New to the industry, looking for old salt advice

Hello to everyone at gCaptain,

I am Mate_Zac and this is my first post, as I have been reading around I have read some very good opinions, facts and more. I am looking for advice to a 17 year old on how to be a captain and how to last in the shipping industry.

A little about myself,

I have started at 12 years old as a mate on charter fishing boats in the gulfstream, I have worked on boats for commercial fishing, charter fishing, tornaments, small cruise vessels, and ship chandlers, I have enough time to set me on track for a 200 ton masters (small in comperassion but not bad) and am going to USMMA C/O 2019

I love the water and I love fishing my father said if I work on fishing boats as he did he will kick my ass :joy: as it’s a hard living also.

But what would some of the old salts give advice to a young guy who likes to work hard?

Thank you

Needle gun.

Go to the marine employment section of this forum and read the sticky threads.

Don’t hesitate to come back with specific questions.

Needle gun.[/QUOTE] what does that mean? I did read it somewhere else in the USMMA thread and coupled with comments about entiltlement or short ( I’m not one of those guys I assure)

And thank you for that link, it was very helpful, I read on there about jobs for supply’s and locations where they are, what about cargo, tanker, ect kinds of ships.

OH DEAR GOD NO! Not again…

the last time there was one of these threads it ended in a hideous bloodbath with multiple gruesome fatalities…I am not going there again.

but to amuse the unwashed masses, here’s footage of the horrific event…


oh, so much BLOOD!


Keep your mouth shut, and eyes & ears open. Be prepared to grow up fast. Who you are (or think you are) now at 17 will not be the same person who leaves the Zoo (assuming you make it) several years down the road. That’s just the way it is.

My 2 cents.

There you go cCap a prospective USMMA fighter offers himself up as a sacrifice to you.

Edit: Constructive Advice- learn all you can, do well in class, deal with all the bullshit knowing it’s worth it in the end, pass license. Also you should’ve gone to the school across the water.

Thank you for the advice good or bad, it’s what I wanted to hear, and yeah I’ve herd things for and against USMMA and SUNY and the other schools, all have great students and bad ones I’m sure. And I’m playing lacrosse for KP so that’s the other reason I chose it, plus being from small town NC it helps the family out also

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;141917]There you go cCap a prospective USMMA fighter offers himself up as a sacrifice to you.[/QUOTE]

Like I said earlier…I won’t go there again…to decapitate the lad is too easy and just feeds my thirst for more blood. I must forbear from the urge to dismember the body and cram the pieces into a woodchipper.

more killing…MORE KILLING!


The kid is from North Carolina. His choices are limited for a maritime education that won’t bankrupt him trying to get it. I don’t fault him wanting to be a part of the industry. At this point he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. Going to one of the schools, any of them, is a lot of work. I am not sure anyone would look back and say, “Gosh that was fun, I wouldn’t mind doing that again”.

Hi Zac, Im going ot be watching this thread. I am also in NC (mountains though, sounds like you are on the coast.) and 18, looking to get into the shipping industry. I on the other hand, have no expirience.

Good luck, and hopefully I´ll learn something here too.

He said advice from a old salt, not a old fart. Check out the maritime schools like the one in Houston which is San Jacinto College. It’s a 2 year program which will work on your 200 ton mate, towing endorsement, twic, stcw. Kids are coming out of high school going right into this program and the towing companies are looking favorably at them. Good luck.

Join the waterfront when you get to KP. You’ll feel right at home, and you’ll probably quit the lacrosse team.

That’s what I’ve herd, when I visited I stayed at the waterfront a lot of the time, i liked it. I know it sucks a little but you gotta do what you gotta do

If it moves, get out of its way.

If it doesn’t move, clean it, prime it and paint it.

IF the Coast Guard tells you that you can’t do it, dial a different number for the Coast Guard. Most of them know everything, but few of them know the same thing.

Unless you are the Captain, never be the Captain.

If you know the Captain is wrong, be sure that you are right before you tell him.

It is hard to argue a reference, unless that reference is wrong.

Don’t spit into the wind, or discharge any other body fluids for the same reason.

If your on deck and it looks like the boat is going to hit the dock, don’t be a fender.

If you know that you can’t take it anymore and it’s time to grab your Sea Bag and go home to your mother, close your eye’s, turn around three times then click your heels together while you repeat the magical Mantra: “There is no place like the Boat, There is no place like the Boat”.

Remember, a bad day at sea is always better then a good day in a office.

Zac, I am a current Mid at KP right now (Class of '17) and if you want me to answer any questions for you feel free to message me.

Hey good luck buddy. I started commercial fishing when I was twelve too. But I DID know what a needle gun was and I DID know what it meant to get beat up by other hands and lean into freezing weather for days on deck.

My advice from one young guy to another. Is harden up. Drop the glory drop the hope. Build yourself up to grind and beat your head against the shittiest people you’ve ever met.

A farmer is a better sailor than you if he’s a harder worker. Never forget that.

Thank you for the advice, I’m excited to begin whatever adventure comes. And your right it’s about working hard forsure. I’m sure it will be a challenge but it sounds like something to open up new doors!

You got it good luck. Find an old timer who takes a shine to you and learn everything you can draw out of him. You can’t protect yourself alone out there either.