Stuck on packing for my first time shipping out on a REAL vessel. Any tips?

If you’re confused as to why I capitalized “REAL” vessel, its mainly because I am referring to my academy’s training ship which usually just serves as a hospital ship for drunks, a mid-winter cruise line, and a place for the mates to blow off some steam at unsuspecting freshman.

Although I am still a junior, I will be going out on my commercial ship this winter with an MSC salvage vessel out near the Philippines, which is quite out of my spectrum compared to my past few years going out on my training ship. However, salvage is the industry that I am aiming to be a part of just because of the various contracts most get to be assigned to and how interesting they truly are (going off on a rant here but if anyone has any further advice/tips for the salvage industry that would be much appreciated).

Okay back to my original reason for posting… I am just wondering besides from the obvious things I need to pack (hardhat, boiler, boots, knife, light, school books), is there any thing that I should avoid bringing or anything that I should push to the top of the packing list?

I appreciate any and all comments for I am more than positive they will be helpful.

Maybe this will help a little.


Get a flash drive together with every possible resource for your sea project as possible. I’d bring your c-nav notes from class too. You’re going to be surprised how much you forget after not doing it even after a few months.

Off the top of my head here is what I would download (you’ll be able to download for free online)

-All of the 229’s
-Nautical Almanac (don’t forget you’ll need the 2020 version too)
-Air Nautical Almanac
-Star finder directions
-Anyone reading please add, I’m definitely forgetting stuff

The ship will probably have this stuff but you might be sharing it with other cadets so it is nice to have your own copy.

I shall check it out!

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Yes, the sea project will be a whole different animal. Thank you!

There are some good threads here on the subject if you do a search. Also, think of what you will be living with. Your schedule, and availability of things you will need during your hitch including medications- both prescription and over the counter. Socks and underwear, a good knife, a flashlight, a laptop or tablet with everything you want to read loaded, at least three days of work clothes, sleep/workout clothes, at least 30 days worth of toiletries. Shower shoes/flipflops are a must anywhere. Powder to help keep dry. Good luck and enjoy yourself.

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I was a cadet on MSC ships for 9 months, got almost all the time for my license on two ammo ships in 7th/5th fleets. You’ll probably have a ton of port time in the Philippines. MSC has large crews, and you have to actively try to learn usually. You won’t need to bring a hardhat or boiler, both are provided on the ship. Some MSC masters expect cadets in sea khakis on watch. I would bring two dickie khaki shirts/pants and two polos. I wouldn’t waste space with the pubs, the ship will have them. Bring your own sextant though, all of the drawings will be on the share drive.

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