Deciding on branch to start with

Today it can be difficult to make the switch unless you have experience with the vessel. I’m worried if i sail on dry cargo, i’ll be stuck and can’t make the switch to offshore or the fishing industry. Where would you direct a cadet in the states?

You won’t be stuck if you go that way. I started on cruise ships, went to drillships, then tankers, then OSVs/seismic source vessels, and am now back working deep sea. If you start in the oil patch, it may stunt your upgrades though, so that’s something to be aware of.

Just don’t expect to sail as anything above 2/M anytime you shift vessel types until you show your experience to move up to a senior officer position.


That is encouraging. Where did you learn the most?

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I don’t know how someone would “get stuck” if they don’t want to. It might be better for your career if you stay put in one place but if you want to learn, jumping around is a good way to do it.


Shipyard… where a captain is just another deckhand until your boat is off the blocks and afloat again.

Seriously though, the day you stop learning is the day you need to put your license away and go work in the office, they’re the only ones that “know it all” it seems.

It’s safe to say that I learn something new every day, and regardless of where you go, what you learn will benefit you down the road regardless. That said, being a DPO trainee on a drillship would not be my suggested first billet.


Hell, I have been in an “office” for decades and still learn new stuff every day. . .


It’s nearly impossible to switch to tankers with having at least some tanker experience. Then you would go from unlimited master or Chief Mate to at best second mate (after spending 90 days as deck hand to get your PIC) until you have significant cargo experience.

As a cadet, tankers are the best choice. If the tanker you’re on is in port often enough, you’ll get the sea time and cargo transfers for a tankerman-PIC endorsement while classmates who didn’t go tankers will only get tankerman-assistant. This will make a big difference to a potential employer.


The bigger the badder!!, you can always down size.

Tankers are best for Engineers, too, IMO. Where else are you going to get time with a steam turbine plant?

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MSC… on an ancient sub tender. :wink:

Matson still has a few. . .

That’s my regret. I went from big to small. Don’t do that unless you have a plan.

Service engineers.
Stars in my eyes…

I think I want that job. What do you guys think? Cherry, neh?

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