Just got offered a job on an AT/B

I just got offered a job on an AT/B! My question is, will I be walking on the bulkheads? I’m really excited to get out there. Should I be worried about being sick the whole time I’m out there?

Only if you have eight legs and antennae.

Out where?

[QUOTE=shipwreck63;123829]I just got offered a job on an AT/B! My question is, will I be walking on the bulkheads? I’m really excited to get out there. Should I be worried about being sick the whole time I’m out there?[/QUOTE]

Just ask around the forum and most people will tell you that I am an annoyingly enthusiastic proponent of ATB’s in the American merchant fleet. All the Jones Act and business discussion aside though I would just like to say that I have been in some decently heavy seas (~20’) on a pin unit and it was a wonderfully comfortable ride. I would not have wanted to be on anything else at the time.

To a certain extent the barge actually flattens out the sea in front of you and since the two parts of the unit move independently the barge can take the brunt of the motion while the tug just sort of bobs along gently in the relatively flatter water left behind the barge. When it comes to a beam sea all bets are off, of course, but I don’t know any vessel in the world in which a heavy beam sea is a comfortable one.

If you’re worried don’t forget to buy your Bonine before you go! Non-drowsy, lasts for 12 hours, it’s my miracle drug!

I prefer the ride in a steep following sea down the buzzards bay tower…

I sailed on an old Bludworth unit many years ago. The only time the ride got uncomfortable was post ejection.

I’m hoping that I get to be on the east coast. I want no part of west coast or Alaska. Lol thanks for all the replies. I appreciate them all. It’s with Kirby offshore.

[QUOTE=cmakin;123848] The only time the ride got uncomfortable was post ejection.[/QUOTE]

I had a similar problem with my ex-wife.

Oh, it may well be the one of which I am speaking. Do you know which unit? I also still keep in touch with one of the captains that I sailed with back then, and his unit was also recently purchased by Kirby. Either way, congratulations. It IS good to see that the ATB concept has been more widely accepted in recent years, AND mechanically improved on. Even though I ran a Bludworth unit for many years, I was never a real big fan of that particular connection method.

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[QUOTE=ChiefRob;123856]I had a similar problem with my ex-wife.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, must be a mariner thing. . . .

Worst problem with ATB’s…F#@king Tankerman live on the boat with you!!!

Hey, Tank Trash have feelings too. Its not a bad deal if the 7-8 guys all get along, but it only takes one lazy slob laying in the galley to ruin it. There is a certain tankerman I know who was caught shaving his sack over a trash can in the galley, or better yet, jerking off in the bunk room with a glow in the dark watch on… with another guy across from him in the bunk room…

[QUOTE=ForkandBlade;123939]Worst problem with ATB’s…F#@king Tankerman live on the boat with you!!![/QUOTE]

I’ve worked with some tankermen on the oil barges that were real assholes, some were pretty good. The ATBs I worked were run like a tank ship. The mates ran the loads and discharges. The AB/tankermen were top notch. We had a good working relationship getting all maintenance done.

When the ATBs are ran like that (with the deck officers in charge of the cargo) it does work out better. Some companies give these tankerman “Barge Captain” and “Barge Mate” titles though. Instantly they decide that they are separate from the rest of the crew, even though their filling out the AB allotment on the tug’s COI. Now you have an AB who thinks he’s on par with the Captain and creates a nightmare of a working environment. I’ve seen a steady decline in skill with these guys now compared to the Maritrans days as well.

[QUOTE=“ForkandBlade;123992”]When the ATBs are ran like that (with the deck officers in charge of the cargo) it does work out better. Some companies give these tankerman “Barge Captain” and “Barge Mate” titles though. Instantly they decide that they are separate from the rest of the crew, even though their filling out the AB allotment on the tug’s COI. Now you have an AB who thinks he’s on par with the Captain and creates a nightmare of a working environment. I’ve seen a steady decline in skill with these guys now compared to the Maritrans days as well.[/QUOTE]

On the SEA SKIMMER/PLAQUEMINE, we carried two AB/Tankermen. They did day work on the barge while underway and assisted the mates during cargo operations. It seemed to work pretty well. We also had two ABs and an OS, too.

Congratulations on the job! ATB work is a good gig. If your boat is INTERCON then you’ll probably have a really nice riding boat. I agree with cmakin regarding the BLUDWORTH system…it’s not up to the standard of some of the others. You may get your own bunkroom which is a plus. If your an AB, learn how to make a good meal…it goes a loooong fuckin way. Clean everyday and stay busy. I hear Kirby isn’t that bad to work for. They seem to have a good training program in place. Good luck and stay safe out on deck.

Thanks guys for the replies. Thats exactly what i was looking for. Does anybody know how hard it is to get in the wheelhouse on an at b from the deck? Lets say i’ve been a tankerman for years and i want to move up, do they have a route for that? I know that inland they do and its a pretty solid program but idk about the offshore division. Just trying to look out for the future!!

Usually they have stairs

Get yourself settled in at the new gig first. Send in a package the NMC and get evaluated for a potential license. Start studying and then test. Most people will not listen to anything you say regarding a license until you have one in hand. I’m speaking from personal experience.

Like the other guy said, while companies may have training programs etc its a joke and if you ever expect to do something, do it on your own. And then normally you’ll have to go start steering on a boat at a smaller company or expect to go with the crappiest captain on the crappiest boat moving the biggest barge for a while before anything else. Don’t talk about getting a license onboard at first. Poison!

[QUOTE=“z-drive;124068”]Like the other guy said, while companies may have training programs etc its a joke and if you ever expect to do something, do it on your own. And then normally you’ll have to go start steering on a boat at a smaller company or expect to go with the crappiest captain on the crappiest boat moving the biggest barge for a while before anything else. Don’t talk about getting a license onboard at first. Poison![/QUOTE]

yup! no doubt about it, that’s pretty freakin’ accurate.