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  • Physical Strength

    Something that I have been wondering for a while now, how physically strong do you have to be onboard as a deck cadet?

    Obviously deck cadets work on deck with the ABs a lot, doing manual labour and the like. However, I assume a lot of heavy work (such as heaving the mooring lines) is totally mechanically operated these days. I am of an average to slender build and no body builder so this question has popped into my head a number of times.

  • #2
    They are weaker than engineers!

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    • #3
      Don't worry too much, it's not too physically demanding. You'll probably find yourself losing fat and gaining some muscle during your first trip though.

      On an unrelated note: a lot of people talk about working with ABs as if they're the only deck ratings you work with. ABs are able seamen who have been promoted from ordinary seamen. Yes, there'll be more AB than OS usually but still. Just a technicality!
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      • #4
        Originally posted by agibbs98 View Post
        They are weaker than engineers!
        Considering there's a lot of engineers who sit in offices or in the ECR with coffee and biscuits (and room service sometimes)...
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        Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

        Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit SailorShop.co.uk!

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        • #5
          *Rises above the taunting*

          Charlie - having sailed as qualified engineer on both Cruise and Cargo, I can safely say that senior watchkeepers on cruise ships have a pretty low physical demand on themselves. One of the many reasons on the mahoosive list why I went back to cargo
          Cheers and ta

          S

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          • #6
            Yeah but sometimes the ropes are wet and that makes them a bit heavier that reminds me of watching some proper sailors use a crane to put a sail onto the boat
            you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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            • #7
              Rope? What is this thing you speak of??

              Size4riggerboots

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              • #8
                Originally posted by size4riggerboots View Post
                Rope? What is this thing you speak of??
                im sure if you have a really good look around you will find one somewhere, but dont touch it it might start a bad trend
                you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CharlieDelta View Post
                  On an unrelated note: a lot of people talk about working with ABs as if they're the only deck ratings you work with. ABs are able seamen who have been promoted from ordinary seamen. Yes, there'll be more AB than OS usually but still. Just a technicality!
                  This may vary between companies. The RFA for example (yawn!) has three grades of basic deck rating differentiated by qualifications: SG1A, SG1B and SG2. An SG2 is an unqualified trainee (albeit holding the basic safety certificates: firefighting, 1st aid, etc.). Once an SG2 passes an Efficient Deck Hand exam (EDH) and accrues 12 months sea time, he becomes an SG1B. On completion of a further 12 months sea time he can apply for an Able Seaman's certificate and is automatically promoted SG1A. The differentiation is entirely one of qualifications.

                  Are your Ordinary Seamen the equivalent of an SG1B holding an EDH but not an AB's certificate? Or does your company have other promotion criteria?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CharlieDelta View Post
                    On an unrelated note: a lot of people talk about working with ABs as if they're the only deck ratings you work with. ABs are able seamen who have been promoted from ordinary seamen. Yes, there'll be more AB than OS usually but still. Just a technicality!
                    I have never encountered any rating lower than AB (SG1A) with my company.

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                    • #11
                      Most people wont, here we use AB2 which is usually the motorman everyone else is an AB regardless....some companies like to make things more complicated than they really need to be
                      Trust me I'm a Chief.

                      Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
                      Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
                      No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Chiefy View Post
                        Most people wont, here we use AB2 which is usually the motorman everyone else is an AB regardless....some companies like to make things more complicated than they really need to be
                        We don't even have bosuns now :O

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                        • #13
                          We still have a bosun, also known as the leading hand, on my current vessel. Just the most senoir deck rating, who sees the chief mate every morning for jobs list.

                          But seriously, you don't require any physical fitness on deck side, fitting through a hatch is generally a good test of fitness. Some deckies seem to get a lot of time to do sit ups... sorry i meant to say sitting upright. Hehe.

                          As for engineers, using leverage most things can be overcome, I have met engineers of all sizes and strengths, I've also met an engineer whos like 6ft4 and well built looking but was a lot weaker then a plump guy twice his age and only 5ft6.
                          ....

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                          • #14
                            During my cadetship I've had a mixed bag in terms of physical strength required.

                            The cable ship I worked on was very physically demanding during cable operations. Several hours everyday are spent lifting, moving and dragging heavy armoured cable, grapple hooks, wire cored lines and various other cable ops related bits and bobs. Everything on a cable ship is either heavy or sharp! Having said that, it's all about numbers, we had 40+ ABs and OSs on there so as long as you're doing your best you're not going to be left to struggle with anything.

                            The cruise ship on the other hand was completely different. The deck work I did with the guys was pretty relaxed, dragging lines about during mooring ops was probably the toughest it got.

                            I would say deck work is often more about stamina than strength, any tasks that are physically demanding normally means several guys will be chucked at it. Whereas general maintenance work on deck in the tropics at the height of summer for hours on end can be very demanding however big your guns are!

                            In my experience deck officers have next to no physical demands required of them (get ready for a cheeky plug) which has led me to undertake my final year dissertation on whether facilities for physical activity should be a necessity on board. More about it on this thread: http://www.officercadet.com/showthre...Fitness-at-Sea

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                            • #15
                              Im not a strong guy but I had no problems. You should not be lifting anything too heavy anyway. If it comes to it get someone to help or think of a different way of doing it.

                              On the ship I was on it was easy to see someones job. All the engine guys where massive, the deck guys a bit bigger the normal and all the officers fat. ( with the exception of the 2/o who was a tank ).
                              Wise man says.... " Enough with the stupid questions "

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