Engineer crossover from limited to unlimited

Can anyone say how to get a job aboard an unlimited horsepower and tonnage, international sailing ship while holding a dde unlimited horsepower license? Need about 9 months seatime on unlimited horsepower vessel to sit for 3rd assistants. Talked with unions and steam endorsement may be getting in the way for junior engineer position with msc. Havin a tough time getting good info.

You don’t need time over 4000 to test for a 3rd assistant. You will just be restricted in horsepower until you can get the required time over 4000 hp to get unlimited hp. Don’t let the hp stop you from testing if you have the time. You can always remove the hp restriction.

As long as you have 24 months on your DDE you should be good to go.

By the way… good luck going to a 3rd from dde. I was denied the upgrade because I never held a Qmed (worked on tugboats unlicensed). Even though I had 2 years with a license and any unlicensed rating in the engine room. They wouldn’t budge on it because it says you must hold a Qmed for so many days. Had to go the route from dde unlimited to chief limited oceans. Few more weeks I will have he time for my seconds. Don’t be surprised if they do the same to you. You can get a chief near coastal and go to the 3rd or same route i’m doing.

Interesting … I always thought “any unlicensed rating” IS a QMED.

Look in the marine safety manual, chap 12, page 4. The section is entitled “service under license in lieu of service in QMED rating”. The way I read it as long as your time would count on your license it will count as QMED. The only way I see they can get you is that the CFR says “as QMED” and not “QMED or equivalent supervisory position”.

Me and you both see it that way… but the nice people at the nmc see it the other way. I tried multiple times and talked to 4 different people without any luck. Even brought it to Mr. Cavo attention, even though he was over the deck side, if he was on the engineering side he would give it to me because of the any unlicensed rating. Just had an assisant on my vessel with a DDE 4000 have the same fight with them. He had people call the nmc from the Boston rec and couldn’t get them to change it. Had the office write his sea time as a Qmed and lost sea time because of the 8 hour watch bullshit cfr. Pretty screwed up a licensed guy gets shot down for a upgrade because you don’t have a Qmed. Makes alot of sense nmc.

Sad to say it doesn’t really surprise me. So the same time I used to up grade from 3rd to 2nd isn’t good enough to get the 3rd to begin with.

What I have learned about NMC is to put them on the defensive and force them to justify their position. Ask them if you can sail as QMED with that any unlicensed rating. If I can sail as QMED then I have a QMED.

I have not yet found a single person at NMC who has shown even a basic level of understanding of the maritime profession. Making them all GS won’t help.

I have not yet found a single person at NMC who has shown even a basic level of understanding of the maritime profession. Making them all GS won’t help.[/QUOTE]

Personally the minimal contact I have had with NMC has been straightforward and painless but then I just do renewals. I do know others though who have had a lot of problems getting answers to questions which is written in policy letters and to me should not even require interpretation but apparently the folks administering the policy are not familiar with policies. So they shove the hard questions to the side and work on the easy ones which makes their backlog statistics and monthly reports look good. You’d think they’d hire a couple of old REC hands to answer the hard questions the newbies can’t handle.
When they partially privatized the people manning NMC you just had to know this kinda thing was going to happen. At least they didn’t farm it out to a call center in India, yet. When one gets in a jam with an “evaluator” and gets nowhere for months until a US Senator gets involved tells me just how swell this entire private contractor manned centralization is working out.


Wow! now I know im not the only one trying to cross over. Wish id known about this forum before renewing license. The nmc really did a number on me this time. A year ago i was approved to test for 3rd assistant having enough seatime for 2nd but cant hold 2nd w/o having 3rd. However, i was working alot and making good $$ so i missed the expiration date to test. Realizing my ticket expired this july, i took off work for a few months to cram for the 3rd assist test. Also had to reapply. Thinking i would be reapproved. WRONG. They did not approve me and thus began the 4 month battle with 25 year old nmc evaluation supervisor/ 2007 art school grad noelle dixon. I could write a book on all the problems that happened and poor service. Just to summarize, I was lucky to just get everything renewed a couple weeks before expiration, whew! She said to get 3rd, u have to have 50% time on unlimited hp or limitation like Power230 stated. Also, was 3 days shy of recency requirement. Big problem i ran into with them is communication. Very sporadic and vague. They are not at all helpful in figuring out career options. The most helpful i found for this was the unions and now, this forum. This “mistake” by nmc has cost me a few months pay and the increased income from the expected upgrade. I wish somehow we could all organize and get this bs straightened out. There definitely needs to be a mariner inside the nmc to stand up for us. Thanks to all of you for the info and i will visit this forum regularly since I am now trying to get aboard ship for more hp so I have no limitation.

Goin to msc jobfair tomorrow in jax. hopefully there is a position. Junior Eng. position is open but I think it requires steam endorsement which i dont have. Maybe qmed but this is where language seems to be a bit different between limited and unlimited worlds. limited world doesnt have all the different types of qmeds like unlimited, not sure where my qmed fits. you would think "any unlicensed rating covers any position in er but i have been told u have to have qmed specific endorsement ie oiler, fireman, motor, etc… ill learn more tomorrow

I didn’t think there was such a thing as QMED (limited) a QMED is a QMED and the CFRs make no mention of any different grades of the endorsement by tonnage or HP. It may be that MSC wants to see evidence of steam experience even though you hold an endorsement that legally covers the position. Just like I was told that a particular tug company didn’t hire academy grads with just a 3rd. They wanted them to upgrade at least once even though legally a 3rd was more than enough license.

My renewal through NMC was a piece of cake so I expected another easy time with my upgrade. Boy was I wrong! As soon as you are approved to test get to the REC as fast as you can. They even reevaluate you after you pass the test and before they issue the license. I wonder how many people get rejected on that second evaluation? I would sure be pissed if it was me.

Ya, I knew John Ebanks (RIP), and he told me he passed 3rd Assistants and Ms. Chetta, formerly of the New Orleans REC, rejected him after he passed the test saying they mistakingly gave him and old test.