Switching to Vane Brothers

Hey guys,

I’m currently working for Kirby Inland Marine as a mate/pilot and was recently offered a position with Vane Brothers. I live in NY and have been flying back and forth to Texas for 3.5 years working a 20/10 rotation and it’s getting pretty old. I would really like to work in the Northeast, specifically NY Harbor. I was wondering if anyone could give me any current feedback on Vane Brothers? Any good of bad info would be greatly appreciated. Vane Brothers wants to hire me as a deckhand, which according to them would only be for a couple of trips and then move up to a training mate so that I can get posted and experienced for the area, which was expected. I have a Third Mate unlimited license and Master of Towing Vessel for Great Lakes, Inland Waters and Western Rivers. I tried to do some research from previous posts, but the most recent thread I could find was from 2012. I basically want to know if they are a sound company and stick to their word. I will be taking a big pay cut to work there and want to make sure it is a good decision.
Thanks in advance!

Pay is lower than others for moving oil, all wire boat (only 2 atbs), and from what I understand you’ll be an AB for quite a while, don’t believe it’s just a few trips, you will need to get recency for a lot of places for them to turn you loose as well as being proficient with wire work. Figure on a year getting up to speed as a mate up here, assuming they train you. Personally I’d only make that move in your shoes if you’d be on as a training mate from the get-go.

People that work there do seem to be happy, not too much old shitty equipment there which is good.

Aside from what z-drive said they do have fully paid health care and from what a few friends and family members can attest they are very family orientated.

From my understanding Vane is a great company. Pay is a little lower, but it’s a trade off with new equipment, easy crew changes, and friendly office. They pay 8 holidays, even if your not on the boat. I have a handful of friends that have been there for several years, with no desire to move. The only thing that bothered me when I talked to Tom, was the 10% offshore or by harbor. Never really understood why a costal boat makes more then the bunker boats. Any word on them building any more ATBs?

I know he said that they are building a bunch of new boats and barges, but I’m not sure if they are ATBs. They sound like a great company. I have a couple of friends working for them now and they said they love it. I have some thinking to do for sure. Thanks for all your help.

Any idea what vane pays os/ab deckhands?

Not enough & no travel compared to other outfits in NY

Can’t be that terrible they seem to be launching a new boat every other week and have crew

Well vane is paradise compared to some companies so I can see why they have people. Regular schedule, newer equipment etc. this is compared to say Tampa Dann where you work months on end for probably even less money. I just don’t know why they’re still building wire boats.

Why??? Spend no dime before its time. So you can maximize your profits. Z-drive you know they ALL live by that motto.

I know a couple guys who have been at Vane for years, and a couple that use to work at Vane. They all say that Vane is a friendly family oriented company that treats employees well, with steady work, and that crew change is always on time. The downsides that I have heard about are that pay is lower than any other company transporting oil, it takes a long time to move up, and almost all the boats are under 100 tons, limiting license upgrade potential.

Supposedly, keeping the boats under 100 tons is a very big deal for Vane. Obviously, under 100 tons they can hire deckhands with no MMC or TWIC, and no ABs are required. Of course other regulatory loopholes apply.

Vane’s competitive advantage which is driving their growth seems to be lower crew costs, and lower office staff costs, than their competitors.

I heard from a Vane Captain that they are very reluctant to pay for training… I guess that’s part of the >100GRT deal. The pay difference between coastal and harbor can suck too if you get stuck on the hook for half the hitch, watching your paycheck shrink…

Schedule for ABs?

The whole company is 2/2 as far as I know. I think there maybe some tangerines working 2/1 around Philly though.

That guy who writes thy blog is 28/14. Most of the tangerines like equal time.

Thats such an awful trick to pay a different rate depending on where the boat is.

[QUOTE=fishyluke;178409]The pay difference between coastal and harbor can suck too if you get stuck on the hook for half the hitch, watching your paycheck shrink…[/QUOTE]

While this does suck, this is the way that N.Y. Harbor pay was for a long time going back to the 333 days. There was Harbor, Mud / Sand Scow, Sound and Coast Pay. You could have your pay change more than once during any given day. The way it worked was that once your pay hit a higher amount it stayed there for the entire day. So, there is a precedent for handling pay this way, not that I agree with it but it is what it is.

I came out here just at the tail end of the weekend layoffs, crews almost figured on getting send home Friday night if things where slow. The tiered payscale at Vane discourage me to bail back when they where poaching Reinauer in 05-06. From an engineers standpoint Vane has some nice equipment, not alot of 1 off built boats and weird systems, the guys I know there are happy. Alot of equipment sitting parked sometimes, might be something to think about.

yea, the call from dispatch at 2345 that the boats being tied up for the weekend at midnight was always wonderful.

I have heard older guys talk abput the old 333 days and different pay but the difference in Vanes case is that your starting coastal wage or whatever is already significantly lower than i industry standards so then It gets real pathetic when they cut it again when you go drop the hook. I say fuck them when you consider all the money spent on school to get to the wheelhouse.