Can anyone tell me about K-Sea? Pay scales for the wheelhouse, travel, how many guys on the boat, rotation, overtime, cargo time, bonuses, equippment, maintenance, etc.:eek:
I worked briefly for K-Sea during my “maybe I want to be a local (I’m an NYC guy) tugboat captain” phase in 2006 (?), think I lasted 2 or 3 hitches.
My decision not to continue there was only based upon realizing what I liked about shipping (international work & state of the art equipment incl DP): K-Sea seemed to be running a solid operation and there were a lot of guys who liked it. The men I worked with were all great other than one guido tough guy on steroids from the jersey shore.
The hitches were either 2 or 3 week equal time depending on which vessel you were on; the longer hitches seemed to be on the larger tug boats making longer runs (Searsport, Galveston, etc). Some of the smaller boats stayed right in NY harbor; I worked on the Lincoln Sea, one of the larger ones, because of my license size. There were 7 or 8 men aboard I think – some of the smaller boats had less no doubt.
If you have your TOAR and PIC you are good to go for wheelhouse positions if they are hiring (I hear they’re not). As I recall pay for a mate was around 350/day, captains were around 500/day but I could be off by as much as 30 dollars. At any rate, the pay and benefits were quite a bit less then what I was used to in the upstream oil & gas, plus I found the work to be pretty monotonous. I don’t think we got overtime, in fact I’m sure we didn’t. Nor do think travel was covered, but I was only taking the staten island ferry so I could well be wrong. There were bonuses but they weren’t the kind of 4 or 5 digit things like you can get in upstream oil & gas.
The job was basically running around short trips loading and discharging, sometimes a run would be 1 day (exotic ALBANY! delightful DELAWARE!) sometimes just a few hours, then 12 hours sitting around doing tankermans work. The officers do the loading and discharging, but I seem to recall a few of the barges had live aboard tankermen who did this but I never worked with any. It was always us. Sitting around. Watching. Staring. Killing time. Breathing noxious fumes. Ass work in my opinion, but some guys dig it.
The fleet was in good shape and the maintenance was kept up too, as you guess K-Sea has a solid management of ex-seafarers. It is a good company in my opinion. The owner, Tim Casey, is well known in the NYC shipping scene and he’s an associate of Seacor’s founder as well.
One of the biggest problems I had with carrying petroleum products around was that your USCG license was on the line each time you transferred cargo: if there would be any size sheen then the USCG would be there in minutes and all licenses could be taken off the wall while the investigation went on. Drug screens too. And booze. At the drop of a hat. I’m no druggie and no boozer but it was all a bit too much.
We were discharging in NY harbor when a ballast pump (not a cargo pump) somehow leaked a sheen from its bearings or something: it was a tiny sheen. I mean like you see in a yacht club in Maine in july. Tiny. At any rate, USCG came around and the whole circus started. It was quite a hulabulloo over nothing (And my license wasn’t even on the line since I was off watch) : it turned me back to upstream O&G work with Seacor where I stayed till Sept 2009.
SO, it’s a good company in my opinion, but the work is not for me.</O:p>
oh yeah, I spaced it before but here’s a link to their fleet.
I am at KSEA right now, hitch just started.
Check yer inbox for a PM
Thanks for your input, it is appreciated. I’m on the west coast looking at these guys, however the information you provided is very helpful. I’ll check out the pay scales on the link you provided. thanks again.
[B][U]Richard8000milesaway [/U][/B]"One of the biggest problems I had with carrying petroleum products around was that your <ACRONYM title=“United States Coast Guard”>USCG</ACRONYM> license was on the line each time you transferred cargo: if there would be any size sheen then the <ACRONYM title=“United States Coast Guard”>USCG</ACRONYM> would be there in minutes and all licenses could be taken off the wall while the investigation went on. "
I agree Richard, putting your License at risk without compensation doesn’t thrill me. Actually it scares the stuff out of me. If one of the other guys screws up and puts oil in the water I’m going to be brought up on the carpet by the Co. and the USCG. And the company is always looking for someone to hang before they will take any responsibility. Thanks for the comeback!
How many crew depends on which boat you get on. A traditional tug has 4 or 5 man crew. Two of their boats have a 4 man crew, with the 4 splitting the 5th guys pay, since they are so small and cramped. The other conventional boats have 5 man crews, with the ATBs having 7 or 8 man crews. They have one ATB which is foreign flagged, and operates in the Caribbean. They have expanded so much all over I really dont know everything they have, or do, but I would imagine if you have the credentials and experience they may look at you. At a minimum they want 1600 oceans with MTV. Any less is just like who they laid off in December!
