Is a rig a ship?

I got a job offer from a drilling company that has drillships and semisubmersibles. I’ve done 1 hitch on a tanker and hear stories that drillship mates have no underway experience and even their Captains can’t get a vessel into port safely. I’ve also heard that a semisubmersible is not considered a ship by the rest of the industry. The job has great pay but am I sacrificing future job opportunities and experience by taking it?

<span style=“font-weight: bold;]” Is a rig a ship?" <br><br>John should put a poll up but my answer is NO.<br></span>

It may not be a ship, but most of them have a marine crew. A lot hold station under their on power. There is an engine room and a bridge. They have a galley and a head. Sounds awfully familiar to terms used on a ship. I am in a similar situation Ben. I will be starting on a Semi-submersible as a DPO. I can not tell you how it is, but I can tell you why I am choosing to give it a shot. I now work 8 to 9 months a year and on the 3 months off a year I have I am trying to complete my Chief Mate STCW classes. Put that aside because I will eventually complete that and get my Chief Mate and Master. What then? I would still be working 8-9 months a year. I want to have a life outside of work. My son is 8 years old and I am missing a lot, not to mention that he needs me there to set an example and to help improve his study habits. Working on a Rig will allow me an even time schedule, plus compensation and benefits worth working for. That is the picture that has been painted for me. What it really is I will soon find out. I can tell you I am excited about it and am hoping for the best. I could care less what the rest of the industry thinks about it being a vessel or not as long as my W-2’s are acceptable at the end of the year and working conditions are bearable. From what I hear there are a lot of percs on the rigs. Hope the rumors are right for once.

“and even their Captains can’t get a vessel into port safely” This depends on the captain. The guys with 10+ years in an officers union before going offshore do fine, guys who go offshore right out of school pick up the pilot and pray he doesn’t ask too many questions. Workboat guys and those with only a few hitches on other types of ships are a mixed bag. <br><br>“I’ve also heard that a semisubmersible is not considered a ship by the rest of the industry”. By other mates, sure but most HR department fall for the line “It’s basically an unlimited tonnage catamaran” but the same is true of other segments of the industry. Container ship guys can’t just hop on a tanker and tanker guys aren’t welcomed on cruise ships. Your bound to be pigeonholed somewhere. If your goal is to be a great captain some day then remember this tip:<br><br>“Experience is like the stock market, it’s best to diversify!”

Ben, <br><br>You just have to look at it as a completely different industry. If you want to sail the 7 seas and get all sorts of shiphandling experience do not take the job. To be
honest most drillships and semisubs will not go into port now a days. At least not under their own power without the thrusters being
keelhauled. The crews onboard have their own unique skillset that is much different the transporting goods. CM jeff has it right, you are bound to get pigenholed, and the offshore industry is not a bad place to be right now. Great scedual for the family, lots of new metal, and lots of high paying jobs. I have yet to see a oilfield captain that came from the tanker or container industry go back. <br>

commando; no poll necessary. The advice from Lee, Jeff and Rich is on target. Well all but “Working on a Rig will allow me an even time schedule”… I’m not 100% sure about Seadrill but unless you live in Houston your going to spend a few months each year away from home at stcw training, spud meetings, HS&E classes, helicopter dunk tanks… Much more than our deep sea brethren.

“I have yet to see a oilfield captain that came from the tanker or container industry go back.”<br><br> Interesting, I’ve never heard of a master of a container or tank ship voluntarily giving up his job to go work on a supply boat. Guess times have changed for sure.<br>Tengineer<br>

tengineer… neither have I but we are not talking about supply boats… we are talking about self propelled Semis and Drillships.

<br>cmjeff<br>Now THAT I can understand ! Been there done that. Good money, benefits and no more 90 days.

I am currently employed by a drilling company who has a few DP rigs and it is considered a ship. The rig has 8 Thrusters with a cruising speed of 7 Knots. I was very hesitant at first as to whether or not i was going to be able to upgrade my license to a 2nds when the time comes. But after some research i was able to conclude that yes my time aboard this rig is the same as being on any unlimited tonnage vessel. 28 on and 28 off… God i love life!!!