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Serious college student here.

Discussion in 'Yacht Captains' started by SilverFishVA, Feb 5, 2010.

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  1. SilverFishVA

    SilverFishVA New Member

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    I'm in my second year of college majoring in computer science. I've decided I'm going to transfer to another college to major in Hospitality Management. I've then found this forum for a while and decided I want to be a yacht captain. It's a great combination because I love to gather social events and be on the water. I've also been on power boats(one is 30 feet) numerous times at the marina. No knowledge of knotting though but I remembered cleaning and waxing boats.

    Anyone would like to point a path for me? I know I will start off as a deckhand but at least I have my college degree and go get a license right after college. I'm located in Virginia. Newport News/Norfolk and Annapolis, MD are good locations for a place for me to study maritime skills.
  2. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Welcome to YF.

    How does someone who has done 2 yrs of Computer Science and then swaps to a Hospitality degree get a Maritime License right after college?
  3. ScotL

    ScotL Senior Member

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    Don't forget about being the Captain:

    It sound slike someone needs to focus a bit more.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Welcome to YF. You're on a good path. Computer science because of the technology used on modern yachts and Hospitality because a charter yacht is basically a B&B plus. However, it will take quite a while to gather the other skills you will need. You'll be competing against maritime college grads and vets. It'll take time to gather your sea time for licensing, etc. If lucky, you might be talking about getting your first command when you're about 30. Start working in some marinas in your spare time to get a feel and make connections. There is a lot more involved than "knotting". I suspect that you'll find you're degree more useful on land where you're way more likely to find steady employment that pays well. Then you can afford to buy a yacht and be on the enjoyable (but expensive) side. In the mean time use the search feature above. You'll find several threads started by people in about your situation with your desire. That's a good place to start your education. Good luck.
  5. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    I think that is about all you need to get an MCA license for almost any large yacht.

    Check out the website for IYT in Fort Lauderdale. Their classes produce yacht captains in very short order. You may be able to become one during your summer vacation.
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    ....:D
  7. SilverFishVA

    SilverFishVA New Member

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    I like how you think. Maybe someday I can fit some computer errors while on a trip in the yacht which can translate to more cash as a yacht captain. However, I think having a hospitality degree is much more effective for being a yacht captain/mate.

    It may be more steady while on land if I go the Hospitality degree route, but most hospitality majors start off really low on the scale anyway.

    However, I do not know how unsteady a yacht captain job is. I would think that if a yacht is at the dock, you're still getting paid maintaining it?
  8. SilverFishVA

    SilverFishVA New Member

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    I would like to know more about this school in Fort Lauderdale. You said about getting an MCA license, I've checked their website and I have not found it yet. Wouldn't the requirements for getting this license be 90 days of seafaring time on any powerboats of any size?
  9. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    While bashing the MCA Yacht licenses it is important to differentiate between Yacht Endorsed MCA Licenses and Merchant Navy Ones which are subject to a much more rigorous training, seatime and examination criteria.

    The MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) is a UK Government organisation that issues all grades of Seafarers credentials both Commercial as in Merchant Navy ones which are also vaild for use on a yacht and yacht endorsed or restricted ones which are not valid for service on a commercial ship.
  10. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    What type of License are you actually hoping to get?
  11. SilverFishVA

    SilverFishVA New Member

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    Whatever license you feel is best for me to meet my goal?
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, that first statement is too true. As for the second, Unless that hospitality degree starts you off as a busboy you haven't seen low on the scale yet. If you go over the posts here, between the lines you'll hear a lot of I used to work here; I used to do this. If you can make 5 years on one boat that's huge. Then you start all over again. Forget benefits like profit sharing, 401K's and health insurance. They're rare.
    As for the school Marmot referred to, I think his tongue was firmly planted in his cheek. That won't get you a job running a water taxi unless you've got a lot of experience backing it up. Since you're a U.S. citizen you want a USCG (now Homeland Security) issued Master's license of minimum 200GT and it will take years of sea time before you have that. Sorry for the bad news.
  13. SilverFishVA

    SilverFishVA New Member

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    Has there been a year where you can't find a yacht owner to hire you?

    How is this school? I see that they teach in Fairfax, Virginia.

    http://www.seaschool.com/frm-master.htm
  14. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    I would take the advice given in post No 4.

    You have to walk before you can run in yachting just as in many other occupations.

