My short bio: 23, been sailing for a few years, with various companies. Literally, ask me anything.

My Proof: [Me on left a few years back.] [cool photo from bridge]

Comments: 82 • Responses: 32  • Date: 

asdfderp16 karma

What kind of qualifications are required for your job? How did you manage to get in?

TimMarben1 karma

I'm not OP either, but Warsash Maritime Academy is pretty prestigious.

Tinboy12 karma


jaywils912 karma

Clyde marine training, if you are in the UK :)

barrytheblender2 karma

Fellow Clyde Marine guy here, just entered first phase.

jaywils911 karma

Good luck (Y)

AdipemFlos3 karma

Are you RFA or private merchant navy?

jaywils913 karma

Private Merchant.

crashtacktom3 karma

Which college did you go to? Just started at WMA on the deck course...

jaywils913 karma


sdmike213 karma

How is the internet out there? I hear that some ships get satellite internet, if you have used it how is the connection?

Tinboy13 karma


jaywils914 karma

In response,

My last ship was awful, could barely load emails, before that i was on cruise vessels and it was good enough to hold a skype call without video.

Apparently my company has just taken a new contract with an internet provider so fingers are crossed :)

SilkMonroe2 karma

I'm unsure as of yet what you actually do. Can you explain a typical day of work?

jaywils911 karma

To be honest, i always say we get paid for what we know not what we do.

Daily i have some small maintenance, i look after purifiers, fuel system, Sewage treatment plant, Fresh water generator, Incinerator and then i have to log all the transfer of oily water/ sludge on board the ship into the ships ORB.

Each day is never the same, and i always look to help out my next rank, its a good way to show your ready for promotion.

Doggysoft2 karma

The 'proof' isn't proof of anything.

jaywils912 karma

What would you like sir?

Easy-Bake1 karma

ENG1 certificate?

jaywils911 karma


straferz4life2 karma

What's the best part of your job? Also how boring can it be?

jaywils917 karma

The time off i get would be the best, it enables me to do what ever i want really, currently i work a 3 month on 3 month off rotation, my recent vacation i spent a month in canada, 3 weeks in germany and then the rest split between edinburgh and belfast where i live.

Boredom only really sets in when you don't have good crew on board, there are always plenty of jobs to be done and if you know how to keep yourself entertained out of work hours you should be fine. I tend to read or continue learning the guitar. Work is tiring, so you spend a lot of time sleeping!

straferz4life1 karma

If you don't mind me asking, about how much would the pay be for a job like yours?

crashtacktom3 karma

Not the OP, but for a 3rd Deck officer, you can expect to start around £24,000 a year, tax free in the UK, working 3 months on, 2/3 months off

jaywils915 karma

I get 30k, some get 24k and some get 35k. It really depends on which company.

HEYdontIknowU2 karma

Have you ever seen any stowaways? If not, can you please tell your best story about an unexpected item or thing that wasn't supposed to be on the vessel.

jaywils916 karma

We had cocaine tied to the rudder stock in columbia, a suicide pact of passengers in the south caribbean, a drunken guy in a wheel chair trying to bite everyone in the casino, We found a Katana left behind in one of the staterooms, well i didn't but the stewards did.

Plenty of shite happens on the cruise ships, as for tankers... I found some ladies underwear in a drawer under my bed once.... I suspect it was a prank though.

questingkid1 karma

Do you have problems in communicating with foreign officials who dont understand your accent ?

jaywils912 karma

Yeah, im from northern ireland so it cant be a problem, even when i try to slow down and articulate properly they don't understand anything other than american english.

It's difficult, i've resorted to learning spanish and a little russian to make things easier.

SilkMonroe1 karma

What qualifications do you have that enabled you to well, become qualified for this job and how'd you actually find it?

crashtacktom1 karma

You can either have GCSEs and do a Higher National Certificate/Diploma, or A levels and do a Foundation Degree. Both options will still award you with your Officer of the Watch ticket.

jaywils911 karma

In the UK the main supplier of training for a job like this is Clyde Marine,

You need a minimum of 5 GCSE's including Maths and English, but then again there is quite a lot of competition now. So it may be that even though you have the minimum requirements you may not be accepted.

ExHokie1 karma


jaywils911 karma

Last vessel was 260m long, we had 26 persons on board.

Biggest department is the deck.

Mwilk2 karma


jaywils912 karma

Not worth talking about xD

Mwilk2 karma

I wish I had that attitude back when I sailed. I got so pissed at those guys for breaking everything and then yelling at us for not fixing it fast enough.

jaywils912 karma

I break there toilet on purpose and watch them squirm.

ClarkKentish1 karma

If you did that in Australia the deck crew would beat the shit out of you

jaywils912 karma

Doubt it.

snowmantackler1 karma

Where is your favorite port? Why is it your favorite?

jaywils912 karma

Between Bonaire and Aruba.... They are both so beautiful and not too far away from columbia when you need a little bit of civilisation.

