Death of Hawespipers


So you are saying that anyone that didn’t go to an academy shouldn’t be licensed? Nearly every Officer until really after WWII learned the trade through working the ship not textbooks, not to say there aren’t stupid hawespipers out there but I think its about even with idiotic academy grads too. the entire history of sailing / shipping is built upon the shoulders of the unlicensed and the good ones go on to be officers. We both had to give 4 years work our asses off and in the end get the SAME PIECE OF PAPER the only difference is how much you paid to get there. And furthermore any academy graduate that says they didn’t “study” for the coasties by memorizing the questions is lying through there crooked teeth. Why don’t you school boys go log in and see how much money you still owe for that little red book, its defiantly way more than me.


@Brandon_Sharpe Maybe you should work on your reading comprehension.


@W.T.Sherman that was more anger than thinking but you got the point. I’ve been a ETO / ET / electrician for a while and a QMED even longer, why is it you take the same electrical exams but still couldn’t tell me how a wye/delta starter works or how to calibrate a pressure transducer to save their lives. And oh lord if they have to use an oscilloscope something is getting broke.


That will be a problem unless there is a mutual procedure to check on the quality and compliance with STCW of the courses held by institutions in the US by Maritime Authorities of the other countries and v.v.

As has been mentioned on this forum there are classes being held by less than reputable entities that is “in it for the money” and not up to standard.


Why would I need to know any of that shit when my QMED knows it all? I’ll just ask him when I get in a bind.


Just curious in what industry you work (offshore, Union/non Union, drillship, etc.) Someone who has basic conceptual holes in his knowledge (such as what is head pressure) should definitely not be sailing 1AE and might speak more to company that advanced him to that point than anything else.


MEBA. No the guy shouldn’t have been sailing first. Open board gets you some bums.


twackineer says “most” new 3AE academy grads that he has worked with were “hilariously” clueless & needed a QMED to do their jobs & you say “most” hawespipers engineers you worked with were “hilariously” incompetent. Something tells me you both have biased paradigms against new academy grads & hawespipers. You both can’t be that unlucky to be assigned so many bad apples.


Nuff said…I really wish we had a way to filter guys like that out


OSV’s here… worked world wide and had some infamously bad CHENG’s that should never have progressed past wiper. On OSV’s the good hawsepiper engineers seem to be more liberal in running off bad academy grads. That and the academy grads seem more bitchy about working 12 hour watches, so if they’re bad (or whiney), they don’t last long.


You both can’t be that unlucky

Sometimes I feel like I’m in the shit abyss.


I said qmed OR engineer. Don’t try to rearrange what I said to make my statement sound so partisan. And yes we both absolutely can be that unlucky.

I have no reason at all to doubt what he is saying, I’ve experienced the same thing. I’ve worked with a MEBA hawsepiper 1AE who was dumb as hell and thought he was super smart but he passed the CG tests. I also worked with two MEBA academy guys who were just as dumb but had an academy superiority complex to boot, very dangerous combo.

Most engineers are scary when it comes to electrical.

Exactly, we all have to know our limitations. It’s a mark of a good engineer to be able to say he doesn’t know something.


On Tugs, I generally work with hawespiper engineers. Most of them are unlicensed, but they are actually pretty good.

There have been a couple periods of time when I’ve seen a lot of academy grads at small tug companies, but not many in the last 5 years.


It’s not as simple as many seem to think. While it would work for “ancillary” training under Chapters V and VI of the STCW Code (Basic Training, Firefighting, GMDSS, medical, etc.) it probably will not work for STCW “certificates” under Chapters II and III of the STCW Code (OICNW, OICEW, Chief Master, Master, Chief Engineer).

