Useless Chief Engineers

Hillview
23rd October 2008, 13:08
Does anybody have stories about useless chief engineers who were as like proverbial chocolate tea pots.(Cloud)

Chris Isaac
23rd October 2008, 13:41
NO I dont..... and I don't think this sort of thread is desirable!
The moderators may want to remove this.

K urgess
23rd October 2008, 13:52
A reasonable subject for discussion but probably dominated by sour grapes.
The minute it is possible to identify anyone involved it WILL be moderated.
No oil and water, please.

R58484956
23rd October 2008, 14:14
Never came across one, to be a chief you came up through the ranks and you also had to get a ticket from the BOT, so no idiots got through.

Chouan
23rd October 2008, 14:25
I sailed with one when I was a Cadet on the City of Wellington, I won't mention the year. His idea of being Chief was to do office work in the morning, then sunbathe in the afternoon. When there was an emergency and the Second called upon him for help, his response was to shout "What do you want me to do, wave my f***ing ticket at it?!" before going back to his sunlounger.

I would assume that he had served his time from Junior upwards, but that once he'd reached the lofty pinnacle, his working days were through.
"The working class can kiss my ar$e, I've got my Chief's job at last", (to the tune of the International, otherwise known as the Red Flag)
as it were.

Steve Woodward
23rd October 2008, 14:51
I hope this does'nt turn into an all out warfare thread.
Hanging on my cabin bulkhead at home is a miniature steering wheel picture frame , turned up out of scrap wood on the engine room lathe by a Chief Engineer, it is well made and a reminder of a great trip on the Pacific Wave.
Sadly I cannot remember the Chiefs name but he was a gentleman and an excellent Engineer
Steve

cmakin
23rd October 2008, 15:06
Does anybody have stories about useless chief engineers who were as like proverbial chocolate tea pots.(Cloud)

About as many stories that I have of useless Captains. . . .

Pat Hughes
23rd October 2008, 15:10
I hope this does'nt turn into an all out warfare thread.
Steve

agree with quote
I sailed with one or two who must have made life very unpleasant for the Second. The general principle being that calling for assistance from the Chief was almost like tendering your resignation. Not a nice regime to work under.

James_C
23rd October 2008, 15:10
I sailed with one when I was a Cadet on the City of Wellington, I won't mention the year. His idea of being Chief was to do office work in the morning, then sunbathe in the afternoon. When there was an emergency and the Second called upon him for help, his response was to shout "What do you want me to do, wave my f***ing ticket at it?!" before going back to his sunlounger.

I would assume that he had served his time from Junior upwards, but that once he'd reached the lofty pinnacle, his working days were through.
"The working class can kiss my ar$e, I've got my Chief's job at last", (to the tune of the International, otherwise known as the Red Flag)
as it were.

You mean that kind of behaviour from ones seniors wasn't regarded as normal?

LOL

The above could apply to just about any senior rank on the ship, whither they be Deck, Engine, Radio or Catering. It usually meant peace and quiet for the rest of us in that there wasn't a 4 Striper breathing down your neck or interfering, and indeed I'm sure most of us would prefer that to some of these so called 'pro-active' 4 stripers. Still, we seemed to all survive.
Best one I had was an Old Man who would fall out of his bunk at 0730, brekkie in his Cabin, then wander into his little office for 0800. Paperwork till 1000, then the rest of the day bronzing/reading/boozing etc. His mantra was that if you couldn't finish your paperwork by smoko you were either doing something wrong or you were milking it so as to look busy. A great old Bloke and very laid back, however he was always there and ready when you needed him, and never there when you didn't, something I tended to find from most of the Old Boys (of all Departments) who spent most of their trip relaxing. Can say I never sailed with someone who refused to help their juniors when asked.
(Hippy)

Tam Broon
23rd October 2008, 15:41
Like others, I could name those in every rank (from Deck Boy to Master) who would meet this criteria. It is interesting that the only one so far who points the finger at a particular person is from a member who was a Cadet at the time.

Tom

Andrew Price
23rd October 2008, 16:03
Perhaps the term ' USELESS' is the wrong term.
Perhaps it should be UNFIT or BAD, which could apply equally to all departments, the Deck (Captain), Engineering (C/E) and Catering (C/Steward) and usually is the result of alcohol abuse, lack of experience or fear / anger (Psychological problems) or some combination.
Just because you have a Chiefs or Masters Ticket does not mean you can do the job effectively and efficiently.
A phrase I used to hear a lot from more elderly Captains & C/Eng. on UK Ships that used to insense me, was, refering to their respective deputy's that " they had only been up for 24 hours and so were only just waking up".
Just because it used to be done decades or generations ago does not make it right now.
Like Chouan, I've sailed with some unfit senior officers, both UK and Foreign Flag, but must say that in the main, regardless of nationality, they were competant.
It should also be remembered but often forgot that one of the duties of a senior officer is to develope and train junior officers, and that especially includes developing their experience and self confidence.
Without the latter, all academic training counts for nothing.
Its counter-productive, especially when the C/E goes hurtling down the E/R, for every minor fault.
Who has ever wanted the Chief or Captain hanging round and interfering with the routine opertation your Engine Room or Bridge, 24/7.
Not I, but at times, on their infrequent visits, many of them would impart some of their experiences and knowledgeto me, which in some cases was later found to be useful.

Andy PRICE

ROBERT HENDERSON
23rd October 2008, 16:15
In fifty years at sea I cannot recall a C/E that I could actually describe as useless. All of my officer time was spent on coasters, I would have resented it very much as Mate if the Master was breathing down my neck all the time, I can imagine the Second Engineneer would fell the same is his competence is called into question by the C/E interfering all the time. In all professions some senior people are better than others, but to use the term useless is too harsh a word.

Regards Robert

jimmys
23rd October 2008, 16:38
I sailed with an elderly Chief Engineer on a VLCC. When the lift was out he could not make the engine room. With the lift he made the control room no further. He had been torpedoed three times during the war and had spent a month as Senior Officer in an open boat in the Atlantic. There was a Senior Second (me), a Junior Second and six watchkeepers. He was entitled to see his time out. The old man Reggie White made sure he was not short of a bevvy or two.
He was not useless just finished. I would never have bothered him.

regards
jimmy

Ron Stringer
23rd October 2008, 16:52
Isn't it a fact of life that every man doing a job is convinced that he could do his boss's job much better than the boss? Most people that I sailed with, and worked with ashore, seemed tohave the view that the boss was an old-stick-in-the-mud who just wouldn't take the trouble to learn new ways.

Sort of variation on the generation gap. My view was (both as a worker and a boss) that the best boss was always there when required and never around when he wasn't. Met a few like that, but not many.

A.J.McMahon
23rd October 2008, 16:55
I sailed with an elderly Chief Engineer on a VLCC. When the lift was out he could not make the engine room. With the lift he made the control room no further. He had been torpedoed three times during the war and had spent a month as Senior Officer in an open boat in the Atlantic. There was a Senior Second (me), a Junior Second and six watchkeepers. He was entitled to see his time out. The old man Reggie White made sure he was not short of a bevvy or two.
He was not useless just finished. I would never have bothered him.

regards
jimmy
Well done Jimmy, I'll drink to that. Regards AJM.

Chouan
23rd October 2008, 19:46
Like others, I could name those in every rank (from Deck Boy to Master) who would meet this criteria. It is interesting that the only one so far who points the finger at a particular person is from a member who was a Cadet at the time.

Tom

Does that disqualify me from commenting?

It was the fact that he didn't help, when that help was requested, that made him useless. If he was of no use in an emergency, what was he for?

JoK
23rd October 2008, 20:28
Yes, as a matter of fact I have a number of them that I have run into.Since it is common consensus from more then a few, it is not merely sour grapes on my part. If I had the power, I'd have fired them years ago.

Chris Isaac
23rd October 2008, 20:45
Don't want to say "I told you so" but this thread should not have started!

Philthechill
23rd October 2008, 21:30
Don't want to say "I told you so" but this thread should not have started! Chris! I've got to agree with you. I vote it's given "the deep six". Salaams, Phil

randcmackenzie
23rd October 2008, 21:37
Me too. I prefer to remember with great affection and respect the fine Chief Engineers I did sail with.
There was never any way they weren't going to fix it.

K urgess
23rd October 2008, 21:39
Thank you for your sage advice gentlemen.
As stated in post number three there's not an awful lot wrong with it.
If the subject is so distasteful to you all then the simple solution is not to read or participate.

Chouan
23rd October 2008, 22:42
As has been pointed out, there were people of all ranks who I'm sure we all sailed with, from 4 stripes to none, of all departments, who could have been considered useless. This thread, however, is about Chiefs. Perhaps a member could start a thread about each rank to balance things out so that ex-Chiefs don't feel picked on, especially if they feel that people of their lofty status are being picked on by a member of insufficient seniority.

benjidog
23rd October 2008, 22:55
In all walks of life there are the good, the bad and the indifferent.

If you are stuck with "the bad" it sours your views on life unfortunately. Most of them get their come uppance eventually, but it can take years before it happens - sometimes it never does! Sometimes you can give matters a helping hand if you put your mind to it.

eldersuk
23rd October 2008, 22:58
I don't think this thread is in the spirit of SN and think it should be scrubbed.
It's only a matter of time until someone lets slip something which can be used to identify the "Useless Chief", and the alarming thing is, it could be ME!!

Derek

peter3807
23rd October 2008, 23:04
This is a very sad forum. Many of us who sailed with certain Mates, Engineers, Deck, Engine and Catering staff in the 70's probably failed to appreciate that as young men they were faced with the constant threat of U Boat attack. Yes we have all sailed with those with problems, on their last chance. I learned a lot from many of them. I will name one of them. ****** ****** , could hardly walk, tried to stay of the drink but what a wonderful mate. "Peter my boy, leap along the deck with the agility of a young gazelle and summon the bosun. Barry fought his alcoholism, I can't imagine the pain he must have felt. I walked into his cabin one early morning and saw him sitting on his daybed tears running down his face. Years later in the Fed office I saw his discharge book sitting in an out tray. I had to hold back the tears. One trip as cadet, the third mate was 60, severe drink problem, died in Brazil. He had been AB during the war. Made third mate and continued with the companies support until the drink killed him. A very sad little funeral in an obscure Brazilian Port. The only family he had was his old mother and his shipmates. I will name him as well. ***** ***** . Both had drink problems but served well in circumstances most of us could not imagine.

I and I think most of us feel that such a forum is inappropriate. There but the grace of god go I.

Peter

Pat McCardle
23rd October 2008, 23:05
I sailed with a C/E who asked me one day if I had seen the 2nd. "Down in the cross alleyway Chief". "Hey man (He was from North Shields) I don't go down there now, go get him". I asked what was the point of him wearing a brilliant white boilersuit. He replied that he hated the midday sun. He was a man who sailed NZSCo thence P&O a well known task master but a good bloke, a stubby was usually seen in his top left boilersuit pocket, I'm sure some of you ex NZS men will know him?

BTW I was Deck boy at the time, or should I say 'Senior Deck boy' as I was first up the gangway!!

benjidog
23rd October 2008, 23:10
This thread is on the borderline of what is acceptable as it is inviting members to insult people who are not here to defend themselves. I hope that was not the intention of the person starting the thread but that is the way it is going.

By all means tell us the story of your bad experiences but please exercise restraint and avoid naming people or making it obvious who you are referring to.
We do not like censorship - we prefer self-control so please use some before posting here. (Cloud)

peter3807
23rd October 2008, 23:51
I understand why the names of the persons I named in my post were edited. I in no way way wanted to demean them. Despite their problems, which they both fully admitted to, they were wonderful people to sail with. They on occasion relapsed but taught me a lot and remember them with fondness and respect.

