Click for McKinna Click for Cape Scott Click for Delta Click for Trinity Click for Elling

Y4 pre-study material?

Discussion in 'Licensing & Education' started by mmss1, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. mmss1

    mmss1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    San Remo
    Hi all!

    I want to prepare properly before taking the Y4 modules. Can anyone recommend suitable literature?

    I have the syllabuses from MGN 156 (and the updated ones from the MCA
    website and also the obsolete MIN 208) and I have made printouts of relevant pages of MARPOL, STCW and some M-Notices.

    But where can I found the "non-regulations" stuff?

    I have H.D. McGeorge's "Marine Auxiliary Machinery" which I personally think is very unstructured and actually not usable at all. Any other recommendations?

    Pounder's "Marine Diesel Engines and Gas Turbines" seems to be an excellent book. Is it worth buying or is it too much tankers etc?

    For electricity I have "The Marine Electrical and Electronics Bible" by John C. Payne and "Boatowner's Illustrated Handbook of Wiring" by Charlie Wing but they are more for smaller boats. I also have "Stamfords Fault Finding Manual" which is very good but of course a bit specialised. Reed's Engineering Series "Basic/Advanced Electrotechnology for Engineers" seems to be a bit too technical. What I lack is something that applies to yacht's electrical systems.

    Any hints are greatly appreciated!
  2. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,452
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    What particular part of a Yachts Electrical System are you after more knowledge about?

    If you have spent some time on the yachts as an engineer working towards your Y4 you should have the basics by now.

    There are no textbooks specifically written for the yacht tickets, you will just need to extract what you need from the books that are available.

    Pounders and Lambs Questions and answers on the Marine Diesel Engine are both aimed more at guys doing cadetships and full commercial tickets.

    There is useful information in both and the Examiners who are taking your Oral will be more likely to ask something that is in one of these than to ask you how the Lewmar Push Button Winch Control works.
  3. mmss1

    mmss1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    San Remo
    Hi K1W1,

    thanks for your reply!

    Well, I guess your are right, but the problem for me is that I am currently sole engineer on a 34m MY from the early eighties and our systems are not really up to date! (I'm actually surprised that we pass the surveys...)

    The other yachts I've worked on have been smaller sailing yachts so their
    systems weren't probably exactly what an MCA examiner would expect either.

    Here are some examples of what I (think I) need:

    In another thread on this forum I read a question about "reverse power trip".
    I have only worked on yachts which use a single generator for all loads. They had all have 2 or 3 generators but not any means of running them in parallel.
    Hence I have no practical experience of "reverse power trip", paralleling or synchroscope (which I have read about but don't really understand). I have no experience with load banks, frequency converters etc which seem to be used in many (bigger/newer) yachts.

    When it comes to engine supervision I use gauges on the bridge and in the engine room. I have no experience of modern "computerised" diesel engines, common rail etc and would like to know more.

    We have "small boat systems" rather than "ship systems" and I guess that the exams will be focused on larger yachts.

    To (try to) clarify:
    Yes, I completely agree with everyone that says that I should learn for life rather than for an exam and that there are thousands of books out there with really good information and that I could learn a lot of useful stuff. But being realistic (and a bit cynical) I won't really have the time to study too much that actually won't be in the syllabus for the Y4.

    Perhaps anyone out there just took their Y4 and have some advice?

    Best regards!

    PS The ideal way to prepare for the Y4 would of course to get a position
    as 2nd on a bigger yacht but that position seems to require a Y4 so it's
    sort of a catch 22...
  4. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,452
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    Have a look here: http://www.brighthub.com/engineering/marine/articles/31782.aspx

    If you navigate around the site there is quite a bit of info in laymans terms that will be of help with some of the info you are looking for.

    I would be surprised myself if an Examiner taking you for your Y4 asked anything about Frequency Converters be they shore power units or drive units on a fan or motor.

    Just remember when taking an Oral Exam tell the Examiner about boats you have been on, don't try to pull the wool over their eyes just tell the truth as you have found it to be when working on the boat.

    Keep your answers short and to the point.
  5. mmss1

    mmss1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    San Remo
    Hi again!

    Thanks for the link. I've just skimmed the site and there seems to be quite a few short simple articles there (about almost anything so I guess there is a risk of getting stuck on that site...). As you say perhaps mostly in laymans terms but nevertheless valuable.

    Well, that's were your and others knowledge and helpful advice come in!
    I have no clue on what to expect on the Y4 module exams and have seen
    a recommendation of 6 weeks pre-study on each module before taking the
    course so I want to spend my time wisely (and start early since I won't have
    the service time for the Y4 until Feb 2011).

