Newbie here

Hello everyone, and greetings to where ever you may be. I’m not exactly sure how I got here, but somehow, someway I did and have spent about the past 3 days reading the posts and thought I should join.

As a new mariner in the making, I’ve found this site to be very informative, the posts are great and I want to take full advantage of the advice and wisdom in these pages and posts.

What got me here was my friend who worked for the SIU and hearing his stories and how amazing the Unlicensed Apprenticeship program was in Piney Point, MD. So on September 9th 2009, I set out to get my TWIC and MMC as they were still taking applications for the program. Unfortunately, a few months had passed and I never received a phone call when my TWIC card came in as I would call the main TWIC help desk, saying the card was in transit. After a few months had passed, I was getting worried and took the initiative to call my local office and they said it was there. It was a relief, how ever I had no idea how long it had been sitting there. So with MMC and TWIC in hand I went to apply for the UA program only to find out they are no longer accepting applications, and the program has stopped indefinitely. You can imagine how I felt, but I wasn’t going to let this stop me from reaching my goal. Not long after, I came home with a message on my answering machine saying my TWIC card had arrived, lol!!!

At the moment I’m sitting in idle, awaiting a response from Military Sealift Command on a Supply Utilityman position. They seem like a great outfit and having no sea time or experience, it would seem the best route for me to take. The latest update with them is my application is complete and I should hear from them 4-6 weeks.

I hate sitting Idle, and wonder if there is something I can do that would make me a more attractive candidate for an entry level career at sea?

I’m looking into getting BST at the very least or see that there’s an entry level school program with PMI. Would any of this help me with a position with MSC? Or would they provide that training?

Call me crazy, but I’m willing to start at the bottom, work for peanuts, and hawsepipe my way to the top. I’ve been wanting to do this for almost 5 years, how ever I had some personal affairs to get in order before applying for my TWIC and MMC. Now I’m 30 years old, no wife or kids and able to make any move necessary to reach my goals.

You might want to look into working on a sail training ship. You would be working for somewhere between room and board, and, $35 a day. But you can learn a lot and have fun doing it while you are earning sea time.

You will probably get a lot of advice based upon how much money you can earn. Sail training boats will never pay. But if you looking for a good foundation, as opposed to sitting around waiting for the phone to ring you may want to check out the tall ships. They probably would be looking for a four month commitment.

You could always try a Crew Service. Although there are some small flaws that I do not like but its apart of their program, that is ;

If you go through a crew service they have a database with employers and will locate companies with the critera you are looking for be it a (Deckhand, captain, Stewart, Galley hand ect.) an if hired they take i believe 20% of your check for a certain amount of time until the program reaches its end agreement term. I think its for the first 6 weeks or something to that effect. That’s the thing I do not like but like I said its a part of the program.

Im not sure of the names but they are out there. I have not gone through a Crew Service. But it is a Option. I know this because I have had Deckhands on my vessel, I ask them how they got hired, they would say a crew service, I would say what’s that. Because as I mention I’ve never been through one. I ask them How does that work , they would tell me what I explained above.

Don’t exclude the Academy route. The academics and admissions criteria aren’t that difficult and, after four years of school, you’ll be a licensed 3rd mate or assistant engineer. Work year round right out of school and you’ll have any loans paid off in no time. It will also simplify the complicated advancement processes that are out there… especially if your ambitions are to achieve an officer’s license some day.

Fuji is a good resource on this board and all of the Academies have websites and admissions staff that are willing to help.

Small passenger vessels are starting to crew up for the Alaska season. Like sailing vessels, you won’t get paid much, but you’ll get some experience and water under your belt, meet some great people, and see some cool things.

Lindblad Expeditions uses for hiring deckhands:

Cruise West hires from their own website:

Good luck and safe sailing.

Thanks for all the valuable insight! :slight_smile: I owe you one! I’m gonna do some more research and fill out some apps. I hope to find something, the sooner the better.

BST is always great to have under your belt!

Although you can just start out with your MMC, and work as an Ordinary Seaman, you will find that more training, and course completions will make you more ‘hire-able.’

If you want to make a career of it, it will cost you (currently) approximately 20,000 bucks to attend all the classes you will need to get a license. And you must either attend the courses to pass the exams, or be an excellent reader, and know how to study if you are going to attempt it on your own.

I’ve been patiently waiting for a position as an SU. Filled out my application late Feb, and attended a MSC job fair the first week of March, and was convinced to mail in my application after attending the session. I checked in with the status on my app about once a week and when the job announcement was closed I was losing hope as each week passed. Today 6/23, nearly 10 weeks after the job announcement closed, I finally got the offer from Civmar support center and I gladly accepted. I’m looking forward to everything that lays ahead. I wish everyone good luck and I hope to see you Civmars out there!

Congrats marinermay!