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Electrician needing advice on necoming Jr ETO
Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2019 4:57 PM
Joined: 03/12/2018
Posts: 1

Worked on a refit 2 years ago and I loved the industry. Decided to go back to school to further my education. Currently working as an Apprentice Electrician during the day and taking night classes at a trade school majoring in Electrical Automation, focused on control systems, PLC's, motor control etc. I love it and finish up this year. What are some other courses I could sit before I head to a yachting hub? Are these transferable skills going to help me get a job as a "green" engineer?
Thank you any advice is appreciated. 

Posted: Wednesday, January 1, 2020 2:04 PM
Joined: 27/12/2011
Posts: 20

What kind of job are you going to be aiming for? Smaller yachts will often combine the ETO and junior engineer roll where as very large yachts will often have AV/IT ETOs and electrical ETOs. As a minimum you're going to want your STCW basic safety training and security awareness. If you're looking for an ETO/engineer roll I'd also look at a yacht AEC course - if you've little mechanical knowledge Marine Diesel Engines by Nigel Calder makes for some very good pre-course reading.


Unless you're on something huge with dedicated AV/IT officer the vast majority of ETO rolls on yachts are very heavy on the AV/IT side of things and you can end up doing as much customer support type work (for guests and crew) as you do actually fixing stuff. I wouldn't really look at any further formal training for this but I would consider the following.


You should be familiar with Windows, macOS, Android and iOS to the level where you can take a device and quickly diagnose wifi, printer, file permission issues etc. as well as add wifi networks, reset passwords etc. You don't need to be an expert but you should be confident enough to do the basics on a guests device in front of them without having to resort to google. If you don't know find out what vSphere, Veeam and Wireshark are and what they're used for.


You'll cover this to some extent in your course but you should be familiar with TCP/IP networks, IPv4 ip addresses, gateways, netmasks etc and be able to adjust these on any of the operating systems listed above. You should be confident connecting to devices using SSH, telnet and serial terminals. If HART sensors are covered pay attention as Vegawell pressure transducers are very often used for measuring tank levels on yachts and these are programmed/calibrated using the HART protocol.


Have a look at Sophos and/or Kerio firewalls and changing basic settings on Cisco switches and wireless lan controllers.


Lighting control systems on modern yachts can get complicated so you should probably do some reading up on DALI, KNX and Lutron Homeworks. Nobody will expect you to be able to program an entire system but you should know what kind of limitations are present for each network, what devices are available, what the physical wiring looks like and how these likely interface with other networks.


Take a look at Crestron and AMX automation systems and Kaleidescape home cinema systems particularly what components are available for each and how these connect together.


Make sure you know what a typical yacht VSAT system looks like and take a look at a manual for one of the SeaTel Ku-band antennas (there are plenty available online).


The idea isn't to become an expert in any of the above but just give you something to talk about in intervies and be able to recognise equipment/systems. A lot of the details are a lot easier to pick up when you're onboard and have them in front of you.


Best regards,

Marine VSAT
Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 9:37 AM
Joined: 07/02/2020
Posts: 2

Hey Max W,

VSAT will be a large factor you face while on-board large yachts. There are a number of brands and types with equipment still live dating back to 2003 and the knowledge of these systems quickly fading into the past.

In order to boost your knowledge and secure a good position I recommend you head over to GVF (Global VSAT Forum) where you can achieve a number of qualifications which are now industry recognized.

I'm not affiliated with GVF but it has quickly become the industry standard qualification assuming your're not heading over to Intellian or Cobham for direct manufacturer training.

Hope this helps...

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