I need some good sound advice!


#1

Hello, obviously I am new to the forum and I have found it to be very informative. Thank you. I guess I will start off by telling all a little bit about myself. I live on the MS gulf coast, I have owned and operated a commercial shrimp/oyster boat for twelve years. The gross tonnage of the boat is 22 tons. I have spent countless hours on this boat. This commercial fishing industry is all but over for us. With that being said it is time for me to move on.

I have registered for sea school in Bayou Labatre, Al starting in January. It is a ten day course and from what I understand at the end of it I will have my Ab special, stcw and life boat certifications. I have a friend that works in South La that believes he can get me a job on either a jack up barge or crew boat with “no problem” with the certifications I mentioned earlier. I guess my questions are :

  1. Are these certifications what I need to get started in the Maritime Industry. If not, what?

  2. If he cannot get me started with a company is the job market good enough in my area to find my own job with these cert’s?

  3. I “earned” my time on a commercial shrimp boat so is that frowned upon in this industry or is it common and/or acceptable.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice. It will be greatly appreciated as I have done alot of research and it has been alot to take in. Advice from experienced folks will be priceless!


#2

Some companies will not hire you unless you also have RFPNW and every little bit of extra cert. help.


#3

Wow. Ok, I have done alot of research and this is the first time Ive heard of RFPNW. Well, I did read some things about it but I guess I thought it did not pertain to me at this time. After reading your post I looked it up and it sounds like if you have your STCW it is the same thing as RFPNW.

Is that correct?


#4

No it is not the same thing, it is [B]part[/B] of STCW. But you are not getting your STCW at sea school, you are getting [B]B[/B]asic [B]S[/B]afety [B]T[/B]raining, which is the first step. Also you never mentioned your MMD (now MMC). You will need this for anyone to consider you for employment. The AB and other stuff will be endorsed on it.


#5

[I][quote=CaptAndrew;23016]No it is not the same thing, it is [B]part[/B] of STCW. But you are not getting your STCW at sea school…[/quote][/I]

If Sea School is placing him to work with a company, he may be in their RFPNW [B][U]Program[/U][/B] (not lookout only). If Sea School arranges the placement, and the company agrees to train per Sea School’s training curriculum, it qualifies as an RFPNW Program.


#6

Good point. But in 10 days for BST (5 days), AB (5 days) PSC lifeboat (4 days) RFPNW (1 or 2 days) ? Something doesn’t add up.

Just my observation


#7

With your experience I would think you should be able to get your 100ton Master license. Ask the people you are talking to at Sea School about it. AB and STCW and RFNW are not required for that license. If you can afford to do both the AB and 100 ton, that will definitely increase your chances of getting job.


#8

[quote=CaptAndrew;23036]Good point. But in 10 days for BST (5 days), AB (5 days) PSC lifeboat (4 days) RFPNW (1 or 2 days) ? Something doesn’t add up.

Just my observation[/quote]

From what I understand from sea school is that PSC lifeboat and STCW w/ BST will be my first 5 days and AB will be 6 days. I guess I mis-understood the fist time she told me or added up my days wrong. This does not include RFPNW.


#9

I’ve been told by others to just go for the 100 ton Masters but being that I have not worked in that environment I felt like I might be stepping on toes or getting myself in a bind without first having experience on deck.

Thoughts?


#10

The only difference between the AB course and the 100 ton Captain course is the plotting. If you can get somebody to teach you Plotting, you can just go take the exam at the CG.


#11

[quote=dragn3;23117]being that I have not worked in that environment I felt like I might be stepping on toes or getting myself in a bind without first having experience on deck.

Thoughts?[/quote]

Honestly when I first worked in the Gulf I had no experience out there. But I could drive a boat. I went in as 2nd Capt and gained knowledge as I worked. Back then people were probably more forgiving than in today’s job market so you may have a point. However do what you are doing and then go ahead and get licensed soon as you can.


#12

I believe that getting my AB and going from there is the way to go. Plus, through the school, it will cost more to take the 100 ton masters. A good bit more actually but then again as advised earlier I could learn the plotting and take the test at CG. More to think about. Decisions, decisions.

Thanks for all the info and advice! But, by all means keep em coming.


#13

[quote=dragn3;23128]I believe that getting my AB and going from there is the way to go. Plus, through the school, it will cost more to take the 100 ton masters. A good bit more actually but then again as advised earlier I could learn the plotting and take the test at CG. More to think about. Decisions, decisions.

Thanks for all the info and advice! But, by all means keep em coming.[/quote]

If you qualify for 100 ton Master, apply for it and get it. No matter what. Period. You’ll kick yourself down the road if you don’t. Just ask the people who passed on getting their Master of Towing license during the grandfather phase.


#14

Understood.

I am going to talk to sea school tommorow about doing both at the same time. Ab and 100 Ton Masters. Not sure if I can do that but I will find out.


#15

Just because you have a 50 ton master license dont mean ya got to go outand brag to everybody ur a Captain. Hell, I taught 16 years at a university. Do you think I go around on deck telling evdryone im a professor??? As far as everyone out here in the oil patch is concerned … Im an AB who use to commercial fish. End of story.


#16

Understood.


#17

You are doing all the right things. Go get some experience on the crewboats and liftboats…If you then desire to work on larger vessels you will stand a much better chance of getting hired with some experience under your belt… If you work on a liftboat over 200 tons you will be able to get your RFPNW there, If not you will have to just work on it later. Good Luck.


#18

your AB will work better for you in this economy, you can go to school and do the RFPNW LOOKOUTS ONLY and get AB pay while you still work on the assessments for the full RFPNW

look at www.mpt.com and they can explain the RFPNW class that they have

ALSO ask sea school about the RFPNW PROGRAM that they might have with a local company

getting work now as an AB i think is easier that a 100-ton captain
in the current economy,

you will also need Basic Safety Training, a 1 week class to get your AB