Seafarers International Union School vs Attending an Academy


A Green will give you enough time. An Alliance is mostly the same as a Maersk container run. No getting off in Saudi Arabia, but elsewhere, yeah you can. On a Liberty and an ARC ro-ro, hehe. Good luck on those 2.


STOS. What a joke. You’re still an OS, except that the union is shortselling you to the company so in case you need to be called up to steer, they can do that without paying you shit.
Please show me a contract that is gonna pay you close to 10k a month as an ordinary, even with vacation calculated in, it is just a sea story.
A lot of ABs don’t even make that.
No I don’t know personally, yet I’ve worked with many apprentices and this isn’t the reality. Fuck, even bosuns hate the apprentices.
Last AB I worked with had gone through the apprenticeship and didn’t even know how to use relative points for reporting contacts. Like I said, happy for you, you seem like an exception. There are a few out there.
The reality is the quality has gone down and I am surprised companies put up with that shit. I would just go foreign flag. Better quality unlicensed for half the money.


Green point didn’t give me squat for time off. Except once because they gay captain wanted to go to town in PR.


Lol suddenly I’m a shitty mate on watch because my iPhone corrected me? Listen I’m all for hawsepipers, I am one myself, I sail for Crowley and I assure you they want academy grads in the wheelhouse as much as possible. Maybe it’s also based on the fact that they don’t want to lose quality tankerman either. Definitely a factor. I don’t base anything off of the GOM. BTW lose your shit attitude or you’re never going to make it in this industry…but who am I? Just a shitty mate on watch who can’t spell.


I’m MM&P and can’t stay strenuously enough that this is not the truth. The Masters Mates & Pilots is wide open for working mates and you can jump from company to company to find the one that suits you best. I never waited 3 weeks for a job as third mate in the early aughts and things haven’t changed from what I see at the hall. If you show up every day you will get a job. You just can’t be picky. The secret is that the best ships I’ve ever been on were low paying. Things are generally more laid back.


An STOS is more than an OS and requires more than knowing how to steer & you still need the endorsements to steer. Does the OS have that? To become an AB after Phase 5, you should’ve steered and the SIU places you on an appropriate ship. How is it short selling? OSG and MSC specifically ask for STOS and, they have you relieve the AB-Watch, especially in the Suez. That is OT for a STOS and that’s paying shit? You’re talking out of your ass.

Try Seay, Sissler, Pilliilau, etc. Or any standard contract oil tanker, Again, you don’t know the fuck that you’re talking.

I can give you stories about mates too. Except that, I don’t tell tales. As for Bosuns, not liking apprentices, lol.

Seems like you’re already foreign flag, on Pride of America and don’t know shit about US flag.

Fuck off.


Going by your past comments, color me unimpressed.

As for the rest, especially Crowley, it’s yada yada. There’s a reason why SIU sends all Phase 4 apprenticers to Crowley and a reason why practically all Crowley ships go “All Ports”, except the Hapag-Lloyd ships.


My opinion and impressions are based on:

  1. On the last Green ship that I was on, it took the devils own time for the 3rd mate to get a job on a Green ship and go commercial. He was stuck on a MSC ship in DG, till he managed to snag a spot on that Green ro-ro.

  2. Ditto for a 2nd mate who was stuck on an Ocean ship as a 3M and could not find openings.

  3. Same for a 2m on a Maersk ship, who just got lucky as that 2M was pro-active and had all the certs required by Maersk. BTW, that job had gone “All Ports” and the 2M was on the West Coast and a ‘B’ book.

  4. I see & meet all these day/night reliefs coming aboard and the common refrain is, especially from/in the Ports of NY/NJ, Norfolk, Charleston and Savannah, that they’re finding it hard to get jobs 'coz of ‘A’ books blocking all the jobs. Taking these day/night jobs is the only way they have, as of right now, to make some money. This, especially from the younger grads & newbies.

  5. I have no idea about low paying ships, but I do agree with you on that as well as the fact that the MMP mates are laid back and more fun to work with.


Bias? I thought Tote was Union… How can they be biased in hiring if there’s a fair and open Union hiring process based on seniority? Strange…


For most parts, the lic dept is kinda permanent. The last time I was on a Tote ship, the entire eng dept was from Maine Maritime, with the deck being KP. Even in the unlic dept, the crew plays tags. Phone calls go out before the job hits the halls and bang, the preferred guy gets it.


You are welcome to your impressions of my union but I’ve been riding the good tide of MM&P container ships for 15+ years now and can tell you with no shadow of a doubt, if you are willing to work and can find a lower level tier job, you will find work. If AHL was still around, it would be a moot point. Those ships kept me going for the better part of the 2000’s and I know there are a few others on this forum that can say the same.

