ATB Quandry? Or More justification for oversight and Government jobs?

[QUOTE=Tugboater203;99044]I keep hearing 400,000 bbls. The largest current (yes, I’m sure if there is market demand they’ll get bigger) is 330,000 and run with a 12 man crew with unlimited licenses. I run a converted ATB with 7 men. I’d like to see maybe 9 total, an additional deckhand or perhaps a deckineer for the afternoon watch and a secretary to take care of all the damn paperwork. I’d love to get unlimited time for running this thing but with out some kind of program that would move us up it would be devastating to the whole class if it became required to have an UL license. I’m not knocking our deep sea brothers but the truth is that most of you can’t or won’t do what we do now.[/QUOTE]
I’ve been in a simulator with some unlimited guys & they put us on an ATB running into Miami & into New York. The 1st thing the unlimited guys say is where’s the pilotboat? We handled the boat & they even had assist tugs in the simulator. Those fellas didn’t know what to think of running inside with all the traffic & using the assist boats.

[QUOTE=Tugted;99055]I’ve been in a simulator with some unlimited guys & they put us on an ATB running into Miami & into New York. The 1st thing the unlimited guys say is where’s the pilotboat? We handled the boat & they even had assist tugs in the simulator. Those fellas didn’t know what to think of running inside with all the traffic & using the assist boats.[/QUOTE]

OK, Well, I was in a simulator once with a bunch of tugboaters and I made them all cry.

Edit: Also, I don’t use a gangway, I just walk across the water to reach the ship. How many tug guys have you seen do that?

[QUOTE=Tugboater203;99044]I keep hearing 400,000 bbl … I’d love to get unlimited time for running this thing but with out some kind of program that would move us up it would be devastating to the whole class if it became required to have an UL license. I’m not knocking our deep sea brothers but the truth is that most of you can’t or won’t do what we do now.[/QUOTE]

The 400k came from the article.

As far as getting UL time I think the combined tonnage of both units should count no question. But I also think that allowing mariners with limited tonnage license to run the larger combined units should (and will be) phased out over time.

As far as deep-sea mariners, or any group of mariners for that matter not being able to do what others do? I’ve been in different sectors, some jobs are more challenging then others, but this isn’t rocket science. The idea the mariners in some sectors have achieved some ratified level that others in a different sector could not possibly achieve? Give me a break.

[QUOTE=cappy208;99048] This talk of meeting OMSA and IMO, STCW, is irrelevant here. The misguided notion that we are safer when we fill out more paperwork is silly. However, the oil companies insist we meet these regulations. Why? The light down at the end of the tunnel is foreign bottoms in Jones act trade. [/QUOTE]

I agree with much of what you say but some of this undoubtedly is driven by the possibly of having to defend actions in court. Telling a guy you’re going to cut off his balls if he fucks up may be more effective then having him sign a piece of paper saying he has been briefed in the operation. But when you get to the deposition the signed paper is a better thing to wave around then your sharpened knife.

We don’t have to like it but that’s the direction things are going when you move heavier loads.

The UL to Limited questions could be answered by Crowley. I believe that they have some of their Rigs open to being Crewed with Limited Licenses but their newer rigs require Unlimited Licenses. So if anyone knows anything about these rigs could find out it there are any difference in the operation between the two (Unlimited verses Limited License Holders). Also if there is a difference in pay scales and Manning.

[QUOTE=Tugs;99073]The UL to Limited questions could be answered by Crowley. I believe that they have some of their Rigs open to being Crewed with Limited Licenses but their newer rigs require Unlimited Licenses. So if anyone knows anything about these rigs could find out it there are any difference in the operation between the two (Unlimited verses Limited License Holders). Also if there is a difference in pay scales and Manning.[/QUOTE]
The Legacy class are under 1600 GRT.

