[QUOTE=Craig;63997]I have been searching around the archived posts, and recived LOTS of great information.
Not only that, this seems to be a collection of gentelmen with valuable information.
I have been turning a wrench for a living for 23 years, I have two mechanic certifications, have worked Big army equipment (my original apprenticship), Locomotives, heavy trucks and the such, and for the last 10 years boats. Boats range from alot of sailboats with 30hp engines, to small tugs and big yachts with engines of up to about 1000hp.
I am 42, and have decided to persue a carreer away from the dock.
I start my required MED’s next week and should be available to start building sea time sometime in April.
The areas i’m looking for input on are “Are there jobs in this field or am i starting something at a terrible time” : “how close is the licencing procdure for mariners in Canada, to the information I get here, in this Forum?” and lastly “if I start as an engineer am I handcuffed to engineering, or is it an easy transition to the Brige/Operations side of the industry”
Thanks, I thought I might as well put it out there all at once. Its tough to get feedback without asking the questions?![/QUOTE]
Craig, I’m a retired Chief Engineer, Steam and Motor, Unlimited Horse Power, and I have a few thoughts for you. First, you may find this site has some information:
Second. you have an excellent track record as a mechanic and I feel you would fit right in aboard any vessel. As for your question “are there jobs.” yes, however not as many as I would like to see. The US Merchant Marine has just about disappeared, I’m talking deep draft sea going cargo ships. The US still has a Merchant Marine and, yes, there are employment opportunities. So as far as your comment “am I starting at a terrible time,” my reply has to be it depends upon you and your desire to obtain employment. If you really want to go to sea you will find a job.
Third, you question of being “handcuffed,” the answer is it depends. In the USA one is either Deck or Engine and to transfer from one to the other would require a suitable sailing time as unlicensed in the both departments or return to a Maritime School. Not that easy but doable. My suggestion, should you feel you would like to start a new career on Deck then give it a good thought, make-up your mind, and then go for it. You need to contact Canada’s Merchant Navy and inquire about the ability to transfer any Canadian License to the US Coast Guard issued License, or do you intend to sail on Canadian vessels?
Do not be concerned about your age, you have years of spunk remaining and with your attitude you will do just fine.
Wish I could be of more help.