In the MM&P you eat shit for a few (or 7 years) and you come out the other side able to make a steady middle class lifestyle a reality. You build your way up as fast possible (CM at 26 and Master at 33 for me). Not the insurmountable odds that some would make it out to be. Hell most members try and discourage the next generation because they know what a good thing they have going. I upgraded to CM with $45k in aftermarket training that was covered by the MATES program at MITAGS.

As for MM&P mates being laid back, it varies as it does everywhere. Matson is the gold standard for flip flops and Hawaiian shirts on watch but they are also some of the most squared away Captains I’ve ever met and hat was only at conferences and union functions.

The union is what it is but it will hopefully be there for many years to come to give young men like I was at 22 a chance to build a decent life out of working at sea. Because honestly. What else is the goal?


STOS is a made up term (by SIU) to designate an ordinary who can steer and be a lookout. It’s STILL an ordinary. It’s not a rating or endorsement. STOS is made up bullshit. And yes. You’re taken advantage of. Overtime you say? Are you making the same rate as an AB for that overtime? If you’re and ordinary who is proficient on the helm (meaning, you have RFPNW), why not become an AB anyway?
It’s quite hilarious how much you believe in SIU and garbage that you have been fed.
You can tell me to fuck off all you want and that just reinforces my opinion of SIU (sadly) and the people who have gone through their bullshit apprenticeship. Good job, bud. Your shitty attitude is gonna take you places, I tell ya


“No body really gives a crap about hawsepipers anymore”

Hmmm, I take exception to this statement… Let’s see- let me impart a bit of background- I started sailing 4/77. I was in the MFOW working for PFEL. By 3/81- just under 4 years, I obtained my 3rd A/E License- Steam. Without the benefit of schooling… I was 21 years old.

By 1990, I held a Chief’s License- took my time moving up. I sailed a lot with the Maine, USMMA and Calhoun Grads from 79-80. A bunch of guys from Maine 81 were with me on two or three different ships.

Usually, we preferred Hawsepipe Engineers to first trip Academy Engineers- because of the Hawsepiper’s previous experience… This all changed when Unmanned Engine Rooms became more prevalent- because all the valuable experience that Unlicensed Watchstanders obtained was now lost because of Unmanned Operation- which meant that most DEMAC’s, UJE’s and QMED’s were either glorified janitors or repairmen.

Today, I see no real difference between a “wet ink licensed” 3rd and a Hawsepipe 3rd, except that the former is probably much better trained in electricity. The “new” USCG-IMO rules for upgrading between Unlicensed and Licensed have made both sides a nightmare to upgrade… We’ll lose a lot of good people because of the USCG’s “interpretation” of the IMO Rules…

Let’s also not forget that there’s AMO’s Tech Program…


I mean no disrespect, but I believe his comment is referring “today” as in right now, not 40 years ago when you started. I do see many hawespipers discouraging young kids from going to an academy, something they themselves didn’t do. I don’t what the reason is, but if you have the chance and means to go to an academy, you should. The networking alone is worth it.


Have things changed? There was no work to be had for applicants 2-3 years ago unless you were a chief mate with MSC training.


So that he can get his 90 days on tankers and loads and discharges so he can get his PIC.

Please don’t give advice to cadets or future cadets.


You do know that a cadet sails out several times during his cadetship, right? He can get his loads/discharges the 2nd time. Unless, he wants to sail coastal. And, how many tankers sail abroad that can give the cadet, both the time to enjoy his cadetship and still get loads/discharges, all in one voyage? C’mon, Capt know-it-all, please tell without Googling, how many ships (i’ll give you a hint: All of 3 ships)? Why should the cadet not enjoy his apprenticeship and have some fun?

Why not? Because it galls you that a hawsepiper is more in tune with the current state of deep sea shipping than a GoM know-it-all? Or, a ring knocker.


At which school? At most schools they only do one cadet shipping, if any. There is no “second time”.

Cadet shipping is a time to learn the job, it’s not a fucking cruise.

See my previous answer.

Because you don’t know what you’re talking about and give horrible advice.


And IF he’s at a school where he gets two cadet shipping trips then he should try to get his loads and discharges on his first one so they’re out of the way, then he can have fun on his second. It’s hard to get a bullet in a tanker and it would suck if he didn’t try on his first one in order to follow your advice and have fun then couldn’t get on a tanker when he wanted to.


Pretty much all of this info is wrong. Given the opportunity to cadet ship on a tank vessel they should absolutely do so as they will then be able to leave school with a PIC which is a big advantage to a graduate. There are many more than 3 tankers available and the point of cadet shipping is to learn and gain sea time, not to enjoy fun ports. There is also no guarantee that you will get a tanker or any ship for that matter.

I respect hawespipers for doing things the hard way but this is clearly something you do not have personal experience with.