Re: Goal of 1600 ton Master start as OS on small vessels or large?
Wow all of you act like the hawsepipe isn't even a decent option anymore. Just because one way might be faster doesn't make it the best way for everyone, and there are benefits to working your way up the hawsepipe.
Working your way up from deck on a crew boat or utility boat to unlimited is entirely possible. It might take longer, but none of that time is wasted. One of the best ways to learn is watch what the guy above you is doing right or wrong so you know how to handle a similar situation when it presents it's self. From boat handling, to crew management, to working with the client. None of which can be taught in a class room, and all are what ultimately make or brake an officer.
Here's a secret that nobody really talks about but the thing a 100 ton license allows you to do is fuck up and make mistakes and learn from then mainly because the scale of things are so much smaller. Backing up to a platform and misjudge you're speed and distance and hit it a little to hard? If you're on a small utility boat or crew boat not a big deal all you did was shake things up stairs on the platform, on a bigger boat you might have caused damage to the boat or platform. Those small boats use 2 inch hoses to transfer fuel, the big boats use 3 and 4 inch hoses. If you ever vent pray that you're using a 2in hose because you can catch it in time and shut it off before you overflow you're containment traps. Smaller boat's smaller crews, learn how to work with one deck hand before you have to be the boss of several. Also it's easy to see the big boats that ECO, HOS, and everyone else are building, and want to go straight to work with them. But with those big companies there tolerance for mistakes are smaller. They can be like that because everybody wants to work for them so they are more likely to fire someone and move on to the next guy then give one another chance.
Also working on small boats you learn to do it all. Pump water and fuel, work on engines, change oil and fuel filters, change out pumps. Because I did all this stuff I feel like I can talk to my engineer and follow what he is saying better, because I was doing it my self a few years ago.
Plenty of guys on this forum have worked there way up to Chief Mate having never been on anything other then a OSV. Now with ECO's new ice breaker and construction vessel and the few boats that HOS have you can even stay in the oil field and get it. Thanks to the ability to get a 6000 OSV license you can get the sea time needed to get there, and now that the CG rescinded the class room requirements for the OICNW stuff it's even easier. Even more of us have worked our way up from the small boats to our 500 and 1600 ton masters. It might have taken me 7 years to get my 500 master vs the 2 by going to PMI to get my mates, but I was earning a good pay check the whole time and have the added bonus of a master vs a mate license. Plus I have more real world experience. I might not be able to use the past 7 years of sea time to get my unlimited, but that's a few years off. I've got enough on my plate and with the way things go in my life I will have more then enough sea time by the time I'm ready to work on getting my 3rd mates.
For you HornMnt I would say find any thing you could on deck in the GOM and get your 100 ton license in less then a year because you already have a 50 ton master. Then see if PMI is something your still interested in. Also since you have a degree SUNY has a masters program that you can apply for. If not then work a few years while taking your classes in your off time. In that time you will more then likely be working on non DP boats, which is a good thing, you will learn how to actually maneuver a boat around the platform VS just punching some buttons and letting the computer figure it out. Because of this experience you will know what to do when the computer takes a dump on you when you do get a big boat that has DP. Depending on what operation you are doing, you can just flip the switch take control and keep on working. The rig will never know the difference. Verses a guy who has only worked with DP and has to bail out as soon as something happens and now he has to go wake someone up who can hold the boat under the rig and get the job done.
Also realize that yes you can have you're 1600 in as little as 5 years, but you will have very almost no time off your either at work or school. Especially when you are going from your 100 ton to 500 ton master because as soon as you get your 100 ton you have to start working on your classes for your 500 ton. If you have a family to think of this can be a huge strain on them. So keep it in your mind that it might take a few years longer then you originally planned.
All of the above said, you are coming along at a very peculiar time. The CG have released several proposed changes to the way one moves up the hawsepipe. It will ultimately makes it easier for one to move up, but can be frustrating to one caught in the middle of upgrading and then to have all the rules change. Unfortunately nobody knows when these changes will be made and what exactly they will be.
Now if you where a young guy straight out of high school and wanted to go to sea I would tell them to go straight to an Academy and would actually kick them in the ass till they do if I was giving the opportunity. But somebody who's a little older, with some responsibilities, a small license, and some sea time other options should be considered.
Getting straight with Nate, because apparently getting right means your going to have to retake Nav Gen