Rookie AB / Captain Questions

Hello all,

I currently hold a 50 ton Masters License (near coastal) I have enough accrued sea time during this issue to qualify for a 100 ton Master upgrade (also near coastal)

I have over 600 days of sea service accrued on a 65’ (64’9" to be exact) Fishing charter boat serving as Mate / 2nd Captain in the GOM that is registered at 66 Gross Tons

I am looking for a permanent career change into the merchant marine industry. Considering I have two children and a home to support entering the academy as a full time student with no income is not an option for me.

I am looking into a few schools to obtain my basic safety stcw95, Lifeboat and Able Body Seamen certifications.

Once I have completed these classes next month (already have my TWIC card) I will be sending in my packet for the renewal of my ticket, tonnage upgrade and endorsement addition. I am assuming I will qulify for a tonnage upgrade to 100 tons and my AB endorsement (most likely AB Limited OSV)

First Question: Is the lifeboat course worthwhile in gaining employment since I am a rookie to the industry?

I would prefer not to sail internationally starting out, however GOM and inland would be my preferences. Having my 100 ton ticket, will I be able to find steady work easy?

I understand and am willing to start towards the bottom and work up, my goal is to eventually gain the experience to serve as a Deck Officer working my way up the ladder. Any Hints?

What sort of daily pay rate (or annual pay) could I expect for the first year?

What are the advantages to go union versus non union considering my ticket? If Union is the better way, then which one?

Which companies are easier to get hired by?

Any newbie advice would be greatly appreciated.

Lots of questions there but, I got stuck on the 66 ton boat with a 50 ton license.

Served as a mate / second captain, not a full time captain.

No jobs are easy to get, but you can get one if you are determined.

Step 1: Get your MMD (zcard) BST, AB , PSC (lifeboat) In my opinion I would get all of this done and then go knocking on doors. Just keep knocking untill you get a job. Go down to the bayou in person. Also search this entire site, because your same questions is on hear numerous times. Go ahead and get your 100 upgrade if you qualify.

Don’t procrastinate and just get your classes done. Then go get a job. It is all about how bad you want it.

Doesn’t everyone need lifeboatman gefore they can get ann AB? Or can he circumvent this because of his license?

How do you sail as 2nd captain on a 66 ton vessel while holding a 50 ton license? Mate, certainly, but captain? Something doesn’t compute.

Just having a Masters license does not make you a Captain! If you can go ahead and upgrade to the 100t. License. You do not say what type of MMD you hold. While to the best of my knowledge you do not need lifeboat (or didn’t use to) for a AB special. Any AB ticket is a plus. Having the 100 ton license you may be able to get on a utility boat or crew boat and learn the industry. Nothing supersedes the hands on experience that you can get actually doing the job. Right now take any, ANY, job that is offered that will get you wheelhouse experience. Go online or by the 46CFR parts 1-40 and do the research for what you need to advance. Nobody has as much interest in you or knowledge of your particular situation as you do. Decide what you want to do and look up the path to take. You can try SIU in Houston. And when the get off the deck from laughing they May be able to help you.

Down here in Florida around the recreational circuit as we call it, they use the term 2nd Captain to make us wannabe captains feel special. The commercial equivalent would be mate, as rarely did the captain leave the wheel house except for maybe getting a cup of coffee. Please excuse the title I used as I am a rookie :slight_smile:

No problemo. See, you’ve learned something useful already!

Captain Tyler - Hey, the mates on the crew boats are called second captain. Four months ago I didn’t know what a second captain was, and now I are one…

Sorry to hijack this- but this thread got me thinking…

I have 160 12 hour days as an OS, over 200 days in the galley and my bst.

I don’t have my RFPNW-or PSC/lifeboatman.

I’ve been looking for an OS job in the gulf- hoping to upgrade to AB OSV.

Do I really need rfpnw and PSC to get my AB OSV?

Mr Cavo?

Every AB/Mate I’ve worked with has said yes- but none of them were AB OSV’s.

I looked at the USCG web site and and am now fairly certain I don’t need them.

Which would mean- I can get my AB now!:slight_smile:

OS - Yes you will need to get the RFPNW assesments completed for AB OSV. You can turn your app in to NMC, but you will get the phone call or letter stating that you need to complete the assesments. At least that is what has happened with the OS’s that I have worked with over the past 4 years. IF you have a chunk of change hanging around you can go to MPT in Fort Lauderdale and for $795 you can do the assesments in the simtulator there. Just something to think about. You do not however need the PSC to get the AB OSV rating. But, as you move up the ladder you will need to have it.