BCIT M.Eng training and CoC ?'s (yacht ~1)

Going through the licensing process ? Have queries, comments, or do you need an answer to that obscure exam question ? This is the place to post.
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BCIT M.Eng training and CoC ?'s (yacht ~1)

Postby TheDjent » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:37 pm

I'm planning on attending BCIT M.Eng 4 year co-op training. Worth it?
Eventual desire to chief engineer yacht (y1)?
I love the ocean, I love engineering, I'm fine with up to 6 months away from family and would love paid leave for equal sea time served.
Questions are:
Is it worth the time and money at BCIT? Since I would be certified as 4th unlimited I believe, and 3rd with restrictions.. How would that compare to a yacht engineer CoC?
If I did commercial up to chief unlimited would it be wasteful if I want to serve on luxury yachts?
Is $50-70k really possible coming out of school?
Is it really work 6 months, 6 months off? Obviously with company discrepancies and sign-on differences..
After graduating from BCIT, should I head to the yacht side immediately or achieve a certain CoC in the commercial side of things?

I'd be happy with 70k after 5 years sea time, prefer 100k but I mean who wouldn't.
Eventually want to own my own 40-50' sailboat and spend my time off sailing and scuba diving and earning my saturation diver so I can do that maybe 5-6 times in my life for a) extra money b) thrilling experience for myself.
You can't make me or break me but some guidance would be helpful as I'm 20 years old and this is an expensive and time intensive life choice for the long term.

Also is engineering on science research vessels good pay? Would sit better with my core values to contribute to the science realm rather than mass consumerism..

Thank you for your time

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Re: BCIT M.Eng training and CoC ?'s (yacht ~1)

Postby TheDjent » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:58 pm

For example, I just saw this
http://www.dieselduck.ca/training/2012. ... Stream.pdf
Is it worth the $25,000 and 9.whatever years of my life to get to 1st class just to do paperwork... Or can anyone here give me an alternative to go work on yachts and make similar money,
I'm really down for the school like BCIT, but 10 years puts me at 31 (start in 2014 ill be 21)
I mean sounds great to me, I'll have my sailboat, my saturation diving, lots of travel and vacation, can start my family at 31 and my kid will be 20 when I'm 51-52, same as my dad.
This obviously comes down to personal stuff but someone with something to pitch in or "devils advocate" or support would be appreciated. Is chief engineer unlimited at 31-32 possible and how you would do it? I mean it sounds fantastic to me so maybe I need some reality to kick me in the pants cause this sounds too good to be true lol :P

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Re: BCIT M.Eng training and CoC ?'s (yacht ~1)

Postby JK » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:41 am

I will tell you the same thing as I told another cadet long ago.

If you decide to work ashore, say as Superintendent, Surveyor, Investigator or any other technical job related to the marine industry, a CE is the desired level of certification. You can do it with a 2nds, if you have the sea time and ready to write for 1st.

If you want to go to sea until you are ready to retire, then you can be a professional 3rd. I have worked with many of them who were happy to be watchkeepers.

Remember though, knees, hips and backs take the brunt of the bad weather, never mind the heavy work you will do, and it starts to catch up to you in your 40s-50s. Those ladders don't get any less steeper.

In the 30-odd years I've been in it, I have never stopped taking courses, training, re-certifying and just generally studying for something or other. Some of the training you will take will be career stoppers, you either pass or your ticket is invalid. Technology is changing so fast, that you will always will be working at something to stay current in your knowledge.

I wrote a 2nds combined at 25 and could have wrote my 1st a year later but put if off for many years, out of sheer laziness. You are better off to write them as soon as you can because studying gets harder as you get older IMO.
With the new STCW rules, getting and keeping a ticket is going to get tougher.