The ancillary training is easy. They are discrete courses to a common standard following a common model curriculum. They will be substantially similar from one flag (country) to another. Certificates are different. The STCW only requires prescribed service and meeting a common standard of competence. It is up to each flag to define how it will meet that standard of competence. For example, the STCW does not specify that to get OICEW you must complete courses for “Auxiliary Machinery”, “Control Systems”, etc. That is how the United States has chosen to have mariners meet the required standard of competence. It will be different for other countries. You will likely not find an “Electrical Machinery and Basic Electronics” course for OICEW in another country, and if you did, it probably won’t be a match for the U.S. course and thus won’t mesh with the other required courses in the U. S. to achieve the required competency in STCW. Recall the various iterations of the rule that took effect in 2014. The first “NPRM” called for more courses than is now required. The next iteration (“SNPRM”) had almost none. The final rule is in between the two proposals. All of those proposals were within the discretion a flag has to implement STCW, and illustrate how a piece from one flag won’t easily integrate into another’s.

So for certifications, you have to follow the entire progression of a single flag. If you do that, you would possibly be “certificated” by that country, and then you would not be substituting training, you’d be seeking recognition of the other country’s certificate, or “endorsement” by another country. And as noted in other discussions here, the United States does not currently endorse or recognize the certificates issued by other flags.

This is generally correct. A flag cannot accept training from another country, or endorse or recognize certificates of another country, unless they have undertaken their own independent review of that country’s standards and their implementation of and compliance with STCW. Being on the so-called white list alone isn’t sufficient.

Canada recognizes courses approved by the United States. Under STCW, each country must have an audit of their implementation of STCW performed by an independent auditor every five years. Transport Canada has done the audit of the United States, and thus Canada has met their obligation to ascertain the standards of the United States before they accept its courses. That audit was under a reciprocal agreement, so the United States has audited Canada’s implementation of STCW. However, at present we are not accepting Canadian courses.


Perhaps, the U.K. MCA should be asked to do the next US audit and begin accepting US STCW courses.

Specifically, the US STCW GMDSS course standards should be FIXED immediately so that it can be put on the MCA approved GMDSS list.

Perhaps, the USCG should volunteer to do audits for Canada, UK, Ireland, Iceland, Northern European countries, Australia , New Zealand, Singapore, etc., and begin accepting their STCW courses.

I hear that the American corporate administered flag of convenience countries (Liberia, Panama, Marshall Islands, etc.) accept US STCW courses. Hopefully that’s true.


Sweeping generalizations are wrong of course, but this one has it backwards. It seems counterintuitive but it’s more common for the hawesepipers to be arrogant.

Some hawesepipers suffer from the so-called arrogance of the self-educated.


Occasionally, I have young people aboard who are really great. I want to adopt them and take them home. But most of the young people that come aboard, I find to be either worthless snowflakes that do not know or do much, or low lifes that will work, but have too many personality disorders. They both are painful to tolerate.

I like kids that love the sea and are eager to learn. I have no interest in kids that are only here for the money.


Most FoCs do not issue their own certificates, they attest to the recognition of another flag’s certificate. If they dopn’t issue certificates, they aren’t accepting another country’s courses, they are accepting the STCW certificate itself.

Some looking at this from a different perspective might characterize that as using U. S. tax payer money to enable foreign businesses to compete against Americans. I’m not sure that’s a viable option in the current political environment.


I’m sure that the for-profit American schools that are milking us for too much money with these low quality courses would scream. Not many votes or campaign contributions there.

However, very few Americans would take courses in developed countries. The U.K. courses cost about the same as US courses. The Canadian courses cost more. The Norwegian and Danish courses are very expensive. I assume that courses in Mexico, Phillipines and Thailand would be cheaper.

A limited pilot program for 100 mariners per year would be acceptable. Start with Canada under NAFTA, and the post-Brexit U.K., as that STCW Certificate probably opens the most job opportunities for Americans.

If the US wants to maintain a pool of capable, certificated, US mariners, it’s going to need to make it much easier for Americans to get foreign credentials, and sail foreign. If US mariners want to sail deepsea, a lot of them are going to need to sail foreign.

A good start would be to FIX the US GDMSS courses so that other countries will accept US GDMSS certificates.


Yes to this. Only that I would apply it to every age group onboard including those that started hating it a long ways back and should have just retired.