If you had to pick one skill that is a must have in your industry to have what would it be? I’m talking about something that sets you apart from the other guys.
I have heard tons things. I grew up on tugs on the west coast and always heard the “old timers” we’ll most of them say anyone can run a boat. But landing a barge is what sets you apart especially in some hole in the wall places. Stuff like that. Just curious
[QUOTE=jmad;116398]If you had to pick one skill that is a must have in your industry to have what would it be? I’m talking about something that sets you apart from the other guys.
I have heard tons things. I grew up on tugs on the west coast and always heard the “old timers” we’ll most of them say anyone can run a boat. But landing a barge is what sets you apart especially in some hole in the wall places. Stuff like that. Just curious[/QUOTE]
I wouldn’t pick a single skill. I’m not impressed by a guy that can “walk” a twin screw tug in a tight spot if he has his head too far up his ass to notice his deck hand is in the bight when he takes a strain on the wire. Or a guy that can work a big barge into a tight spot but can’t read a weather forecast or doesn’t know how to navigate anywhere beyond their local area.
Good judgement, experience, the ability to correctly evaluate situations, communication skills, keeping cool in a hot spot.
All of the above. And some line handling skills are good. I’ve worked around a lot of AB’s who don’t know how to heave on a mooring line using a gypsy head. Five turns on the drum with no tension and they wonder why the line gets fouled.
"[C]areful seamanship …is a state of mind called in the United
States Navy “forehandedness”. To be forehanded is to be cautious and
even pessimistic. A forehanded sailor looks ahead, anticipates the
worst, and prepares for it by, among other things, setting and
observing standard operating procedures. …
[A] major theme of this book is that crews observe the cool caution of
forehandedness and the even colder and less enchanting disciplines of
standard operating procedure. …
Mastery of the fundamentals and the application of good habits make
for good seamanship. With good seamanship comes the security of
knowing that you can meet challenges. And with security eventually
comes a harmony between sailor and boat that, in my experience, cannot
be duplicated in any other relationship between a human and an
[S]uch unity is why we are romantic about boats. It is why we give
them (but not our cars and computers) names. This harmony between
craft and sailor [arises from] the habitual, intelligent application
of the skills and tools of modern seamanship … ."
John Rousmaniere in "The Annopolis Book of Seamanship” (third edition)
On the other hand…your chance to get to the wheelhouse may hinge on if someone thinks you have a “knack” for boat handling so you need to be ready if you get your hands on the controls. Some guys don’t want to teach you stuff but you can observe a lot by watching as they say.
I’ve also heard a few people say anyone can run a boat, but I’ve seen a few that can’t … even after months of careful practice. I tell the guys going to get their licenses that being able to handle boat is a core competency – it’s the [I]sine qua non[/I] of being a captain; don’t expect to be congratulated when you do it well, because that’s your job.
But what we’re really getting paid for is to be away from our homes and families for long periods of time and to pay the fine/go to jail/lose our livelihoods if we mess up.
The skill I want to see the most is the ability to know when your ABOUT to be in over your head.
Yes being a well rounded boat handler goes along way,but it will only carry you so far. Being able to knock on my my door at 0300 and say " hey boss, can you come take a look at this" will earn you more respect and trust than being able to walk a boat or round up a barge.