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Working on tugs

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  • Working on tugs

    After lurking around various tug companies' websites, it seems quite appealing!

    Anyway, could anybody tell me how different the work involved is compared to other vessels? In particular with respect to engineers.

    Also, what is the rotation / salary / working hours etc... like onboard? (Obviously dependent on company) Been searching the forum and can't find that much info.

    Cheers.
    C

  • #2
    It seems to be a best kept secret, the guys who move to tugs seem to vanish into a blissful life...

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    • #3
      Run like a fishing boat I think,work when its needed then kick back and chillax when nothing going on.Most of the boys are local,lock it up and go home for the night until they are needed.Its a good number to be on if your local with a family etc!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 1234 View Post
        Run like a fishing boat I think,work when its needed then kick back and chillax when nothing going on.
        That's when they're not zooming around denting side shell plating!
        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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        • #5
          Originally posted by 1234 View Post
          Run like a fishing boat I think,work when its needed then kick back and chillax when nothing going on.Most of the boys are local,lock it up and go home for the night until they are needed.Its a good number to be on if your local with a family etc!
          Not entirely. Depends on what company you work for and what type of tug.

          Obviously the most common are harbour tugs and many of them do just what the above says. Turn up, start up, make a scene and go home again.(Along with a few marks and dents along the way haha, however we do try and avoid this honest!!!) As for engineers you are obviously responsible for those things that make propellers go round and round and on harbour tugs once underway your generally driving the winch and deck machinery. Theirs one company that have a lot of yellow tugs worldwide don't have their crew's doing much maintenance. One engineer I know got in trouble with the union officials for changing a lightbulb on deck as they have contractors for maintenance here.

          Their are lots of other tugs that as an engineer (one the biggest tugs a CEO and 2EO) you will do the above and also all machinery maintenance also. The company I work for we live on-board for two weeks as were on charter to an oil terminal and provide a lot of firefighting capability, escorts, salvage, rig moves, and smaller offshore jobs. All that along with some harbour work too.

          Working hours are various through the two week trip purely dependant on the shipping.
          Salary varies dependant on who you work for and where. However salvage bonuses etc are often very nice!!!
          We also don't have a cook on-board and take it in turn to cook the evening meal. Usually works out only twice a trip each.
          Where their is typically only 1 engineer you are the main man and have to deal with everything engineering. Bunkers, machinery, paperwork, class and flag state, PM's the lot. Most tugs now are either Voith or ASD (some AD tractors too) which is obviously different to what most engineers are used to.

          In short, I'd highly recommend giving it a go. However don't let comments like the management similarities to fishing v/l's put you off. In my experience every tug I've been on is run extremely efficiently and safety standards are better than some passenger ships I've sailed on. (You don't want something going wrong when your hooked up centre lead forward to a 399M box boat doing 8knots right behind you.) Granted, a lot of tug crews have only ever done tugs and may not have the same experiences of other seafarers, however they know their job and role inside out and treat the ship like its their 2nd home when it comes to standards.

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