I posted the annual CG Cadet recruitment link, you can have a look at that. I haven't looked at the links, but they might give you more info on what you are asking.

and to add, if you are an engineer on a science ship, you are an engineer not a scientist. In other words, you probably will not deal with them unless they break something. The more that you are in engineering, it seems the less you will understand the scientists. Two totally different ways of thinking. LOL

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Re: BCIT M.Eng training and CoC ?'s (yacht ~1)

Postby JollyJack » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:08 am

There is no Certificate of Competency specifically for yachts in the Canadian system, you have to go to UK for that. However, the people who invented the Y1 -Y4 certificates recognised that STCW standards are the benchmark for Marine Engineers and will accept STCW III/1, III/2, III/3 and III/4 at face value. The quickest way to get Y1 is to find a White List STCW country which will sell you a STCW III/2 Certificate of Competence.

Beginning as a cadet is generally a good idea if you wish to commit thousands of dollars to a career in which 4% of cadets enrolled will be at sea 5 years after Graduation as 4th Engineer. If you make that the Coast Guard College, (they pay you and all the tuition and training fees for that) the retention rate is higher, but they don't go to sea, merely sail around the coasts of Canada and look important. eg, a coast guard "deep sea" voyage is 500 miles east of Anticosti Island in the Gulf of St Lawrence. This means that sailing to St Johns in NL is "going foreign". On the other hand, a blue-water seafarer considers Europe just across the road.

As for "doing paperwork" as Chief. Yes, computers have made the work easier, if you believe the IT people, which means the work load has more than doubled. As you know, they are unreliable and prone to planned obsolescence, so the shipping company has to buy a new system to keep up. However, new systems cost money, so the systems are not upgraded. Consequently, the ship is back to Manualmatic in less than 10 years. (last ship I was on ran Windows 3.1) You may do a lot of paperwork, but you're expected to run the ship, too, as the fount of all wisdom. Something breaks down you da MAN!

Yacht certification is, as I say, specialized. You might want to look at the UK MCA website about that, the training and certification part is here:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga07-home/w ... ndcert.htm

Fred Dovaston has been in the Yacht biz for years, his page is here:

http://www.dovaston.com/

My advice is to contact Fred, let him know where you are right now and what your eventual goals are. If you get a chance to enrol in PMIT (ooopss BCIT as it is now) do so. First milestone is 4th Class and, if you apply yourself, you will have all theory Exams done up to and including 1st Class. (Cadet Programme candidates can challenge 1st Class Exams up to 3 months after Graduation from a recognised, approved cadet programme.) All that remains then is to acquire sea service at the appropriate power in order to challenge Engineering Knowledge examinations at the appropriate level.

3rd Class, 6 months IN CHARGE OF A WATCH on a vessel of at least 500 Kw, 6 more months on a vessel of 500Kw or more

2nd Class, 6 months IN CHARGE OF A WATCH on a vessel of 750 Kw, 6 more months on a vessel of 750 Kw or more

1st Class, WHILE HOLDING 2nd Class, 9 months IN CHARGE OF A WATCH OR IN CHARGE OF MACHINERY on a vessel of at least 3000 Kw, 6 more months as an Engineer on a vessel of at least 1500 Kw.

Sea time as noted is 12 + 12 +15 months, = 39 months after completing 4th Class. If these are all 12 hour days, which count as 1.5 days/day served, it's actually 26 months aboard ship. You can do that on a day for day basis, month on. month off, for example, or you can go to sea for a 6 month trip (very common in my pimply youth) and take the 2 or 3 weeks vacation at the end of it before heading out again after yelling at the crew co-ordinater "GET ME A SHIP! GET ME OUTA HERE!!" after spending 6 month's salary in a couple of weeks. (been there, done that...)

