Hey /biz/, not sure if this is the plac for this but has anyone here ever worked on a Barge or Commercial Ship before? Im coming off the military and I already miss being at sea but I don't want to do it with all the military bullshit. Does anyone know what its like to work on a ship? The pay? What the day to day life and the usual ports?
Any stories and advice would be appreciated
There have been a couple of very popular threads on this in the past, though I can't remember whether or not they were on /biz/ or not.
I think the one I have in mind was on /trv/ and that was about 2 years ago.
There's a lot of chipping and painting involved, from what I can remember.
Maybe we can get another one rolling, maybe its in the archives? I'm really interested and considering continuing working at sea but as Ive learned from being in the military not everything is what it seems.
Sure, sure. I actually have the aforementioned thread saved on an old HD somewhere, but I'm out of the country.
Anyway, it seems like a good job as long as you don't care about having a family. I'd consider doing it but I like having a gf.
Im not tied down or anything so I'd be good on that side, I don't chipping and repainting as its giving me something to do. What I want to be sure about is the little day to day things so I know I wont hate it too much or at all, just so long as Im out there in the great blue sea
I'm hoping someone shows up to answer your questions but desu it doesn't seem like a very popular career.
Here is one of the earlier threads. There might be a few more when querying the following search terms: "4chan trv archives "merchant marine""
I looked into it a while back. Even got my Z Card. I was trying to get work on a tug boat in New York Harbor, when that didn't go anywhere I signed up to go to the Paul Hall Maritime School, which is a free 1 year program. You come out as an Able Bodied Sailer with all your endorsements and qualifications (fire, safety, navigational watch). After that you can start working right away and expect to make about $35k your first year, with the possibility to advance over time.
If you go that route you'll spend most of your time (4 hours on, 8 hours off) standing watch or doing light maintenance like mopping and painting.
The next step up in rank (3rd mate) makes you responsible for safety, and 2nd mates are responsible for watch and navigation.
You could also work in the engine department. I don't know much about that.
Anyway I ended up not going to that school because I was offered a good job in a whole different field.
Thanks for the link familia, hopefully we'll get a mariner or merchant marine give his two cents here
I would also recommend looking into the Merchant Marines. I met some of them in port in French Polynesia and they seemed like a good group of guys (even though they gave me the old heave-ho out of a bar).
So what would the entry level life be like if I went and sign on that you know of? I'm getting out of the Marines soon so I wouldn't hace the qualifications of a Sailor in the Navy, I was expecting to be standing watches and doong menial labor really. So I would have to go to school first to staty working? Would I be able to get on a ship off the bat or would I have to work my way to that sort of voyage?
You can get a Z Card without any experience. This allows you to work in international waters and is the most basic requirement for working on a ship.
Having a Z Card makes you the rank of OS: Ordinary Seaman. It will be hard to get work with just that.
The way it works is, you go down to the union hall and wait for a ship to come to port that needs a crew. They hire the most experienced guys first. As an OS, you'll almost never get work. If you do, you're the bitch of the ship.
You can start out doing other shit though: tug boat, fishing boat, possibly a cruise ship etc. But if you're not on the Great Lakes or in international waters youll never qualify to step up to Able Bodied seaman.
I don't know a whole lot more than that. My brother was an officer in the Coast Guard so he told ne about some of this stuff.
From Wikipedia article on the Merchant Marines:
>Unlicensed personnel (synonymous with ratings) are generally trained through several private programs funded by maritime unions, shipping companies or by ones own expense. An example training institution would be the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education, or better known as "Piney Point". Generally the sailor works their way up through the rates with sea time. Entry level ratings would be ordinary seaman in the deck department and marine wiper in the engineering department.
>Unlicensed personnel must have sufficient sea time in a qualified rating and complete specified testing and training. These requirements are outlined in the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) to advance in rate.
Or there's the officer training schools, which have 4 year programs.
The rest you'll have to Google
I will, Im going to check with the career planners and see if the have a transition program for marines who want to be mariners, I feel though if I start down this path Ill have to be in it for the long run
You have to move up with sea time because the coast guard issues certifications based on said hours @ sea. It can be very rewarding. You may want to look in to being a Yachtsman too.
Typically no, because you have to be attached to the actual ship as a command. I was in the Navy and even with that, They only gave partial credit for my Navy sea time. What I highly reccommend you do is use your post 9/11 gi bill to go to a maritime academy and choose either ops or engineering. These are the paths to the best pay. Ops will eventually lead you to commanding your own vessel which is an insane amount of money. If you go in as an able bodied grunt, things are a littler slower and you end up doing a lot of grunt work. You're already used to grunt work, though.
>used to a lot of grunt work
Yea I never mind hard work, never did well with sit down jobs but I'm seriously considering going to an academy if it means better pay. Im no stranger to putting my time in and starting at the bottom, are you working in a ship are are you still active duty?
No. I've been out for 8 years. I was a coastal merchant mariner before I joined the Navy. I've considered going the commercial route, but I just didn't want to be at sea for those long periods of time--even without the Navy bullshit.
It's like being on the ship in the Navy/Marines, but without hearing fucking GQ and sweepers every fucking day. The environment is a lot more lax. For the most part, you can go home at night (if you're not pushing a barge somewhere)
That actually sounds exactly what Im looking for, I was one of the sweepers for my P-Way on ship until we just pet the sailors across from us just do it lol, did you ever go to international waters?
What you need to do is get your Z card then and work your way to your Able Bodied (AB) Seaman Unlimited license. You'll do standard deck ape stuff. Its basically the civilian equivalent of being a Boatswain's Mate. I did, but it was coastal international waters. The only other time I've been in true international waters was the Navy.