Peter

surfaceblow
24th October 2008, 00:57
About as many stories that I have of useless Captains. . . .

I would have to add Marine Superintendents, Purchasing Agents, Personnel and Mail Clerks to the list of useless.

I once sent in the ships engine requisitions from the first European Port with the other ships mail to the office only to have the mail package redelivered to the ship on the vessels last European Port unopened.

The Marine Super, Purchasing Agent and Personnel came on board and wanted to know why the paperwork was sent to them so late.

It took awhile to show the assembled shore staff that the paperwork left the vessel in a timely manner but it was redelivered to the vessel and resent.

billyboy
24th October 2008, 01:40
My only gripe is the use of the word useless. perhaps Lazy or incapacitated, even disabled.
Met some really great chiefs when i was at sea. Any problems and they would be first in to sort it out.
I remember signing on as a greaser one time, chief took me below as we were about to sail. by the time we reached the harbour entrance i was acting third on 4 on 8 off.
on another ship the chief only came to the engine room to do maneuvers. 2nd had to do the lot himself. But, that did not make the chief useless! crafty or lazy perhaps but certainly not useless.

albert.s.i
24th October 2008, 10:47
i think this post was doomed from the start and only for the word "useless" which is not very becomming in any aspect and im sure the point has been made albert .s.i

gordy
24th October 2008, 11:55
It would be nice if we lived by the code, 'If you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all', but I haven't met many who do.

However the thread jogged my memory about the good and not so good C/E's I sailed with.
One of the best used to come down below when we were pulling a unit on the Doxford just to lend a hand on the tools. Time was very limited on the coastal trade we were on. Just before the job was finished he'd disappear up top and he and the R/O would have a huge fry up and coldies ready for the lads. Top bloke.
I sailed with what I would call eccentric ones, but no real B's

R58484956
24th October 2008, 12:25
Ive met far more useless b******** in shore side employment than I ever met at sea.

GWB
24th October 2008, 12:35
Yes Peter 3807 I feel you have hit the nail on the But for the Grace of God go I and many others if they were honest. Who are they to judge?
Sailed with chief who many other claimed was NBG till the sh---t hit the fan,
then he always had the correct advice when needed.
George

non descript
24th October 2008, 12:43
It would be nice if we lived by the code, 'If you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all', but I haven't met many who do.

.....
I sailed with what I would call eccentric ones, but no real B's

Gordy,
Thank you for your nice words – they mean a lot and do help keep the postings from becoming too extreme or losing the plot altogether. (Thumb)

As a passing comment on the thread as a whole, it is never easy knowing where to pitch the right line, and whilst some subjects may appear uneasy and unwelcome to some, to others they are all part and parcel of life, be it at sea or on land. So whilst there is often a call for a thread to be closed, removed or edited because it is uneasy in its tone, we have to abide by Voltaire’s words: “I do not agree with what you say, but I will fight to my death for you to say it”.

There is also a reasonable case for saying that if someone finds a posting distasteful, then there is not compulsion for them to read it. For our sins, the Moderators have no choice and we are obliged to watch over the threads and read them.

My colleague Brian has explained in #27 the rationale and in a way far more eloquently and well written than I could ever do, so I urge people to please take a moment to look at his words.
(Thumb)
Mark

ROBERT HENDERSON
24th October 2008, 13:24
While I appreciate this is coming of thread, I feel it should be told as an example as to why we should never condemn people without knowing their previous circumstances. On the Harwich ferries we had a second mate with a foreign going masters certificate who was always very indecisive, when he eventually was made up to master he was scared to put the ship alongside, this was one of the small cargo ships, the dockers used to shout at him to leave the ship where it was and they would bring the jetty to him. I had left the ferries and went on the coast while he was second mate, but met him many times in the town when I was home on leave, we became good friends.
While all this ridiculing went on nobody knew what had happened to him to sap his confidence. Would you call this man useless? I certainly would not, after all is said and done, you do not buy foreign going masters certificates in Tesco's nor would you buy a C/E CERTIFICATE there.

Regards Robert

muldonaich
24th October 2008, 16:40
have to agree with roddy dump this thread kev.

Pat Hughes
24th October 2008, 17:22
I'll second that!

Tam Broon
24th October 2008, 18:16
My apologies to Chouan if you take offense at my comment, being a cadet certainly doesn't exclude you from commenting. However, in my experience it is more than possible that your opinion of this man was formed more by the opinions of others than by your own experiences. An elderly motorman on my first ship gave me a piece of invaluable advice "listen to everything that is said by others, do not comment but form your own opinions in due time based on your own experiences and abilities. This has served me well over the years and it has enabled me to understand and work with others who have for one or more reasons been given a reputation completely undeserved.

My opinion is that this thread should be discontinued.

Tom

JoK
24th October 2008, 22:58
Political correctness is so overwhelming here. Sorry there are shitty Chiefs as well as Captains as well as officer.
If the thread is so offensive delete it and get on with it,

graymay
24th October 2008, 23:04
I can't really comment on useless engineers as I was a deck hand, however there was a Chief called Bob Gemmel who was on the Table Bay in the early 80s (I think he was ex Shaw Saville) He was a true gent. I believe he retired about 83. Anyone know of him?

Graham

graymay
24th October 2008, 23:05
Sorry ive just re-read my post, he retired about 1983, not aged 83!!!!!

benjidog
24th October 2008, 23:27
Political correctness is so overwhelming here. Sorry there are shitty Chiefs as well as Captains as well as officer.
If the thread is so offensive delete it and get on with it,

Sorry Jok - you've lost me with the PC comment. Give us a break - this site is here for enjoyment not for the settlement of old scores!

The objection is to naming people who are not here to defend themselves to avoid the laws of libel and nothing to do with political correctness. It is the job of the Moderators to decide what is acceptable here based on the interests of the site owners and common decency. We do not like closing or deleting threads or being censors but there are limits.

Fortunately most members appreciate the work done by the site Moderators or we wouldn't volunteer to take the job on.

Chris Isaac
25th October 2008, 15:27
Gordy,
Thank you for your nice words – they mean a lot and do help keep the postings from becoming too extreme or losing the plot altogether. (Thumb)

As a passing comment on the thread as a whole, it is never easy knowing where to pitch the right line, and whilst some subjects may appear uneasy and unwelcome to some, to others they are all part and parcel of life, be it at sea or on land. So whilst there is often a call for a thread to be closed, removed or edited because it is uneasy in its tone, we have to abide by Voltaire’s words: “I do not agree with what you say, but I will fight to my death for you to say it”.

There is also a reasonable case for saying that if someone finds a posting distasteful, then there is not compulsion for them to read it. For our sins, the Moderators have no choice and we are obliged to watch over the threads and read them.

My colleague Brian has explained in #27 the rationale and in a way far more eloquently and well written than I could ever do, so I urge people to please take a moment to look at his words.
(Thumb)
Mark

Just as a matter of interest and to try to change the subject, although the quote is often attributed to Voltaire. The phrase was invented by a later author as an epitome of his attitude." It comes from The Friends of Voltaire, written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall and published in 1906 under the pseudonym Stephen G. Tallentyre.

degsy
25th October 2008, 16:12
Does anybody have stories about useless chief engineers who were as like proverbial chocolate tea pots.(Cloud)

I have never in my life met a useless person. We all have a talent even if it is only in a singular thing. I have discovered, albeit late on in life, a talent for poetry. I have been working on a poem which is a bit of an epic. It is about a CE and a twin screw Doxford going to scrap. It is in its entierity a work of fiction the names are from my imagination, some of the events however are based on actual fact that I or others have witnessed or been involved in. Hopefully it will entertain, as that is all it is meant to do. I have been advised by a moderator that owing to time out, space and the general bloody mindedness of computers it will be best to post it in sections. This I will start to do tomorrow . Degsy (Hippy)

non descript
25th October 2008, 18:01
Just as a matter of interest and to try to change the subject, although the quote is often attributed to Voltaire. The phrase was invented by a later author as an epitome of his attitude." It comes from The Friends of Voltaire, written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall and published in 1906 under the pseudonym Stephen G. Tallentyre.

Chris, I would tend to agree with you that Evelyn Beatrice Hall was more likely to have written the words than her friend François-Marie Arouet, it is but a cruel world that folk not only use a pseudonym, but also manage to re-write history, albeit by accident. We can only hope that one of your WWTBAM questions is to ask which of these four is the odd one out: Ellery Queen, Voltaire, Tonga and S.G. Tallentyre…. (Jester)

non descript
25th October 2008, 18:04
Thanks to Chris Isaac, I could not help be amused to find that Evelyn Beatrice Hall is also alleged to have come up with:

Not only is it extremely cruel to persecute in this brief life those who do not think the way we do, but I do not know if it might be too presumptuous to declare their eternal damnation.

Now if only the young girl had put her mind to it and joined Ships Nostalgia, we could all be OK, saved from damnation, and able to mix oil with water, fun with fiction and banter with charm….(Jester)

trucker
25th October 2008, 18:08
i thought this forum was for ex-seafearers,wether you sailed as deck boy or captain,to catch up with old shipmates,or to share your sea going adventures. although i only managed to reach the dizzy hieght of bosun,i think this thread is disgraceful.

JoK
25th October 2008, 19:38
The objection is to naming people who are not here to defend themselves to avoid the laws of libel and nothing to do with political correctness
EXACTLY.
I know that but I'll bet 95% of the people who post here don't.
So instead of polite meanderings-tell them right at post 2!

David W
25th October 2008, 20:07
Trucker, this thread may very well be disgraceful, but like a number of others on this excellent site, it is very illuminating, and casts a searchlight and microscope over who and what we sailed with, and for those who didnt go to sea it gives an insight into what things were like, from many different perspectives. Speaking as someone who has been "put in my place", I guess we should follow the Moderators guide lines, and do not complain if we get jumped when we step out of line.

Savour the good memories but dont forget the bad ones, it's how we become experienced.

trucker
25th October 2008, 20:30
i wouldn,t call this thread 'illuminating and casts a searchlight and miroscope over who and what we sailed with'.not in the true sense.it seems some jobs worth had a bad experience with a certain chief engineer ,when he himself was a cadet[didn,t like being put in his place].i wonder what type of chief engineer,he turned out to be.does useless ring a bell.certainly an excellent website.

d.r.wing
25th October 2008, 20:49
How can anyone be called useless who has worked his way both practically and theoretically through his career to make the senior ranks, I remember chief engrs who worked in the pump room with the pumpman, who would turn up in the eng rm on breakdowns not to give advice or pontificate but to pick up a spanner and give a hand,and when not required to do either would do his few hours office work put his feet up and have a drink with the lads between watches.also they were there to take the ultimate resposibility.

jmcg
25th October 2008, 23:56
Came across quite a few deck crew who could well be classified as useless on board. They were all products of the International Pool in Rotterdam. No watchkeeping, no wheel, no rope or wirework, always seemed to be on the hose when suggieing, never got the grotty derrick painting jobs. Got the same money though. Just there to make up the numbers.

Never had problems like that with British crew.

BW
J

R58484956
26th October 2008, 13:28
As useless C/E's has upset the apple cart, what about useless masters, after all how many C/E's have lost a ship. Blue touch paper now lit.

joebuckham
26th October 2008, 13:32
Came across quite a few deck crew who could well be classified as useless on board. They were all products of the International Pool in Rotterdam. No watchkeeping, no wheel, no rope or wirework, always seemed to be on the hose when suggieing, never got the grotty derrick painting jobs. Got the same money though. Just there to make up the numbers.

Never had problems like that with British crew.

