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Looking at becoming a yacht engineer, all adivce appreciated !
Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012 7:22 PM
Joined: 08/10/2012
Posts: 4

I'm 19 looking at becoming a Yacht engineer and doing a 10 week course with the UKSA on the Isle Of Wight. I carry several years experience within Heating & Ventilation Engineering (Service & Maintenance) with knowledge of Water Heaters, Central Heating boilers, Plumbing, Air conditioning, Refrigeration, Electrics both 240v and 415v. I have grown up with a background of HGV's, Cars, Quad bikes and small speed boats. Joined to make sure Yacht engineering is definately what I want to do. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012 9:37 PM
Joined: 08/10/2012
Posts: 4

a few questions to get started.. A lot of job vacancies I have come across all require an MEOL, the course I have been looking at provides MNTB Level 2 Systems Engineering and Skills Test MCA Approved Engine Course RYA Dayskipper Power STCW 95 Basic Training ISPS MCA Ships Security Officer Training (STCW 78) RYA Short Range Radio (SRC) licence RYA Day Skipper Theory And 'training towards' an MEOL, information about the MEOL is quite hard to come by but from what I can work out it is an oral exam you have to have with an MEOL assessor and have to have 6 months experience at sea before you can obtain it. Am I right? Also, do that majority of engineers enjoy there job and time at sea? Obviously there are pro's and con's in the industry but overall is it a good industry to be in? Will I struggle to find my first job after my course to find work as I will have no sea hours? or is this kind of accepted as I am only 19 and have to start somewhere? Thanks in advance.
Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:33 PM
Go unto the Mca website and read up on what is required for Meol, it is does not require seatime specifically, it requires time served as engineer. It is actually 24 months signed on as engineer etc. There is a lot of things you need to do. Find the pdf download and read it
Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 11:47 AM
Joined: 27/12/2011
Posts: 20

There are still plenty of jobs that don't require an MEOL. For example it's not uncommon for privately registered yachts in the 60 meter range to be sailing with an unlicensed second and there's always the smaller privately registered vessels if you want to be a sole engineer. Some jobs that specify MEOL may not strictly require one so may still consider you with AEC and shore based practical experience. You shouldn't have any issues finding your first job with your background and training you'll receive, you're probably going to want to go to one of the yachting centres and it might take a few weeks of applying to agencies, dockwalking etc. but as long as you stay positive you'll be fine.

As for your MEOL you'll need to write a letter to the MCA outlining your previous experience and qualifications in order for them to send you a letter of initial assessment (LIA). Assuming it's still Paul Bennett running the engineering courses at the UKSA he's the best person to ask about this and will be able to guide you through the process. The LIA will make it clear what sea service and other qualifications you'll need for your MEOL, Y4 etc. Many people skip the MEOL and go straight for their Y4.

In terms of theory the course more than covers everything you need to know for a MEOL oral. It is however worth remembering that some of the questions will be specific to your previous yacht(s), the systems you had on board, any problems you had with them and how they were fixed.

Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2012 9:14 PM
Joined: 08/10/2012
Posts: 4

Thanks for your replies. Cheers Mike, went down to UKSA this weekend for the open day, was very impressed with the setup and more than likely going to go through with the course. Unfortunately hadn't read your message before the open day so i'm not sure whether Paul is still there. Ideally would like to start as 2nd or 3rd engineer so I can learnt from the more experienced and work my way up to become a good engineer. Thanks again !
Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2012 7:20 PM
Joined: 15/02/2011
Posts: 18

Last year I ran into a number of young guys in Antibes who were looking to get into the yachting industry as engineers
several of  these guys had done the 10 week residential course at UKSA for the price of  8500 pounds
they came away with an MEOL and some other training, several of these guys worked with us as dayworkers
during an intensive maintenence period of nearly 2 weeks on a 50 metre, these guys learned more from us in two
weeks than they learned at UKSA, the guy that had the most chance of entering the industry had 6 years experience
as a computer technician in industry, with a MEOL he would have a good chance as entering as an ETO on
a larger vessel. The colledge led these young guys to believe that they would make good money on yachts as
engineers although none of had the experience to run an engineroom on a small boat because they were lacking
in hands on experience.
I would recommend entry to the industry as an engineer because there is still strong demand for engineers with
experience, how long that will last I dont know, it will only take another financial shock of some sort to shake things
up again.
To be honest I would be wary of paying that kind of money, I would look a colledge like Warsash
to get a professional level of training, see if can get hold of a good set of Y4 notes as a reference text for your

                  Good Luck

Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2012 7:27 PM
Joined: 15/02/2011
Posts: 18

That may have been an AEC and some other training, I do believe the Meol requires some seatime.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 3:12 PM
Joined: 19/01/2010
Posts: 36

Oli-Lord - It depends what you mean by engineer. You can become a real marine engineer, a practical, hands on Mr. Fixit which does take a while, or you can become a Yacht Telephone Engineering Officer with a Y4/3/2/1 licence. The latter does not require much actual skill apart from being able to use a telephone and computer to log what the guy who was at the end of the telephone has actually done, it requires a good memory to pass the exams.

Look into getting a letter of initial assessment from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. That will tell you how much Yacht service time and sea time you need for each qualification stage.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 6:16 PM
Joined: 03/03/2011
Posts: 100


First thing to realise here is bias opinion.  The commercial guys bash the Y guys and vice versa.  Until anyone has completed both licensing options, I don't see how they can 'knowledgeably' make their comparison in a fair manner.  

