Getting back into Merchant Marine

I’m a former AB in the S.I.U. I quit shipping out in “94”. I’m looking to get back into the Merchant Marine but don’t know if I should join the S.I.U. again or look for a private company. I was AB Special and in order to get my AB ticket back I would have to get my lifeboatman cert. that looks like it will cost me around $900. I’m 40 years old and still totally fit, I have a solo building/remodeling/carpentry business. I always felt that I never should have quit the MM but thought it was a good idea at the time. I’m looking for any advice as to which direction I should go. Thank you.

If you retired your book in '94, you only have to pay a re-activation fee. You’d retain all of your pension credit. If you just quit without retiring your book, depending on how much time you had with the SIU, it might be cheaper to start over.

Talk to a port agent about it. That’s the only thing that is free. Good luck!

I looked at this back in '03. Seattle agent told me that updating my paperwork (mmd, passport, physical, etc) was my responsibility, and then pay up all back dues and I would be back at seniority. Don’t know if that still holds or the guy was blowing smoke, but worth checking out.

I talked to the port agent in Algonac and he said I have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than catching a ship with the S.I.U.
I would have to sell my house to pay my back dues. Why would I even want to do that if there’s no work in the S.I.U. anyway.
Anybody got any info on pushboats and tugs in the gulf?
Thanks for the imput guys.

Sorry, I guess you are looking at strictly inland. Then you are outta luck. Also, misread your last sail date, was thinking '04. Either way, it’s only $5400, about a months pay. If you had a B-book, you’d get that job so much faster, deep sea. Look at ‘Logbook’ shipping. Deep sea is still moving.

Actually I’m looking into everything, in the past I only sailed deep sea and would love to do it again, I’m just not sure what’s out there these days. What is “logbook”?

Union newspaper. Seafarers Log. You can see it on their web page, look at pdf format. Look for dispatchers report page. Sorry for the confusion.