I am a sea man who’s been in the industry since 1998 of an on. I have sea time experience inland an offshore an currently have been holding a tankermans lic. at this time going on 5yrs. But at this time I am ready to move up an think I have enough sea time to shot for my 500 ton Master because I would like to work for a co. like Seacor on anchor boats. Are their any pointers I can get some of the most experience? An sea time amount is close to about 500 is this what I should be applying for? An recommendations for a co. that will start a green capt.?
Assuming you already have
<p class="content]1080 minimum total career days including:
[/li] <p class="content]540 days on near coastal or oceans routes
[/li] <p class="content]720 days as OICNW or Master while holding a license
[/li] <p class="content]360 days of licensed service on a vessel over 50grt
[/li] <p class="content]90 days in the last three years on a vessel of at least 50grt
As well your AB, BST, and lifeboatman already, you are in for about 30 grand and 25 weeks of school for your 500 master.
Apply for the largest license you qualify for.
Get a job with a company that has a career advancement program and earn as you learn.
If all he wants is to work on OSV he just needs to get with a company that has approved assosores for the OSV endorsment. Cuts it down to about 10 weeks and depending on the company cost nothing.
I started a thread about the same thing and posted the answers I got. gcaptain.com/maritime/forum/comments.php Should answer your questions.
As for wanting to work for Seacor… You can do better.
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"As for wanting to work for Seacor… You can do better."
What is it about Seacor thats bad. And is Rigdon in the same category?
I’m just curious. I’ve heard good and bad about both.
Inquiring minds need to know.
I got a buddy that works for Rigdon as a Captain and says it’s not so bad. There were just bought out by Gulfmark and while it doesn’t become official till the new year, the changes have been positive. Although their still waiting on a raise as they’re about a $100 a day behind Chouest.
Because of Seacor I will never work for a public company again, but the main reason is that they laid my dad off after 16 years with them, he came to them when they bought out John E. Graham. He had been on the same boat for about 5 years, has a great safety record, constant crew and most importantly shows up on time and never asks for extra time off unless its a family emergency.On his time off he called to confirm a radar class and was informed that his services were no longer required.
What has happen was that an order had come down from corporate to lay off some officers because they felt there were to many. My dad had a crew coordinator that was really bad at his job and my dad had been having run ins with this guy for the last 20 years. So since my dad was off when this order came down his name got added to the list. Yet plenty of guys who cant keep crews, ground vessels, cant keep a boat up worth jack are still there.
I left 3 months later after my license came in. Two days later was hired at Chouest and couldn’t be happier.
Kind the same situation with my buddy at Rigdon, was at home called to confirm crew change and was told that he wasn’t needed, although he didn’t have a boat and have been bouncing him around the small boat division. A great guy to work with and hope to sail with him again some day.
In the end it did work out for everybody. My buddy got back to the big boats, my dad works for Abdon now and is on a DP boat which he has been wanting for a long time. He couldn’t even get Seacor to send him to training, but they guy who hit a platform on his boat while my dad was at home had no problem and getting on a DP boat. I ended up at a company who has a vary aggressive training program as I want a bigger license, and if its offered at Chouest’s training center its free to their employees. Seacor they had a program were they would pay for it but take it out of your check for a year, and at the end of the year they would give it back to you. But you had to have the crew coordinators approval for each class you wanted to take. Screw that.
Jemplayer hit the nail on the head! I came to Chouest primarily for the training they offered. Having never worked in the oil patch and hearing all kinds of horror stories, I had planned to move on but for reasons already stated (fair practices, excellent equipment, excellent training, advancement opportunities, very competitive compensation package, etc…) I decided to stick around. Each time I get to thinking the grass is greener somewhere else, or in some other industry, I find out that things are pretty darn good right where I’m at!!!
Come on over. If you can’t get your foot in the door, keep trying. You will be glad you did.
The most regrettable period of my career was the short period I was with Chouest. I had not previously worked Z-drives and was hired at a certain day rate. I was told that “when I got the Z-Drives down” I would be bumped up. Granted- the vessel was new and nice, and I quickly realized that absolutely no skill and talent were required to handle these vessels. I was quickly spoiled (I had spent many years on antique, underpowered junk before that). Wind and current were virtually irrelevant. A trained monkey could have handled that OSV. When I called for my raise I was told - no - it takes at least six months to learn z-drives.
The vessel had a “coordinator” who handled everything to do with three vessels. I think he was some AB who could no longer work offshore. Memos (with most words spelled wrong and grammar that my second-grader would be ashamed of) were issued on an almost weekly basis threatening termination for this or that. This was during the time when the union was trying to get their foot in the door in the gulf. I have always been neither an anti- nor a pro- union guy (though I have never been in a union) and I was ostracized for not being fiercely anti-union. Their Gestapo-style techniques and requirement to bleed orange in support of the “evil empire” were nauseating.
They even had a requirement that anyone stepping of the vessel (Master included) had to sign out and if they did not return in 45 mins - they would be automatically terminated. This was before cell-phones were commonplace and most people used payphones on the dock.
I did however get along, and did them a good job while I was there, but never held back an opinion (a big NO-NO there).
Once, the coordinator came to visit the vessel, and when I went on deck the plastic chairs were gone. I was told “he made us throw them in the dumpster” (they were purchased by the cook with her own money). When I asked why, this genius (the coordinator) said “because people were sitting in them”. After I pointed out that, even if a man gave 12 hours of blood, sweat, and tears to the company, and slept for 8 - that still left 4 hours where sitting ought to be permitted. Then he sited safety as a reason. When I pointed out that they were now sitting on upturned five-gallon buckets and balancing on pipe-racks, he seemed to catch a slight glimpse of the depth his own ignorance, and was rather upset with me for having helped him to face it.
I received a job offer to return to a previous employer, not for a few dollars a day more, but an increase of over 20%. I gave them notice and outstanding performance until the day I left. Years later when I checked my MIB (or whatever it is called these days) they had a “not eligible for re-hire” on the record. I sent them a very nice letter explaining everything in an attempt to have it changed (not that I would ever want to be re-hired, but it is the only blemish in a twenty-year career) and was told they left that entirely up to the coordinator (the aforementioned “genius”)
I have held back all of this for quite some time, but when I read some of the stuff written about how great ECO is, I feel the need to say what many of us know to be true, and a few of us aren’t afraid to say.
I would never encourage anyone to go to Chouest, unless I really did not like them, and I can’t think of anyone I hate that much.
I’ve heard of 2 similar horror stories but never experienced anything even close. Both of those occured several years ago as well. During my tenure (albeit short) at Chouest my experience has been very positive. I have recieved any & everything that was “promised” although once I had to remind the individual what he promised, and I have received everything I have requested with regard to vessel choice. They have been extremely flexible in allowing me the opportunity to take STCW courses, both at their training center and offsite.
Trust me when I say I DO NOT BLEED ORANGE. I stand up for what I believe and have made my position clear on more than a couple of issues and have received nothing but the utmost in respect from the office.
I originally came to Chouest to take advantage of their training center and had every intention of moving on when I got what I needed. But the total compensation package is very competitive, the equipment is really good, the opportunity for advancement or transfers to some other discipline is really good, the people (overall) are good to work with, and they have treated me really fair. I have no reason to go anywhere else.
There are some bad points, as there are with any large company, but from my experience the positive aspects far outweigh the negative ones.
I know not everyone has had a similar experience.
Newcomer, try it or don’t. I just know for me it was a great way to kncok out my STCW classes and it so happens that the company as a whole exceeded my expectations, so I’m still here! and glad I was given the opportunity.