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FD, Containers, No Job vs. HNC, Tankers, Possible Job

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  • FD, Containers, No Job vs. HNC, Tankers, Possible Job

    Hello. I am the author of the thread entitled "Accepting an offer, only to receive an enticing new one..." which can be found a few threads down in this forum (it is now locked, so I couldn't write further comments in there).
    In the original thread I explained that I was basically ready to go as a deck cadet with a training company and container line who do not employ British officers (company A) having accepted an offer, signing a training agreement and completed most of the admin requirements before starting college in January. Then I was offered an interview with a tanker company who MAY offer a job at the end of training, as well as allowing me to acquire a Dangerous Cargo Endorsement, which opens up more opportunities for employment once my training in completed. Well, my interview was a success and I have been offered a place with company B. However, I would be studying for a HNC with company B, rather than an FD with company A.
    So I, again, am looking for some advice here. I think I have already made my mind up, but I'd like some expert advice. Is there really much difference between a HNC and an FD at the end of things? The OOW certificate and better chances for employment are what interest me most. I think it would be better to have an OOW, HNC and Dangerous Cargo Endorsement, putting me in a better position to find a job post cadetship, then it would be to have an OOW, FD and no chance of a job with my sponsor company. Am I correct in thinking this? Or does the FD trump the HNC, making it a better option for my future career?

  • #2
    For gods sake take the tankers!! The only real benefit of the FD was not having to do SQAs for Chief Mate and the powers that be have now removed that from the table. Once you've got your ticket nobody gives a flying fart about which route you took. The only bits of paper that count are your CoC, GMDSS Cert, Discharge Book & Sea service testimonials (and they're only to prove/ back up your discharge book) and Additional Course certs/endorsements eg Tanker/FRC/Security Officer...


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    • #3
      io parlo morse


      • #4
        Tankers - far more opportunities ashore, which may become important to you later in life.
        Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.


        • #5
          Tankers, your chances of getting a job afterwards will be far greater and you can always top up the HNC later if you want to.


          • #6
            I would go for the tankers as you can always change tanker companies if your sponsor does not offer you a contract. Other tanker companies will take you as you have tanker experience but it will be more difficult to get into a tanker company if your only experience is as a cadet on a containership.

            There are many different type of companies which run tankers that you may not be aware of. Obviously you have the oil majors like BP and Shell. Then you have Owner Operators like Teekay, MOL, Maersk, OSG etc. who own, manage and crew their own tankers. Then you have Ship Management Companies like Anglo Eastern and V Ships who between they two alone technically manage or crew thousands of ships. They take charge of the day to day running, or can work on a crew supply only contract for many of the billionaire shipping tycoons.

            There is quite a gap in pay between what type of tanker you are on. I would say LNG is the highest, then chemical then oil and LPG behind them. Opportunities ashore are excellent if you have a good tanker experience behind you.

            I wouldn't worry too much about only having a HNC. It is the CoC that you have and experience that is the most important thing to get on in the industry. You can always study distance learning and during your leave periods if you want a better academic qualification.

            Be prepared for very little shore leave though once you are qualified. Most tankers I have been on have the Junior Deck Officers on 6 on 6 off in port while the Engineers (without any permission to immobilise for maintenance) can knock off at 5 o'clock if cargo is at full discharge rate and a few may be able to go ashore.


            • #7
              It's also worth noting that doing the HNC means you will need to do the HND later to get mates ticket. With the FD you basically do all mates stuff during your cadetship. So mean you oly go back to college for a couple of months versus best part of a year. This is also a lot cheaper. Alot of companies won't pay for higher tickets.

              That being said I'd still go for the tankers.


              • #8
                Thanks for the advice everyone. I thought tankers would be the way to go, despite the lower academic qualification received at the end. I just wanted to make sure going for the HNC wouldn't hold me back a great amount compared to the FD. Thanks again for the advice!


                • #9
                  I know an Engineer that I sailed with that left college with the HNC. It turned out that the oil major that he worked for deliberately asked that the college omit certain subjects to reduce the amount of credits that would have given him enough to gain an HND. This meant that he would have had to go back to college and sit all his Part B papers (heat, mechanics, maths, engineering drawing and naval architecture) as well as his Part A General Engineering and steam/motor papers. In the end he went back to college in his leave and got the necessary units required ( It think it was Engineering Management and Quality Assurance) to get the HND and thus it saved him a lot of time and effort at college when he went for his Class 2 and Class 1. It is worth asking what you would need to do to top up your HNC to HND as it may be something fairly short that could be done in a leave. This could save you a lot of time when it comes to your Mates and Masters tickets. This was back in the late 90's though so the situation could be different now.


                  • #10
                    If this tanker company has a name that sounds like phisher you would be out of your mind to turn them down!
                    "If the wind will not serve,take to the oars."
                    Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe

                    Latin Proverb


                    • #11
                      NTDee. Which company was that? And was it a similar situation for Deckies? If so, who do I talk to about topping up? The company or the college?


                      • #12
                        I don't want to say what company it was but its one of the biggest oil majors. The company were having a big push to get everyone to do their senior tickets by going the VQ route. The idea was that instead of 18 months sea time followed by exams at college, the junior officers would only need 12 months sea time and only have to sit the orals. Cadets would do VQ level 3, you would do VQ level 4 for 2/E or C/O and then VQ level 5 for C/E or Master. The system never took off and almost everyone carried on the traditional method of college, exams and then orals.

                        I'm surprised the HNC is still on the go. I went to Glasgow and 1997 was the last year they were doing the HNC there in Marine Engineering. The cadetship used to be one year doing the NC, one year to get the sea time and then one year back at college to sit the HNC then orals. At the 1997 intake, all classes did the HND. The cadets that never had Higher or A Level Maths had to do an "Academic Ramp" which was about a month of maths before the start of the cadetship. It was even possible back then to leave school with no qualifications and do the National Certificate in Engineering for one year and this was giving a guaranteed place on the HND Marine Engineering course. One of my friends did this and he is now sailing as Chief Engineer.

                        I couldn't tell you much about the deckie situation as I haven't been in college for years. I would email the Faculty Secretary at the college for some information on what exemptions the course will give you for your Mates and Masters tickets and if it is possible to upgrade your academic qualifications later to get some exemptions from some written exams.


                        • #13
                          Are they a Barrow based company. .why they so good


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Matt247 View Post
                            Are they a Barrow based company. .why they so good
                            The Barrow based company is not an Oil Major, just a Ship Owner/Management group.
                            I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

                            All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.


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