At What Age Did You Start Your Seagoing Career?

A lot of newbies ask if they are too old to start a career at sea. That’s got me wondering about my fellow GCaptain Forum users. Did you atart out as a youngster or was it a second career, midlife crisis or what? Me, I got my Z-card at age 20 and walked aboard my first ship three weeks before my 21st birthday. My first actual day underway was my 21st birthday. Thirty four years later I feel like the old man of the sea. Sound off!

Myself, It was kind of career change, but not really, Ive been a turning wrench’s since I was wearing diapers. Was In the Army for 6 years,doing the same thing. About six years ago, I was a Fleet manger of a LPG company of 43 units. A friend of mine was a Chief for someone for 10 years , and they need ppl with exp ,not dip stick pullers or gauge readers. So, Instead of working 6 -7 days a week, 2 on and 2 off sounded nice and pay was great… I was 37 when i made that decision ,one of the best Ive made…rest is history…

Eighteen years old, four years older than when my grandfather went to sea and six years older than my great-grandfather, so things change over time :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=seadog6608;138026]A lot of newbies ask if they are too old to start a career at sea. That’s got me wondering about my fellow GCaptain Forum users. Did you atart out as a youngster or was it a second career, midlife crisis or what? Me, I got my Z-card at age 20 and walked aboard my first ship three weeks before my 21st birthday. My first actual day underway was my 21st birthday. Thirty four years later I feel like the old man of the sea. Sound off![/QUOTE]

I started lobstering when I was younger than Kraken’s grandfather. I received my first USCG license (operator of uninspected passenger vessels,15 gross tons) at 18. I got my Z-card at about 21.

Got my cards second year at the Academy (19) and worked that summer as a deck hand on a large car ferry running from CT to NY.

Started CMA at 25. Was a union iron worker before that

Grew up going to alaska on tugboats with my father in summers since I was born. Ran as deckhand and part of the crew at 13 in summers.

Started working full time on a large sailing vessel the summer I was 14. Been going strong ever since.

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;138041]Started working full time on a large sailing vessel the summer I was 14. Been going strong ever since.[/QUOTE]

Is it rude to say that one is impressed that you are on the internet? :stuck_out_tongue:

There is a lot of experience here!

[QUOTE=Kraken;138043]Is it rude to say that one is impressed that you are on the internet? :stuck_out_tongue:

There is a lot of experience here![/QUOTE]

Hahaha, I didn’t say I was still on a sailing vessel! We all have to get our feet wet some way but god willing we move on to bigger and better things!

First taste of tugboats around 13, casually until maritime school and nonstop since. Tried to work in high school but by then it was tough to do under 18.

Joined the USCG when I was 19 & got out during the Rif program in 95. Got a job on a tug when I was 22. I’m now 40. I’ve sailed from a deckhand doing shipwork on up.

Went into USN after H.S. Got out then went back in. Retired in 2006. Floundered around for a couple of years and missed the water. Started working in the oil field in 2008 as an OS at the rip age of 44.

Started in Schooners at 16. eventually evolved to tugs

Introduced to the maritime world at 11 by Sea Scout program. First maritime job was at 16 on a 60ft ketch operating as an inspected passenger vessel. Went to CMA after HS. The rest is water under the keel.

18-32, Navy

53+ Gov’t

Aside from time off to finish college, all my shore jobs were industry related. Sales, Tech Rep, Port Eng, Safety Manager, Shipyard Electrician.

14 years old. Started on dinner boats and head boat fishing.

Started at 22 as a deckhand on crew boats in the gulf. Was supposed to just be a summer job until I figured out what my next step was going to be after college.

10 years later and I have somehow worked my way into the wheelhouse on supply boats and I keep wondering when summer is supposed to end.

Funny thing is my father is also a Captain and I grew up swearing this would be the last thing I did.

My uncle took me on a tug at 13, waited till I was 25 then took a job on tugs and as my uncle told me I’am ruined for life:-) that was 19 years ago.

My dad was a port engineer for a tug company in Port Arthur Texas when I was in high school. He made me go in with him on the weekends all year around. He would take down to the boats at the dock and turn me over to one of the chiefs. I would help with cleaning, painting or whatever mechanical work needed to be done. When I graduated high school he got me in Piney Point. I sailed out of the hall for about 4 years before ending up in the oilfield. Been out here for the last 19 years.