    Thanks again for your help!
  6. oceaneer

    oceaneer New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Victoria BC
    Pm me your e mail and i will send you some study exams.
    The best way is old past exams for study. But the answers that the MCA/SQA wants have to be worded in a way that the examiner wants. The whole system is very odd with the marker of your papers not being an engineer but having a marking sheet with the answer that is the only correct one.
    Reeds engineering series would be my recommendation for books but they are spendy! Get one a month and the cost is a bit more bearable.
    The other study guide is the actual course notes from the school you go to. Most will send you these upon a partial payment of the courses, get them a year ahead of your classes.
    And here is where you can tell allot about the school...
    I have attended IYT MPT bluewater and warsash.
    IYT and MPT are both a waste of time and money.. possibly at the y4 level they may just do. But really they are a horrible money grab and leave you feeling raped. They will Lie to you about the fail rate they experience and have almost no satisfied engineering customers.


    Warsash had the best system in my opinion with bluewater spain not far behind.
  7. mmss1

    mmss1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    San Remo
    Thank you very much Oceaneer!

    I have been considering Warsash due to their reputation and some
    first-hand reviews I have got but I will most likely take my courses
    at Bluewater in Antibes since I am based in San Remo.

    If I was to take one of the 3 modules in Warsash; which one would
    you recommend? (If it's at all possible to answer that question...)

    I have done Adv Fire Fighting and Adv Sea Survival at Bluewater, Antibes and wasn't overly impressed by the standards of their facilities or their study notes.
    They are a little bit disorganised in my view even though I must say that our instructors were both very knowledgeable and inspiring.

    I will PM you my email address. Thanks again for your help!
  8. oceaneer

    oceaneer New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Victoria BC
    I think that auxiliary equipment has the highest fail rate.. i would find out and take the hardest one.
    The schools will be able to tell you what one has the highest fail rate.:eek:

    Oceaneer
  9. mmss1

    mmss1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    San Remo
    Thanks again oceaneer,

    I will try to find out (also depends a little bit on the dates of course).

    Thanks everyone for your replies!
  10. mmss1

    mmss1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    San Remo
    Just an update:

    I bought the course material from Bluewater in Antibes for all 3 Y4 courses.
    100 Euros each and I must say that I was impressed by the quality of the
    notes.

    They are structured exactly after the syllabuses given in MIN 208 (now
    obsolete but probably the best reference anyway) and are very well written.

    The notes are not written by Bluewater but licensed from something called
    Cobalt CBT Systems and seem to be used by other training providers as well.
  11. mmss1

    mmss1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    San Remo
    Final(?) update!

    Another update...

    I just got a PM from another member asking me if I found any more material so here is what I wrote to him/her:

    I ended up doing the courses at Bluewater in Antibes. Mostly due to the fact that I'm based nearby. The course notes from Bluewater is reasonably good, they follow the structure in the (outdated...) MIN 208 and a lot of of the information is relevant. Unfortunately there is also a lot of redundant and irrelevant material in the notes which I didn't see when I initially got them.
    They also refer to outdated M-Notices in some places.

    During my pre-studies before attending the first course it turned out that I put a lot of effort into learning material that had nothing to do with the exam. And, let's be honest, in this case it is the exam that is important rather than actually learning for life...

    I still think 100 Euros per module is a fair price though.

    The instructor at Bluewater, Tim Moss, is very good and I think that helped a lot. Every day we got old exam questions as homework and every morning we went through them in class. He was very focused on having us to pass the exams.

    So, to sum it up, in the end I actually didn't get any other material than the course notes and despite some redundancy and irrelevance I think they are good enough to have you pass the exams!
  12. E4Y

    E4Y New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Floating around.
    Looking for 2009-2010 test Questions

    Hi,
    I just signed up for the Y4 course in Antibes with Bluewater for the end of February, 2011.
    I asked them for the any past test questions they had for study along with the course materials and they said the instructor will not had any out until the class.
    I can understand the reasoning, but I also understand the reasoning of not waiting until the 5 days before the test to get all the study material you can!

    Does anyone have the test questions for the tests given out in the later half of 2009 and for all 2010?

    Appreciate any help!
  13. E4Y

    E4Y New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Floating around.
    For anyone getting back into studying for testing or whatever here are two proven methods that do work for studying.
    Just in case you might be thinking how to best go about it.

    SQ4R Study Method:
    http://www.jccc.edu/home/download.php/6383/SQ4RStudyMethod.pdf
    http://www.fastol.com/~renkwitz/sq4r_study_method.htm
    http://www.cord.edu/Offices/Studentaffairs/aewc/Resources/Sq4rstudymethod.php

    Cornell Note Taking System:
    http://www.solida.net/notes/

    Also, in these modern times we are usually spending more time on the internet then reading a book.
    So our reading skills have gone down.
    It might not be a bad idea to start reading books again to get some of the reading skills back up to speed.
  14. mmss1

    mmss1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    San Remo
    Regarding old exam papers...