I have met idiots with commercial licenses and equally with Y licenses too.  It is not always about the route you take but more about your personal aptitude.  UK engineer always likes to have a bash at the Y engineers and belittle them, unless he has taken both routes to qualifications, take what he says with a pinch of salt.

I view it like this.  Dependent on your background and experience, you should choose which route to take.  As you are still young and relatively new to the labour market I would recommend following the commercial route as you will have things explained to you at a more in depth level.  There will be a lot to cover and I think you will have touched on very little of the knowledge required already in your working life - the commercial route will educate you from the very beginning level.

If like several Y engineers I know, you have years and years experience in another engineering role, you might not neet such in depth training as you may have encountered many of the subjects already in your working life.  For instance, I started in yachts after 20 years with car and truck - with all of that experience, do I need to learn the basics of drilling, cutting, motors, batteries, welding, how an engine works etc etc.

I have a friend that recently de-mob'd from the military and was a weapons engineer - he is now pursuing the Y route.  That route suits his base knowledge as he enters the industry and also the second important consideration for you - what do you want from it?  If you want to work on commercial vessels, go that route, if you want to work on private yachts go that way - if you are not sure - and at your age, go commercial.

Now, what advice can I give you about starting out now.  Find a small boat that does not need qualified engineers.  You won't earn as much but it will be easier for you to get into.  You will have a sharp learning curve with what will be, in comparison, relatively simple systems.  Do not spend any of your saved/ hard earned cash on courses until you have done at least a year to see if it is for you.  Look for boats less than 30 metres as a guide, this is where I started and worked my way up.  If after a year, you want to invest in courses, then do them but by that time you may also have an idea if you want to stay yacht or go commercial.

No-one can tell you which way to go, it all depends on what YOU want from it.  Whichever route you take, your success will be based purely on your own aptitude.



Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013 6:59 PM
Joined: 07/03/2013
Posts: 4


First of all, i'm an engineer from merchant marine school, 

advantage of merchant navy school: 

free study, you will learn good skill in engineering, you will meet serious instructors, you will have real unlimited tickets, and it goes quite quick to become chief eng unlimited... For you cadet sea time, you can embark on cruise ship, tankers, containers and see the world and travel, which is quiet interesting as you're young! If your interested and concerned in your study, it's quiet easy to become a real good engineer who is very valuable for the yacht you will work on, which means good salary. And if one day, you want to work ashore your merchant navy ticket is very valuable and recognize by most of the industries... 

By the way: welcome in the yachting world, engine side of the yacht is very interesting and challenging! you've made the good choice by not choosing the "common deckhand side"!!! 

Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013 12:02 AM
Joined: 24/11/2008
Posts: 20

I was in exactly the same position as you 7 years ago and I decided to UKSA for their PYE course as you're thinking about. It may have change slightly now and I think they are doing more along the lines of the MN TRB but you'll still need to do at least 18 months before you can apply for MEOL. The course at UKSA was pretty good and Paul Bennett is excellent, but bear in mind that the career info given from UKSA has to be taken with a pinch of salt. 

Personally I would recommend going the commercial option, speak to Warsash and apply for a cadet ship, if you're successful you'll get paid (a very small salary) to complete a 3 year cadet ship that you want have to pay for, and you'll end up with an EOOW licence and only a top up needed to get a foundation degree. If I could turn back the clock this is what I would have done, unfortunately I'm too old to get a cadet ship now!

If you decide you don't want to work commercially after those 3 years you can convert straight to yachts and you'll be able to start working on your Y tickets, (EOOW will get you in at roughly a Y4 level) but having the commercial ticket will make you immediately employable. If you stay commercial for a few more years you can get your 2nd unlimited, which with 9 months yacht service can get you in at Y2. 

If you go the UKSA route it will obviously cost you more in the short term, but you will get a job eventually on a yacht, although it may well take you a few months. Your salary will pay back your UKSA cost within 6 months, but you'll never get the grounding in engineering that you'll get with a cadet ship and you'll always be on the back foot when it comes to competing with commercial engineers. I would recommend at the very least look at a cadet ship very closely and then make a call as to which you'd rather do! Good luck

Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 7:18 PM
Joined: 08/10/2012
Posts: 4


Thanks a lot for all your replies, I have had trouble accessing my account to comment, however I have been reading your replies.

I decided to go for the course at the UKSA, it was very expensive however I managed to get a bursary which helped cut down the cost.

I have learnt a great deal on the course and as said previously Paul Bennett is extremely good. After my course has finished I will be heading to south France in search for work on a yacht, however I have been enquiring about a Cadetship for September as I feel this would be the best route for me in regards to education.

I feel the qualifications and knowledge I gained at the UKSA can only benefit me towards a cadetship, therefore it hasn't been a waste of money at all, and if I can't get on a cadetship scheme I can carry on towards an MEOL, and go down that route as initially planned. 
Thanks again.

Posted: Saturday, May 17, 2014 5:09 AM
Joined: 29/04/2014
Posts: 2

I am a third engineer officer with a fast ferries company I hold an unlimited CoC certification from Cyprus and I accumulated nearly 24 months of service I would like to work in the yachting industry

  Do I need a specific certification to work on a yacht? Can I work with my actual coc?

 Please did someone have any idea about it or had the same situation



Posted: Saturday, May 17, 2014 5:10 AM
Joined: 29/04/2014
Posts: 2

I am a third engineer officer with a fast ferries company I hold an unlimited CoC certification from Cyprus and I accumulated nearly 24 months of service I would like to work in the yachting industry

  Do I need a specific certification to work on a yacht? Can I work with my actual coc?

 Please did someone have any idea about it or had the same situation



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