Rookie for GOM, any pointers?

This is a great site, w/ outstanding information
I’m from the Mid-Atlantic area.
I have an OUPV, Masters 50 Inland,
TWIC, Passport, driver’s license and a college degree.
I’ve been reading here while taking classes and studying.
I just sent my paperwork off to WVA for:
MMD, STWC95, AB Special, Lifeboat, RFPNW (lookout only)

When these come back(March maybe, I hope.) I plan to heed the advice here
and head down to LA w/ resume in one hand and bags in the other.
I’d like to work in the rig supply/ crew boat field.
I’ve got a list of a dozen or so companies and will, e-mail, fax, call
my resume and set up interviews first.
Coat & tie for the interviews and Carhartt’s & Grunden’s in the bags.
I plan on being persistent and I’m confident and determined.
I read the list from capt anonymous and have most of that stuff already…
I don’t know if I really want to be the FNG walking down the pier w/ his
his ultra soft sheets and fluffy pillow. So I may have to suck up a little discomfort.
couple questions?
What’s a “float coat”
What do employers provide? Work vest ? helmet?
Any other advice or instruction or comments??
Hope my Rookie season goes as well as Joe Flacco’s!!

No matter what you do, you will be the FNG. Especially coming down with a college education and from the northeast. A “float coat”, or at least what I know one to be is a winter coat that is also bouyant, taking the place of a PFD.

Remember, this isn’t “The Deadliest Catch”. Most of the year the Gulf is pretty warm. Just don’t sweat the small stuff. The biggest adjustment, I think, that anyone will have to make is being away from friends/family and loss of privacy.

A float coat is a USCG approved Type III PFD that doubles as a stylish jacket that you can use to impress your shipmates (and the girls), and also it will keep you afloat should you really be a FNG and fall overboard.

I don’t think I have ever heard of a better description of a float coat and its many uses Capt A!

Hey I always roll with my high thread count sheets and fluffy pillow. I also bring a $70 foam mattress top and a blanket made by an ex that I love. Blanket not the ex, she has just recently been downgraded from evil fucking bitch to just a bitch.

We spend too much time away from home to be uncomfortable, so don’t be afraid to bring what ever you think you might need to make your self more comfortable. Especially anything having to do with sleep.

[quote=Jemplayer;7280] she has just recently been downgraded from evil fucking bitch to just a bitch.

Jemplayer, that’s quite an upgrade for what was obviously an evil woman…any particular reason for the change in status ?:smiley:

I think showing up with your own bedding makes one look LESS like a FNG! It shows you know the score…:smiley:

Comfort points well taken!

Maryland is below the Mason-Dixon Line
So I’ve got that going for me too.

It’s 13 degrees outside here right now
But I’m guessing un insulated Carhartt’s is the way to go.

Overalls and coveralls are these pretty much the dress code?
I need a pair of each??


A year and a half, some of the resentment has left. I cant hold a grudge forever :stuck_out_tongue: Plenty of other fish in the sea.

HA! Ya , I have been there and done that…It just takes time to get past an EFB !

Those vacuum storage bags really help squish the pillows, sheets, comforters, etc into a manageable package.

On our tug we have a running competition to see who can come up with the best cartoon character sheets and comforters. One guy has the “Little Mermaid”, another “Pocahantus” (sp?), another “Spongebob”. Adds color to an otherwise drab cabin.

Bring the sheets, a good pillow, pillow cover and a good foam mattress top - you wont regret it! I always try to to put clean sheets on if I know crappy weather is coming - I may not sleep but the rack will feel good!
All the best,

I always bring my own bedding along with a towel. Nothing worse then having to use a towel that has “short & curlys” caught in the towel. I also bring multivitamins, antacids, advil, vitamin c tabs (to help with a cold).

Thanks for the vac-bag tip!!
I’m putting together a mini pharmacy too.
Keep the info comming!1

From your credential list you’ll be coming out as an ordinary or able seaman initially, but you didn’t say what your aspirations are. If you want to work your way up as a deck officer you have more interesting options. If you decided to work toward an engineer license you would come out on OSVs primarily. But I’ll assume you want to continue on deck.

Crewboats, technical subchapter T, small passenger vessels, offer rapid advancement for you. You will have to test for Near Coastal Master 100T, but you can do so in only 60 days. Technically it’s 90 days, but working 12 hours shifts on oilfield boats you get 1.5 days for each day you work, so it accumulates quicker.

Crewboats are loads of fun. They are massively overpowered, relatively fast and very maneuverable. The people you will work with on crewboats have strong scoundrel dendencies however. You’ll see a lot of drug and alcohol rule breaking on them too. They are not particularly comfortable boats in poor weather, but in good weather they are fine. From a career standpoint you’ll learn a lot of good stuff. Boat handling is very important in our business, and crewboats offer a lot of wheel time and good experience. After a year or so you can upgrade to 500T Master and move up to bigger boats if you like. You will almost certainly be stuck working 2 for 1 schedules on crewboats.

Utility boats are not as sexy and not nearly as much fun, but they offer good boat handling experience too. They are generally powered at or below what they need and the smaller the boat the less power you’ll have to work with. So it’s good good training in boat handling, more comfortable ride, the accomodations depend on the age of the boat. The new “mini-suppliers,” really just oversized utility boats, have some nice cabin appointments.