    Unfortunately Bluewater (where I took my courses) are under strict
    surveillance by the MCA and are not allowed to give out any copies of
    the past exams. We had to return the copies we used during the courses,

    Personally I think everyone would gain if we got all the old questions
    way before the course. The worst thing that could happen would be that
    more people would know the answers to more questions. Which would
    mean that on top of knowing the answers to the questions in the
    exam I happen to get, I also know the answers to 50 or so other questions
    and that can't be all bad, can it?

    The MCA could actually put all questions in their exam question banks
    on their web site so that anyone could download them!
  15. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,020
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Teaching to the questions is the way a lot of schools of every type do it today. It raises the graduation rate, but leads to knowing only the answers to those questions and not to knowledge of the subject.
  16. mmss1

    mmss1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    San Remo
    Very well put! I definitively agree, but...

    Unfortunately with the Y4 there are two major problems as I see it
    (with my limited experience but I did pass all three Y4 exams this winter):

    1. A lot of the MCA exam questions have no real relevance to the actual,
    real-life problems we face as engineers on a Y4-level. They are more
    merchant and "big ship" type questions. As a Y4 I will not work on a
    big tanker or have a couple of engineers working for me. Most likely I
    will be the sole engineer on a <200GT or I'll be a second on a <500GT
    yacht with my Y4 ticket.

    2. The scope of the exams (at least Y4 Ops and Y4 Aux) is really too big
    for self-studies. Since the Y4 5-day modules are the only teaching we
    get it is very hard to know what to study before you actually take your
    modules, and then it is way too late...

    I suggested to Bluewater that they should start giving introductory courses
    to give Y4 students a sort of a jump-start with their self-studies but they
    didn't think anyone would pay for it. Which, I'm sad to say, probably is true.

    The optimum education would be the merchant style with class-room theory
    combined with actual apprenticeship aboard sea-going vessels but for career-
    changers like me that is no option. I haven't heard of any yacht having any
    apprentices aboard either...

    Unfortunately it seems like you need a Y3 (three!) licence in order to get a
    job as 2/E on a yacht large enough to have the systems that the MCA
    expects you to know by heart in your Y4 exams.

    Catch 22 according to me (or actually slightly worse...)!

    Best regards!
  17. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,023
    Location:
    9114 S. Central Ave
    You knew this was coming, right?


    A lot of the MCA exam questions have no real relevance to the actual,
    real-life problems we face as engineers on a Y4-level.


    But they are based on fundamental knowledge of "real-life" engineering practices, procedures and installations.


    As a Y4 I will not work on a big tanker or have a couple of engineers working for me.

    If anyone should have a solid foundation in the practice and theory of marine engineering, it is one who functions as a "sole engineer."

    The scope of the exams (at least Y4 Ops and Y4 Aux) is really too big
    for self-studies.


    All the more reason why the yacht licensing scheme is flawed. It allows a candidate with no seatime or experience working under the supervision of an experienced and higher licensed engineer to step directly in waters far over his head as long as he can memorize the exams and muddle through the orals.

    Since the Y4 5-day modules are the only teaching we get it is very hard to know what to study before you actually take your modules, and then it is way too late...

    It is the "only teaching" you choose to take advantage of. Few, if any, of your colleagues will pay for or attend proper schooling or work as junior engine department staff on commercial vessels in order to obtain the training and experience needed to serve effectively as an engineering officer.


    I suggested to Bluewater that they should start giving introductory courses
    to give Y4 students a sort of a jump-start with their self-studies but they
    didn't think anyone would pay for it. Which, I'm sad to say, probably is true.


    Not so long as the MCA holds the zero-to-hero door wide open.


    The optimum education would be the merchant style with class-room theory combined with actual apprenticeship aboard sea-going vessels but for career-changers like me that is no option. I haven't heard of any yacht having any apprentices aboard either...

    Are you interested in learning a profession or just making the big bucks right off the street with no training or experience? Why is it not a option?


    Unfortunately it seems like you need a Y3 (three!) licence in order to get a
    job as 2/E on a yacht large enough to have the systems that the MCA
    expects you to know by heart in your Y4 exams.


    Or you can go to school and serve as a cadet on an operating ship, or work your way up and actually learn something.
  18. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,020
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    This is 2011. People no longer feel it necessary to pay their dues or gain experience to earn the bucks. Probably half the people in this business have never set foot on a boat before taking their first position.:rolleyes: From captains to stews to engineers, it would be so nice to see sea time and apprenticeship as requirements, but where would that leave these schools.:rolleyes:
    When owners think that if they can afford to buy a boat they're qualified to run it why should crew requirements be any different.
  19. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,023
    Location:
    9114 S. Central Ave

    I know I sound like a broken record on this subject but that recent thread about an "engineer" who didn't even know what kind of engine powers his generators is a classic example.

    The schools are major part of the problem with the MCA yachting license scheme. At least one of them was in on the development of the system and storefront diploma mills have since become critical members of the unholy alliance which perpetuates the deteriorating standards we have to endure on large yachts. :(
  20. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,020
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    It goes all the way down to small boats as well, in every area of the industry.:(

Share This Page