I would like to put my 2 cents in. I hold a 500ton Master Lic. and worked the Gulf of Mexico for Oil Co. Retired 2 yrs ago. I suggest starting out as a deck hand first. You would get all the seamanship you need. It is real easy landing a job as a deck hand. You would get practice in boat handling and best of all get paid for it. If you need help in finding compaines hiring I can help. Good Luck.
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S/V "Silly Bette"
1968 38' Hughes