BW
J

hi j
your experiences of the above and mine would appear to differ by light years i sailed with dutch, spanish, greek ab's, when sailing with gulf oil in the early sixties, and found them mainly very able and affable people

trucker
26th October 2008, 13:46
As useless C/E's has upset the apple cart, what about useless masters, after all how many C/E's have lost a ship. Blue touch paper now lit.

well the chief on the british dragoon in kwinana ,didn,t do very well.replacing sea valve.[see british tankers thread under kwinana incident ].(Smoke)

R58484956
26th October 2008, 15:24
One chief = one ship, not a bad record.

Anmar
27th October 2008, 13:52
Does anybody have stories about useless chief engineers who were as like proverbial chocolate tea pots.(Cloud)


Useless chief engineers? No such thing exists.
Per

McCloggie
27th October 2008, 16:17
It is intersting that the originator of this thread does not appear to have come back and either explain why he started it all off in the first place or to have substantiated in any way his allegations.

A drop too much of the single malt before posting perhaps?

I can not comment on the usefullnes or otherwise of Chief Engineers (or indeed anyone else MN) as I was never there.

I can however say that in my experience of the RN/RNR and the offshore business there have been some people that, at certain times, have not been up to the job.

This is not saying that they are "useless" or even bad people - just that in all walks of life people are put under pressure, have a history, fall sick and get led astray. In the offshore game as a contractor you tend to stand or fall by the results of your last job (the word gets around!) but in the RN twenty plus years ago help was given. The guy in question might have to be removed from the ship but there was a back-up support to sort any problems out.


At the end of the day, this thread is talking about people who made it to the top of their profession, were fully qualified to hold their jobs and presumably had the appropriate recommendations/reports from their company.

Like many others, although it does not effect me in any way, I feel that this thread is devisive, opens the door for people to bring up old grievances and is potentially damaging to the ethos of the entire site.

McC

Duncan112
28th October 2008, 21:53
If one describes someone as useless then one must assume that you did not learn anything from them - NOT EVEN HOW NOT TO DO THE JOB, there have been people that I would not pay in washers, but they had their uses as I hope I did not model myself on them when I reached their position.

Duncan

G0SLP
28th October 2008, 22:45
I can't really comment on useless engineers as I was a deck hand, however there was a Chief called Bob Gemmel who was on the Table Bay in the early 80s (I think he was ex Shaw Saville) He was a true gent. I believe he retired about 83. Anyone know of him?

Graham

Hi Graham

I sailed with Bob Gemmell on Table Bay in 1981. (I was Engineer Cadet). He was indeed a gent; it was a pleasure to sail with him.

Mark

Chouan
28th October 2008, 23:53
i wouldn,t call this thread 'illuminating and casts a searchlight and miroscope over who and what we sailed with'.not in the true sense.it seems some jobs worth had a bad experience with a certain chief engineer ,when he himself was a cadet[didn,t like being put in his place].i wonder what type of chief engineer,he turned out to be.does useless ring a bell.certainly an excellent website.

That's a curious comment to make? Based on what? I wonder? Seeing as I'm the only person who identified himself as a cadet, I can only assume that by "jobsworth" you mean me? Being put in my place? I suggest that you re-read my post, and then read my profile. Chief Engineer? You'd make my latefather, who was a C/E, laugh!

Derek Roger
29th October 2008, 02:06
Chouan ; I think you may be overreacting to the comment that Trucker made . I see no malice in the observation however if it fits wear it .

Derek

Norm
29th October 2008, 03:35
When I worked for Dobbie McInnes in Govan, they had a large poster on the wall, being a cartoon of what everyone was doing on a ship. The 2nd engineer was in the engine room with a cat of nine tails made from barbed wire, and the chief was in his office trying to fix his watch with a large spanner. Only for laughs..LOL.

dom
29th October 2008, 03:52
crafty sly cunning grumpy helpfull yes,useless never

AncientBrit
29th October 2008, 06:43
Have to admit, this thread does have a certain nose picking, scab scratching charm about it. But, when all is read and done I find myself thinking that there is something infinately more distasteful and useless about the poster and his posting than there is about the subject of his posting.
AB

Chouan
29th October 2008, 09:25
Chouan ; I think you may be overreacting to the comment that Trucker made . I see no malice in the observation however if it fits wear it .

Derek

No malice eh? Overreacting am I? I suppose that there's no malice in your comment of "if it fits wear it" either?

Of course it doesn't fit! On the other hand, as I pointed out, I'm the only person who has posted who identified themselves as a cadet!

Trucker refers to a "jobsworth", is the term jobsworth not usually a derogatory expression? I thought it was, and I don't think I'm that ignorant of modern word usage. No malice? I don't think so.

Trucker then makes an oblique remark about the cadet not liking being put in his place, which implies that the cadet has an agenda. No malice? I don't think so.

Trucker then wonders what kind of C/E the cadet turns into, "does useless ring a bell". No malice? I don't think so.

Perhaps I am overreacting, but if you think there's no malice in Trucker's post, you've clearly not understood it!

Pat Hughes
29th October 2008, 10:56
This thread was destined to end up like this!
Why not call it a day and close it down. Never liked it anyway.

ray bloomfield
29th October 2008, 11:30
A few years back I had to relieve a captain who had a few problems with humanity in general on a coaster with only one engineer who held a steam ticket but also had an alcohol problem. He was not allowed any drink and so could not wish for a better chief (normally)
On the day I joined the regular master had done all the hand over paperwork which stated that there was no booze on board. Why?? because the ar****** had given the last 4 bottles of cheap brandy to the chief!! Who locked himself in his cabin for two days, he wouldn't answer to any requests to come out so apart from insults we knew he was still breathing.
The mate and I had not a clue to the e/r ops but after obviously pressing the right buttons and opening and closing the right valves we managed to get the ballast in OK. Going from Rotterdam to Amsterdam with owners who timed things to the minute meant that we were under pressure for them not to find out about our little crisis! Fortunately I had experience of the Deutz engine, I knew how to run it so that bit was OK.
The ship duly arrived at the next loading berth without too much delay, and the only one in the office to know about it was the marine super who was told not to mention it to the upper echelon.
The cheap booze for the chief ran out and he sobered up and was once again a great knowledgable man to sail with and apologised sincerly.
The regular master had a financial stake in the ship so what were his motives? I refused to relieve him after that and the company found it difficult to find him a relief anytime. Even the super only wanted to board the ship when he was not there.(Cloud)

BA204259
29th October 2008, 11:50
This thread was destined to end up like this!
Why not call it a day and close it down. Never liked it anyway.

For once Pat (EEK) absolutely agree with you !!! :)

gordy
29th October 2008, 11:52
When I worked for Dobbie McInnes in Govan, they had a large poster on the wall, being a cartoon of what everyone was doing on a ship. The 2nd engineer was in the engine room with a cat of nine tails made from barbed wire, and the chief was in his office trying to fix his watch with a large spanner. Only for laughs..LOL.

I think I saw the same cartoon brought on board our ship in Rotterdam by some guy selling them. If it's the same one they were absolutely fantastic, you could study it for ages and still find new jokes in it. If memory serves the 2nd was a real shaven headed thug look alike, there was some poor guy sitting staring at the shaft being the rev counter and bits of machinery flying off all over the place. It's one of my regrets not buying one but they weren't cheap. It would be great to see it again.

R651400
29th October 2008, 11:56
When one considers the employment population of the MN in the fifties and sixties there must have been some who others think fell into the useless category.
At almost three score and ten, I remember the totally useless 1st R/O I sailed on my first voyage deep sea with Blue Funnel, myself a mere sixteen year old.
He was devoid of any compassion towards a first trip 2nd R/O, had no communications skill, electronics expertise, man management and least of all a shipmate.
Bill Ph.. if you're still out there, sadly you're not forgotten.

ROBERT HENDERSON
29th October 2008, 12:00
For once Pat (EEK) absolutely agree with you !!! :)

I also agree that this thread should close.
(Hippy) (Hippy)

Regards Robert

gordy
29th October 2008, 12:01
When one considers the employment population of the MN in the fifties and sixties there must have been some who others think fell into the useless category.
At almost six score and ten, I remember the totally useless 1st R/O I sailed on my first voyage deep sea with Blue Funnel, myself a mere sixteen year old.
He was devoid of any compassion towards a first trip 2nd R/O, had no communications skill, electronics expertise, man management and least of all a shipmate.
Bill Ph.. if you're still out there, sadly you're not forgotten.

Do I understand you correctly? Are you nearly 130 years old(Jester)

Basil
29th October 2008, 12:17
I only spent three years at sea and never shipped with a useless chief; troublesome, yes but useless, no.
I did, however have a dangerously incompetent second on my first trip who, assisted by my own ignorance, almost managed to kill me and, at a later date, came close to squashing himself. Can't even remember his name now.

R651400
29th October 2008, 12:34
Do I understand you correctly? Are you nearly 130 years old(Jester)Nice one gordy... feel like it sometime... have amended.

K urgess
29th October 2008, 12:37
Definitely a lack of interest in this thread. [=P]
Only about 2,640 views and 76 replies. (77 if you include this one)
It appears that the idea of not looking at something you don't like isn't appealing to a lot of people.
It's getting close to being one of the most popular threads at the moment.

AncientBrit
29th October 2008, 16:41
Not at all unlike traffic slowing down for a good look at an accident scene! Accidents must be popular, what can we do to cause more?
Using that rationale it looks like we are nearing the point where we can dispense with moderators and replace them with Viewer per Hour counters for advertiser payment purposes.(Cloud)
AB

K urgess
29th October 2008, 16:44
I like your reasoning but then there would only be impersonal counters to try to influence.
Nowhere near the same amount of fun, n'est ce pas? [=P]

G0SLP
29th October 2008, 16:48
I think I saw the same cartoon brought on board our ship in Rotterdam by some guy selling them. If it's the same one they were absolutely fantastic, you could study it for ages and still find new jokes in it. If memory serves the 2nd was a real shaven headed thug look alike, there was some poor guy sitting staring at the shaft being the rev counter and bits of machinery flying off all over the place. It's one of my regrets not buying one but they weren't cheap. It would be great to see it again.

The Botlek Store sells them

http://www.botlekstores.com/home.html

for their website.

Cheers
Mark

K urgess
29th October 2008, 17:03
I think I saw the same cartoon brought on board our ship in Rotterdam by some guy selling them. If it's the same one they were absolutely fantastic, you could study it for ages and still find new jokes in it. If memory serves the 2nd was a real shaven headed thug look alike, there was some poor guy sitting staring at the shaft being the rev counter and bits of machinery flying off all over the place. It's one of my regrets not buying one but they weren't cheap. It would be great to see it again.

Gordy and G0SLP.
This thread has some leads to what you're looking for
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=21465

Cheers
Kris

G0SLP
29th October 2008, 17:38
Thanks, Kris

I'd forgotten that thread
<slaps forehead>

Regards,
Mark

gordy
29th October 2008, 18:05
Thanks too, Kris.

Now I must enquire about getting a copy. I wonder how much they cost now(Read)

Gordy

trucker
29th October 2008, 18:39
No malice eh? Overreacting am I? I suppose that there's no malice in your comment of "if it fits wear it" either?

Of course it doesn't fit! On the other hand, as I pointed out, I'm the only person who has posted who identified themselves as a cadet!

Trucker refers to a "jobsworth", is the term jobsworth not usually a derogatory expression? I thought it was, and I don't think I'm that ignorant of modern word usage. No malice? I don't think so.

Trucker then makes an oblique remark about the cadet not liking being put in his place, which implies that the cadet has an agenda. No malice? I don't think so.

Trucker then wonders what kind of C/E the cadet turns into, "does useless ring a bell". No malice? I don't think so.