The ATBs are primarily manned by sea mates, who also stand a cargo watch in port. I have seen/heard several companies operating this way, so You need to make sure which type of vessel you will be on. Ksea seems to have alot of recent graduates who become 2nd mates on ATBs. Not sure how the TOAR is signed off, but I ain’t looking too hard at that! Guess that has to do with the 30 day wonder rule!
The NYC boats are local 333. Not sure about other ports. I know there was just a layoff of deckhands, mates and captains in December. I heard a rumor of financial trouble then too, with mention of chapter 11 or 13 filing possible. Not sure if this effects the job there, but just the rumor floating around in this economy is a hint of their situation.
is K-Sea really going out of business as posted on gcaptain? anyone working there now know the real story? I see they lost $5.3 million as per 31 mar 2010…
The NYC rumor mill heard that the bankruptcy/ reorganization judge ordered 11 of their boats sold this/last month. Not sure how this will shake out. I have heard that Vane and Reinauer are trying to buy them out. (or at least part of them) IMHO Ksea has bought too much fractured market over too large an area. It does not seem to be attractive for any one company to snap up?
[QUOTE=cappy208;30072]The ATBs are primarily manned by sea mates, who also stand a cargo watch in port. I have seen/heard several companies operating this way, so You need to make sure which type of vessel you will be on. Ksea seems to have alot of recent graduates who become 2nd mates on ATBs. Not sure how the TOAR is signed off, but I ain’t looking too hard at that! Guess that has to do with the 30 day wonder rule!
How do you upgrade to 2/M unlimited working only on an ATB? My understanding, per JD Cavo’s previous posts on the subject, is that “ATBs are considered the same as “dual-mode” ITBs under 46 CFR 11.211(d). Time can be used for up to 50% of the requirement for unlimited tonnage service, and is credited at one day of service credit for two days experience. Note that “push-mode” does not refer to the type of towing operation the vessel is engaged in. It’s a design consideration. Generally, the tug unit of a push-mode ITB cannot operate independently of the barge unit. By this criteria, all ATBs are “dual-mode.” See NVIC 2-81 for additional information on the characteristics of push-mode and dual-mode.”
Second Mate with a tonnage limitation perhaps.
Sorry, that was a slip into ‘tugboat lexicon.’
On an uninspected towing vessel the job positions are: Captain, Chief mate, Second Mate.
This in NO way denotes the actual licenses held. Most of these guys have either a 500 or 1600 ton license. Some have a 3rd mates, and have gotten a TOAR signed off, and some actually have towing vessel experience.
To clarify, on towing vessels the title is just a job position, not necessarily a reflection of the license held.
There is a TOAR limited to ATB’s.
i worked with k-sea march 09 - april 09, had a 3m license and an inland/near coastal towing endorsement. They started me as an ab deckhand, but only lasted a month before they laid me off. It was 2 week hitches. I have some friends who work there now, and its been a lot of sitting around, boats being tied up, people getting laid off, From what i herd vane brothers is really trying to move in.
[QUOTE=SCgamecock;34950]How do you upgrade to 2/M unlimited working only on an ATB? My understanding, per JD Cavo’s previous posts on the subject, is that "ATBs are considered the same as “dual-mode” ITBs …[/QUOTE]
The COI probably just calls for a “mate”, and one of the reasons ATBs exist is to take adavantage of favorable manning regulations - the license required may be based on the tonnage of the towing unit only. So it would not require an unlimted tonnage license to work on it and calling one of the mates the 2nd Mate may just be an internal vessel/company designation, e.g. a job title.
[QUOTE=injunear;35022]There is a TOAR limited to ATB’s.[/QUOTE]
Yes, and no. Tere are some companies who haver obtained approval for a TOAR limited to ATBs. There is not a national standard TOAR for ATBs. If the company you work for didn’t get their ATB-specific TOAR approved, it’s not acceptable.
Tugs are uninspected and DON’T have a COI. A COD yes, but no COI. There is NO manning certificate to follow. There are only the CFRs to mandate manning. (good luck following those) The official titles are Master and Mate. The only current rules are derived from how many hours you (the vessel) operates, and if over 12 hours a day it must have two licenses to cover the ‘12 hours a day rule.’
All these other titles (Captain, Chief Mate, Second Mate) are company/industry standard(?) titles. But they do not denote a uscg standard.