Anyone working commercially, I need your advice - SailNet Community

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Old 07-28-2008
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Anyone working commercially, I need your advice

Hello,

I'm 26 years old. I have about 18 months of total sea time, the majority of which has been aquired offshore on vessels well over 100 tons. I'm currently working as the first mate aboard a 100ft. schooner. I currently do not have any licenses and no z card.

I would like to start working on vessels in the gulf such as mini supply boats or crew boats. I would like to know if you think I would be better served by going down there in the fall and working for a few months as an ordinary seaman, and then applying for my 100 ton near coastal captains ticket after I finish aquiring the 720 days needed. Or do you think I should go ahead and get my AB, and my 100 ton inland before I go down there?

Any insight on this would be much apprechiated. Thank You!
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Old 07-28-2008
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I have a 100-ton aux sail, and haven't worked supply boats, so take this with a grain of salt, but:

If your goal is crew/supply in the Gulf, then what you need is a license, not an AB ticket (most boats' COI doesn't require an AB anyway, just a warm body-deckhand with a Z-card). Get onto the oilfield boats as a deckhand, make friends with the capt and put in some wheelhouse time under supervision, and finish out your 720 days that way. Then once you get your license, you'll have some workboat/crewboat/supply boat experience, and maybe a reference, to get a spot as mate or second captain, then it won't be long before you're first captain.

If you get the rest of your time on schooners, you'll be a great sailor, but you won't have the experience in the Gulf with double or triple-screw crew or workboats, the companies won't know quite what to make of you when you apply for a job. So leave the sailing vessels (though it hurts me to say this) and go down to the Gulf. If they require a Z-Card, then go get one, they're easy to get. Then get your captain's license, and go from there.

Once you get to 200 tons or more, you'll need all that STCW training, but if you've already caught on with a company, they may pay for your training.

Hope this of help.
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Old 07-29-2008
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nolatom,

Thank you so much! That's exactly the kind of advice I've been looking for. Do you know of any companies that I should look into? Do you think I would be better served by going with a large or a small company?
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Old 07-29-2008
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I can't tell you for sure, as I'm not directly in the industry. But I'd think a larger company, like Tidewater or Trico, or Hornbeck, might work, as there would be more openings and varieties of boats. There are also employment agencies you can google.
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Old 07-29-2008
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Actually with your sea time you can get a job as a deck hand.
Starting pay is about 120 per day. And build your time for a license.
Also I'm an instructor for the 100/200 Mates license for those who work offshore in the Gulf and Inland Tugs that abound around here.
Most of the companies will pay for you schooling after you have been with them for awhile.
Email if you have more questions.
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