Perhaps I am overreacting, but if you think there's no malice in Trucker's post, you've clearly not understood it!

talks cheap whiskey costs money,get over it.(Thumb)you talk a bout malice.you are the one commenting on a chief engineer on the city of wellington,when you were only a cadet.so you must have thought it at the time.when do cadets have opions on highly profesional engineers.i bet the mast colour was still runing down your leg.

Locking Splice
29th October 2008, 19:36
Hi Mark,

Thats a blast from the past "Botleks Stores".

Best Regards

Yuge

Chouan
29th October 2008, 19:39
Chouan ; I think you may be overreacting to the comment that Trucker made . I see no malice in the observation however if it fits wear it .

Derek

Still see no malice in Trucker's comments?

doncontrols
29th October 2008, 19:44
when do cadets have opions on highly profesional engineers.

I wasn't going to join this thread, however, Truckers comment riled me somewhat. Are Cadets not entitled to an opinion on other people? As a Cadet, I considered one Chief Eng to be the worlds largest ******, because of something exceedingly unprofessional he did. However, I sailed with another that I considered to be one of the best Engineers I have ever worked with. I figure like all walks of life, there are the Good, the Bad and the Fair to Middling. But I would never accept that someone was not entitled to their own opinion, regardless of their rank or anything else. We are all Human Beings!
Regards.(MAD)

trucker
29th October 2008, 20:02
(EEK) I wasn't going to join this thread, however, Truckers comment riled me somewhat. Are Cadets not entitled to an opinion on other people? As a Cadet, I considered one Chief Eng to be the worlds largest ******, because of something exceedingly unprofessional he did. However, I sailed with another that I considered to be one of the best Engineers I have ever worked with. I figure like all walks of life, there are the Good, the Bad and the Fair to Middling. But I would never accept that someone was not entitled to their own opinion, regardless of their rank or anything else. We are all Human Beings!
Regards.(MAD)

the point i am trying to make is every one can voice thier opinons .but why didnt you vioce your opion at the time to who ever senoir ship member you thought was a w----r[my words] why wait untill now many years later to do it,on a website.may be it would have effected your career.[i wonder]my time at sea i saw a lot of back stabbing,so and so couldnt run a chip shop never mind a ship.but these gutless wonders would never say any thing upfront.because of thier careers.end of story.

Derek Roger
29th October 2008, 20:08
Still see no malice in Trucker's comments?

I certainly did not intend any malice to yourself or any other member . I do however see your point with respect to subsequent posts .

The title of the thread I believe was intended to cause some trouble from the outset and sadly " some have risen to the fly " .

In retrospect I should have talked with you by pm and not posted in open forum ; for that accept my apology .

I shall keep an on this thread and will try to refrain from comment .

Regards Derek

trucker
29th October 2008, 22:16
derek what is chouan on about malice.my first post about the cadet and the chief eng.was an example ,i never thought of him.yes i ve seen his profile.no i,m not over awed.the post was sent with no intent of ill will or spite,with malice aforethought.dont worry this thread is finished as far as i,m concerned.i thought chouan would be used to constructive discussion.(Cloud)

Sarky Cut
29th October 2008, 23:19
It must have been a lonely job being a C/E. It is difficult at any time to be both in charge and responsible for the running of an engine room and its personnel, some men have the technical ability to run the job but not the men, some have the ability to run the men but not the technical ability to master the intraciesof the engineroom.
It is a matter of being able to deligate in a fair and even manner, this was not a difficult job in the companies I worked for as the duties of the various officers were well documented for every rank.
The problem as I see was there were some old chiefs who had been bullied when they were 2/E by their chiefs and carried this on as it was all they knew.
When the company apprenticeships came in the cadets were trained ashore and the companies tried to instill in them that it was a career that was worth while and they wanted these lads to stay, training was not cheap and many an old style Chief in the company I worked for came a cropper trying it on with the young HND qualified engineers who math wise and report wise could run rings around the the old timers.
The continued advancement of these young educated men through the ranks started to show the long time chiefs that the writing was on the wall as they made it to C/E's at 28/29.
They were smart and knew how to deal with the personnel and the engine rooms and were trained to deligate from an early age.
There were some that could not be trusted to enter the engineroom without a guide but this was very rare. I have heard a second engineer invite the Chief into "his" engineroom but not to touch anything that he did not understand. The Chief agreed to the visit as long as he could make the tea for the lads during field days, This offer was taken up and the trip went very smoothly.
My comment would be useless no dangerous yes.

BlythSpirit
30th October 2008, 09:00
I was one of those apprentices that Sarky Cut refers to. When the large tankers started coming along in the late 60's, many an old chief thought they should be on them, but quite often were out of their depth with the changes in instrumentation and control.
I can't honestly say I ever sailed with a chief who was useless, I sailed with a couple of second engineers who were vindicitive.
I guess you could reason that we engineers were like the mere mortals - some good - some not so good.

David W
30th October 2008, 09:27
I was one of those apprentices that Sarky Cut refers to. When the large tankers started coming along in the late 60's, many an old chief thought they should be on them, but quite often were out of their depth with the changes in instrumentation and control.
I can't honestly say I ever sailed with a chief who was useless, I sailed with a couple of second engineers who were vindicitive.
I guess you could reason that we engineers were like the mere mortals - some good - some not so good.

So every time I said "Oh my God" I should have said "Oh My Chief Engineer"

No spanners, please, it is meant to be humorous.

Chouan
30th October 2008, 09:36
derek what is chouan on about malice.my first post about the cadet and the chief eng.was an example ,i never thought of him.yes i ve seen his profile.no i,m not over awed.the post was sent with no intent of ill will or spite,with malice aforethought.dont worry this thread is finished as far as i,m concerned.i thought chouan would be used to constructive discussion.(Cloud)

An example? This is an example of a mealy mouthed attempt at a "get out"; having been caught, but not wanting to accept responsibility for what has been said, and as such is contemptuous.

Ps. The suggestion to read my profile was to show that I was a deck cadet, and, therefore, your suppositions about any relationship between said C/E and myself were redundant, as were your suppositions about my abilities as a C/E!

Pat Hughes
30th October 2008, 09:47
Moderators! Please close this thread down. It is becoming embarrassing!

trucker
30th October 2008, 09:59
An example? This is an example of a mealy mouthed attempt at a "get out"; having been caught, but not wanting to accept responsibility for what has been said, and as such is contemptuous.

Ps. The suggestion to read my profile was to show that I was a deck cadet, and, therefore, your suppositions about any relationship between said C/E and myself were redundant, as were your suppositions about my abilities as a C/E!

enough is enough,why dont you grow up.one minute you are complaining to the moderater ,accusing myself of malice towards you. then now you are saying my last post was mealy mouthed quote [this is an example of a mealy mouthed attempt at a get out.] try and get out a bit more.why dont you accept responsibility ,for the post that first started this, or is that above your intelligence.

G0SLP
30th October 2008, 10:01
Hi Mark,

Thats a blast from the past "Botleks Stores".

Best Regards

Yuge

Hi Yuge

It certainly is (A)

Still going strong though (Thumb)

Cheers
Mark

Blackal
30th October 2008, 10:58
I feel that sadly - this thread got off to a bad start in its title.

A more appropriate choice, in my opinion would have been something like "Old Chief Engineers" and an invitation to relate anecdotal stories from the past.

To start the ball rolling with the title "Useless Chief Engineers" was a poor show.

Al

BlythSpirit
30th October 2008, 14:58
David W
So every time I said "Oh my God" I should have said "Oh My Chief Engineer"

No spanners, please, it is meant to be humorous.

So was I mate -so was I!! God knows this thread needs a bit of it!

R58484956
30th October 2008, 15:56
It seems that their were no useless masters.
PS See my thread No; 54

K urgess
30th October 2008, 16:18
That's to be expected since this is the engine room. [=P]

David W
30th October 2008, 16:59
So every time I said "Oh my God" I should have said "Oh My Chief Engineer"

No spanners, please, it is meant to be humorous.

So was I mate -so was I!! God knows this thread needs a bit of it!
__________________
Regards,
BlythSpirit

I had hoped that was the case, the problem now is, if CE=G, and God knows we need some humour, does anyone know of a CE who will own up to having a sense of humour.

ray bloomfield
31st October 2008, 01:26
If this carries on much longer I can see that there will be zimmer frames at dawn soon!!

surfaceblow
31st October 2008, 03:41
I was only worried when I said God and the Chief Engineer or Master would answer YES.[=P]

billyboy
31st October 2008, 04:31
Never heard one ask for directions to the engine room yet!

Godders
31st October 2008, 09:12
As long as they get you from A TO B SAFELY then they are all good , that is pulling to gether in the same direction, we all need a bit of help sometimes..

Doxfordman
31st October 2008, 16:48
Yawn - is this still on going. I was one, a CEO, that is and I knew I was God!

Sarky Cut
31st October 2008, 17:49
You sailed without your wife then :-)

stewart4866
31st October 2008, 17:59
hand bags at dawn[=P]

tom roberts
31st October 2008, 20:46
When I was deckboy on the British Supremecy 1954 up the Gulf I used to take ice water to the lads working on deck in the afternoon I banged the watercan accidently when going past the chief engineers cabin he came out and belted me in the face nobody witnessed it I said nothing to no one but I never forgot it. It soured my view of Engineers but I had great respect for them I could never have worked down below and thinking about it he was most likely having a kip after sweating his nuts of keeping that old tub going so lets now leave the chiefs alone.

timeout
1st November 2008, 02:50
I feel that this thread is extremely distasteful, and i would just like to say one thing before i delete it, is it not part and parcel of ones working life to pick up the slack of your subordinates and therefore demonstrate to them that you are enhancing there experience, and is it not the case that when one "picks up the slack of a superior" that one is enriching ones own experience?Gentlemen we are not all of the same mindset, thats life, we must deal with it, I have never called anyone above, or below me "useless" beacause everybody has strengths and weaknesses when applied to the job in hand

billyboy
1st November 2008, 04:09
Well said Timeout!
I never sailed deep sea, always stayed as a "rock dodger"
I started as a greaser/fireman. acting 3rd and made second. During my short experience I never had cause to complain or doubt a Chief. All treated me with courtesy and were happy for me to ask questions about anything I was not sure of. They were only too happy to give their time to explain things. I learned a heck of a lot from them. OK, maybe there were one or two who sailed deep water the may have been doubtful but, can we be sure there was not a wee bit of jealousy by the doubters who thought They should have been Chief?
Personally I was happy as both acting 3rd and as 2nd. Never once crossed my mind that I should even attempt to be Chief.
Lets not knock the man at the top, He deserved to be there by the effort he put into getting there.

dom
1st November 2008, 14:15
I feel that this thread is extremely distasteful, and i would just like to say one thing before i delete it, is it not part and parcel of ones working life to pick up the slack of your subordinates and therefore demonstrate to them that you are enhancing there experience, and is it not the case that when one "picks up the slack of a superior" that one is enriching ones own experience?Gentlemen we are not all of the same mindset, thats life, we must deal with it, I have never called anyone above, or below me "useless" beacause everybody has strengths and weaknesses when applied to the job in hand

i think Timeout's post say it all maybe a good post to finish the thread

Chris Isaac
1st November 2008, 15:50
I said just this in the second message in this thread but was condemmed by one of the moderators (Marconi Sahib) and effectively told to mind my own business. I left a similar message some time later that was SENSORED and removed in spite of the fact that I was only concerned about the depths this thread would be likely to plumb.
Now it has descended to out and out racism.
Enough is enough this thread needs TERMINATING.
I bet this message is removed regardless of the universal level of agreement I think it will attract.
If this sort of conversation had taken place on any ship of which I was Master I would have put a very prompt stop to it.