OSVs offer nicer rides and bigger accomodation spaces, but more actual work, depending on the company and the condition of the boat. The guys on OSVs are more professional than on the smaller boats, have bigger licenses, more at stake, etc, so they tend to be a little more careful. But there are still plenty of people drinking and smoking on OSVs.

Personally I prefer the crewboat captain as training grounds for bigger boats, but there are lots of people who say big steel boats are too different from crewboats. In reality, the physics are exactly the same, but the big boats do have some additional toys (bank suction, squat, etc) to deal with.

While it’s good advice to bring your own bedding and such, I’m not sure it will go far in making an impression on the crew. But it’s good for you to do so for your own benefit. I’d say bring some good gloves, good sunglasses, and a decent pair of safety glasses. Also bring some reading material or whatever you like to keep busy. Leave the electronic toys at home…

I’d browse some web sites and read up on the boats and try and decide what direction you might like. If you’re not sure try to get on with a big outfit that has a variety, Seacor or Edison Cheoust, and Rigdon/Gulfmark are the only three I would recommend in that catagory, but Seacor and Rigdon are probably still hiring.

I started on crewboats and it was loads of fun. I upgraded to OSVs two years ago to get away from the riff raff and I’ve been happy with that move, though I do miss the boats themselves. I got promoted to captain here a year ago, but that was quicker than you should expect to move up on OSVs.

In general I’d say bring the little things that will make you comfy and safe, and do offer any super strong opinions to the folks you will work with. I never met an illiterate person until I came to south Louisiana, so it was a shocker. There are plenty of very good folks out here, but you may be initially surprised when you get here. Just take it easy and give it some time; the people here are like everyone else, but the state has some major broken pieces (roads, schools, and this was also the first place I ever came where they said don’t drink the water).

If you decide you want to work on an OSV for lift boat give us a call at Aries Marine. It’s a great outfit. I’m not sure if we’re hiring this minute, but we do periodically hire deck personnel. (and if you don’t smoke I can give you the name of our boat)

And I also give this advice. Don’t go to coast guard approved license schools to get your 100T master or 500T mate, whatever you go for. Study and go to the Coast guard and take their exams. It’s good practice for moving up later when you will have no choice but to exam at the REC

Hope some of this is helpful. Good luck.


[QUOTE=Capt_Anonymous;7275]A float coat is a USCG approved Type III PFD that doubles as a stylish jacket that you can use to impress your shipmates (and the girls), and also it will keep you afloat should you really be a FNG and fall overboard.[/QUOTE]

It only helps with women when your within 10 miles or so of the coast… Go to far inland and they will look at you funny… at least I hope it was because of the coat they were looking at me funny… :eek:

fourdegreesc - Enjoyed your post above. I hired on as a second captain on crew boats last fall, and am planning on going after my 500 ton once I have the 360 / 240 days in on the crew boats.

Your comment about not applying to your boat unless you were not a smoker caught my attention. Fortunately the first captain on this boat is a non-smoker, and has set his shipboard policy accordingly, which is respected. But he is the exception to the rule.

I have been on other boats where the captain is a smoker, as is the rest of the crew. I’ve been reluctant to make an isssue of it, being a fairly recent hire, and just happy to be building the time and getting the experience in the oil patch. Am looking forward to the time when I’ll be able to be the one making the smoking policy on the boat… :slight_smile:

Fortunately everyone I’ve met working for this company have been good people, and I haven’t had to deal with riff raff. The cigarette smoke is the one fly in the ointment. There is a reason that Louisiana has the least healthy population of all the states.

Yes. Sorry I wasn’t clearer; I’d like to go the deck rout.
Thanks you’ve given me a lot of good information.
No I don’t smoke, but I’m willing to learn. I’m kidding!:smiley:
Smoking doesn’t bother me.
Primarily, I have to get my foot in the door, after that
learning as much as possible is always a big benefit.
I’m an easy going guy, and am fortunate that I pick things
up rapidly.
So, yes rapid advancement sounds good, if that means crew boats
and fun all the better.
How many years did you put in crew boats?
What are some of the better crew boat companies?
Again most importantly, I think, I need to get on with a company to get sea time.
Thanks again.

Learn to say dare instead of there! learn to say Tree instead of 3 and always say coming up on when your really coming down on. Oh yea Always leave your lights on. One more thing Don’t get in a hurry!! everyone wants it done right away/yesterday, remember that sh&% has been underground/water for 40 million years 20 more minutes isn’t going to Kill’um. Never tell them your a Yankee.

I worked with Texas crewboats in Freeport Texas for several years. I’d recommend them. They take care of their boats and equipment. But if you already have an Able Seaman you should go to supply boats and make the bank until you can get a 100 ton license.

Kudos to Mugsy! That’s all good advice. Remember also, hose-pipe is water hose; screwstick is screwdriver. Surpress the urge to call some one a saber-tooth idiot based on observation and tooth count. The toothbrush was invented there; had it been invented elsewhere it would be the teeth brush.

Crewboats will weather a downturn a little better too, so that’s a thought.

Fair winds.