[QUOTE=injunear;99074]The Legacy class are under 1600 GRT.[/QUOTE]

1595 if I remember correctly

[QUOTE=injunear;99074]The Legacy class are under 1600 GRT.[/QUOTE]

I believe they decided to man some of these rigs with Unlimited Licensed Personnel even though they were not required. That is the reason I was asking if anyone knew if there were any difference in the operation of the Rigs with Limited Licensed Crew compared to the Rigs crewed by Unlimited Licensed Crew.

I believe when they scrapped the BLUE RIDGE, the crew took the LEGACY.

[I][/I][QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;99062]I agree with much of what you say but some of this undoubtedly is driven by the possibly of having to defend actions in court. Telling a guy you’re going to cut off his balls if he fucks up may be more effective then having him sign a piece of paper saying he has been briefed in the operation. But when you get to the deposition the signed paper is a better thing to wave around then your sharpened knife.

We don’t have to like it but that’s the direction things are going when you move heavier loads.[/QUOTE]
I understand the liability part. BUT, as has been seen, even WITH all this ‘safety, new regulations, etc etc etc’, [I] Things[/I] Keep going bump in the night: Rena, USS Guardian, (dare I say The ‘Shittino express), the list goes on and on. No amount of paperwork is going to eliminate human fuck ups! Having listened to a shell safety guy prattle on about the accident pyramid, and how jobbox talks lessen the mistakes, I say Sure, “Make everyone aware of the problems, and solutions.” But this incessant heaping new regulations, rationale and excuses on top of already ridiculous mounds seems (at least in my mind) to be ‘self justified’ employment to extend careers. There is no definable good coming out of this that I can see. What I DO see, is the big oil companies will continue to petition Congress to repeal the Jones act, to eliminate our jobs. I don’t see why the US transportation companies have not GRABBED congress’ ear over this. Enough. We don’t need foreign regulations and oversight to operate IN this country. The Majors are defacto ‘enacting’ the same foreign crap that they enforce on their own bottoms. Their own bottoms, fine! Not ours. Recall about 20 years ago when all the US Oil companies got OUT of the transportation business, and contracted it out to petroleum transporters? Their ‘excuse’ then was (from several who worked for Exxon, Mobil, Texaco, Sun, etc,) We can’t afford to ship oil the way WE want to, so we outsource it. Well… They are now asking the private contractors to do the EXACT same things that THEY couldn’t afford in the first place!

[QUOTE=injunear;99089]I believe when they scrapped the BLUE RIDGE, the crew took the LEGACY.[/QUOTE]

That’s basically what the article in the June/July 2012 Professional Mariner said.

Often the argument is made in the offshore discussions that foreign labor is in some cases just as expensive, if not more than ours? Yeah I’m guessing not a Filipino deckhand but based on what is always said about some groups where would the savings come from? Really don’t see a ship with foreigners being more economical between NY and say Providence. Is this why petroleum is so expensive in Europe? All the “safe” ships? It defies the logic that it costs too much to move product here.

Not to lead the thread astray again, but tug companies who built / converted this generation of ATBs promoted their most experienced towing guys to run their biggest, nicest equipment. The newer hires - seemingly coming mostly out of school - going straight to pin units do and will lack much of the skill set needed for actual towing. At which point they are effectively operating small ships, scaled down drastically in complexity and capability. For the ATB guy who wants unlimited time: is it just doing your own piloting work that earns you the unlimited time? Plenty of wire boats push combined tonnage exceeding 1600 tons, without the luxury of pins. By that rationale, why not get rid of the limited license altogether for the tugboat captain?

Hang in there; eventually the hawsepipe route will be an item of nostalgia anyway.

[QUOTE=flotsam;99146]Not to lead the thread astray again, but tug companies who built / converted this generation of ATBs promoted their most experienced towing guys to run their biggest, nicest equipment. The newer hires - seemingly coming mostly out of school - going straight to pin units do and will lack much of the skill set needed for actual towing. At which point they are effectively operating small ships, scaled down drastically in complexity and capability. For the ATB guy who wants unlimited time: is it just doing your own piloting work that earns you the unlimited time? Plenty of wire boats push combined tonnage exceeding 1600 tons, without the luxury of pins. By that rationale, why not get rid of the limited license altogether for the tugboat captain?

