone from applying, or something they may find to regret later.[/B]

[B]Good luck.[/B]

[quote=NAUTICART;21677][B]Port Captain at Crowley Maritime Corporation – Jacksonville, FL[/B]
Thursday, 19 Nov, 2009 – 6:41

[B]This is in shoreside / jobs on gCaptain. Thats big statement to “speak” for a company. [/B]

[B]Let’s not let the minutest thing discourage anyone from applying, or something they may find to regret later.[/B]

[B]Good luck.[/B][/quote]

I agree.

The job situation has always been cyclical but seemed more like feast or famine.

I hear the Crowley Cat powered ATB’s will be adding a DEU to the crews.

Thanks for the support guys, Im going to try and get my apprenticeship with Crowley and hopefully be able to prove myself into a job with them. Im not sure if its going to work but if anyone has advice or a contact who can help me this young sailor would apprecite it very much.


just some insight into Crowley…worked for them a few years back on the runs from Jax/San Jaun…not aware of any “apprentiseship”…their 10k/hp tugs towing the big ro/ro barges were crewed 1 capt, 2 mates, 1 c/e, 2/ab’s…the ab’s were all “full blown unlimited” w/ towing experience…with the towing arrangement/gear that Crowley uses it is advisable to have a well seasoned deck working the stern deck and handling their “ultra” barges…all that can be very dangerous for a inexperienced hand!!

**if you go the siu route recommend you go wherever they send you at first…deal with the other as you increase in experience and rating…GOOD LUCK!!

Thanks a lot for the advice. much appreciated.

hey if anyone is kind of curious on how piney point is going for me, you can hit my blog, http://thepaulhallexperience.blogspot.com/

thanks again

[B][U]Drill Sgt[/U][/B] :mad: “Gump!..what is your mission in life?”

[B][U]Gump[/U][/B] :eek: "To do what ever you tell me to do Drill Sgt!!! "

[B][U]Drill Sgt[/U][/B] :slight_smile: “OUTSTANDING ANSWER GUMP! If it wasnt such a waste of a damn fine enlisted man, I’d recommend you for OCS.”

Im following your blog johnny411…keep on, keep’n on…

thanks for the link to the blog johnny. im in the process of getting my documents done for piney. this is great insight into what to expect!

[quote=jonny411;22178]hey if anyone is kind of curious on how piney point is going for me, you can hit my blog, http://thepaulhallexperience.blogspot.com/

thanks again[/quote]
I read your blog and I was in the navy and it sounds a lot like boot camp to me espically the part about everybody doing things together and getting privilages taken away from the group if someone messes up.Good luck on your adventure. If you like traveling and don’t have a family to worry about life at sea can be a very god thing. Alot of good benifits and freedom that the guy working 9-5 will never get.Good luck and may your sails always have wind to take you ware you need to go.

hey thanks, this place is a lot like a bootcamp, but not as intense. I wish anyone the best of luck getting into piney point because of its great benefits. But i must warn you, the school has stopped accepting applications at this time due to the needs of the industry. Hopefully things turn around soon enough for you guys though. best of luck

by the way, i threw a new post up today.

Thanks for the blog!

I was in Piney Point in 2006 for BST and company training. Nice bar, nice gym,nice grounds, nice place in general.:smiley:

We (Norwegian Cruise Lines employees) weren’t supposed to talk to the apprentices or vice versa. But worked with quite a few in the galley at P.P. as well as aboard the pride of Hawaii and Pride of America in Hawaii.

Most of the apprentices I met hated the fact that they had galley duty- and did whatever possible to slack off.

A few ,on the other hand, realized that it was a rite of passage- and more importantly- a way to stand out from the others.

You seem to have the right attitude!:slight_smile:

Be positive, work harder than anyone else, and volunteer for extra work/training.

I’ve met lots of entry level people who seemed ashamed to be washing dishes or scrubbing toilets- and avoided hard work like the plague.

Almost every captain, mate and engineer I’ve known- was the opposite- willing to help out if they had to- even sweeping the floor, washing dishes, or carrying luggage.

It sounds like you’re on the path toward being one of the latter:)

Keep up the good work!


haha i heard many stories about when NCL was sending there employees to train at piney point, it was a crazy time for the place. Im not allowed to enjoy many of the benefits that you received, like the bar. But it doesnt matter too much im only 18. lol. But yea, this place is great, the worst is over for me, which was the 17 days straight in the galley. I got 2 weeks in the galley coming up, but the weekends off.Woot. So in the meantime ive been doing my lifeboat training and then basic firefighting. Life is good here. I might volunteer to do NCL’s pride of america for my phase 2 training. They’ll take people out of here the day after i go idle. Which is amazing, some people wait like 4 plus weeks idle here. Not ideal for me. I cant imagine being in hawaii for 3 months would be that miserable of an expierence either too. lol. Anyways, take it easy dude.