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  • Moving to offshore vessels

    Just looking for some advice on working on PSV's. I may have an opportunity to move to this vessel type working in the north sea. Previously I worked deep sea general cargo, bit of ro-ro and currently on harbour tugs (taking a bit of a holiday from real work!). Main questions are dealing with constant crappy weather in North sea, can you get tax back on wages? Also dp time as with latest do rules for a 'dp day' looks to me that getting required days can take a while due to the nature of there work. Any advice appreciated

  • #2
    I expect the new DP requirements are going to double or possible triple the time it takes to get your DP seatime. It's been a while since I've done supply but if you reckon a day's sail, then maybe 2/3 days at sea (on DP) and then in again, half a day's loading and then out... then this new DP day really does kill your ability to get the required seatime. 30 days is suddenly 2/3 trips.

    I haven't had a problem with tax but then I've always either signed on or off from a foreign port, which I think makes the difference.

    If you'll be working in the Norwegian sector, make sure your company sorts out the dual tax agreement, I know a lot of guys have got landed in the s**t over this.

    And yes the weather really is crappy in winter. It's either for you or not, I know a few guys who come from deep sea and get a bit of a shock to the system having never been seasick in their lives, or realising just how bad it can be, and it is constant. The weather grind does get you down. On upside wages are generally high and 4/5 week trips with decent welfare are the norm.

    Don't get me started on the new NI requirements... the less said the better!

    I expect someone on here has better advice than me, but I thought I would start the ball rolling....

    L

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    • #3
      Cheers Laura, some good advice there. Had the same thoughts about how long the dp time will take. Should be interesting to see what this company say about it when I have a chat with them. As for the crap weather I'll just have to man up for that.

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      • #4
        My hat goes off to the supply guys. I have been stood on the platform watching them getting hammered and I know for a fact I could never do that job.

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        • #5
          Definitely, I have a lot of respect for them and the supply boys! Saying that I'm not so jealous of the mates on the Northlink ferry either!

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          • #6
            Supply work is not that bad, it'a incredible how quickly you get used to the rock n roll.

            For engineers it can be quite interesting as well as you get the chance to be involved in cargo work.
            Go out, do stuff

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            • #7
              Weather - you will soon get used to it, and if you ever decide to go back to deep sea you can sit and laugh yourself silly at the rest of the crew complaining about seasickness in a wee bitty swell

              Tax - convuluted, to say the least. But then it is for everyone, so no real difference!! I have just been looking into similar, and came across a webpage that may be of some use to you here:

              http://www.sktax.co.uk/Seafarers-Tax...king-north-sea

              No idea, other than some of my deck collegues have assured me that it is possibly changing again (rules for getting it that is). Being an Engineer I simply gave up trying to follow the changes a long time ago!!!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Clanky View Post
                Supply work is not that bad, it'a incredible how quickly you get used to the rock n roll.

                For engineers it can be quite interesting as well as you get the chance to be involved in cargo work.
                The only time I've ever seen the engineers get involved in cargo work was occasionally opening valves.... but I guess it kind of depends on the ship and company, manning and so on...

                What kind of stuff do you get up to Clanky? Just outta interest?

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                • #9
                  Dry bulk and fuel are done by the engineers, as is the winch driving when we're anchor handling or towing. Makes life a little more varied.
                  Go out, do stuff

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by laura View Post
                    Don't get me started on the new NI requirements... the less said the better!

                    L
                    What new requirements?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Clanky View Post
                      Dry bulk and fuel are done by the engineers, as is the winch driving when we're anchor handling or towing. Makes life a little more varied.
                      We used to love leaving you guys dealing with the powdered cement - that way if some dopey monkey on the rig shut a valve and we ended up with 100 metres of compacted cement in the lines we could leave you to it! Also particularly handy when the spooling gear decided to hand in it's notice when we had 2000 feet of tow wire out!
                      "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
                      "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

                      "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Clanky View Post
                        Dry bulk and fuel are done by the engineers, as is the winch driving when we're anchor handling or towing. Makes life a little more varied.
                        Ah okay, I find that pretty unusual, the winches are all operated by us deckies and on the short period I did supply we operated the cargo system from the bridge.. most have had AH experience on deck, but I don't see any reason why it should be exclusively us, though I 've never come across this before. As long as the person operating the winch knows what they're doing and what the boys on deck are doing that's the most important. Often I think the tuggers are the most dangerous winches we have onboard as people underestimate them so much, whereas they know that 500t means business!

                        Every day's a school day in this job!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pignutpilot View Post
                          What new requirements?
                          You'll find them on the NI website but basically the toughening up of requirements to get a DP ticket, seatime has been made more difficult to acquire, previous experience no longer counts, cadets can not acquire seatime, more bureaucracy and so on. The industry is squeezed as it is already and a longer training period isn't exactly going to encourage companies to open training berths. The people who do things properly will lose out to those willing to falsify their seatime... and so on.

                          I've nothing against them toughening up the rules (before it was quite possible to get a DP ticket without actually being on DP) but it seems that the paperwork is now more important than experience. My cadet has never taken a dp course but he's far superior to our trainee dpo because he has actual long term practical experience- but he shouldn't really be there as he doesn't have the DP basic course.

                          DP isn't exactly rocket science but there seems to be a lot of people on the shore who seem to think it is a higher element, it's only an expensive helmsman and if you use the same principles of good seamanship combined with a little understanding of the ship's power and propulsion systems it shouldn't be beyond you. Well that's my thoughts on the subject anyway...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hatchorder View Post
                            We used to love leaving you guys dealing with the powdered cement - that way if some dopey monkey on the rig shut a valve and we ended up with 100 metres of compacted cement in the lines we could leave you to it! Also particularly handy when the spooling gear decided to hand in it's notice when we had 2000 feet of tow wire out!
                            To be honest, if you do everything in the right order then unless they shut the wrong valve during discharge it should be picked up before you start actually transferring any actual product.

                            The cargo work is one of the things I really enjoy about offshore, anchor handling is even better. A real change from counting how many engines we still have for the bloody log every day.

                            Originally posted by laura View Post
                            Ah okay, I find that pretty unusual, the winches are all operated by us deckies and on the short period I did supply we operated the cargo system from the bridge.. most have had AH experience on deck, but I don't see any reason why it should be exclusively us, though I 've never come across this before. As long as the person operating the winch knows what they're doing and what the boys on deck are doing that's the most important. Often I think the tuggers are the most dangerous winches we have onboard as people underestimate them so much, whereas they know that 500t means business!

                            Every day's a school day in this job!
                            Did you guys do the dry bulk as well? Have heard that many companies have deckies winch driving. The company I work for have their own full mission bridge simulator which includes anchor handling which we all get sent on as well as onboard training.
                            Go out, do stuff

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                            • #15
                              I honestly can't remember.... mud, base oil, brine, pot water.. I don't remember there being too much in the way of dry bulk, but it's been a while so it could well have been that the engineers were involved, but I don't remember them having too much to do with that side of things, I could be wrong though.

                              I saw the Rolls Royce simulator over in Norway for anchor handling, very cool equipment (but the company have been cutting costs so I missed out on the chance to go on the winch course), they let me play a bit with the simulator as part of another course.

                              It would be good to get out of hours of spooling sometimes, bit deeper south of the equator, but I don't know how the engineer on duty would find the time to play with the winches he seems to spend all his time concentrating on sewage!

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