Tough industry for no experience

I’ve had my MMD and Twic for over a year now and have not had any luck at all getting onto a tug as OS/WIPER/FH. I have been steady faxing and emailing resumes and letters with little to no response and follow up calls are answered by what sounds like an irritatable HR person who gets several calls a day and doesnt want to give any information.
I have no sea time under my belt and am looking at getting on a tug or inland barge type of job rather than something deep sea. Thankfully I do have a job so I dont want to leave it for something other than an inland position but is it realistic to get a harbour job with no experience as OS? I have been working in an office for the last 6 years in marketing and sales but before that operated heavy equipment such as Forklifts etc and have more than just office experience. I feel that my resume may be overlooked due to my lack of experience and office work for so long.
I live in Jacksonville,FL and would have no problem commuting anywhere in the south including Texas so have been applying accordingly, any advice is welcomed and appreciated. Thank you for the help!

[QUOTE=Greenhorn325;26246]…but is it realistic to get a harbour job with no experience as OS?[/QUOTE]

No, it isn’t. But don’t let that keep you from trying. If this is something you really want to do, you will find a way. It might not be soon, but it can happen. Right now there are folks with years of experience sitting on the beach trying to find work. Until the economy turns around you are most definitely at the bottom of the barrel. Good thing you have a day job.

Thanks Capt! I plan on staying on course and hoping that hard work and sticking to it will pay off and get me what i am looking for. I have been told the same thing by the fleet managers about me having no experience and guys applying that are un employed with a few years of experience and obviously picking me up over them wouldnt make much sense. Everyoneone i have talked to has been really cool and told me not to give up and someone will give me a shot and to just keep at it. Ive heard that Supply Boats have pretty nice schedules and not as hard to crack but im not sure how true that is.

tough times call for tough measures:
in feb-march the maine schooners will start hiring for their season which runs april till october. the money is horrible. the seamanship experience invaluable. the social life is top knotch. the scenery is world class.
after a summer on one of those sailing ships learning raw seamanship you’ll be a head above many many others looking for a commerical job. plus many of those old schooner captains have some great commerical connections elsewhere…

Greenhorn, you may have to take a job you don’t like to get your foot in the door in the industry. Maybe MSC or something else offshore. You have to pay your dues… I have a 1600 GT lic. w/ towing endorc. and I can’t find work.

Thanks for the information Richard! I will check into the schooners for sure and see what i can do.

You may be right Boatahaulic but im probably going to hold out long enough with my current job until a harbour job comes throug but i have considered deep sea and will go that route as a last resort. My father has over 40 years of sea time and has a lot of pull with SIU since he’s worked as a patrolman the hall and obvously vessels but its proving to be pointless without me being a union member and having to go to piney point etc to get a little bit of sea time.

You might also try the Great Lakes. Grand River Navigation hires inexperienced people. they are out of Avon Lake, Ohio. I don’t have the number offhand but I’m sure someone here does.

i sailed on at least 10 tall sailing ships during a summer in maine, it was a blast, started in virginia and sailied to maine, then sailed to philly, then back to maine, then back to virginia, several of hte boats sail down to the caribbean or the bahamas for the winter

learned more in that summer than 3 years in private yachting,
great learning tools onboard,

they might not pay much if at all, I sailed on at least 5 of them for free,was worth it for the fun, and experience, you shoujld also be able to get the sail endorsement and you should be getting some tonnage, more than a crew boat or tug boat, one of the boats I sailed on needed a 500 ton master license just to operate

U.S. Brig Niagara — great lakes and near coastal
tall ship Gazela----- philly
HMS Bounty— out of mass.

Barque Picton Castle the world trips ----good info on all tall ships in america

hey mr 100 ton:

in between long international hitches at (the new company) Seacor in the late 80’s & early 90’s I sailed as mate on: Victory Chimes (was then Domino Effect), Corwith Cramer, Westward, Rose, back to Victory Chimes and finally a few years at Sea Cloud. Tall ship experience was great. my god: the stories…
in retrospect it was a weird [U]super intense[/U] maritime lifestyle: seacor for 3-6 months straight, then tall ships for 3-6 months straight, then right back to seacor 3-6 months, etc etc. I had no permanent home, no permanent girlfriend, often no car, no mail, $$ was direct deposit to my one bank account in Maine, of course this was all pre-email so I was really drifting “on the road”. my “vacation” was either: tall ships (hectic and low pay but so fun and great marlinspike seamanship) or seacor (good pay & international & killer ship-handling experience, but dull with lots of time to read & relax).
now at 46 I’m a boring multi-national Senior DPO with a big ticket making $$ with 3 kids, a wife, 2 houses, etc etc etc. so glad I did all that drifter stuff before, but am now worried about what I’ll say when Ava (my eldest) starts to drift away in 5 years or so!!! damn!


