OSV vs Dive Support vs Research

Thinking about where to go to work on a new 200 ton Mate NC license.

Looking for opinions on the pros and cons of working on OSVs vs
Dive Support vessels vs Geophysical or Oceanographic vessels.

I wonder which job makes one a sharper seaman, or gives you skills that
are more transferable throughout the industry.

And of course I also wonder where the pay and conditions are better.

Any advice most welcome.

Newbie - I would say that just taking the first step is the key. There are a lot of companies, lots of various types of boats, and so much information to try to digest in a short amount of time, that it makes ones head spin just thinking about it. My suggestion would be to try an operator that is large enough to allow you opportunities, and upward advancement, as well as offering a diverse fleet to think about as you increase the scope of your license. In your case, with a 200 ton NC license, I would consider starting off on crew boats, and working my way up from there. Most new generation vessels - other than crew boats, and mini supply boats - are well over 200 gross tons US Regulatory, so that somewhat limits what you can consider your first time out.

A few suggestions - Edison Chouest Offshore, Tidewater Marine, and Seacor to name a few - All well established companies, offering benefits, and that have operations that include a range of vessels from crewboats, to Research and Specialty vessels. Each offers a web page with quite a bit of information.

Best way to approach it is to be ready to fly down and be standing in their waiting room if they express any interest in new applicants at all.

If you have any more questions, throw them out there and we’ll try to get them answered for you…El C

I was wondering about some specifics.

I worked on a 4-point dive vessel, and we didn’t spend much time underway.
Is it safe to say a mate gets more experience standing underway watches
on an OSV than he would on a dive vessel?

On a research vessel or a dive vessel, the vessel carries customers. Is it correct
to say that can be good or bad, depending on how you like having the extra folks around?

I’ve heard dive support work is steady despite downturns in the industry. (Rigs will
always need repair.) Is that so?

Pay and advancement, is it any better on one or another of these kinds of vessels?

Appreciate the lowdown on these or any other issues. Thanks -

<P>I have operated on saturation diving, ROV & supply vessels. For the more laid back work ROV & Dive Saturation vessels are the ticket. OSV’s, crew boats and utility boats will bring you more shiphandling experience. I would suggest to go with the largest you can operate on. The bigger the better is generally always true. If you are looking for experience with shiphandling, OSV’s is what you want. As far as pay and advancement, this depends solely on the company you would work for and the availability of an opening in a position. Keep in mind that when you have dive support and vessels of that nature the customers become particular partial to the people that they have been working with vessel wise. There could be some favoritism in that area. Advancement will be more “likely” in OSV’s because of the numbers of them. Some companies pay more than other. Is that not always the case? As far as dive support work: Being steady despite downturns in the industry, I would not put much stock in worrying about that. The oil and gas industry is very volatile market. The best thing to do is to try to find a company that don’t have all their eggs in one basket. This is to say for them to be diverse. I would use Tidewater as a last resort because they lay-off when the industry is slow. Some companies try to maintain their employees and “weather” through the downturn. I know some companies do this. With your license, to get the maximum amount of vessel you can operate, I would suggest Abdon Callais. They were able to keep the tonnage of the vessels down by strategically placing tonnage doors. For example: The M/V Claire M. Callais is only 76 GRT. She is 210’ long DP2 vessel!!! Check their website out for you to make a better informed decision. Just google Abdon Callais Offshore. </P>
<P>2nd Mate AGT Oceans & 1600GRT/3000GT Master Oceans</P>

Thank you for taking the time. Appreciate your detailed response!

Anytime. Good Luck in your endeavors.