Switch to deck dept?

I might be stepping into my midlife crisis. I’ve been working in the engine room for twenty years, but have been feeling uninspired lately. Thinking about hawsepiping a deck license for the second half of my career. Am I crazy? Is it actually better below where it’s warm vs. up where you can see the whales?

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Classic “grass is greener” musing.

Go talk to a few and you might end up being happy right where you are.

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Have you ever been able to talk to the deckies where you work? See what they do and what the job entails?

I won’t say you shouldn’t (even though after 20 years engine side, it seems like a huge leap taken late to me) but I’d pick the brains of the LDO’s and unlicensed seamen deckside for the best answers and get a good idea of what they do firsthand, considering I knew what I wanted from day one, which may make my opinion come across as cheerleading from my side of the fence.

Oh yeah! Classic!

Moon and Stars Division vs. Dungeons and Dragons!

Let the battle commence.


You can DPO-ify yourself. Then you can score a nice clean window seat (with snacks, apparently) and push the Kongsberg around in a way that makes sense, and (rumour has it) make ballast tanks full of cash, all without ever having to touch a needle gun.

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I’d probably go up seven waist sizes taking that job. Chair? Snacks? Money for more snacks?

I know, right? put that in your stability calculator.


Dye your hair, buy a sports car or get a mistress. Do anything but go work as a deckhand with aspirations of a mate. That’s insane!


You can’t even take the Basic DP class without having a deck license anymore.

I don’t know. I had assumed so, too… but then I was told otherwise. But at least I’m right about the snacks. And that’s what’s most important.


Y’all are hilarious. Thanks

You used to be able become a DPO without a license but that changed at the start of 2012. I think there’s still an exception allowing anytime who held DPO previously to keep it.

Stay in the hole. Buck up your license. It ain’t that bad sir. Good engineers are not dime a dozen, Think about it very carefully.

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It would probably be easier to go from deck to engine. Especially if you’re unlicensed and want to go licensed. There is the AMO Apprenticeship and some deck time counts.

I’d say it depends on the cost of switching. If at some point you change you mind how much would you have lost to switch back (time, effort, lost wages, lost seniority) ?

I’ve seen a lot of engineers come up to the bridge and remark how easy it must be only to depart quickly from boredom. It’s not as easy as it looks. Try sitting (or standing) and looking out a window for four hours.

The subjects intended to study. (Today’s students aren’t the only ones with unrealistic expectations!) Instead, they became restless, distractible, and irritable. Nearly all of them reported an inability to think clearly for any length of time. One participant explained that “something seemed to be sucking my mind out through my eyes.” Indeed, the subjects’ performance on simple cognitive tests was worse than a control group’s.


In the engine room, the nut turns left or right. The oil is full or not. The ballast required is known. The gauges tell you what is happening with your engines. These factors are not affected by outsiders. In the wheelhouse, many things are affected by navigators you have never met. My advice would be build on your 20 years in the engine room. If you want to look out the window, come on up in malfunction junction on your time off. Especially when shrimping is going full bore. I think it will change your mind.

Bullshit. We are all-the-time trying to figure what the last guy did, why did he do that, why is this setting here, how can we communicate better with ‘outsiders’ be they members of other departments, people who use our services (from toilets to hydraulics), people on the opposite rotation, or people who think they know that our world is very simple. If it was simple, we’d let the mates do it.

I don’t know wtf ‘shrimping’ is, but I’ve spent time on the bridge. Once I heard the bone-chilling sound of sudden and unexpected human distress. I double checked the life vest storage and put my head around the curtain to try to measure the scale and nature of the calamity. Yes: buddy had dropped his fresh, hot blueberry tart on the deck. Why? galley… we also like blueberry tarts downstairs.


Snipes…always griping :roll_eyes:


I think you misunderstood my message, and hope you are having a good day. Never would say your life was simple. Been there sir. Outsiders meaning other operators who we have to navigate around. If I offended you, that is your problem. Most on here (I Hope) know my deep respect for engineers. Shrimping is shitload of boats trying to catch shrimp, many times in a heavily travelled fairway. Back to the subject, I think this fellow is in a good spot with his 20 years of experience and should take advantage of it. Do you disagree?