I’ve spent my career on tugs and never worked on an OSV. For those that have worked both, what’s some of the things a tug engineer should brush up on before working on an OSV?
[QUOTE=ForkandBlade;83035]I’ve spent my career on tugs and never worked on an OSV. For those that have worked both, what’s some of the things a tug engineer should brush up on before working on an OSV?[/QUOTE]
I’ve never worked on either a tug or OSV but I’ve been on OSVs. Everybody with a license is a freaking captain, that would take some getting used to. I am not sure if everyone with a license in the engine room is a chief but one would think so seeings as how they’d wanna be fair about it. The port mechanics are also called port captain instead of port engineer with some outfits. In short, you can’t swing a stick without smacking a captain down there.
I was referring more to things like discharging mud, p-tank info, DP and equipment, and responsibilities of that nature. I assure you, tugboats have their fair share of “entitled” personnel.
[QUOTE=ForkandBlade;83043]I was referring more to things like discharging mud, p-tank info, DP and equipment, and responsibilities of that nature. I assure you, tugboats have their fair share of “entitled” personnel.[/QUOTE]
I am sure you’ll find what you need to know on this forum not that you’ve been specific. I have worked with some former OSV engineers and they have told me that they put in some long hours. A few have told me that the chief has to be up whenever they are moving fluids whether it mud, cement or whatever. This is in addition to their regular duties/watch which can mean little uninterrupted sleep when you by a rig. I’ve met some really tired chiefs at the airport in New Orleans in the past. Hopefully things have changed for them.
[QUOTE=ForkandBlade;83043]I was referring more to things like discharging mud, p-tank info, DP and equipment, and responsibilities of that nature. I assure you, tugboats have their fair share of “entitled” personnel.[/QU
It will all depend on what company and what size of boat. The smaller companies still run one engineer, so yes in that case you will be up forever as tengineer stated. The larger companies with the bigger boats usually put a chief and a qmed on each watch, so that is not so bad. You do your 12 hour watch and hand it over to some one else. You will still be doing most of the maintenance, just less of the major repairs, from what I hear. Get used to dragging hoses around on deck, because that will be the main purpose of your being, on a mud boat.
[QUOTE=tengineer;83041]I Everybody with a license is a freaking captain, that would take some getting used to. I am not sure if everyone with a license in the engine room is a chief but one would think so seeings as how they’d wanna be fair about it. [/QUOTE]
It is not like that on every boat. Some of us don’t have an ego and just want the job done safely and efficiently, no more, no less.
It’s all about time management on OSV’s with only one engineer.
Our’s seems to be up for 24hr’s and then get about 3 days doing nothing. Now I only need him to pump fuel and mud, but the rig only wants to take a few hundred barrels at a time every 4 hours is why he stays up so long. It helps that the AB’s that work the night watch with me can take on and pump bulk and water.
The reason I say time management is because he always seems to bitch that he needs to do an oil change about the time we enter one of these 24hr cycles or after we’ve been sitting at the dock for a few days and now we are headed offshore.
And yes everyone has a masters license even our engineer.
Sounds like you guys have more captains than a certain sweet cereal has on it’s box top.
I can tell you the differences that I have seen through the years. Back when I was sailing and moved to tugs, they were all hauling barges or ATBs. With the hawser boats, we carried one engineer and I did all the maintenance and most of the repairs. The company had a policy with the EMDs that if there are four power packs or less to be changed, the Chief did the work. More than that, Marine Systems would come down. When I started on the ATB, I had one, then two assistants during my time onboard. Very often the office would send down engineers from the OSV side of the world. For the most part, or at least the ones that I had, were way out of their environment. They were used to shoreside mechanics doing most of the repair/maintenance work. I don’t think that I ever had one that could parallel the generators. I am not casting aspersions, but just stating what I found. Now, this was back in the day before DP supply vessels and so forth. I am sure that on the larger DP vessels, things may be a bit more different as their plants are more complicated than the average Halter built supply vessel.
When I came ashore and started working for ABS, I had my first exposure to the OSV side of the world. I find that at least on the non-oilfield tugs, the engineers are expected to be quite a bit more self sufficient. As stated above, much of what an OSV engineer does is start and stop engines and pump fluids.
I do like the bit about having so many Captains. In the last month or so, I spent a few weeks working a job on a sat boat. I am pretty sure that I met three Captains. I do know that I met the Chief and the Rent-a-Chief, too. Good bunch over all, but I guess once these guys get the Captain’s paper, they don’t want to sail as a Mate anymore. I wonder what their discharges read. Are discharges still issued?
And then there are the boats’ whose engineer could not fix a damn toaster. That me, the captain has to go cover his ass… cant fired him and they wont move him. Must be nice to be a protected minority.
I would just like to know how what else is involved going to the OSVs vs the tugs. Ive run into quite a few engineers in NOLA airport who claim CAT comes down to do valve adjustments and simple things. Basic proficency with the systems should be the same, just never been on a mudboat and with the pay scale going the way it is, it doesnt make the gulf seem so bad. Anyone wanna list off somethings that really could be mind blowing on a 240class osv? As an assistant?
Yes mechanics may come down to the vessel for some work. With some companies they do have to come down for simple stuff. More times than not they call a mechanic down for many other reasons. The oil company needs the vessel ready for a fast turn around. Because of the frequency of trips in and out and proximity to the dock most companies don’t keep spare parts onboard. This cuts down on overhead. Most companies don’t bother with the laptop and software for the engines for the same reasons. Sometimes it’s easier having a mechanic come down with the parts and make sure it’s all running before he leaves. You definitely get the full spectrum of engineering skills down here from deckineer to rock star. I don’t think this is strictly a GOM thing judging by some of the comments I’ve seen on here from tug guys. If you fancy yourself in the superstar engineer category come down here and get a job. If you got the skills you will have a good rep and get well compensated.
The Company that I work for has their own mechanics do the Valve Adjustments. However most of the engineers that I know could and would do it if they were allowed to do it. With that being said, that just means less work for them and they still get paid. From what I have seen though, it creates an environment on the OSVs that is not conducive to learning anything or retaining some of an engineer’s basic skills.
I think preventative maintenance is kind of on par on any kind of vessel. Some of the questions I would have concern pumping and recirculating the mud, dealing with the platforms, transfering the dry powders/cements and things of that nature. Totally different concept for us tug guys. The few P-Tank questions we prepare for on exams doesn’t really get too thorough. How do the OSV companies in the Gulf prepare new hire engineers? Do they put them on as extra men for a few days or throw them to the wolves from day one?
You’re hired in as engineer in training. You will have to complete a company sign off packet. Don’t sweat it you won’t get thrown to the wolves right off the bat. They understand you’re coming from a different segment of the industry and you need to be trained. Having said that if you don’t pick it up in a reasonable amount of time (3-6 months) you won’t be around long. It’s not rocket science but some people don’t always work out. You will be an extra man until you’re signed off.
As someone stated earlier-------Receiving/Discharging Fluids----I.E. Fuel, Liq Mud, Methanol and Dry Bulk Cargo-----I E Cement, Spacer