Derek Roger
1st November 2008, 16:08
Gentlemen please be reminded that comments with racial implications are not tolerated on the site and will be dealt with by Moderators .

Regards Derek

David W
1st November 2008, 16:14
Despite the fact that I have found this thread very enlightening, I also feel it should be stopped, after all it cant get any better than a corned beef who thinks he is God and a Jack the Ripper who speaks for the universe.

ROBERT HENDERSON
1st November 2008, 16:50
Just Joe
Jack the Ripper ==Kipper==Two faced and no guts

Regards Robert

joebuckham
1st November 2008, 16:59
Just Joe
Jack the Ripper ==Kipper==Two faced and no guts

Regards Robert

thanks robert
had just posted when i realised that this time jack the ripper stood for skipper, getting very old.

deleted message post haste :o

gdynia
1st November 2008, 18:51
I said just this in the second message in this thread but was condemmed by one of the moderators (Marconi Sahib) and effectively told to mind my own business. I left a similar message some time later that was SENSORED and removed in spite of the fact that I was only concerned about the depths this thread would be likely to plumb.
Now it has descended to out and out racism.
Enough is enough this thread needs TERMINATING.
I bet this message is removed regardless of the universal level of agreement I think it will attract.
If this sort of conversation had taken place on any ship of which I was Master I would have put a very prompt stop to it.

Chris

Moderators are not Gods on this forum we are members the same as anyone else. We adhere to the site owners policy and believe you me he will censor us as well if we get out of place, he does not show any favourism on that score.

gingerbeer73
1st November 2008, 21:05
Sarky Cut, I like your comments.

Strange thread this one. People seem very worried about what they say these days. Decorum is of course important but if some people feel that they have sailed with a useless Chief then that is what they feel and bearing in mind it is only their opinion, then what is the problem. I can't believe that one of the moderators has gone so far as to mention fear of slander ! For goodness sake get a grip.
I have sailed with good, bad and completely indifferent engineers, let alone Chief Engineers and if it was a problem for the smooth running of the ship it was sorted at the time. There has always been different levels of engineering skills and we all learned as we went along helping each other to achieve the end result. That's what we got paid for and most times had a good time along the way.
It is true that the nature of the job for Chiefs changed along the way and the way they used to be when I was 2nd was in the cabin out the way most of the times and I went to him to give feedback etc.

Your first line, Sarky Cut about the Chief's job being a lonely one is no doubt true in many cases. I sailed with one Chief (who was a great chap) who I perceived during conversation that he missed the job a bit. So I asked him if he would like to come down below in port some times and lend a hand as long as he kept out of the running of the job. He readily agreed and was seen happily grinding the ring ledge off in the liner. The rest of the lads were a bit bemused but he used to come down on occasions (always asked) and always to his word, never tried to direct anything other than the normal " what if we tried this" type of input. I am sure we all subtly learnt from his what would otherwise have been redundant skills.

Colin



It must have been a lonely job being a C/E. It is difficult at any time to be both in charge and responsible for the running of an engine room and its personnel, some men have the technical ability to run the job but not the men, some have the ability to run the men but not the technical ability to master the intraciesof the engineroom.
It is a matter of being able to deligate in a fair and even manner, this was not a difficult job in the companies I worked for as the duties of the various officers were well documented for every rank.
The problem as I see was there were some old chiefs who had been bullied when they were 2/E by their chiefs and carried this on as it was all they knew.
When the company apprenticeships came in the cadets were trained ashore and the companies tried to instill in them that it was a career that was worth while and they wanted these lads to stay, training was not cheap and many an old style Chief in the company I worked for came a cropper trying it on with the young HND qualified engineers who math wise and report wise could run rings around the the old timers.
The continued advancement of these young educated men through the ranks started to show the long time chiefs that the writing was on the wall as they made it to C/E's at 28/29.
They were smart and knew how to deal with the personnel and the engine rooms and were trained to deligate from an early age.
There were some that could not be trusted to enter the engineroom without a guide but this was very rare. I have heard a second engineer invite the Chief into "his" engineroom but not to touch anything that he did not understand. The Chief agreed to the visit as long as he could make the tea for the lads during field days, This offer was taken up and the trip went very smoothly.
My comment would be useless no dangerous yes.

martyn greenhalgh
1st November 2008, 23:38
as a cadet i sailed with a chief eng who had a bad reputation.i had no problems with at all.if you did your job properly he let you get on with it and left you alone

roger.kb
1st November 2008, 23:43
If you have worked at sea, something I doubt, you should know that there are no useless chief engineers at sea.

Sarky Cut
2nd November 2008, 00:09
It would be difficult to explain this thread to a non-marine person. It is not a 9to 5 job and how many people who work in offices or companies go to breakfast/dinner/tea/cinema/bar everyday for upto four months with the same people.

On the ships/boats I sailed on there was always a heathy disregard for the bosses, we had respect for what they had achieved but it was not hero worship as if you wanted to get to the top certificates had to be earned.
It was the mere fact that having a ticket made you better than anybody else was the bone of contention.

Not much good having a ticket to wave around when the ship is blacking out due to fact that the spares that had been ordered months before were not there to be fitted because the C/E was too inebriated to work a typewriter.

But on the whole life wanna bad, it is a the fact that most jobs are bearable for the most parts and are made difficult by others. It is the same anywhere but the bad bits are amplified when you are living in closed community for a long period. If this situation does not float your boat then the best thing to do is to leave and keep chickens.

Approx 40 years and still sane I think but I still like to tweak the tail of pompous overbearing knowitalls given half a chance.

Above the Control Station on the British Light where I was appointed to for six months was the Sign Written inscription.

IF YOU CANT TAKE A JOKE YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE JOINED(Jester)

James_C
2nd November 2008, 01:00
Sarky Cut,
Amen to that. Although another inscription I saw (and still see) onboard often are words to the effect of "Abandon hope all ye who Enter here".

LOL(Hippy)

Sarky Cut
2nd November 2008, 01:34
Seen on a low pipe on the Security "Duck or Grouse"

BTC "Better times coming"

billyboy
2nd November 2008, 02:05
I visited the engine room of an American ship in Falmouth back in the 60's. On the main steam pressure gauge was a Dymo tape message " don't hit me, I am beat already" Made me smile that did.

joebuckham
3rd November 2008, 22:16
IF YOU CANT TAKE A JOKE YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE JOINED

i can take a joke but b####r a pantomime (K)

CEYLON220
4th November 2008, 09:59
I take it that this forum is pertaining to Chiefs in the Merchant service and not the Royal Navy, as an ex CPOM(E) RN I never yet met a Chief who was useless at his job, we came thro from Engineering training and gained certificates before advancement to each differant rates, these were`nt handed out because your face fit, they were awarded because of the skills you aquired doing the jobs, the RN has high standards and to get to a Chiefs rate you had to be not only good at the job but you had to teach others the skills required by the service----don`t knock them,lads.

R58484956
4th November 2008, 10:51
The same applied to MN Chiefs.

Pat Hughes
4th November 2008, 11:03
The same applied to MN Chiefs.

Agreed!

Fieldsy
4th November 2008, 12:01
Seems a strange thread. As someone posted earlier you could take any discipline and find useless members - why single out chiefs? I sailed with many good, and some excellent, ones. A few left something to be desired but they were often old timers who'd earned their spurs in the days when engine rooms were dark and dangerous places and the modern levels of automation had passed them by a little. I still wouldn't categorise them as useless though, and they had my respect for their achievements in what would have been an alien environment to me.

Burntisland Ship Yard
6th November 2008, 19:52
I sailed with an elderly Chief Engineer on a VLCC. When the lift was out he could not make the engine room. With the lift he made the control room no further. He had been torpedoed three times during the war and had spent a month as Senior Officer in an open boat in the Atlantic. There was a Senior Second (me), a Junior Second and six watchkeepers. He was entitled to see his time out. The old man Reggie White made sure he was not short of a bevvy or two.
He was not useless just finished. I would never have bothered him.

regards
jimmy

Hi Jimmmy,
Reggis White !!!!!
Now this guy aka Old Man was def in a league of his own, no doubt a few interesting times could be published, but, like most people we did respect him, and he was a gentlemen !

John Campbell
6th November 2008, 20:15
Hi Jimmmy,
Reggis White !!!!!
Now this guy aka Old Man was def in a league of his own, no doubt a few interesting times could be published, but, like most people we did respect him, and he was a gentlemen !

Sailed with Reggie White too and was in Singapore when he went ashore with the crew subs in his pocket to pay a Customs Fine (which was subsequently quashed) he then went on to Bugii Street with the Chief Engineer to celebrate and was there upon robbed -lost the entire sub which amounted to a lot of cash and missed the last boat back to the ship in the anchorage. Reggie was always in some scrape or another but a fine chap for all that.

JC

averheijden
14th November 2008, 16:19
L.S.

One heavily frustrated lower rank engineer or perhaps a engine room cleaner started this forum.
What I think is that this man was useless in the engine room himself in the eyes of the Chief Engineer, so he is reacting now in this way.

Do not forget every Chief Engineer;
* Has fulfilled all the necessary studies to become a Chief.
* He has build up his career also from a lower rank till he became Chief.
* He has built up a lot of experience in all those years.
* Only he, as Chief had the full responsibility for the engine room and his crew!, not a lower rank frustrated man!
* And last but not least the Owner had confidence in that “so called” useless Chief to give him the responsibility of the engine room of that ship.

For me it is inconceivable and shocking that a forum like this is permitted against a Senior Ships Officer.
The SN unworthy!

Regards
A.Verheijden
(Dutch Merchant Navy Chief Engineer for almost 29 years)

BlythSpirit
14th November 2008, 16:29
Just a thought to add to this fairly morose thread:

I was always taught to respect the position of any officer (or crew member)at sea, each rank bore individual onuses.

Individuals command respect - not demand it.

Derek Roger
14th November 2008, 17:07
L.S.

One heavily frustrated lower rank engineer or perhaps a engine room cleaner started this forum.
What I think is that this man was useless in the engine room himself in the eyes of the Chief Engineer, so he is reacting now in this way.

Do not forget every Chief Engineer;
* Has fulfilled all the necessary studies to become a Chief.
* He has a build up his career also from a lower rank till he became Chief.
* He has built up a lot of experience in all those years.
* Only he, as Chief had the full responsibility for the engine room and his crew!, not a lower rank frustrated man!
* And last but not least the Owner had confidence in that “so called” useless Chief to give him the responsibility of the engine room of that ship.

For me it is inconceivable and shocking that a forum like this is permitted against a Senior Ships Officer.
The SN unworthy!

Regards
A.Verheijden
Dutch Merchant Navy Chief Engineer for almost 29 years

Thanks for your well balanced comment and while I agree with your sentiment we have to allow free expression of opinions as long as there is no personal abuse or naming of individuals who members may be of the opinion are useless.
You may have noted that the member who started this thread has not entered the discussion ?

Be assured Moderators keep a close eye on this type of thread to ensure SN site rules are adhered to .

Regards Derek

roboted
14th November 2008, 19:30
Right...I've watched this thread with a certain morose interest......
When in my early twenties(ex-shoreside,mirrlees) I went deepsea,I sailed with chiefs I liked/disliked etc:BUT I always respected them as my senior officer,they had the tickets & the stripes,and they didn't come out of a lucky bag!!!!
Now many years on their influence,and that of other ranks from my days as a J/E have been enormous................
I cannot thank those chiefs and seconds from my early days enough to instill in me the "Can do-Will do" attitude as opposed to the incredibly common attitude through the decades of "Cant Do".....Found elsewhere ashore...
If I may name two of many glorious GENTLEMEN I sailed with................
Joe Oriell and Geordie Hepple........The names spring out as an example of the finest qualities found ,as I found in ALL MN personell....
Rose tinted glasses ??? Maybe!!
Useless C/E ?? Not in the British Merch!!!!!!!!