So the time required to gain 1st Class depends on you and how determined you are to get there. I was having too much of a good time, so it took me 10 years longer than it should have. You don't have that problem now, port stays are measured in hours now, not days, and people get very upset if you are partying in the coloured quarter of Cape Town for a couple of days or lying completely lost, broke and drunk in Wangchai, the Hong Kong red light district. I have found that, to my great regret, Boogie Street in Singapore and the Gut in Valletta have been "cleaned up" to match standards which should not be exceeded on children's TV on Sunday. Things have changed somewhat.
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Re: BCIT M.Eng training and CoC ?'s (yacht ~1)

Postby JollyJack » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:25 am

I just noticed that JK has requested applications for CCG College in Sydney, NS. That's a good school ( I know, I mark the 1st Class Exams) and an excellent foundation in Marine Engineering. Any future looks fairly secure, which can't be said for the industry in general, the race to the bottom for cheaper and cheaper crews is picking up and unless you're willing to work for $100 or so a month you'll be on the pogey. (if there is such a thing as pogey in 4 years) The view 5 years hence looks pretty bleak for western, highly paid seafarers.
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Re: BCIT M.Eng training and CoC ?'s (yacht ~1)

Postby JK » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:05 am

I think anyone looking at getting into the CCG College should leap right now. At the moment the engineering tickets are international, you can go anywhere in the world once you fullfill your contract. Who knows with the new SCTW requirements what will happen.

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Re: BCIT M.Eng training and CoC ?'s (yacht ~1)

Postby JollyJack » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:08 am

Agreed, JK. For TheDjent, git yer arse in gear and apply! I know, it's a long way to the left coast, but I'm sure the CCG will pay your way and your mommy won't miss you THAT much. :) Get in the saddle, put your nose to the grindstone, pull more than your weight and get 'er done.

Bit of "FYI". The new Marine Personnel regulations will establish STCW Certificates and "domestic" Certificates. The latter will be fine in the Lakes or in Canadian waters on Canadian ships, but not, I'm afraid, for a Canadian or foreign flag ship on international trade. As it stands right now, with STCW you can go anywhere in the world with a Canadian Certificate of Competence and any Flag state will gladly give you their equivelant Certificate. The Canadian qualification is regarded as one of the top 4 in the world. After the new MPRs are published in the Canada Gazette part 2 and enter into force, there will be a 2-tier system, foreign and Domestic certification. This will happen in the foreseeable future.
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Re: BCIT M.Eng training and CoC ?'s (yacht ~1)

Postby The Dieselduck » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:48 am

You are asking some very big questions that ultimately only you hold the answers to... and to me it sounds like you may not be in full appreciation of the commitment needed to become a professional marine engineer. I would hold off for a bit, as this profession is a tremendously demanding endeavor.

First off, I think you should explore why you think of limiting yourself to yachts is actually what you want. Some yachts are 11 months on 1 month off. Not many are equal rotation, and probably these are only open to fully licensed personnel. We have a lurker from that world here, I was hoping he could provide a bit of insight. The yachts are owned by rich, by appearance anyways, people, when you work on them, you are not rich. There is very limited opportunity I suspect for lifelong "ordinary" employment - meaning that if you think about settling down start a family and such is in your vision of the future, your ability to do so may not be in the yacht sector.

If the commercial world seems like a possible long term alternative to you, then yes, the cadet program is the most logical and cost / time effective. The nine years commitment mentioned in my document, is the absolute fastest way to achieve first class certification, but the reality is, you should plan for around 15 years if not more. However the yacht / commercial divide is great and not many people can make the change back and forth. So if your going the cadet program route you might want to consider it a career choice, more than an adventure that yachts might be.

Going back to yachts, if this is truly what you want to do, or are actually unsure, I would suggest not getting any training in Canada, I would go to the yacht hotspots and get on a yacht by walking the docks work as a deckhand or such, talk to crewing agencies, get a feel for the job. Go to Ft Lauderdale, France etc, spend some time getting to know the biz and the people. If it is something you think you would truly love, then go to the UK and get your Yacht qualifications. If this sound risky to you. If leaving home on this kind of whim is unappealing, I would say you are not quite ready for yachts; as that lifestyle will demand you living out of your suitcase for many years.

I offer my comment directly to your questions, below, in italics...

