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Question about ETO path.

Discussion in 'Licensing & Education' started by J-Lev, Mar 6, 2012.

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  1. J-Lev

    J-Lev New Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    Princess Anne MD and FT. Lauderdale FL
    I have recently been introduced into the world of yachting by way of my fiance. She is a stew in Ft. Lauderdale aboard a private yacht. I recently got out of the US Navy after 9 1/2 years. I was a Fire Controlman and worked on the Aegis radar system.

    I am currently enrolled in school using the GI Bill and am going for an Engineering Technology Degree. I met with the Mate on her boat and he brought up the subject of being an ETO.

    I was just looking for any and all information regarding an ETO training path and starting in the right direction. And also if anybody knows how far my Navy experience will get me.
  2. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Sep 30, 2005
    My Office

    In an ideal world an ETO on a yacht will be a master of Electrics, AV. IT.

    Not being an expert in all of the above will not prevent one getting on the ladder as an ETO.

    What subjects will you be taught on your Engineering Degree course?

    Can you use your Navy Seatime towards getting some type of USCG Engineering License?
  3. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

    May 20, 2007
    9114 S. Central Ave
    Google "yacht ETO" and you will find quite a few references that should give you a pretty good overview of the role and employment opportunities. Dockwalk ran an article about it in the Spring of 2010 that detailed the STCW changes and how it might (or might not) impact the yacht world.

    There are still few boats that carry a dedicated ETO and those that do require someone with a great depth and breadth of knowledge and experience working with the installed systems. When the boss's TV won't deliver the right channel or his internet goes down is not the time to figure out how the system works. This is "tech support" on the front lines.

    The current path seems to be for an engineer to learn the ETO job as it is easier to teach an engineer how to deal with IT and AV than it is to teach an IT and AV guy to work on the MSD. This path is not all that smooth and I have yet to see a successful blend, one area or the other inevitably suffers when there is only a chief engineer and a not quite ready for prime time second engineer.

    If you are looking for a yachting career, look into the engineering side. Get whatever license or rating the CG will give you with the seatime you already have and get the MCA licenses as you go along. Don't fall into the trap of getting just the MCA tickets because they are easy and don't take any seatime, they are worthless when you have had all the yachting you can handle. You can quickly become a yacht engineer and if you have good AT/IT and electrical skills it will enhance your value.

    If I were looking for the ideal yacht ETO for my megayacht, I would look for a person who was currently employed by a contractor with a good track record of installing and servicing the most widely installed AV and IT systems on large yachts.