Rant over......Back in me shell !!!!!

billyboy
15th November 2008, 11:20
Best Chief i ever had was Roy Driver. A great engineer and a perfect gentleman. He became a great inspiration to me. He encouraged me and always took the time to explain things i was not sure of. Cant say I ever came across a useless one. Couple of grumpy ones perhaps and a lazy one at times but never a useless one. Lets face it, If they were useless they would never have achieved the rank of Chief.

eldersuk
16th November 2008, 00:02
Roboted

Don't know what happened to Joe Oriell, but Davy Hepple crossed the bar about 3 years ago.

Derek

roboted
16th November 2008, 09:15
Roboted

Don't know what happened to Joe Oriell, but Davy Hepple crossed the bar about 3 years ago.

Derek

Sad to hear that about Geordie,great fellah...
Wonder about Joe...?

Cheers for that mate
Robbo

R798780
16th November 2008, 16:57
Right...I've watched this thread with a certain morose interest......
When in my early twenties(ex-shoreside,mirrlees) I went deepsea,I sailed with chiefs I liked/disliked etc:BUT I always respected them as my senior officer,they had the tickets & the stripes,and they didn't come out of a lucky bag!!!!

Useless C/E ?? Not in the British Merch!!!!!!!!

Rant over......Back in me shell !!!!!

A refreshing twist on this thread. There were certainly some chief engineers I would rather have sailed with and some I would not. There were some I would have sailed to the end of this earth with. Mike Alport, Ian May and Ian Millar amongst them. Would their opinion of me have been the same I wonder. One of those certainly saved the careers of some less senior engineers when they dropped clangers. In doing so he educated them and earned their loyalty. And unquestionably helpful to me as mate and later as a junior master.

Steve Hodges
23rd November 2008, 15:36
Above the Control Station on the British Light where I was appointed to for six months was the Sign Written inscription.

IF YOU CANT TAKE A JOKE YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE JOINED(Jester)

I can't remember that being there when I sailed on her. Perhaps it had rusted away and dropped off. Just about everything else had!

With regard to the theme of this thread, I don't believe any of the C/Es that I sailed with could have been "useless". One of the great plusses of life as an MN officer, and something greatly missed when working ashore, was that you could not be promoted to senior rank unless you were technically competent and had proved it in written and oral examination. Personality traits, of course, were another matter entirely.

frogger
19th March 2009, 03:32
Overall its easier for muppets to survive as a bridge officer than as chief engineer.

Satanic Mechanic
19th March 2009, 08:12
HA HA HA - listen to all the righteous ex Chiefs "I was a chief" etc. Bad news for you boys and girls as in every trade/job etc in the world there are some horror stories of Chiefs - I had one who used to hide in the wardobe, another who would only give orders after clearing them with his wife and of course the one who got lost in the engineroom. All part of the fun and variation of life at sea - get off your high horses and think back.

Satanic Mechanic
19th March 2009, 08:13
I can't remember that being there when I sailed on her. Perhaps it had rusted away and dropped off. Just about everything else had!

With regard to the theme of this thread, I don't believe any of the C/Es that I sailed with could have been "useless". One of the great plusses of life as an MN officer, and something greatly missed when working ashore, was that you could not be promoted to senior rank unless you were technically competent and had proved it in written and oral examination. Personality traits, of course, were another matter entirely.

The ability to pass an exam alas does not = technical competence.

Satanic Mechanic
19th March 2009, 08:23
L.S.

One heavily frustrated lower rank engineer or perhaps a engine room cleaner started this forum.
What I think is that this man was useless in the engine room himself in the eyes of the Chief Engineer, so he is reacting now in this way.

Do not forget every Chief Engineer;
* Has fulfilled all the necessary studies to become a Chief.
* He has build up his career also from a lower rank till he became Chief.
* He has built up a lot of experience in all those years.
* Only he, as Chief had the full responsibility for the engine room and his crew!, not a lower rank frustrated man!
* And last but not least the Owner had confidence in that “so called” useless Chief to give him the responsibility of the engine room of that ship.

For me it is inconceivable and shocking that a forum like this is permitted against a Senior Ships Officer.
The SN unworthy!

Regards
A.Verheijden
(Dutch Merchant Navy Chief Engineer for almost 29 years)
[=P] :sweat: Your not in the military ya self righteous muppet - there are loads of gash Chiefs out there. Loads of gash in every rank. Some of them are sources for great stories. Nothing wrong with having the discussion just so long as names aren't mentioned.

By the way your attitude towards 'Junior Ranks' is frankly appalling - after 29 years as Chiefs as well - its that sort of attitude that could get you a reputation - its not just Engineering ability of course it is the ability to lead people.

Note to forum in general - it is not all sweetness and happiness out there. I have sailed with alkies, druggies, junkies, some extremely violent and abusive men, criminals , ex prisoners, paedophiles and the clinically insane as well as many, many very good guys - please stop pretending it is otherwise.

frogger
19th March 2009, 10:13
[=P] :sweat: Your not in the military ya self righteous muppet - there are loads of gash Chiefs out there. Loads of gash in every rank. Some of them are sources for great stories. Nothing wrong with having the discussion just so long as names aren't mentioned.

By the way your attitude towards 'Junior Ranks' is frankly appalling - after 29 years as Chiefs as well - its that sort of attitude that could get you a reputation - its not just Engineering ability of course it is the ability to lead people.

Note to forum in general - it is not all sweetness and happiness out there. I have sailed with alkies, druggies, junkies, some extremely violent and abusive men, criminals , ex prisoners, paedophiles and the clinically insane as well as many, many very good guys - please stop pretending it is otherwise.

Sailing P&O ferries?

Satanic Mechanic
19th March 2009, 10:45
Sailing P&O ferries?
(Thumb) Actually I have - and it certainly counts there - but I was referring more to deep sea vessels.

In saying that a lot of the P&O ferry Chiefs really were absolute gentlemen

James_C
19th March 2009, 12:38
HA HA HA - listen to all the righteous ex Chiefs "I was a chief" etc. Bad news for you boys and girls as in every trade/job etc in the world there are some horror stories of Chiefs - I had one who used to hide in the wardobe, another who would only give orders after clearing them with his wife and of course the one who got lost in the engineroom. All part of the fun and variation of life at sea - get off your high horses and think back.


"another who would only give orders after clearing them with his wife"

Would this be the chap who must have been the last man in the company to wear his long white socks, go ashore in uniform, whose wife was referred to as 'Mrs Chief', had her own discharge book and caused serious problems on the Tamar (amongst others)?
On the rare occasions when she wasn't with him and you had the chance of a chat, he didn't seem like such a bad bloke.

Satanic Mechanic
19th March 2009, 15:51
"another who would only give orders after clearing them with his wife"

Would this be the chap who must have been the last man in the company to wear his long white socks, go ashore in uniform, whose wife was referred to as 'Mrs Chief', had her own discharge book and caused serious problems on the Tamar (amongst others)?
On the rare occasions when she wasn't with him and you had the chance of a chat, he didn't seem like such a bad bloke.

(Thumb) - was it that obvious

Superlecky
19th March 2009, 16:47
In nearly 10 years as a Lecky with Trident/Bulk Shipping I never sailed with a Chief Engineer that was anything other than competent. A few I didn't get on with on a personal level, but that is down to personalities, and I certainly wouldn't name them.

On the other hand I sailed with some who were, to me, absolutely brilliant as people and technically; and those I am quite willing to name. Among whom are Jimmy Read on the Erne, Percy Noble on the Grafton and best of all Brian Lonsdale on the Garmula & Garbeta. Memory plays tricks over time, but I think that both Jimmy and Percy died of heart attacks at a comparitively young age. If anyone knows anything about Brian I would love to know what happened to him.

Chris P

bluewaterman
23rd March 2010, 00:37
I sailed with Chiefs (and Captains) who I liked, and some who I didn't like, but I don't think I would consider any of them useless.

CAPTAIN JEREMY
24th March 2010, 10:52
Never came across one, to be a chief you came up through the ranks and you also had to get a ticket from the BOT, so no idiots got through.

Sadly, I think that is no guarantee!! In all disciplines you will find some who manged to sneak past the BOT.

I must admit, I like the concept of a chocolate teapot.

Satanic Mechanic
24th March 2010, 11:49
Sadly, I think that is no guarantee!! In all disciplines you will find some who manged to sneak past the BOT.

I must admit, I like the concept of a chocolate teapot.

The ability to pass an exam has of course very little bearing on actual ability.

Chocolate teapots could well be pretty cool but chocolate fireguards would just be messy and chocolate chisels verging on the comical

surfaceblow
24th March 2010, 13:46
When I was first starting out has a young Third Assistant Engineer I was having a problem with a watch partner not performing. When went to the Chief Engineer about my problem I was told by the old and wise Chief Engineer that nobody is useless. Everyone is a tool to help you its up to you to use the tool correctly. If you can not use the tool than you are not a good engineer. You can look at good examples of what you want to become or good examples of what you want to avoid.

averheijden
28th March 2010, 09:56
Thanks for your well balanced comment and while I agree with your sentiment we have to allow free expression of opinions as long as there is no personal abuse or naming of individuals who members may be of the opinion are useless.
You may have noted that the member who started this thread has not entered the discussion ?

Be assured Moderators keep a close eye on this type of thread to ensure SN site rules are adhered to .

Regards Derek

Dear Sir,

Do you agree at the same way as above when I start a Topic "USELESS MODERATORS"?
No naming of individuals of course, but just as a group, such as "Chief Engineers"

By the way have you already noticed that almost 98% is against a Topic like this?

I stay on my point as already mentioned a year ago;
"For me it is inconceivable and shocking that a forum like this is permitted against a Senior Ships Officer.
The SN unworthy!"

Regards
Alfons
(Retired Chief Engineer)

Billieboy
28th March 2010, 10:14
Allez Fons, rustig aan een beetje!

There's no need to lose your rag old boy! Nearly all the posts on this forum stay within the, "Posting Rules", the moderators do a very good job keeping the place nice and tidy, even shipshape and Bristol!

averheijden
28th March 2010, 13:06
Allez Fons, rustig aan een beetje!

There's no need to lose your rag old boy! Nearly all the posts on this forum stay within the, "Posting Rules", the moderators do a very good job keeping the place nice and tidy, even shipshape and Bristol!


Most probably you was never a "Chief Engineer"?

Billieboy
28th March 2010, 13:20
Most probably you was never a "Chief Engineer"?

Not until I came ashore and started repairing ships Alfons. But then Chief Engineer's jobs are ten a penny ashore. I prefer to be known as a retired marine engineer. That way, everyone who should know, does know what you can do.

BTW I often get in Stekene, on my way to Axel or Hulst.

averheijden
28th March 2010, 13:57
Not until I came ashore and started repairing ships Alfons. But then Chief Engineer's jobs are ten a penny ashore. I prefer to be known as a retired marine engineer. That way, everyone who should know, does know what you can do.

BTW I often get in Stekene, on my way to Axel or Hulst.

As you know, also a lower rank ship’s engineer ( ten a penny) is a “Marine Engineer”

K urgess
28th March 2010, 14:01
Gentlemen! PLEASE!
This thread is so old that it's grown a beard.
A bit late to start arguing abput things you should have seen 18 months ago.

Billieboy
28th March 2010, 14:29
Alfons, I was referring to the number of jobs ashore as, "Chief Engineer", many of which do not require much engineering knowledge. I was in no way alluding to ex Maritime certificated Chief or First class Steam and/or Motor engineers.

averheijden
28th March 2010, 14:46
Alfons, I was referring to the number of jobs ashore as, "Chief Engineer", many of which do not require much engineering knowledge. I was in no way alluding to ex Maritime certificated Chief or First class Steam and/or Motor engineers.