I'm planning on attending BCIT M.Eng 4 year co-op training. Worth it? - depends - see above
Eventual desire to chief engineer yacht (y1)? I dont think there is a need to go through cadet program for this, unless you are planning working on large yacht that actually hire licensed individuals, but if this is the case, they will pick from the commercial cruise industry, and you will need an IMO license as oppose to yachting credentials. But then again this transition into yacht after commercial is unlikely once settled with routine of home life and possibly family.

I love the ocean, I love engineering, I'm fine with up to 6 months away from family and would love paid leave for equal sea time served.

Questions are:
Is it worth the time and money at BCIT? Since I would be certified as 4th unlimited I believe, and 3rd with restrictions.. How would that compare to a yacht engineer CoC? answered in other replies

If I did commercial up to chief unlimited would it be wasteful if I want to serve on luxury yachts? probably
Is $50-70k really possible coming out of school? probably not in yachts, commercially, I'd say 40-50 k, if anyone actually gives you a break - its not smooth sailing coming out of school

Is it really work 6 months, 6 months off? Obviously with company discrepancies and sign-on differences.. rarely six on six off, possibly 1-2 months on / off, in commercial more probably, in yachts unlikely, 11 months on 1 month off, more likely as far as I know.

After graduating from BCIT, should I head to the yacht side immediately or achieve a certain CoC in the commercial side of things? if going through the cadet program with a yacht specialty in the future, focus on getting your sea terms on cruise exclusively, maybe do one or two years on cruise ships, until you get a berth on a yacht. I think this is a reasonable plan.

I'd be happy with 70k after 5 years sea time, prefer 100k but I mean who wouldn't. Yachts are a very close knit environment, once you are in and have a some experience, I would not expect trouble getting 100 k range, but I think only if you go the professional mariner route. Yachting licenses, I am not sure you will reach this success as fast.

Eventually want to own my own 40-50' sailboat and spend my time off sailing and scuba diving and earning my saturation diver so I can do that maybe 5-6 times in my life for a) extra money b) thrilling experience for myself.

You can't make me or break me but some guidance would be helpful as I'm 20 years old and this is an expensive and time intensive life choice for the long term. it is very difficult to envision life after 25, but working in the marine industry is not a easy and is a major career investment requiring long term vision, with some dubious payoffs. You should really sit down and have a look at what's in your future, whats important to you now, and might become important to you later, and remember that you and your attitudes will change once in your thirties, forties and so forth. The problem with the marine industry is that you have to be fully committed to succeed, going down this road without a "map" - on a whim, can be quite costly in terms of resources - time, money, social, mental and physical health, etc

Also is engineering on science research vessels good pay? Would sit better with my core values to contribute to the science realm rather than mass consumerism. Yachts epitomize consumerism in my book, so perhaps this is a telling comment on your part.


Please be realistic. I know its difficult at your age, we have all been in your shoes, but you will save yourself some headaches by reflecting on whats important to you and how that fits in to your future. My last ship, I was working with a new engineer, having recently completed his 4-5 years cadet program, but he was going back to school to get other certificate and get ashore and out of the industry. I found this very sad for him, to have wasted some much of his life.

Obviously you are taking the right approach to start, so this is good, my opinions are of course, mine, and may not fit your ideas or impression, and that is fine. Continue gathering data and let us know how your make out.
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Re: BCIT M.Eng training and CoC ?'s (yacht ~1)

Postby The Dieselduck » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:51 am

I am not sure if you saw, but on the Job Page, there is numerous links to yacht crewing agents and such. Some offer information as well, have a looksey www.dieselduck.net/job/
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Re: BCIT M.Eng training and CoC ?'s (yacht ~1)

Postby JollyJack » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:05 pm

Martin said: " it is very difficult to envision life after 25". yes, I'd agree and add another time frame. You don't know if you'll be at sea much longer than your first technicolour yawn in rough weather. You really do wish you were dead, you don't see an end to the misery of seasickness while you are retching your stomach inside out.

