[QUOTE=0rion;148052]Any recommendations for a place to take a training on ASD?
I am triyng to make a switch back to tug boats, specifically Harbour Assist. The experience I had was in conventional tugs and not much handling experience on my own. Individual or if I can be included in a group it would be better.
Trying to be home more and raise my kids.
I will be paying this out of my pocket, so any help here is appreciated![/QUOTE]
I ran Z-drives tugs for Moran and Mcallister for 5 years, and prior to that I ran all their singles and twins docking ships, towing, and moving barges. Having this on my resume, the fundamentals and experience for graduating to the latest technology (Z-drive tugs) made the transition easier to be a "“good” boat operator with the Z-drive. As you may know, there are many intangibles/dynamics that are happening during the aforementioned evolutions, which NO school or training center can ever teach you in a week or even in a month. It takes 20 years to get twenty years experience.
I was one of the few fortunate guys that were able to learn how to operate a Z-drive boat by Crowley’s senior Z-drive Tug Captain. Moran chartered the Tug Z-One from a company and used it as the “training boat” for all its future Captains. We spent a lot of time in close proximity of various docks and piers learning what I call “vector logic.” Running these boats is all about learning the different vectors or as most guys call it, the angles. You literally are re-mapping your brain (which takes weeks) to associate your hand movements with your brain, so you can subconsciously run the boat, just like running the conventional boats. The schools are a joke, DO NOT waste your money and time. I went to one major school roughly 8 years ago for my GMDSS endorsement, and got to know a few of the various instructors there. Their level of knowledge is sub-standard and most are not competent in running one, let alone teaching someone on how to operate a Z-drive. Here is a good analogy for you. How can you conduct an orchestra when you have not played an instrument??? Most of them learned on the simulator with very little or no practical application.
My final thought is, if you want to learn how to run a Z-drive, get with a company that has a few, and express your interest in running one. You may have to get on a conventional boat within the company, but at least your foot is in the door. The next step is to go get on a Z-drive and meet the Captain and Mate and feel them out. Ask them if they would be willing to allow you on the boat for a few hours a day during your time off for training. I had one guy do this at Mcallister, a real nice guy, and trained him during his off time. He then became my Mate a year later…damn good boat operator tooooo. Guess where he is now??? On the ladder - a Docking Pilot for Mcallister now. Hope this helps. Good luck to you !!!