Ok; Understood!!! Discussion Closed

Billieboy
28th March 2010, 14:51
Gentlemen! PLEASE!
This thread is so old that it's grown a beard.
A bit late to start arguing abput things you should have seen 18 months ago.

I wasn't here 18 months ago Marconi!

Derek Roger
28th March 2010, 17:06
Thanks for the correction it was posted 23 october 2008 , 17 months and 5 days .

Andrew Craig-Bennett
29th March 2010, 09:31
I have known Chief Engineers who were technically brilliant and Chief Engineers who were gifted managers.

Sometimes these attributes were found in the same chap; sometimes not.

In general, though, Chief Engineers are good at organising things. For myself, I have not come across a Chief Engineer who was "useless", though I do recall a Chief Engineer whose man management skills were very far below his abilities as an engineer. Certainly not "useless" but certainly a problem from time to time!

Naytikos
2nd April 2010, 07:44
Like Billieboy, I haven't been around that long either, but I'm wondering if the original intention of the thread was to engender some anecdotes demonstrating the uselessness of the individual concerned.

To this end, I would mention the relief C/E on one VLCC who decided he alone should inspect and maintain the refrigeration plant for the engine-room smothering CO2 tank.
Having failed to detect a low-side leak until a negative pressure had developed, allowing air into the system, he then attempted to recharge it with liquid instead of vapour freon. The end result was that the CO2 vaporised, fractured the seals and was lost.
Many members of SN will have taken stores off limits at Capetown; how about taking liquid CO2 from a road-tanker perched on a flat-top barge in a 15-foot swell. Interesting, to say the least!

waldziu
2nd April 2010, 15:46
Like, Nayticos, I will recount only of an incident of which there are many of this man. The Deputy Engineer Officer (RN) and I knew, you real engineers of the MN will merely sigh and say typical.
I blame you not. I was but a Kllick Stoker, (circa mid 70s) evap watch keeper. Whilst exercising in the Baltic, onboard one of Her Majesty’s war canoes when said DMEO was doing his evening rounds.
On checking the log sheet he asked me “ Hooky why is there no brine density reading on this here chart?” I’d like you to carry out a test now please, Hooky. Aye, aye says I and set to, to draw of a sample from the evaporator. I then nonchantly dropped in the thermometer and Twaddle hydrometer. They both hit bottom, well the thermometer was supposed to but not surely the hydrometer.
The look of bewilderment apon his face when I endeavoured to explain that the Baltic was mainly fresh water.
I’m not tarring all book learnt engineers are the same brush but give me an engineer who knows which end of the hammer to hold.

Naytikos
3rd April 2010, 05:10
(Applause)(Applause)(Applause)

Cutsplice
3rd April 2010, 20:47
I dont like the adjective used before Chief Engineer that said, I was never in a position to make an assessment on their ability as I have no engineering knowledge above very basic. I spent all my seagoing time on deck and the bridge all the engineers I ever sailed with certainly kept the engineroom department running without any problems that they were not capable of solving.
So I have the utmost respect for them, some like every other crew member some may have been a little less hard working than others. When they reached the rank of Chief some took a relaxed attitude to working in the ER and left it to to the 2nd to run the day to day routine. But that was their choice and I would not fault them for that as in my experience they did what was required of them when needed on every occassion that arose.

mikel1
25th April 2010, 22:56
The use of the word Engineer as in Chief Engineer is similar to calling a Nurse a Doctor.

An Engineer, other than in the UK it would appear, is at least degree qualified.

A BoT Chiefs ticket is not comparable and does not confirm Engineer status.

The Chief Engineers we sailed with were more Chief Mechanics and the rest of us Mechanics.
For my part, even as a Junior Engineer, I was a qualified Engineer and the Chief normally a qualified Mechanic.

Mind you it was the best Engineering experience I ever had. Enjoyed every day, every minute down below.
Met loads of great characters. Non of them useless.
Learnt lots and never forgot that.

James_C
25th April 2010, 23:01
Sailed with a Leckie who'd spent time offshore and he referred to shipboard Engineers as 'Plant Operators', as in his opinion they apparently weren't upto the level of 'Fitters' (most Engineers today not being time served), never mind 'Mechanical Engineers' (which requires a Degree).
Interesting way to look at it. This did of course cause a few colourful discussions in the bar, much to the never ending amusement of the Deck Dept who just stood there and took it all in!

Blackal
25th April 2010, 23:02
"A BoT Chiefs ticket" :(

Not sure where you are getting the "An Engineer, other than in the UK it would appear, is at least degree qualified." from either.........

Since most other countries conform to STCW 95 - I would have thought that they were aligned to this country?

Al

James_C
25th April 2010, 23:21
We're all supposed to be commonly 'aligned', but I suspect STCW95 wasn't aligned to the UK to start off with!
Lets remember that STCW95 doesn't demand high standards - it only sets out the minimum standards that must be achieved.

MARINEJOCKY
26th April 2010, 01:00
# 171,

three posts and you are out there insulting engineers already, I too sailed with alot of pretty useless junior engineers who thought they were more "Qualified" as the rest of us.

John Dryden
26th April 2010, 02:03
One thing I remember as an apprentice with Bank Line is a 6th engineer who was first trip.I can,t remember his name but he told me his last job was looking after the looms in Paisley,could be construed as engineering by any standards.Another trip a bloke from Sheffied who probably hadn,t seen a ship made his way to the engine room and under the guidance of the 1st,2nd and 3rd did the job.
I was on deck and baffled really,but still remember engine rooms from my app. days when ordered down below to do eng. room watch.
God bless the C/E.

mikel1
26th April 2010, 04:00
No insult intended JOCKY.
I have the utmost respect for all who worked in the Engineroom.

I merely pointed out that by serving an apprenticeship as a Fitter, Turner, or Engineroom Cadet is not an overnight route to become an Engineer.

Now if you're a B Sc or B Eng or similar you can call yourself an Engineer. If not you're a Tradesman - namely a Fitter, Mechanic or of a trade associated with the Engineering industry. Maybe even a Plant Operator as previously suggested.

And in response to your assertion that a few Junior Engineers were better qualified than you I can only agree with. However I have no doubt your practical experience far outweighed their practical experience.

As I said before no insult intended and hope not taken.

Satanic Mechanic
26th April 2010, 08:14
The use of the word Engineer as in Chief Engineer is similar to calling a Nurse a Doctor.

An Engineer, other than in the UK it would appear, is at least degree qualified.

A BoT Chiefs ticket is not comparable and does not confirm Engineer status.

The Chief Engineers we sailed with were more Chief Mechanics and the rest of us Mechanics.
For my part, even as a Junior Engineer, I was a qualified Engineer and the Chief normally a qualified Mechanic.

Mind you it was the best Engineering experience I ever had. Enjoyed every day, every minute down below.
Met loads of great characters. Non of them useless.
Learnt lots and never forgot that.

Actually the Class 1 part A of the ticket is the equivalent of an HND in yup Engineering

Class 2 part A is a HNC in.............. amazingly ...................engineering.

These are of course the academic parts of the tickets with the Part B's and the orals being the more practical/ship related parts.

So I do rather consider myself a fully qualified Engineer both academically and practically

WilliamH
26th April 2010, 08:15
No insult intended JOCKY.
I have the utmost respect for all who worked in the Engineroom.

I merely pointed out that by serving an apprenticeship as a Fitter, Turner, or Engineroom Cadet is not an overnight route to become an Engineer.

Now if you're a B Sc or B Eng or similar you can call yourself an Engineer. If not you're a Tradesman - namely a Fitter, Mechanic or of a trade associated with the Engineering industry. Maybe even a Plant Operator as previously suggested.

And in response to your assertion that a few Junior Engineers were better qualified than you I can only agree with. However I have no doubt your practical experience far outweighed their practical experience.

As I said before no insult intended and hope not taken.

Are you saying that a Chartered Engineer is not an Engineer, many of whom do not have B.Sc or B Eng after their names. In my time a Chartered Engineer was required to pass an examination set by his or her professional body and hold a responsible job, in a related field. This type of Enginner was much sort after by employers and well rewarded, they did not finish up serving chips in McDonalds.

gingerbeer73
26th April 2010, 08:26
Gentlemen! PLEASE!
This thread is so old that it's grown a beard.
A bit late to start arguing abput things you should have seen 18 months ago.

And a very interesting thread it has been as well, with some great comments.
Colin

MARINEJOCKY
26th April 2010, 12:41
mIKEL1,

You missed my pointed barb completely when I wrote "they THOUGHT they were more qualified".

If you were to check with most equivilancy boards in the UK or abroad you would find that even way back a chiefs ticket was considered a degree and an extra chiefs as a masters.

For those of us who are qualified and have the experience would have no problem being called an engineer and those who are still working there way up should realize that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

I always have to laugh when I hear of computer engineers as when I grew up even areospace engineers were laughed at for calling themselves engineers when their biggest "spanners" were 1/2" and had never seen a sledge hammer in their lives.

K urgess
26th April 2010, 13:42
ENGINEER n.
1. One who is trained or professionally engaged in a branch of engineering.
2. One who operates an engine.
3. One who skillfully or shrewdly manages an enterprise.

tr.v. en·gi·neered, en·gi·neer·ing, en·gi·neers
1. To plan, construct, or manage as an engineer.
2. To alter or produce by methods of genetic engineering: "Researchers . . . compared insulin manufactured by bacteria genetically engineered with recombinant DNA techniques to the commercial insulin obtained from swine or cattle" (Fusion).
3. To plan, manage, and put through by skillful acts or contrivance; maneuver.

Let's not get buried in semantics.
One and two make no mention of degrees or membership of professional bodies.
Me I'm just an ex-electronics engineer who turned into a computer engineer and then into an electrical engineer. With 40 years experience I never felt the need to have letters behind my name or join some "engineering" club.

MARINEJOCKY
26th April 2010, 15:22
Marconi Sahib,

It is like being a Freemason, once a brother always a brother and therefore I do not believe there is such a thing as an ex-anything except an ex-wife and we are all glad to be rid of them.

I trained to be a marine engineer, I worked hard as a marine engineer and I will always be a marine engineer, end of story except to say that some of the best "Engineers" I ever met never had a piece of paper. !

chadburn
26th April 2010, 15:35
Marconi Sahib,

It is like being a Freemason, once a brother always a brother and therefore I do not believe there is such a thing as an ex-anything except an ex-wife and we are all glad to be rid of them.

I trained to be a marine engineer, I worked hard as a marine engineer and I will always be a marine engineer, end of story except to say that some of the best "Engineers" I ever met never had a piece of paper. !

Very true MJ (Applause)and neither in my view should we make adverse comment's about our Marine Engineering Brother's who are not "on line" or "not on this Earth" and are unable to defend themselves in 2010.

Billieboy
26th April 2010, 15:49
I'll second that GC!

surfaceblow
26th April 2010, 16:51
All this discourse about who is an engineer reminds me of a pamphlet from the American Consulting Engineers Council. The pamphlet was printed in 1991. On the first page it states "33 % of American citizens think engineers drive trains - Gallop Poll"

Ron Stringer
26th April 2010, 17:49
When I joined Marconi's as a ship's radio officer, the people who came down to the ships to install or repair electronics equipment were classified as technicians. The only people permitted to call themselves engineers (generally working in the development laboratories or in the factory), were those who either possessed university degrees in one or more branches of engineering, or had achieved Chartered Engineer status via other routes (e.g. HND and further studies). Lacking such qualifications, when I took a shore job installing/repairing the equipment, I always considered myself a technician and not an engineer.