They have white beaches and crystal clear water, also on Bonairé we used to play 11 a side football against another ship that berthed along side us. Although i used to work on the cruise ships.

squidgysailor1 karma

hi there, thanks for doing this. is there a way where one can hitch a ride e. g. as a friend of the staff?

crashtacktom1 karma

Usually limited to family on cruises, and most container ships have stopped taking supernumerary passengers due to dangers and the risk of piracy. If you check out CMA-CGM, they seem to be offering 'cruises' for a large sum

squidgysailor1 karma

thanks! im new to reddit! great to have your reply! makes me love this community even more!

jaywils911 karma

Cruise's i worked on allowed this. Didnt have to be family.

onemanshow1111 karma

Hi there thanks for doing this AMA.couple of questions:

  1. How do you find travelling by sea different compared to travelling by other modes of transport?

  2. How do you and the crew usually spend your time on these ships?

  3. Have you encountered any dangerous situations while on the job?

jaywils911 karma

  1. I much prefer it, i dont like flying, well i dont like airports, and i find 9 hours on a plane far more boring than 10 days on a ship.

  2. Down time is spent on the internet, trying to get facebook to work, playing board games, sharing stories, arguing, reading, playing guitar, bitching about the company, ticking off the days left on the calendar until you sign off next :)

  3. Well every days work has dangerous elements where you could seriously harm yourself if the correct procedures are not follow. We had a bit of damage to the ship once when crossing the atlantic, one rather large swell actually damaged the front structure of the ship.

We then had to have 10 days repair done in mobile.

Someone-Else-Else1 karma

Are "the sailors'll bang anything" jokes accurate?

jaywils913 karma

Ab - sa- fricken- lutly

Someone-Else-Else1 karma

Ab - sa - fricken - slutty

Come on, man.

jaywils911 karma

haha, im just playing, i've never paid for it. but god be damned, some latino women would be worth a few $$$.

I do have a bit of a rep amongst my friends as being ready for it like, but thats goes hand in hand with i couldn't have anything long term right now and i like sex.

Never fucked a fatty though.

spawls2 karma

Filipino crews live by this motto, they are notorious for shagging anything.

jaywils911 karma

Even there cabin mates ;)

fast420sailor71 karma

This is really interesting to me because I'm at the USMMA in New York. I just wanted to ask you two questions.

  1. Have you met any Kings Pointers at sea and what is your experience with them?

  2. What was your biggest shock the first time you went out to sea?

Thank You!

jaywils911 karma

No idea what a king pointer is mate sorry, care to elaborate and i will try to answer?

Biggest shock for me was the culture diversity, my first trips were on cruise ships so i had plenty of fun times to help ease me in, i was also shocked at how much responsibility was bestowed upon me so quickly.

Love it though!

fast420sailor71 karma

Kings Pointers are students and graduates of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. I was just wondering if you had met any while sailing. Next year at this time, I am going to be an engine cadet. Hopefully I will be on an MSC boat.

jaywils911 karma

Since qualifying, I have sailed with 1 ETO cadet, and 1 deck cadet.

Deck cadet was a very lazy individual, he spent 8 hours a day on the bridge doing fuck all and 1 hour a day on deck picking his nose. ETO cadet was hard working but had poor english.

Indian and Russian Nationalities respectively.

Comicbookguy781 karma

How much do you earn?

jaywils912 karma

30,000 sterling, as a 4th eng

[deleted]1 karma

So how much would a chief engineer and the captain make? I ask because I prob would've been a merchant navy officer had I not been colour blind.

jaywils911 karma

British chief's can make from 60k-140k net salary, because you don't pay taxes in the uk if you are a seaman and meets the requirements. I'd say most sit around 80k though.

Not bad for half a years work.

[deleted]1 karma

Curse my stupid eyesight!!!

jaywils911 karma

Bank robbers get more...

Also, i have a friend who is a 4th on a tanker, he is colourblind.

jaywils912 karma

30k net. So roughly 40k on shore

Virtual_Noob-5 karma

An army/navy personnel should not give his photo and do an AMA!

jaywils914 karma

I'm not military :)

jaywils911 karma

Also, It's RCCL cruise lines, i now work for a oil/gas tanker company.

Virtual_Noob1 karma

sorry I didn't know.

What is the best thing about your job and about the sea?

jaywils911 karma

The pay, the time off and the chance to meet new people in life from all corners of the country are the aspects i enjoy.

I find the sea very relaxing, i can have the most stressful day ever and just spend around 30 mins at the end of the day at the aft of the ship with a cuppa tea and all my worries fade away. I find it very therapeutic.

It's also worth noting that there are a lot of jobs available for Merchant Navy Engineers, not so much for the deck side.