The yachty thing sounds exciting, all white uniforms, peaked caps and gold braid. The reality for yacht crew is a bit different. The accommodation for crew I have seen on yachts range from a tiny cabin about half the size of a standard bathroom in the depths of a large motor yacht (for the Chief Engineer, and crew are NOT allowed on deck) to triple bunks in the cable locker in the fo'c'sle of a 55' Bermuda rigged sloop.

I'm not dissing your choice of career, just that I can't see an engine room rating putting up with that kind of crap, let alone a Certificated Engineer. That said, I'd do it for a short trip (maybe go as much as a few weeks) and a heap of money exceeding that of a Chief on a VLCC, currently in the $15k-$20k a month range, but then, I'm a mercenary bastard and I'm at the stage of my life I won't knuckle my forehead or grovel to anyone.
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Re: BCIT M.Eng training and CoC ?'s (yacht ~1)

Postby TheDjent » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:53 pm

Thanks be to you gents, I am pretty sure this is the course I want to take, yachts seemed too good to be true so I figured I would ask. Maybe the odd rotation for some extra dough?

I am fine leaving for long periods of time and I am not deterred by seasickness or close proximity to people with whom you may not mesh with or god forbid worse. I actually have been a lone wolf for the longest time by choice and found roaming new places alone quite exciting and rewarding. I've hitch hiked the Pacific Northwest from L.A to Tofino BC and it was the best summer I've ever had..other countries are even more intriguing. Pirates....not so much.

The time off when I am older will be important to me; having time to sail and stargaze and just generally act out on my passions for travel, music and extreme sports (adrenaline junkie on my time off). The pay seems promising and I'm sure I could weed out a good job after a few years with a steady rotation and benefits package, pension and salary. I mean even starting at what..$50,000 as 4th to 3rd? Is that feasible on a path to unlimited chief? Even that is fantastic. Why do people keep asking: can you live on $100 a month? I thought pay was good..
Every where I have looked at salary reviews seems to indicated good wages..any feedback?

Also. Is spatial visualization important as an engineer because I seem to be getting gradually more proficient in visualizing say the piston-crankshaft-camshaft-flywheel-transmission-prop shaft-differential relationship. Or even the cylinder block and exhaust manifold and fuel injection relationship. In general it must just be useful to comprehend the whole ships system by all of its integrated moving parts, piping and electrical, etc..? Any ideas on the f*** I'm talking about lol.

Anyway, I have been updating my physics and math to pre university level while I finish up my scuba instructor course (not a career decision just an extra ticket and passion for the ocean). Reading Physics for Engineers and Scientists edition 3 by some crazy engineer PhD or another and its pretty extreme. Enjoying it.

Again thanks for the answers and your time, ESP. Mr.Dieselduck there and JollyJack.

Ciao

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Re: BCIT M.Eng training and CoC ?'s (yacht ~1)

Postby JollyJack » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:59 am

Upgrading maths and physics is always a good idea, they will both be kuminandies in your tool box when you tackle the 3rd Class and 2nd Class theory Exams. Don't know if you are aware of the "long road" which Martin has on this site, but to give you an idea what you are up against, here goes. The bottom of the ladder is 4th Class Engineer, Motor or Steam. There's not many mobile kettles floating around these days, so I'll go Motor, starting from scratch, ie, nothing but the romance of the sea sparkling in your eyes.

Get a Cadetship, 3 or 4 years, preferably one which pays you, and not one where you pay thousands of dollars. At the end of 4 years, you will have a 4th Class Motor Certificate, which allows you learn the job from oilers and ratings in the engine room staff, look after air compressors, shit processing plants, and tenderly tend the purifiers, and gawd help ya if any of them fall over! You will also keep an eye on fuel and lub oil tank levels by sounding the tanks daily. Do NOT trust electronic or pnuematic remote readouts, they are invariably wrong. Use a sounding tape and take an average of several dips if the ship is rocking and rolling. As you prove you are a good listener and absorb what you are being taught, you will progress to Third Class Engineer, in which post your responsibilities will expand to include auxilliary boiler, generating plant, steering gear and safety equipment like life boats, etc.

