West Coast Aspiring OS Deckhand

Washington State ferries is always hiring and they provide all the training for stcw bst for free


All the talk is this is going to last another 5 years. I know that no one has a crystal ball but I don’t see these day rates dropping off in a year.

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I owe you some thanks for that kick in the pants. My landlords were very understanding and let me terminate my lease early. Since then I’ve earned my STCW BT & VPDSD, and now I’m just waiting on the final stages of my MMC processing. I’m hoping to be sailing before the end of the month.

Why don’t you go to Coastal Transportation or Western Towboat and start sailing as a deckhand right now? No MMC is required. They paid good. The voyages are relatively short.

You can make money now and acquire seatime toward AB. God only knows when NMC will do something as simple as issue your entry level MMC. It could be tomorrow or months from now.

After you have your MMC and other Certs in hand, then you can go to SUP or SIU

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I actually just received my MMC last week. I’ve been applying everywhere, including Coastal Transportation. Just got an email back from SIU, and apparently they require you to have credentials above entry level. Getting ready to call SUP now.

Heading over to Seattle to join SUP in person tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed that there will be some jobs on the board for a lowly OS with no experience.

Like what?

I’m assuming AB.

They didn’t say in their email?

Probably STOS.

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Nope, just referred me to the apprentice program. “Above entry level” were their exact words

Many years ago I emailed them about joining, I was already an AB with RFPNW, and they still referred me to their apprentice program. Go in person and join if you want, emailing them is useless.

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I’m going over to join SUP tomorrow morning instead.

Just to save extra effort on the part of the OP…Coastal Transportation Inc. is full-up right now, with a waiting list.

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MSC requires a permanent address for security clearance. Can’t be a mail forwarding service.

SIU does not seem to want to hire deckhands unless you submit to their ponderous training program. Some have said it can be done but everyone I’ve talked to gets referred to the apprenticeship.

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Yeah that response really turned me off to sailing with them. I’m sure it’s possible to sail without the apprenticeship if they’re desperate enough, but I’m not going to go and beg them for a job. I’ll wait until SUP finds a gig for me even if that means I have to take up other work while I’m waiting.

So the supposed “shortage” of mariners has resolved itself?

This partly a seasonal issue in Seattle.

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Yeah I’m really hoping I find something in the next couple of weeks. Ever since I found out about this industry all I’ve heard is that “they’ll hire anyone with a pulse” to be a deckhand.

It feels like things have slowed down a bit, at least where I am. We’re about crewed up. That’s why it’s always best to be prepared and ready with credentials, resume etc. but be persistent. Maybe extend your search beyond the West Coast? Have you looked into day boats/dinner cruises/marine construction in the meantime? Seatime is seatime to a degree and instead of waiting for work via the union with the opportunity for a dream schedule, you could be out building your skill set. Just a thought. There is still work out there. Keep your head up. I’m sure everyone on here has stories similar to yours regarding finding work, I sure know I do. If it were easy, well then…

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