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Bosun career change
Posted: Saturday, April 4, 2015 1:38 PM
Joined: 04/04/2015
Posts: 1

Gday Scallywags Am I a fool to even think of changing from dirty old Merchant seafaring to the sparkle of boating on the shiny white ones? Ive been in the industry for 10 yrs now (merchant) and thinking of a change, I have so many certificates its not funny, anyone that's been in the merchant industry will know what you need and the copious amount of training in safety you continuously undergo, however I have a mortgage and young family, im in my mid 30s. Basically im sick of looking at and listening to the old and decrepit seamen, its like a f%#kn broken record, I just missed my old jobs when you worked with mates and young happy, sarcastic even the odd smart arse, and those smiling faces..Lol yeah I can hear you laugh too, ive read a lot of topics in 24hrs of signing up and it doesn't sound any different than on this boat haha but its about being with ppl your age and can relate to as you really honestly cannot with older, dont wanna learn or give you the time or day to pass on their knowledge to you, old blokes , as these lot are like. Im not about to write my resume or give you my life story but just ask a few Q's and A's Whats I like as a deckhand/ bosun on a white boat? I'll be honest, is it worth leaving $3500 per fortnight in the bank, included in that, your private health, 9% (13% if you salary sacrifice) company super, all accom. travel, expenses, meals, hire car etc etc paid for by company. Or is it just the lifestyle ,the countries, seeing parts of the world? Im guessing its not really the life for a person with family and a mortgage? Do you have a swing/roster system or just whatever the contract states? I'll leave it there for now, I really appreciate the time anyone has taken to read my post and answer any of my questions but like any job, youll never know or learn if you don't ask questions. Cheers Legends!
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2015 5:59 PM
Joined: 29/03/2009
Posts: 1

Hey TheGaffa

Everyone is going to tell you to stay where you are, you are on good money, good benefits and you have a wife and children.  Very few positions in yachting are wife/children considerate.

There is no contract with yachting, you work as and when required and if that means you are having dinner with your wife and the Captain calls and says that the boss just called he is on his way for a cocktail cruise, you drop everything and get to the boat.  This is an exaggeration for most yachts but certainly not unheard of.  In the Med you could find yourself a 1 season boat which means that for 8 months of the year you have a M-F job, but that doesn't get you the lifestyle, the countries, etc and these jobs are in high demand.  You could also get a rotation position but these jobs are also high demand (although with commercial tickets you may have a way in on the 80m+ size).

I have enjoyed 15 yrs of yachting, I have had a lot of fun and seen some spectacular places, I have rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, spent NYE in St Barths and Monaco Grand Prix on a yacht....but yacht crew have a habit of only posting all the glamour and fun on FB!  That fantastic day at the beach with wakeboards, cooler of drinks, tenders, sun - is the 1 day off in 4 weeks of 16hr days, of sharing a shoebox size cabin, of being on duty 24/7 and of an awful lot of tedious standing by to stand by, cleaning stuff that is already sparkling and standing on the passerelle to look pretty!  And all the politics of living in close quarters with 12 other multi national people.

I would suggest instead that you change to a younger, more fun, more glamourous side of commercial - Cruise Ships is fun, you get to go shore side and have all the benefits of commercial and rotation?!

Good luck in whatever route you decide to follow.

Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 8:30 PM
Joined: 01/04/2012
Posts: 8

To put it clearly, unless you have a Masters ticket i.e 3000 then stay where you are.

Like the guy above says, people in this industry only publicise the fun parts (most of us sign contracts that clearly state we are NOT allowed to publicise anything on board anyway)

most jobs (especially on the larger vessels) require for you to be away most of the year, and it will take you a few years at the bottom before you start matching your current $7000 a month salary.

sorry bud, not trying to keep you out, just letting you know how it is, as you describe yourself it sounds like you would fit right in

Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 10:35 PM

Hello thegaffa,

Im an Aussie who has been in Yachting for over 14 years and I'm looking at returning to Australia to do what you do! Grass is always greener on the other side but the reasons for my decision are exactly what the other guys posted. In your situation with what your making and super, travel expenses, car, health insurance I would suggest not making a move to yachting as a Bosun at all. Making the move to white boats especially with a family means you will basically never see them or only for a month or 6 weeks on your holiday (which is never a set time to arrange things) as the rest of the time your living onboard the yacht in a tiny cabin with a tiny crew mess. There are no so called fair work rules or time off etc and if there are they are never followed and their are plenty of Captain Blighs out there to make your time onboard awful! lol. There are no swings and as said by the other guys any jobs which do have rotation or based somewhere are highly competitive and hard to get. Another consideration is the fact that on a yacht you are employed by one man and if he goes broke or sells the yacht guess what your gone too and sometimes in one day meaning you must relocate and often to another country. My advice would be to look for other opportunities where you are or upgrade your ticket to get the opportunities. If you absolutely had to get into yachting it would only be while holding an OOW unlimited or higher allowing you to get a job on 80+m yachts where swings exist but remember most of the time they want yacht experience as well which you will have to get on smaller boats for a year or two i.e: as above

John Doe_1
Posted: Friday, April 10, 2015 7:49 PM
Joined: 13/10/2008
Posts: 78

All of what the above speak is true. I'm Master 3000 yachts and I left to finish my commercial tickets and work back on that side after  12 years of 50m white boats. No glam at all. You're a servant. And as far as family goes. Forget it. Never see them.  As far as money goes,....It would take you years to get to a point where you'd make the same. Average bosun is on about 4000 to 4400 USD a month. And in euros. Forget it. Used to be 1.45 now it's about 1.06. That's about a 38% pay cut over 4 years. Not a raise in pay. Stay where you are.  Also, no retirement package and very few boats have any kind of medical or dental. Only accident insurance if you get hurt which doesn't cover shore leave. Just my semi-informed experienced opinion. I'm not against yachts. I'd go back on a larger yacht for the right paid leave rotation but their are only a very few of those. And a lot of the smaller boats pay their crew better than the big 100plus. Up to you mate.