Jobs at McKeil

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Bilge Dweller
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Jobs at McKeil

Postby 46Tall » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:20 pm

I have a colleague asking about 2nd engineer jobs on a tug with McKeil. I know nothing about this company and am hoping someone here can pass on some info regarding salary, rotation or and other applicable info that may be of help that I can pass onto him.

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The Dieselduck
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Currently located: Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada (West Coast of Canada)

Re: Jobs at McKeil

Postby The Dieselduck » Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:54 pm

There are numerous good things, like a steady paycheck, every two weeks when under annual contract. Benefits are OK, and they treat your family pretty good with little gifts here and there. Usually 6 weeks on off, paid travel.

On the average side, the boats are all over the place and you can be bounced around allot which can be pretty stressful, but not lacking excitement.

On the negative side, they lack engineers, and have placed people in positions they have no business being in. For one, it was reported to me that their new Engineering Superintendent was recently bragging about "firing" me. Not only was this factually incorrect, he was using it as an intimidation tactic towards a new hire. I have never been fired for any cause in my working life. I have been running this website for almost twenty years, putting myself out there, and I will stand by what I do, have done, and my professional reputation - I don't believe this person can say the same. I am however, not afraid to call a spade, a spade; take what you want from this comment. Additionally, McKeil doesn't have many boats younger than 25 years old which is sometimes a challenge, and most are quite cramped. They also have very little technical support, so if you have a problem, your pretty much on your own, especially since there is little local knowledge due to high turnover.

Is that enough insight?
Martin Leduc
Certified Marine Engineer and Webmaster
Martin's Marine Engineering Page

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Re: Jobs at McKeil

Postby sashaavraam » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:21 am

There are many ways to spoil your Engineering career along with smudging your name and one of them to join McKeil Marine.

Their fleet comprise a bunch of pretty much worn out Tug boats with average age 40-25 years without being maintained in decent way therefore some of them laid off. Whoever works on International fleet realizes a liability for violation of MARPOL regulation would be stunned to see Sewage System to be set to pump out without a treatment outside in Lake Ontario from Tug Boat "Sharon M" along with Bilge Discharge valve not being chained and locked.

It takes a bit surprise of poor experience level of "Superintendent" /"Port Engineer" Alexandr Kalinins who walks you into Company with his arraignment of things would cause at least machinery collapsed whether vessel sink in bad case scenario such as his order to hook up Heating Element (No Safety Devices) at vessel Air Conditioning System despite to work out to install each Heating Element through breaker and thermostat at each Air Delivery trunk. Even though Alexandr Kalinins worked off on "Sharon M" around 2 years as Chief Engineer wouldn't have stopped him to collapse Port Side gear. Although it would easy to realize that his political experience and skills a way higher than expected once he brained wash you over his concept to suck all Canadian Engineer and to exchange them at Ukrainian, Russian, Latvian and Lithuanian Immigrants which is pretty much racist stuff.

Therefore it took me for a while to shield my 23 years old 2nd Engineer. You be thrilled and excited to plunge into "Blast from the Soviet Union past" implemented by above mentioned person: No talk, No question, No queries of working hours and we feed you when it is necessary etcetera......The horror part it is happening right hear in Canada and supported by Canadian owned company management.

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Steamboat Al
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Re: Jobs at McKeil

Postby Steamboat Al » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:24 pm

I can't say much for McKiels, my job was ok but my supervisor that fired me would only show me the letter from the office that I was fired but it did not show me the letter he sent to the office that got me fired.

I agree that I did indeed have 2 beer on a company vessel but the same supervisor that arranged for my firing was seen not only drinking on a company vessel but also doing drugs as well.

Hmmm I'll always wonder what that letter said from my supervisor to the office but I would hardly think that Mc Kiels would have fired me for 2 beer after work just before Christmas when we were not even sailing.

Since moving on I have met no less than 3 people that have had their own experiences with my former supervisor and they all described him as a lying piece of xxxx, I concur.

My former 2nd engineer had alot more to say about Mc Kiels but I'll leave that up to him to tell you the details....

Cheers Al

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Re: Jobs at McKeil

Postby mentatblur » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:32 am

Hey all.

I have very similar experience working there years ago. They truly do put new staff in crazy situations, little to no safety...the experience made me quit sailing for a long time. That superintendent that martin mentioned is probably someone I went to school with, and the attitude doesn't surprise me :( It makes me feel better to know that I wasn't the only victim, although I'm sorry others experienced unprofessional behaviour.

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Re: Jobs at McKeil

Postby Revolver » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:42 pm

They have a lot of job postings recently, but I'm seeing a fair bit of negative fro personal experiences here. Diesel duck gave the good, average and bad; everyone else just gave bad hrmm...

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Re: Jobs at McKeil

Postby Dieseldude » Thu May 24, 2018 7:39 pm

I can confirm from personal experience all the negative discussion about McKeil Marine. Their motto, "We Sail Safe" is quite incomplete, it should say, "We Sail Safe, If We're Lucky". The whole "safety culture" at McKeil seems only to be a marketing scheme to impress clients. Everybody who looks closely at the boats and spends a few days aboard will clearly see through the smoke and mirrors.

After the 2016 season aboard one of the recent additions to the fleet, the Kaliutik, I gave the Vessel Manager a good thorough defect list to attend to over the winter. I was not called to do any winter overhaul work. In the summer of 2017, I was again placed aboard, and found out that not a thing had been repaired. This is a simple little 65 foot, 83 GT tug with very simple equipment arrangement. It should have been a very boring job. But the boat was in such decrepit condition, it was nonstop work for me as the only Engineer aboard, just to keep the boat sailing. McKeil does no winter overhaul, and leaves their Engineers to do the overhaul work while the ship is working.

Everything from the bilge to the lights on Monkey Island was in need of many repairs. And there was little aboard for tools and spares. Requests for materials were routinely ignored. If not for dumpster diving at port calls, I would never have had materials to keep the vessel running.

When the two generators aboard finally became too unreliable to safely sail, I had to refuse to take responsibility for making the next voyage. One electronically controlled generator was randomly shutting down, and there was no means to diagnose the electronics. The other generator had a a fuel injector line chafed halfway through, ready to spray diesel and explode the boat. Putting my life and career on the line for a company like this was too much of a sacrifice to say the least. The troubles with the ship did not develop over night. I had given plenty notice to get some help and materials.

The Vessel Manager's solution on the phone was, "OK I'll get someone else." McKeil only wants crew who are willing to play their game of taking foolish chances. Perhaps "Russian Roulette" is a more correct description of the situation. This seems to be why they are always looking for crew, and judge for yourself the quality of many of the people that you might find aboard, though I do know of a few fine Engineers who have somehow endured the risks and hardships for a few years.

I was also placed aboard the Leonard M., a very old neglected floating scrap piece. What is to be said of a ship lacking a functional alarm system ? Who needs one ? We'll know an engine lost lube oil after it grinds to a halt. With no bilge alarm, we'll know that we're sinking when we suddenly take a list that won't recover. What of generator controls that routinely cause blackouts ?

Working at McKeils is not worth risking one's life, going to jail for negligence or pollution, or just destroying one's reputation. Will the "Grown-Ups" in the office keep you out of jail for pollution offenses ? Will they be able to save you when your boat blacks out and collides or blows up? No, they'll blame you and say that you did it wrong, if you're alive to hear it. If you die, they'll still say it, you just won't be around to hear.

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