What's your least favorite job on a ship

What’s your least favorite thing on the ship? Reasons why also.

I work on a self unloader on the lakes and I fucking hate tunnels
·half the time the headset falls apart so I go half deaf with ringing in my ears
·you can’t hold a convo down there
·wearing a respirator is annoying
·not wearing a respirator means you’ll get the shakes
·too tall to walk in them
·lengthy cleanup period

I could go on

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I don’t work on ships, but I can tell you one of my LEAST favorite things to do (luckily I don’t do much of it anymore) is needle gunning/wire wheeling and painting! Always hated it!

Having to answer pointless questions and having to give reasons for the answers :wink:


That’s also a big one :joy:

On ship’s and tugs, I hate pumping and having to clean the bilges,

it’s a tad bit worse on the Tugs though due to tighter quarters, Though I guess the finding lost tools is a plus to it?


It depends on what I am sailing as, but generally as Third Mate I always hated refilling SCBA bottles after drills. In almost all cases it is simply boring, but I really grew to hate it on the MLL K-Class vessels where there was no blast protector for the bottles in the event something malfunctions. The compressor room is more like a closet; a tight, noisy space to work in and your face and body is always right in front of or on top of the valve, so if something goes wrong you’re screwed. On the G-Class vessels the compressor was down in steering gear, so lugging bottles back and forth was a pain in the ass.

Second Mate was easy street. Never really had any complaints there worth mentioning.

As Chief…crew discipline, from warnings to termination.


Same as Captain… necessary, but sucks all the same if it’s for stupid stuff.

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Any confined space entry that’s not absolutely damn necessary. I am not a shipyard worker, we don’t have the gear and experience to do much of the work to modern safety standards, and I don’t get paid enough to risk my life in a filthy pipe tunnel for the office weenies to get a gold star.


Cleaning the FO Purifier. . . . confined spaces? Yeah, hated that, too when I was sailing. . . then I came ashore as an ABS surveyor. . . got over it. . . .


When the boats in the yard, blowers running 24/7, chemist has been through, and certs are safely maintained, then yeh, I’ll go tank diving. Thats what the yardbirds expect for their own hide, so I do too.


A whole lot of tank diving for Class takes place outside of the yard. Sometimes in the lightering area. . .and then there are those pesky drilling rigs. . . don’t always have the advantage of a chemist. But I always made sure the atmosphere was acceptable, sometimes by creative means. . . and there were instances where I refused tank entry, too. . .


Dealing with fuel pump drains and leak offs on the MANs, high pour point low sulfur turns every tiny drip into a clog

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Phone rings, some one from corporate…“Captain, we fail to understand why (insert a decision here)…”


I’d have to say long overdue ER bilge cleaning, although that’s usually yard work. Climbing around in a maze of pipes, knee deep in mud that smells of death and demon sex, smeared to the eye balls, wondering what manner of bear trap is going to get your waders… the thought makes me shudder. I’ve only seen it that bad once, but it was enough.

Paint stripping by any conventional means comes second.


You have to use the blame sandwich in this case. You’ve heard of the shit sandwich, don’t just criticize a crewmember, put the criticism (the shit) between two good things (the bread).

When you’ve screwed up use the blame sandwich:

First take full responsibility. This is what the boss wants to hear and they won’t like it if they don’t.

Then, the short explanation will have many unexplained gaps. Fill in these gaps by appearing to give a fuller explanation of the incident but in fact weave a new story to weasel out of responsibility by explaining how it was actually the crew’s fault.

Lastly reiterate that you accept full responsibility and outline the steps you’ve taken to prevent recurrence. Something along the lines of “in the future I will insure my instructions are fully understood and followed”.


The essence of ISM right there.


Yes, bonus points if you leave them with the impression that only your amazing skills saved a bad situation from getting worse. That’s the “art” part of the “art of seamanship”.


Fixed it.


Whatever. Either way, just keep backing and filling till you get turned around and out of there, and hope the tide doesn’t change in the meantime.