Hang in there; eventually the hawsepipe route will be an item of nostalgia anyway.[/QUOTE]

I agree that there likely in the future officers aboard the ATB will not come off the wire boats and the wire boat will be a dead end low value cargo except for specialized towing. All academy grads have a college degree and most hawsepipe crew do not.

As far as the UL license, what are the factors that tonnage serves as a proxy for? Off the top of my head, liability, the amt of harm possible, cost-the amt of value at risk, size, speed, complexity, range…?

Serving as a local pilot is a side issue, I believe that some coastwise ships do the same. Not a ATB/ship issue, has to do with local knowledge.

Also - most ships are single screw, as size and as weight increases the ratio between ship size and control forces worsens, hp of main and bow thruster, hp of assist boats, mooring line breaking strength.

Crowley sent a bunch of those guys who didn’t have a towing endorsement to Diamond Marine(tug Cornell) for them to do their TOAR.

[QUOTE=Tugted;99161]Crowley sent a bunch of those guys who didn’t have a towing endorsement to Diamond Marine(tug Cornell) for them to do their TOAR.[/QUOTE]

And that makes them real Tug Boaters. I would not want to sail with ANYONE that is sailing a Captain that has basically never worked a Tugs Before!

This problem is only going to get worse when all of the experienced Captains and Mates start retiring and the New Breed of Mates move up to Captain. These Men and Women are not going to have a clue what to do if something happens and they have to bail out of the notch is bad weather. The smart thing would be to practice this at sea but we all know that this will never happen. The day of the Wire Boat may be coming to an end but with that we are loosing the training ground that made the Captain and Mates of today the Boat Handlers that they are.

My Brother is an UL Master plus he has sailed as a Mate on Tugs. His Tug career ending with the 1988 Strike in N.Y. Harbor when he went back to sea as Master on a Oil Tanker. We have had many discussions about UL Licenses compared to Limited Licenses. We both agree that you can put a Tug Captain on a Ship easier that putting a Ship Captain on a Tug.

I believe that if U.S. Deep Sea Shipping was not as dead as it is we would not be having this discussion on here as most of the Deep Sea Mariners would never consider sailing on a lowly Tug and Barge but now that jobs are few and far between all of a sudden Tug life looks great. Hell, look at the Docking Pilots in N.Y. Harbor, these are Tug Boater that come on the guide these ships (US Flag) into the harbor and dock them. That’s the biggest difference Tugs Captains and Mates for the most part do all of the work themselves. Most of the rigs that I was CE on required a Pilot. My Skipper had most of the Pilotage for the areas that we ran and did it himself. But even if we had a Outside Pilot the Captain still did the docking and sailing.

All that I can say is I am glad that I had the Chance to work on boats that had some great boat handlers and that I retired before the new breed moved up.

Well said Tugs!

Well said Tugs!! i totally agree

As I’ve posted before, I’ve seen several unlimited masters have their asses handed to them on a tug. Then again, out of the 10 best tug captains I’ve sailed with, 2 were unlimited masters. One hawsepiper, one out of Scuyler. I slept well on the ATBs I sailed. The captains and most of the mates were off wire boats. The tales I’ve heard of late wouldn’t contribute to a good nights sleep.

What’s being said is; no matter hard you work, no matter how skilled you become , or how dedicated or motivated you might be; if you spend your career aboard an ATB, regardless of how long you work as AB or what license you hold or what you accomplish, you will never be a “real” mariner.

This strikes me as a flaw in the whole ATB concept, if the tug comes out of the notch you need experience on another type of vessel . In what other sector of the merchant marine can you spend your career but never getting credit for having mastered it.