Unlicensed Engineer Advancement

A guy on my boat – hard worker, self-starter, thoroughly pleasant to be around – is looking to move up and has some questions. Since I"m not an engineroom guy, I just wanted to confirm some of what I think I’ve pieced together from gCaptain and elsewhere. A little background: he is a designated (by the company) unlicensed engineer on a crewboat <100 GRT but 4000hp +. I’m guessing he has more than 2000 day sea time (day-for-day). What I’ve told him, based on the research is that:

  1. He should skip QMED and shoot for his DDE AHP.
  2. That by successfully earning his DDE AHP, he will also get QMED (all ratings), C/E OSV (3000 ITC) and A/E Limited Oceans.
  3. That with those credentials and his experience (Cats, Cummins, thrusters, gensents, HVAC, etc.), $400+/day on even time is not out of reach.
  4. His best bet is to knock-out the non-engineering courses (Medical First Aid, BST, Advanced Firefighting, PSC/Lifeboat) at Fletcher or Young Memorial, then (if he feels it’s necessary) take the DDE prep course at MPT in Fort Lauderdale.

I would love to know if I’m giving him good information or if I should amend any of the above.

Finally, he has asked about self-study guides – something along the lines of lapware or Murphy’s for deck. I don’t know what those might be, or what would be best.

Any help with any of this much appreciated.

Why would he have waited so long to get a license? Software for the testing is out there, the mariner advancement testing sticks are good, along with the 3 limited license engineering books from Marine Education Textbooks. Going to MPT for a DDE seems like a waste, i tested for mine in Dec and it was a breeze. What takes alot of time and money is the required classes, if he hasnt gotten any of them yet.

[QUOTE=BargeMonkey;107007]Why would he have waited so long to get a license? [/QUOTE]

Beats me, I wasn’t here the last nine years. Just trying to meet him and help him out where he’s at today. Appreciate the info!

Our engineer just got his DDE 4000 by using Hawsepiper and the one that comes on the USB drive. He was trying to get his DDE UL but kept failing by one question on different exams every time he tried testing. Finely backed down and tested for his DDE 4000 and got it on the first try.

Helping him with some of the questions I walked away feeling that the Engineer exams are not as hard and the Deck exams. Mainly the fact being that a lot of the concepts are stuff you become familiar with from just working on a boat. The only exceptions being the electrical and refrigeration stuff. Still don’t understand the refrigeration but I was able to help with the electrical parts because I’m a nerd and became familiar with that stuff in High School on my own.

For the electrical any beginner electronic book you can get for $25 would cover what you need to know. The electrical test is mostly about resistance and capacitance in parallel and serial circuits.

If he’s really really bad at math the DDE course might not be a bad idea as it could help shorten his study length by a few months then it would more then pay off on the first hitch as an engineer as he would get his license faster.

I ran Unlicensed Engineer for almost 15 years before I bit the bullet and got my license (DDE Unlimited/Asst Eng Limited-Oceans). Before everyone says “why so long”, I didn’t want to commit to the industry. 15 years of saying I want to be around to watch my kids grow up turned into me actually getting a graduation invitation from my daughter who still lives at home with me and my wife of 19 years. I guess I’m commited.

As for your friend, as long as his sea time letter states he was running as Unlicensed Engineer then he is elegible for a DDE. The requirements for DDE Unlimited state 1080 12-hour days as QMED or [B]other supervisory position[/B]. As for the guys settling for 4000HP, I have been seeing that a lot lately. All of them site the electrical part of the test as their reason. My old oiler just got his DDE 4000 because he failed the unlimited test 3 times. Each time failed the electrical module.

My advice to your friend is this. If he’s not too proficient in electrical and some basic electronic, buy a book. I bought the study CD (diskette actually) from Houston Marine and there was only 1 question on my test that I didn’t recognize from studying. I went a little cheaper this time around and bought Chief-Ltd (Oceans) from Hawsepipe. I haven’t tested yet, but it looks and feels a lot like what Houston Marine gave me for my DDE.

Unfortunately for your friend, Unlicensed Engineer sea time will not get him Chief OSV. I was told when I got my DDE that I would be eligiblee to add Chief OSV and/or upgrade to Chief Limited in two years. But that was almost 5 years ago. I do know that Chief OSV requires sea time as an officer though.

As for pay, it depends on where he is at. If he works in the oil patch, then anything under $500/day for a DDE is thievery.

Good luck to you and your friend. Let us know how it goes.