Tankerman info

Hi. My name is Daniel kelley and I am currently an AB and would like to get my Tankermans endorsement. I ran across a page where I could pay around 5,000$ to get signed off on my loads and discharges and I wanted to know if this is possible and if so, where do they offer that. I have come across it so I know it’s available. What ways do you prefer to get signed off if you can’t they your current employer. I know I have to take the class but I would like to get signed off some way or another. Thanks guys. Hope all is well

Get with a company that pushes oil barges, if that is possible. Shadow the tankerman, he can sign you off if you actually participate. No reason to pay 5k for a signoff. That sounds scammy, unless things have changed.


For Tankerman-PIC (Barge) you also need 60 days on a tank vessel (90 days for Tankerman-PIC) and you will get loads/discharges during that time.

Daniel_Isaiah, jdcavo will have very reliable info you are seeking. Keep the 5k in your pocket. Save it for your upgrading costs, which should be minimal. The requirements when I got Tankerman and Pic quite a few years ago were a bit different, but not by much. I didn’t have to pay anybody, just had to put in the time and learn about cargo loading and discharge as the experience was crucial.It is one thing to load a straight cargo, and 1 port discharge .Another thing to load multiple cargoes of different weight and placement in the tanks to balance your vessel for discharge, especially if you are doing multiple port discharges… I said barge, should have used the term"Tank vessel" which covers many vessels/opportunities.

Using the software program you plan the load and it accounts for all stability and different density of cargoes. chief mate will write up a load plan/discharge and ballast plan. none of that is done on the fly these days and multiple cargoes doesnt add much to figure out anymore

We didn’t have computers or programs back then. It was a bit different to use common sense and not make a mistake hopefully. Software is a great help, but would not discount the use of understanding the basics. Most of the time with the new technology is ok. But how will you verify that unless you know the basics?

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true, there are computer issues at times. you have to apply common sense to the whole thing. but the control room is all computers and a lot of automation. the thinking is that all we are doing is verifying that the computer is accurate with cargo and i know on some vessels they dont do any single manual sounding

Daniel, if your working on a tug moving an oil barge. If you can participate and assist the tankerman, get a log sheet and start documenting your loads and discharges. You can take the tankerman PIC Barge course at any time. That $5000 sounds like a scam. Good luck!

I am old enough to remember when the mates would have to hand calculate the different loading profiles. It was very time consuming. . . and then we got a “Portable” Compaq PC (remember those?) with the loading program installed. . . What would take those guys an afternoon to work out (and it was constantly changing on our ballast legs) then took minutes. . . .but that’s okay, they were still busy cleaning tanks. . . .

Yes, in the mid to late 90’s we got some laptop computers that calculated the loads. Made things a helluva lot easier, but the info out early on was only reliable as the info programmed in. The glitches and an almost disaster was avoided and corrected by a seasoned tankerman that had the skills to notice “This shit ain’t right”. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the latest and greatest, but if you have the knowledge to recognize if something looks odd to stay off the 6 o’clock news will be valuable.

Well, nowadays the load computers are certified by class, and if it doesn’t work, you don’t load.

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So, you wait for another computer to be delivered before you load? Or rely on an old ass tankerman to get his notebook and calculator out?

Is it the computer or the software? Don’t know about tankers but for us in the stability booklet there are example load conditions. We’d run those conditions for class and as long as the results on the computer matched the results in the booklet you were good.

There was a requirement for dedicated stability computer, don’t know if that was SMS or class.

I used to keep a spare computer on board in case one failed unexpectedly. If the stability computer failed we’d pull the spare out, load and test the software and be good to go. With RO/RO at least there’s no way the C/M could keep up with the rest of his workload if he had to start doing stability calculations by hand.

You might want to do a little more edumacating of yourself. You might have a nice loading computer, but I would be surprised if you didn’t also have a stability booklet. Have a read through 46 CFR Part 170.

Title 46: Shipping
Subpart D—Stability Instructions for Operating Personnel

§170.110 Stability booklet.

(f) On board electronic stability computers may be used as an adjunct to the required booklet, but the required booklet must contain all necessary information to allow for the evaluation of the stability of any intact condition that can be evaluated by use of the computer.

It is a far more disturbing trend to read in this thread that the use of loading computers has encouraged the laziness and shoddy practice of relying on tank sensors, without using manual soundings to verify. When it comes to tank levels, the sounding tape does not lie.

And remember, as William George says: The only way to verify that the computer is coming up with accurate figures is to read the ship’s drafts .


Well said. The soundings don’t lie. Nor does the water paste.

I don’t see where anyone is saying that? Using a computer instead of a pencil and paper means the mate can spend less time doing tedious calculations and more time on deck.

It’s not that hard. An experienced tankerman can figure up a load plan rather quickly.It may take a little more time if we had multiple stops and multiple cargo and keep a decent draft/stability Have loaded millions of barrels of oil before the computers showed up. Do I welcome them? Absolutely. Do I rely solely on them? Hell no. Better get bigger spill rails if you do.

Nobody is claiming that the calculations are difficult.

If mates are not reading drafts and so forth that’s just lazy and poor seamanship. Lazy mates and poor seamanship existed before computers came into wide-spread use.

KC, this is what I was referring to in my comment about the sounding tapes.

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Glad we can agree on something Kennebec