those were the days,nothing to worry about but having fun and making a little money,to be that free again, i would do it all over again and probably will when my license gets a little bigger and i can take a summer off, nothing better than being 120 feet above the deck doing 10 knots with no other sound but the wind and the creaking of the mast and rigging,

Consider working on brownwater or river boats for a season. An excellent site which introduces the novice to this gainfull area of maritime employmen is: Working on the Mississippi.
This site offers interesting and detailed job descriptions along with contact information. If you get a job offer, what you should expect and what you should pack.
Even if you’re not looking for a brownwater job, this is an interesting site to visit.

Mr. 100 Ton - Were you aboard the Niagara on an east bound trip through the Erie Canal when it grounded in the middle of the channel? Would have been the fall of 1999.

Hey Greenhorn,
Don’t forget to check out the ferries. There are a number of OS’s and AB’s (I regretfully say) working here in Galveston that don’t know a bulkhead from a bulwark or how to splice a line so you being new would have no problem fitting in. These are large 252ft, 1000+GRT ferries so would be good seatime albeit “inland”.

[U][I][B]Mr. 100 Ton - Were you aboard the Niagara on an east bound trip through the Erie Canal when it grounded in the middle of the channel? Would have been the fall of 1999.[/B][/I][/U]

was not there for that but I remember that we always had to move the lead ballast all around because of the draft, they have had problems in that canal before

i was there about 97 or 96 i think

We were westbound in the Erie Canal, delivering a car ferry to the Great Lakes. We came across the Niagara when she found an area that was shoaling in. Tried to put her off, unsuccessfully. The canal system sent a tug.

Good post. I was wondering how someone would go about volunteering for these boats, I looked up on the websites but only found the rates for voyages. I suppose calling each up individually would work out? Or maybe the captain(s) of the boats if they are the owners. I’m guessing theyre mostly single boat companies.

argo: not sure if you’re talking about volunteering for the tall ships/schooners/etc. at any rate, assuming you are, my experiences (20 years ago for what the they’re worth) were that I was paid, [I][U]not volunteering[/U][/I] (maybe only because I had a license -but I don’t know). the pay was crazy low by commercial standards ($400 a week?) but of course there were 3 hots and a cot. and a warm female fairly regularly. and beer in moderation. and good scenery. and endless ears for those tired old sea stories.

call the company in question and give them your talk. better yet is of course to call them up and then arrange a meeting. even with a big ticket you may find yourself as second mate, as the first mate usually has a couple seasons on the vessel and knows the ropes. engineers are welcome also.

check out: Maine Windjammer Association. Sea Education Association. Schooner Victory Chimes (good tonnage: she’s 207 GRT!).

have fun. I sure as hell did.

give crowley a call, they have boats in jacksonville, they are hiring now i think, steady schedule, 6 weeks on 3 weeks off easy work, you can get your sea time

This thread had some great info too bad I cant ‘thank it’.

After a few months of reading, and doing all the required paperwork, I decided to ‘throw in’ for unlicensed apprentice program at Paul Hall. I realize with the economy the way it is, it won’t be easy in any sector but can’t tolerate my current field anymore for it’s lack of pay and dismal future. I am excited to accept this new challenge for all its aches and pains and will begin training in Jan. Though I admit the prospect of waiting in a hall for a job isn’t attractive, paid training is much better then shelling out for school somewhere and still maybe being left ‘on the beach’. The forums have provided great intel on places to look for work. Even if it takes 4 mos to hear back from MSC after graduation, I can always look at other items in the mean time

Thanks so much everyone

Horatio - Have you looked at the Army 88K program? It has been mentioned on this site before, and looks like a good stepping stone.

From what I have read, all their training is USCG approved, and you can come out of there with a Master 200 GRT w/ towing, or better. Nice to have all those credentials without incurring any debt.

Like I say, I don’t have any experience with the program, but I did some research for our local Sea Scouts back home to give them some ideas about maritime careers, and was very interested in what I found out about the army program. Information I could have used 40 years ago…

Any members here have experience with it?