I think they just came out with the new cross over requirements 1600Master to Master of Towing. Does anyone know about that? I think I read like 6 days as apprentice Mate and you got it, or you can exam. I didn’t see details.
I have 1600T Master (Oceans) and currently working equal time in the GOM. Next year I’m switching to 1 for 2 (14 and 28) and I’m pretty excited about that.
Things are slow, but people are still hiring. My boss has weeded out some undesireables we had and replaced them. All positions, but a lot of ABs. We can afford to be picky now, so why settle for some tattooed white trash that shows up with clothes that smell like smoke?
We have mostly hawsepiper deck officers and seem have a moderate preference for them. Our engineers are also mostly hawsepipers, but we have a strong preference for academy engineers, especially Maine Maritime. My own engineer is from from Maine Maritime.
At this point if you want in the business you should show up willing to sail as AB. If you’re any good you’ll move up as soon as something is available. If you’re a lazy slob then don’t bother with this plan. But the willingness to work is important. We don’t need “wheelhouse” captains - we already have plenty of those.
As for overseas, as the US fleet utilization falls, boats will start going overseas. We’ve bid on some special purpose delivery work (Charleston to the Bahamas and such) as well as overseas work. Tidewater and Secor have a lot of overseas work. They have both let people go in the Gulf, but if you want to work in Africa, you should be able to find something.
Our business should pick up after November (2010) but it will be rough until then. There are also some tug jobs in the NW US. These are the times for which you save a year’s salary to get through.
Good luck, fair winds, best wishes…