Joining SIU without going to piney point?

I’ve been working on tugs for about two years and I just got my AB special. I have my Twic and passport as well. I don’t have my STCW basic training yet .My question is, is it feasible to join the union without going to the school? I just can’t afford to go a year with no money. How hard will it be for me to get any work? Will I need my STCW before I can join? What’s the process like? I’m grateful for any advice.

PS: I’d be in the Norfolk hall if it makes any difference.

[quote=“ransomedagger, post:1, topic:67725”]
is it feasible to join the union without going to the school? [/quote]

In my experience, the answer is yes with the caveat that it was many years ago. Hopefully someone here with more recent experience can confirm. I remember going to the hall in San Francisco to get answers to my questions.
In any case I would confirm whatever I “learn” on an internet forum by confirming with your local hall. They may act tough but they don’t bite.


Good answer Lee Shore… Haven’t been to an SIU hall in many decades, As short as they are on AB’s, shouldn’t be a problem, After you join, consider the upgrade courses they offer at Piney Point… There are many to help you move ahead. Living in Norfolk gives you easy access to the campus. Never regretted using their services and willing help to upgrade. Started with SIU, retired from both SIU and AMO…

Yes, you should be able to go to the hall and sign up in person after you have STCW Basic Training.

Without RFPNW and Able Seafarer - Deck you’ll be sailing as an OS which isn’t great money.

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You had the incentive to get AB ticket. No small feat in this day and time.Don’t stop trying to get ahead. Good luck sir. At least you are looking forward… Been there, and stay focused on your career. Nobody else gives a shit but you…Asking questions is a good thing. Worked for me as an ABT, Why not you? Went on to study for higher positions at various AMO and SIU schools. Much time at home and aboard studying worked for me… It ain’t easy or cheap now. Welcome to the shrinking club of Hawsepipers. , . .It’s hard to beat the “System” nowadays.A few assets are available to you. Take advantage of them. Your paycheck will thank you.

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Start out sailing on the Great Lakes where no STCW is required, until you get the STCW endorsements.


Buckle up. It’s friggin cold there. Wet cold. But opportunities may exist.

Most recent experience was six years ago. Yes, you can join without going to Piny.
No, you can’t get job with them without STCW. No, your chances to pick up a job not really good since they’ll assign you “C” card (you’ll need a lot of sea time or go to Piny to get an A or B card). Also, when I presented my QMED and asked if I am allowed to claim qmed jobs they told me “No, we don’t accept ratings received outside the union, you can do Wiper only”!
Now, as I mentioned, it happened 6 years ago. I got different job and forgot about SIU. But last year THEY called me, asking to come to the hall, 'cause they “have many qmed job openings”. So, your best move would be to go to the hall and talk to patrolman there.

I sailed SIU for years. It was life-changing. Had good ships. Had a bad ship. And more good ships.

I never made it past a C card (I was 3 days shy). Didnt matter then, definitely doesnt matter now.

And there are OS jobs out there, you still need STCW Basic Safety and Security Awareness.

could you share some of your life changing experiences?