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Advice needed for a new comer
Posted: Thursday, January 18, 2018 10:56 AM
Joined: 17/01/2018
Posts: 2

Hi all, just looking for a bit of advice on what path to take in the industry. I have recently qualified as an electrician after doing a 4 year apprenticeship scheme at a superyacht yard in the uk. I have been part of some large refits on motor yachts over 60 meters. I have also got my power boat level 2, vhf short range and yacht master shore based theory. I want to get into yachting but I’m unsure weather to try and join as an engineer/electrician or a deckhand? I enjoy my job at the moment but the thought of being stuck below decks in an engine room all day puts me off, which is why the deck route appeals to me. Hope someone can help point me i the right direction! Thanks
Tom Summers
Posted: Friday, January 19, 2018 6:55 PM
Joined: 16/11/2009
Posts: 4

This is a great question!  Dockwalk asked which is better. Neither is “better” and neither is “worse”. I’m an engineer who thought he wanted to be a deck officer in the beginning. I started off in the navy as a deckie but was made to work in the engine room when I began working on large tuna seiners. So I got my engineering licenses and moved up the food chain, eventually to tugs and then large yachts. The engineering jobs kept coming, bigger and better. They usually sought me out, rather than vice versa. Over the years I have seen several engineers go onto become good mates and skippers. Some have even become harbor pilots. What’s the answer? I would say, if you’re already working as engineer, move up and get it down, if ya know what I mean. On yachts, even engineers stand bridge watches sometimes. If that appeals to you, start logging some of your Sea time as deck time, and then move up that path. But, I gotta tell ya, good engineers are never out of work  


Posted: Saturday, January 20, 2018 9:15 AM
Joined: 17/06/2013
Posts: 1

I would keep your options open for now and try and find a deck / engineer position. When I started out I wanted to go down the engineering route, and ended up as sole engineer of a 43m M/Y. I enjoyed it, but decided deck was more for me. I did some more qualifications, and did a couple of deck / engineering jobs along the way which were fun. I'm now in my first Captains job. It's a small boat (23m) so I still get to play in the engine-room, but see my future soley on the bridge on larger yachts and have concentrated my efforts on further qualifications in that direction. Which ever way you ultimately go, a good working knowledge of how the "other" side works will be of great benefit.
Posted: Monday, January 22, 2018 3:32 AM
Joined: 29/10/2015
Posts: 1

Most of your initial jobs as engineer will be combined with deck responsibilities. See what you like and keep on studying. You will always have a job as engineer or captain/engineer. Enjoy
Captain Jack
Posted: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 10:28 PM
Joined: 06/12/2012
Posts: 5

Apply for both on smaller crewed boats. Smaller boats don't have the luxury of hiring for specialised jobs. So they are looking for crew that is muli-talented. To have a deckie that can also fix issues aboard is a major plus for boats that have a crew of five or more. 

I worked on a 130 ship that wasn't as pretty as the mega yachts you see today. It was a converted offshore work boat that was used for cruises in SouthEast Alaska. I carried 36 passengers in 18 staterooms. I signed on as a deckhand but ended up doing nearly everything, from changing the oil on the generators, pulling driveshafts and doing engine room checks, to putting clean sheets on beds and serving guests dinner. The only job I didn't do was cook, but I did some food prepwork and dishwashing. Somedays I would just go in the engine room to get away from it all or to warm up from a cold day on deck.

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