For a guy just over half my age - you have a great resume and lots of seatime experience and good references.
I doubt you'll have to worry too much about having a promising career in the industry in the future.
Yes theres plenty of Bad drivers, pilots and skippers in this world, luckily the Darwinian theory of evolution helps thin em out a little occasionally with a large licking of help from mother nature when she has her dander up!
The more bad ones out there - the easier it is for a bright young buck like yourself to shine tho - so it ain't all bad!
Don't knock a commercial skipper position - I know a few commercial skippers could buy n sell a few of the mega yacht owners twice over after a lifetime (or 2) at sea, commercial fishing etc...
The experience to be gained is great - in fact I'd go so far as to say that lack of some substantial commercial industry experience, I might consider to be a blemish on a captains record - always handy to know your skipper knows what the other users of the ocean are doing and likely to do, when it comes to operating their vessels....and WHY (i.e for commercial reasons) gained thru hands on experience.
Commercial skippers put on a LOT of hours seatime in a short period, and hence are sometimes a great source of intel on things engineering with regard to new systems and their shortcommings (or benefits).
I've a lot of respect for commercial skippers - having worked and fished with a great many over the years.
Yes - they can be a rough crew at times - but like every other user if the ocean they live and die by the decisions they make - based upon knowlege and experience. If they werent good, Darwins Natural Selection, would likely have probably eliminated them from the seafarers gene pool already.
It wouldn't hurt a few mega yacht owners to spend a day or 3 at sea with an old salt from the conmmercial fishing industry background.
Least they'd get a dose of reality in term sof what to expect maybe....when they go hiring a skipper for their yachts.
As a pilot, do you have to kow tow to the mega rich passengers on your plane? Does wealth give thenm an unfettered right to access the cockpit if they are a paying passenger or charterer of your bird?
I guess maybe I'm from the old school...some yacht owners would be lucky if I didn't have em keel hauled for attitudinal readjustement training!
The Skippers the law at sea, and the size of the owners Checkboook doesn't over ride that responsibility to the safety of the passengers crew and vessel for the skipper.
Sure - bytch about blocked drain, but if I'm the skipper - it gets fixed when I **** well say, if 'other priorities' take precedence in the ssafe running of the vessel.
Only last week we had a commercial skipper here charged with Manslaughter, for a collision with a recreational fishing boat in which a 5 year old boy was killed.
The skipper was apparently at the helm but distraced from maintaining an adequate watch (internationa martime law responsibility) , by "other" state legal responsibilities associated with measuring and sorting his catch!
i.e a catch 22 situation. Either risk losing your boat (worth $1 Million), your comercial fishing license (worth $3 Million) and everything else you own (Home etc whos mortgage is secured against the value of the comercial license at the bank) thru a catch infringement, for having berried females lobsters or undersize or whatever aboard, at the same time as the skipper is also supposed to be at the helm maintaining an adequate watch.
Yes thats a task a deckhand CAN perform, but it's a big risk to take, (particularly if traing a new young deckhand as you only get 3 infrigements in a lifetime before you forfeit that license.
One mistake can cost you everything...so the skippers take no risks and measure sex and sort everything of the days catch themselves - often in th eprocess being distraced from their duties at the helm on the way back to port.
It's a no win - they can't be ibn 2 places and doing 2 things at the same time.
As a result, a 5 year old boy dies and a 63 year old skipper with a lifetimes experience at sea is up on manslaughter charges.
To my way of thinking, for example, if a blocked drain underway doesn't threaten the immediate safety of the passengers crew or vessel, then it's a distraction from the primary responsibility of skippering the vessel.
It can be dealt with when appropriate, when berthed and maintaining systems critical to the vessel or anciliary systems put there for peoples comfort & pleasure IMHO regardles of how high a priority it might be on a Phyllis Dillers bad hair do day list of honeydoos!.
Least thats how I would see it...