First 3rd Mate Job

Recently landed my first job as a third mate for an offshore drilling company. Never worked on a rig or drill ship before. Just looking to see if anyone had some advice or words of wisdom for when I get out there. Been working as an AB on tugs and ATBs the last 4 years so this will be my first job as a Mate.

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The ABs will always know better than you, matter of fact they probably have enough time to sit for their master unlimited (literally had one tell me that the other night on watch).

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Did you ask him with a straight face what was holding him back from jumping into the catbird seat? Heavy is the crown would have been my retort…

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Maybe a really dumb question, but couldn’t you sail for 100 years as an AB and still be missing some things to be the master??

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Yes I think you would be short about 3 months worth of stcw classes,Probably more. You would also need about 3 more years at sea sailing as a deck officer. Of which at least 180 as chief mate.

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I’ve run across people with 20 years experience and some with 1 years experience 20 times. Getting past the first year can be rough.

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Take DP classes and start logging time as soon as possible.

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Definitely more. 5 months without ARPA, GMDSS, and ECDIS, 6 months with. And assessments. Plus the sea time you noted.

To reach master unlimited you need 360 days in each rank as 3M, 2M, and CM, and appropriate testing in between so no, no way can an AB test for CM/Master unlimited just off AB time.

Get a good pen because paperwork is about to make you it’s bitch.

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There is that much paper work?

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Yes. The captains job is 90% paperwork :confused:

There is that much paper work?

Not so much paper work, more like emails, conference calls etc. Captains and Chief Engineers spend a great deal of their time in the administration of a seagoing business while trying to balance those responsibilities with the day to day operation of the ship. Not an easy balance.

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Thankfully, between the office BS and keeping a close eye on the gCaptain forum there’s not too much time left to hang out on the bridge bothering the overworked ABs on watch with boring sea stories. :rofl:

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Your going to a drilling company, you sure as shit arent going to be sailing, and the oil field thrives on paperwork like JSEAs and DP forms. Your job will be paperwork, PMs on the safety systems and bitching at me about having my stern cross into the 500m while im setting up on DP.

Its really not a hard job, and some find it interesting. But you are more of an admin assistant then anything as a 3rd on a drill ship.

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Then the company man asks why it takes so long to get under the crane.

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Not sure if it has changed - but highest original unlimited license you could get back in my time was an original 2nd mate. think it was min 5 yrs as AB - but not sure about that -

Nope got to start at the bottom

Good luck, work hard, do your best, don’t cause trouble - - but, mainly, DO YOUR JOB - - and ask questions

Must have changed, I never had a third mate license - sat for original 2nd mate back in 85. Had 4 years at sea and then went to SUNY.