Just a new guy with questions

Hey everyone -

I’m David and had some questions. I did try looking around the forum looking for the answers to my question but just had a hard time trying to find them, so if you can re-direct me to the thread that’d be great.

A little background: I’m eighteen, recently finished high school, and finally finished my Fire I&II at the local fire academy and currently a volunteer firefighter. I’ve been wanting to become a firefighter/emt for a little bit of time and just need to start EMT training in December to get close to achieving the step. But I have been wanting something else, another challenge. So I started looking around and been finding these ‘deckhand’ positions on barges around the country. The companies I have been looking at are really just looking for people that are 18 (some want 20), high school diploma, some maritime experience (which I have very little - just my boaters safety course and fishing off a bass boat), and also have their TWIC card. I’ve been researching the industry a bit and find it pretty interesting, so I thought i’d give it a go and if I really do like it, try and advance in it.

So starts my questions. What chance does an 18 year old outta high school have working on a barge with very little boating experience? As I said I do have my boaters safety course and there’s a office 30min from where I live so I can register and pay for the TWIC card. So if I get my TWIC will it be hard to find work? There seems to be quite a bit of openings online, just don’t know how competitive they are.

From what I have been reading online and some barge employment pages they are talking like 12 days on/5 off and so on. I am guessing you get assigned to which schedules they need you for, which is fine but what happens to you on your days off? Do you get kicked off the barge and when you gotta work again travel to where-ever it is to board it again?

Thanks guys and any other feedback would be nice.

Use the “search” feature and your questions and much more will be answered!!

[QUOTE=Bayrunner;141972]Use the “search” feature and your questions and much more will be answered!![/QUOTE]

I tried that but I couldn’t find any threads relating to age, experience, and competitiveness of working on the river.

It’s almost to the point where we need a maritime employment YouTube channel. Then like once a week we could do a live chat and answer all the questions for an hour or so and then post it on YouTube or something.

Huh huh huh…you said barge.

We’d have to blur out faces and use a voice disguiser thing though. Or maybe cartoons?

How about silly disguises, hats and accents like this guy…

Well thanks guys.

I’m just going to wing it and start applying to see how that goes.

  • I’d be into watching those cartoons though.

Also still couldn’t find anything by searching so I looked around the employment section and still didn’t find anything about schedules or competition of positions/other possible/good things that’ll make me look good on applications.

Check out the fireboats.

[QUOTE=knothead;142021]Check out the fireboats.[/QUOTE]

The sounds much more slim than what I am trying to shoot for now.

I had have another question as well (I tried searching but I couldn’t find anything). Once my TWIC gets the green light and I receive it in the mail (currently processing) and I take the STCW 95 course can I apply for the MMC and still obtain it without any recorded seatime? My guess is that I obtain my MMC and work as an OS on a 100gt+ vessel until I get six months of service then apply for my able seaman - special (osv)? Then slowly build up time and advance? Is there testing to receive the additional endorsements on the MMC? Also I know additional courses are required (which are extremely costly) so would my company pay for the additional training or is that completely out of my pocket?

Sorry for the amateur hour questions. I’m still trying to figure out how to go through with this. There’s not really anywhere else online that explains how to get into this kind of work. I was thinking of at least obtaining my MMC and get some sea-time and if it turns out I really enjoy it then just try and apply to the maritime academies.

Thanks for your time. I am defiantly expanding my horizons further than just tugs pushing barges with different companies like ferries (Cape-May Lewes Ferry about 40min. from me) and other types of vessels.

Why does everyone feel they need to be the forum police? If you don’t want to answer the question or offer any advice then please don’t respond at all. This gets old. There are plenty of new people that might chime in and have a discussion if it weren’t for the constant barrage of old salts bashing the new guy. Just move on, let it be, nothing to see here, get over it. Is this an open forum or not?

Yes you can get your MMC without any sea time. As long as you have a TWIC, MMC, and your STCW you can go work on any boat/ship as an OS. After you can upgrade to an AB. I will worry about the upgrading and classes later and concentrate on finding a Job. It can be hard to find a job wile only holding an OS ticket. So be patient and charming on your interviews.
Best of luck!!

Learn to cook and clean well if you don’t know already. Stress your teachability and willingness to follow direction.