    I believe the entry level license in the US is the 6 pak, once you have accrued enough sea time for this you are on the way but it is a long hard road just as it should be for someone who is expecting to take charge of millions of dollars worth of equipment and a number of other peoples lives.
  15. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    As an independent captain I work about 7 months a year. But I'm still just paying my dues, never knowing where my next payday is coming from. Only in the business a little over 20 years. Most of the licensed captains (Masters) I know make their living washing boats or selling them if they're even still in the business. Assuming someone lands a F/T captain's job on a large yacht (under about 90' it's rare to find a F/T captain and crew), they'd best keep a large and up to date contact list, because, after spending a couple of years on one boat it's not easy to find a second one.
  16. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    Well, you need to put together 720 days of sea time as well in order to be allowed to sit for a USCG license (except 360 days for the OUPV/Six Pack which limits you to 6 passengers and 25tons, basically only valuable to owner operators who want to do some chartering work with their small boat). You can get an RYA/MCA license with much less, basically take a couple of classes which involve some on water time and testing and get issued a Yachtmaster certificate which is good to 200gt. You might see if you can get a job working on deck of a local ship assist tug while you're finishing up school. Often ship assist is a "go home" job rather than a live aboard one and see if you can get on the night crew. You'll need to jump through a few hoops to get your MMC (Merchant Mariners Credential) any more, drug screen, STCW-95, TWIC card (a security screening/background check) and a few other things. Often these jobs are union jobs, and some unions have excellent training programs and opportunities for you to go through, some don't have squat....

    Lots of info here...

    You can also try working local dinner boats and ferries.

    I would suggest that you finish the IT degree. Yachts are becoming more and more computerized and the ability to deal with networking (especially streaming video, there are some real tricks here with streaming a movie server to 14 televisions and not having the picture jump) and satellite communications. I have 5 ships operations computers (all networked ) and 3 satellite units (VSAT with Fleet broadband fall over for data and voice and TV) which feed networks through out the boat, both cabled and wifi with 14 wireless access points.

    At this point in your life, you will be starting in the yacht industry as a deckhand as there is little chance you will come out of school with the experience required to be captain, even if you do have a Yachtmaster certificate that says you are legal to be one. The more skills I need that you can bring to the table, the better edge you have. I'd suggest that working for a marine electronics company while in school may serve you better than working as boat crew. The good jobs on yachts are highly competed for. Every time I post a position open, I literally get hundreds of responses. I'm not that concerned if you can wash and polish or tie knots, I can teach you all that inside of a day. If you can show me that you know how to keep our navigation, coms, internal network and engine monitoring control systems up and running, your resume just made it into the short stack. While all this is normally in the provenance of the engineering department, most small, and indeed all, boats run with a short crew and everyone has to wear multiple hats. Show me you can fill a difficult and valuable set of shoes, and you will succeed. It also will put you in a good position for shore based work within the industry while waiting for a good crew position to open up.
  17. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    My tongue was not really in my cheek, but K1W1 is correct in that there is a wide gulf between the MCA merchant marine license and their yachting certificate, which is why I wrote yachting license.

    However, it is very possible to obtain an MCA yacht license with very very little seatime or experience and the MCA yacht license is the standard in the world of foreign flag yachting which is everything except a tiny handful of US flagged boats. There is a huge differnce between a "charter yacht" as we know them in Fort Lauderdale, the Caribbean, and the Med and the fishing charter boats that go out for a day or the dinner boats that annoy waterfront residents for a few hours evey night.

    Google IYT Fort Lauderdale and also MPT Fort Lauderdale and you will open a treasure chest of information about becoming a yacht captain plus MPT provides a great wealth of information comparing the various licenses and training requirements.
  18. SilverFishVA

    SilverFishVA New Member

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    I have only one disadvantage here. I have a severely hearing loss and minor vision loss; however, I can hear pretty well with my hearing aids.

    I was wondering if this could drastically affect my chance at being a yacht captain especially the master's license requires you to have normal hearing. Is there somebody you can refer to who can help overrule the hearing requirement?

    I hear Larry Mullen is the guy to go to?
  19. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    If you are near Ft Lauderdale, you can see Dr Grenet about both the ENG1 and the USCG/DOT physicals. He handles a lot of guys and is one of the few in the US that offers the ENG1 for the MCA. They can be pretty fussy about medicals.
  20. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    I sense a wind up here.