Sea-time toward A/B ticket

Until now I’ve been a grass-combing land-lubber – other than a summer on a salmon boat and several transits under sail – but I’m certain that I want to make a career as a mariner. It sounds like the GOM is the place to go to gain experience (although I’d take an O/S job just about anywhere). Here’s my question: I’ve been offered a deckhand position aboard a windjammer over the summer, sailing from FL to ME and then doing daysails. Would I be wasting my time with this job? Should I just go to the GOM and start working on actual workboats, or would my time on the schooner count towards my A/B ticket and give me bankable experience? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. By the way, the windjammer is 68 GT.

I am pretty sure that time on the wind jammer would count towards an AB special or OSV rating. Time for limited and unlimited needs to be on boats bigger than a 100 tons.

In my opinion, the sooner you get into the workboat industry, be it tugs or crew/utility/supply boats or even deep drafts, the better off you will be. Not to knock yachts, but it’s not exactly transferrable experience.

There are only a couple of boats that fit that description. While windjamming is good practical seamanship experience and fun, not many people in the commercial world understand that. The downside is that it is not well perceived in the commercial world, service on a 68 ton vessel (that mostly operates on what the USCG considers to be “inland waters”) is of limited upgrade value, and of course it does not pay a living wage. You would probably be better off going to Louisiana to find a real job.

68 tons will def get you an AB unlimited. There is no tonnage requirements for unlimited. Just 1080 days of service.

[QUOTE=Dano;136950]Until now I’ve been a grass-combing land-lubber – other than a summer on a salmon boat and several transits under sail – but I’m certain that I want to make a career as a mariner. It sounds like the GOM is the place to go to gain experience (although I’d take an O/S job just about anywhere). Here’s my question: I’ve been offered a deckhand position aboard a windjammer over the summer, sailing from FL to ME and then doing daysails. Would I be wasting my time with this job? Should I just go to the GOM and start working on actual workboats, or would my time on the schooner count towards my A/B ticket and give me bankable experience? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. By the way, the windjammer is 68 GT.[/QUOTE]

Don’t let anyone hear you call it a “windjammer” if you’re part of the crew…

That’s very polite compared with my I’ve heard and may have uttered…

W.

Why not? Is “windjammer” verboten in the blowboating culture?

It’s a term only tourists use. Equivalent to calling the bow of the boat “the front” and the head “the bathroom”.

As for the OP, it seems to me it would be an advantage to sail on a 68 GRT sailing vessel, as opposed to just a motor vessel, because the vessel counts as both a sailing vessel and motor vessel. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong! If you were just on a 68 GRT motor vessel, you’d have to spend extra time on sailing vessels to eventually get a sailing endorsement if that interested you in the future. For a sailing endorsement on a captain’s license, you’d need 365 days on a sailing vessel. You never know when a sailing endorsement may come in handy. What about those futuristic sail assisted cargo vessels? What credentials will they require someday?

It’s def an advantage to obtain the sailing endorsement. Maybe not for sail assisted ships. Seems like those were around in the 1800s. Time is money.

[QUOTE=Enarubin;137835]It’s def an advantage to obtain the sailing endorsement. Maybe not for sail assisted ships. Seems like those were around in the 1800s. Time is money.[/QUOTE]

There are new cargo ships being built, call them experimental, that use kites, or fixed wing-type sails to help save on fuel. I think the kites can be used on existing ships as well.

[QUOTE=Dano;136950]Until now I’ve been a grass-combing land-lubber – other than a summer on a salmon boat and several transits under sail – but I’m certain that I want to make a career as a mariner. It sounds like the GOM is the place to go to gain experience (although I’d take an O/S job just about anywhere). Here’s my question: I’ve been offered a deckhand position aboard a windjammer over the summer, sailing from FL to ME and then doing daysails. Would I be wasting my time with this job? Should I just go to the GOM and start working on actual workboats, or would my time on the schooner count towards my A/B ticket and give me bankable experience? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. By the way, the windjammer is 68 GT.[/QUOTE]

If you want a CAREER as a mariner then don’t be jackin’ around on boats that are not part of the career plan. You say you would TAKE a job as an OS… have you even looked? You have your TWIC? MMD? Basic Safety Training? If none of the above and you need to earn funds to acquire some of the above then go to work on whatever you can… If you have all of the above then start trying to find work as an OS.

[QUOTE=MariaW;138151]There are new cargo ships being built, call them experimental, that use kites, or fixed wing-type sails to help save on fuel. I think the kites can be used on existing ships as well.[/QUOTE]

Been done. MSC chartered a ship so equipped several years ago. It’s all pushbutton deployment and operation. Then the computer takes over, using input from navigational instruments. I doubt one would need a sailing endorsement to operate such a sail from a bridge workstation. They do seem to help with fuel costs. It would likely be engineers doing most of the maintenance.

Thanks to everyone for their replies. I’ve decided to move, lock, stock, and barrel, down to LA to get an O/S job on an OSV, dive-, lift-, or tug-boat (I’m not picky, just want time on the water). I’ve got my TWIC, MMD, copies of resume and documents, seabag packed, applications filled out, know which boat companies are in which towns and where to spend my time most effectively. I’m gonna make it happen. And that means renting a place in or near Houma for a home base. So, two more questions: Can anyone recommend a nice, rural town to live in around Houma? And should I sign up for Fletcher Community College’s STCW course right away, or only after I’m sure I can’t get a job without it? I’ve read through a lot of posts, and from what I can gather, I’ll likely be able to find a job first, and then have my STCW training subsidized. Observations?