I may add here that when you graduate, you will have passed the following Exams at 4th class ,Third Class Level and 2nd Class.

4th General Engineering Knowledge
Motor Engineering Knowledge (you may have Steam EK, depending of what ship in which you serve.)

3rd Applied Mathematics (just above HS level) (Reeds vol 1)
Applied Mechanics (Reeds vol 2)
Thermodynamics (Reeds vol 3)
Electrotechnology (Reeds vol 6)

2nd App Mech (V 2)
Thermo (V3)
Leckytech (V6)
Naval Architechture (Reeds vol 4 and Reeds vol 5, Ship Construction)
Engineering Drawing (Reeds vol 11 or MacGibbons drawing book for marine Engineers)

On graduation, you have 3 months to tackle 1st Class theory Examinations, as follows:
1 Applied Mechanics
1 Thermodynamics
1 Lecyteck (You might need Reeds vol 7 for this, advanced leckytech)
1 Nav Arch

On completion of the theory exams, you will face an Examiner like me for Engineering Knowledge, General (everything you know about engineering) and EK Motor at each level. If you are successful at the written examinations, then you will face an Oral examination, the subject of which can be the price of eggs in Somalia to the molecular composition of nodular grey cast iron.

"Kuminandy" books, Reeds vol 8, General EK, 9 Steam EK, 11 Motor EK and 10, Instrumentation and control systems.

There are one or two other things attached to Certification, chief among them being qualifying service.

4th Class, 36 months, 6 of which must be at sea in an engineering capacity on a vessel of 500 Kw or over ( a Cadetship covers all that)

3rd Class, an additional 12 months at sea, 6 of which must be in charge of a watch on a vessel of 500 Kw or more

2nd Class, an additional 12 months at sea, 6 of which must be in charge of a watch on a vessel not les than 750 Kw

On attaining 2nd Class, you start accumulating sea time for 1st Class. This consists of 9 months in charge of a watch or in charge of machinery in a vessel of not less that 3000 Kw and at least 6 months in charge of machinery or in charge of a watch in a vessel of not less than 1500 Kw.

There's a little bit of training thrown in, too. Canada is signatory to the STCW Conventions, so we have to follow them.

For 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st Class, you need:
STCW VI/1, marine emergency duties with respect to basic survival training
STCW VI/2, with respect to survival craft and rescue boats, other than fast rescue boats
STCW VI/3, with respect to advanced firefighting for Officers
Propulsion Plant Simulator training withrespect to watchkeeping duties
Marine Advanced First Aid
Seafarers Medical from a TC approved doctor, the list is readily available.

In addition, for 3rd Class and up to 1st Clsll, you will need MED D for Senior Officers

When you reach the dizzy height of 2nd Class and 1st Class, you will need Propulsion Plant Simulator training with respect to Plant Management.

On the surface, you could be 2nd Engineer, Head Honcho in the Engine Room, 2 years after graduation from the Cadet Programme. I have known guys who never took leave, whose whole life rotated around the ship, never went ashore, concetrated entirely on getting the next ticket. The saying "all work no play makes Jack a dull boy" is very true. Most of these guys don't know Jack, brain smart, CDF dumb. You need to blow some steam off when you get home from a 5 or 6 month trip (see my previos comments about weekend millionaires.) Water some marigolds and see how many of the local girls you can impregnate. Of course, this is all politically incorrect these days, it's safer to hunt out dusky maidens in exotic ports (if you have time to get ashore), that way, it would be most unlikely you'd be pursued for child support. :)


++++
There were some additional comments, but I have removed them to keep the topic on focus, appropriate, and the forum inviting to our worldwide audience. - Martin

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Re: BCIT M.Eng training and CoC ?'s (yacht ~1)

Postby JollyJack » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:22 am

As a footnote, the sharp, analytical mind may observe the occurrance of an occasional typo. Please keep in mind that I am not a typrewriter, i'm an injuneer.
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