Newb joining the industry

Hello! I am new to the industry and just took an offer with ECO as an OS deckhand. Im 43 yrs old and starting a new career. Ive been in construction for the past 21 yrs and excited to start something new and challenging. I leave on 8/14 to fly out to La. and start a 2 week basic saftey training before boarding a vessel to start work.

I would like to know what to expect and how to prepare myself for this journey. If anyone has any advice on what items one should pack or anything else, I would greatly appreciate it and thank anyone for the time and feedback.

Incase anyone is wondering if Im crazy for wanting to take on a new career this late in life, Ill save you the time and answer "Yes! "
After 21 years of installing flooring, beating my body up, chasing the $ through the ups and downs of the economy, (running my own business for the last 10 yrs.) I’ve finally hit a point where this career is going know where.
I understand that there will be challenges I will face in the Maritime industry, but that is what Im willing to accept and looking forward to overcome.

I look forward to hearing any insight and again, thanks in advance…

Eyes open mouth shut & listen a lot. Make sure you understand what is asked of you. No whistling in the wheelhouse! The myths and realities of being at sea will quickly become apparent. Enjoy.


There are no more challenges in the maritime industry than any other new job. You might have to wear steel toed shoes but other than that it’s like working any place else. Follow instructions and learn. You’re like a new hire McDonald’s employee, only difference is you are on a floating franchise.


Thank you!

Much appreciated!
I wondering what the living situation is like and how one should pack. I’d like to be prepared, yet dont want to bring too much either. I’m packing basic work clothes and a few clean change of clothes. Also taking a backpack for carry-on.
Would this be ok or should I worry about condensing?

If you are working in the gulf you won’t have to worry about packing ‘warm’ clothes. At least till winter. Have a good pair of boots. All the rest of the PPE you need they will provide.

Have at least 4 or 5 changes if clothes. If you are on any medication, at least enough to last you 2 months. That goes for toiletries too.

You’ll be staying at the bunkhouse before you get to a boat, while you do your classes. Be prepared to share a room with up to 3 other guys, and they may not be as courteous as you are. The bunkhouse is a little shady but at least it’s free.

It’s a good time to break in to the industry, and ECO is a great place for that. You can grow there and they are very diverse. Good attitude, work hard, don’t wear your heart on your sleeve.

Any other particular questions you may have, feel free to PM me. Best of luck to you.


The bunkhouse is a shit hole. Don’t let it give you a bad impression.


Best advice I can give is:

  1. just do the job and go home.
  2. Don’t get wrapped up in boat/company drama.
  3. Dont allow yourself to be thin-skinned, i.e. if you’re the kind of person who is outgoing/lack of filter, expect the same from your crew mates.
  4. Don’t get Stingy on Boots. If you’re starting on deck and $$ isn’t much of an issue, Red Wing Irish Setters will last years if you take care of them.
  5. Keep your mind open to different routes you can take either it being deck or engine room. Both have benefits long term however in my opinion the engine room route is better job security.
  6. Horde any and all learning materials for reference if it’s in PDF or printable. I have stacks and files full of all kinds of reference material that still benefit me even after years out here.

I started at age 55 seven years ago after 34 years in an Office job(s). Still going strong. You’ll be fine.

1 Like

If you are a guy you will be fine.

Compared to gals ?

I’ve worked with and seen plenty of women that have risen through the ranks to high positions in the maritime industry and have had successful careers.

1 Like

You may have opened pandora’s box.

1 Like

Aw geez. Lawd help me.

1 Like

Well post an article about them!!! And not someone’s girlfriend or wife or daughter. That doesn’t count!!!

always sleep with your head aft. in case they ram into something. your head will slam into the bulkhead and you’ll break you neck

no joke


No doubt. If the OSV MV Thunder has taught us anything it’s that the guy driving might be browsing crossing a fairway and before you know it you’re thrown across your stateroom.

The best sleep you can get is a bunk that’s port/stbd.

1 Like

Funny, I started at 48 ))) And you can find people in their late fifties at SIU apprentices program in Maryland))) )))