Later the people who visited the ships became known as 'service engineers', like those that fix washing machines in the home. I considered that to be an unwarranted and undeserved elevation and a denigration of real engineers, who had put in the study and passed the examinations required to become a Chartered Engineer. In my opinion you can't fail to reach those standards and then claim the title of 'engineer'. In the same way, you can't claim to be an Olympic champion just because you can run fast. You have to put yourself to the test and be seen to make the grade.

I saw nothing wrong with being a technician and I was happy to call myself one, an honourable and essential member of the business. But a technician is not an engineer in the same way that he is not a doctor or a judge. All are respected members of modern society but are possess different talents and education/training.

I have managed teams of both engineers and technicians and found that, presumably as a consequence of their different training, they have quite different abilities and approaches to problem-solving.

K urgess
26th April 2010, 19:10
Never had an Ex-Wife MJ so I can't comment.
If someone wanted to employ me as a computer engineer, that being the official title of the position I was being offered then I wasn't going to argue about a name.
I was offered sponsorship to the Institute of mechanical and Electrical Engineers but felt it gave me no advantage.
There have been "engineers" in the family at least as far back as the beginning of the nineteenth century but way back then they were called blacksmiths. My father was a fitter but was also a Royal Engineer for ten years. I had an uncle who was a chief engineer. My son has an aeronautical engineering degree.
I took a different engineering path preferring to be able to see where I was going while at sea. Two things that had to happen in my life. Some form of engineering and at least a few years at sea. It was either that or the army.
I also became a Marine Electronics Technician when I came ashore. When I got into computer engineering there was an awful lot of mechanical engineering involved.
So I was quite happy to be called "engineer".
I do feel that "customer engineers" etc., devalue the name.

gingerbeer73
26th April 2010, 23:32
The use of the word Engineer as in Chief Engineer is similar to calling a Nurse a Doctor.

An Engineer, other than in the UK it would appear, is at least degree qualified.

A BoT Chiefs ticket is not comparable and does not confirm Engineer status.

The Chief Engineers we sailed with were more Chief Mechanics and the rest of us Mechanics.
For my part, even as a Junior Engineer, I was a qualified Engineer and the Chief normally a qualified Mechanic.

Mind you it was the best Engineering experience I ever had. Enjoyed every day, every minute down below.
Met loads of great characters. Non of them useless.
Learnt lots and never forgot that.

I have to reply to this one. I consider this poster to be a bit of a snob.
Well, the last thing we need in our engineering career is this sort of comment. Someone ashore once said this to my wife and good on her, she made a good effort to put the bloke right.
Since I have been ashore some 15 years I am very proud of my past marine life and like others have considered myself to be a qualified engineer both academically and practically. Certainly far superior to someone with a degree, like someone I worked with, in control engineering. It's a joke! I can vouch for that when this guy got himself in the "real world" he struggled to do his job.
I can only say that it has become obvious to me that I am a better engineer than all the so called degree engineers I have come across and all the fitters/mechanics in my time ashore.
If anyone has the time, please read this letter in reply to our "top" engineer in my factory who saw fit to refuse me an interview for a Reliability Engineer position.

Dear ***
First of all, please may I thank you for taking the time to tell me personally about my non selection for an interview rather than telling me by letter.
I am very proud of my career in the Merchant Navy as an Engineer Officer as I am sure you probably are about the Royal Air Force and consequently there are a couple of things that you said that stick in my gullet and I ask your indulgence to explain them further to you in the hope you will look at your thoughts in a fresh light.
With regards to your comments about marine engineering not being appropriate for the work at this factory.
Well, I ask you to please take a look at the following links. This explains about the sort of situation that I am qualified and competent to be second in charge of. In fact as it is rather traditional at sea for the Chief Engineer to leave the Second Engineer to "get on with it", the Second would indeed be front line in this matter. Hopefully you will come to the realisation that a great amount of knowledge and skill, both theoretical and practical would go into carrying out this role. I hope that you see that you have judged this wrongly and indeed the level of skills and expertise required in a Chicken Factory, is in fact far below the level required to be a Marine Engineer.
Queen Mary 2
http://www.beyondships.com/QM2-art-Watling.html
The Emma Mærsk is powered by a Wärtsilä-Sulzer 14RTFLEX96-C engine, currently the world's largest single diesel unit, weighing 2,300 tons and capable of 109,000 horsepower (82 MW)
With regards to your comments about my managerial skills not being sufficient for a role in a chicken factory or indeed as a Reliability Engineer or similar.
Firstly I should point out that the gentleman taking the Managing Engineering Excelence course that I went to in Amsterdam was an ex marine engineer who did a lot of work successfully introducing the technology to Shell on their ships.
I point you to the same link as above about the role of the Chief Engineer and in particular the comment on manning levels and I must point out to you that the Second Engineer would be responsible for running the Engineering Staff and Engineering Officers.
http://www.beyondships.com/QM2-art-Watling.html
It is my considered opinion that "shoreside" suffers from the problem of too many managers and we all know about the problems of the NHS, for example, with the over loading of managers at the top of that precarious tree. Managing the job and people at sea was important off course, but to be honest most Engineers were so self-motivated and conscientious that very little was needed in the way of control. When I left the sea to pursue my career "ashore" I was, perhaps naively, of the opinion that in an Engineering Department, it would firstly be about doing the job in a positive way, getting it right and in a pro-active (if possible) way. I thought that Engineer Managers ashore "learned" their way into the job from a sound position of knowledge. I found that Engineering Managers often knew very little about the practical and indeed theoretical side of Engineering and in fact had – as an example, a degree in Control Engineering and as a result got a position as a Plant Engineer. The person I refer loosely to, was I found, a very affable person and I found myself in the ludicrous position of helping this person through the difficult times he had learning enough Engineering to get by in the role he had chosen for himself in life. It was a pleasure as I liked the person. He once said to me " don't forget Colin, you could do my job, but I couldn't do yours"
Since then I have also been in the position of it having been explained to me, that an Engineering Manager/Team Leader does not require to know much about Engineering, a falsehood in my humble opinion and as this country slowly but surely slides down the hill and standards continue to decline, a method of selecting our Engineering future, I feel, that will do the western world no good at all. You only have to look at the Engineering Standards of the modern Engineering Apprentice to get a good idea of how it is going. Apprentices don't seem to be given a good overall grounding in the physical skills that should be acquired to enable that person to improve in later life from a good grounding. A small point, but I have not met one yet who has had the opportunity to develop the physical skills to even sharpen a simple thing like a drill. They may however have developed the skills to get an NVQ done by copy and pasting (a useful computer skill) other peoples work.
If you have read this far, I do hope that you take this letter in sprit it is intended. I have seen and done many things in life, so far, and I see "having a moan" in a constructive way as like many people who take the time to point out a few things, in their opinion, do so in the hope, often forlorn, that they may help to change things in a small way for the better.
Please consider seriously that with all my wealth of experience and knowledge I have not been successful in obtaining even a position of Team Leader in my time in this factory. I am sure enough about myself to feel that the reason for this is not that I couldn't do any of the myriad of jobs that I have applied for, but more that it can only be one of the following, as has been suggested to me by other work colleagues in the past and present.
1. I am too good at the job I do.
2. The job has already been "mentally" allocated to another before the interview process has even begun.
3. I am too qualified for the job applied for. My Dad once said, "only tell 'em what they want to know and don't show 'em you know more than they do"
4. Favouritism has taken place and a person has already been selected and the interviews are a farce.
5. The Managerial system carrying out the interviews is incapable of seeing past the "wallpaper" and only sees a Blue "hands on" Uniform.
6. That I am considered to outspoken and consequently I may be a threat in the applied for role. I can only say that some people, in that case, misunderstand me.
7. That ageism discrimination has taken place in my latest application.

mikel1
27th April 2010, 01:05
............and you're full of hot air. I can't believe I read all that !!!

Seems to me the chap who 'non-selected' you for the interview wasn't concerned about your outstanding Engineering ability. Well how could he, you sound as if Brunel wasn't fit to scratch your ****. Maybe the chap saw a flaw ?? Maybe you jump to conclusions too early. Maybe not analytical enough for a reliability Engineer, like calling me a snob after a few seconds of reading.

Thereagain maybe you weren't qualified for the job.

I seemed to have touched a raw nerve and will say no more on the subject other than the fact that I have the utmost respect for all who served in the Engineroom, particularly the professional 3rds.

Billieboy
27th April 2010, 06:59
Gingerbeer73 #189, met many of these idiots, which is one of the reasons I left the UK in '70. I was thirty at the time, perhaps part of the problem was that you were older and more, "settled".

Good luck with the rest of your life.

Satanic Mechanic
27th April 2010, 07:18
. particularly the professional 3rds.

Right thats enough fishing for one day

NoR
27th April 2010, 07:31
I don't think the sea was a very healthy life either mentally or physically, no wonder there were casualties. Booze was a big problem, ruined lots of good men.

gingerbeer73
27th April 2010, 08:04
............and you're full of hot air. I can't believe I read all that !!!

Seems to me the chap who 'non-selected' you for the interview wasn't concerned about your outstanding Engineering ability. Well how could he, you sound as if Brunel wasn't fit to scratch your ****. Maybe the chap saw a flaw ?? Maybe you jump to conclusions too early. Maybe not analytical enough for a reliability Engineer, like calling me a snob after a few seconds of reading.

Thereagain maybe you weren't qualified for the job.

I seemed to have touched a raw nerve and will say no more on the subject other than the fact that I have the utmost respect for all who served in the Engineroom, particularly the professional 3rds.

And, I have to say that you are very typical in not being able to accept that an Engineer, especially a marine Engineer is a very skilled person and normal to boot. So you are also going to take the ball away, can't hold a good discussion then ? Afraid to declare what qualification you have then? I feel someone has lost the argument when they say " will say no more on the subject" as you have. I make no apollogies for my earlier post. It is not boasting, it is fact and not different to a lot of ex 2nds and chiefs. I don't exclude 3rds etc but the only difference is they have done the study as well.
I have come across very few Engineers ashore that come anywhere near the skills and knowledge of the average 2nd or Chief or any Marine Engineer. Take my word for it, the skills are just not out there and it is also getting worse with regards to the basic skills from whence the Engineer is built. Having a degree is is not a automatic route to being a good Engineer. It is a route to getting a better job ashore, but I have not met one that I could sense or see had any Engineering ability. They learned on their feet once they landed the job, as it is not a lack of intelligence problem, it is lack of Engineering ability.
You mention Brunel, fortuitous that. Now there is an Engineer and an artist to boot, he lived and breathed Engineering, it came out of every pore, he couldn't help it, he was driven because he had Engineering inside him. No degree there I believe. Of course you will say " he would have one nowadays". He may well have, but, I believe he was dyslexic so he would be excluded from academia due to his difficulty as my son is. A degree, you must admit would not have been advantageous to Brunel, he would still be a brilliant engineer, but nowadays he would probably fall foul of the social structure with regards to degrees that we find ourselves in today and no one would have seen his ability because no one can see and judge people correctly any more without a psychometric test or some other piece of paper to tell them how to think. Face it, the industrial world has lost the plot and we are on the way down. It will not get better until we get rid of all the champagne socialist way of thinking (50% in University) and start yet again to built and engineering skill base from the bottom up.
Colin

gingerbeer73
27th April 2010, 08:07
Gingerbeer73 #189, met many of these idiots, which is one of the reasons I left the UK in '70. I was thirty at the time, perhaps part of the problem was that you were older and more, "settled".

Good luck with the rest of your life.

Thanks for that. Yes you correctly spotted that I am getting on a bit, grumpy some would say(Jester) but most time I still enjoy my engineering and these two hands have seen me through a lot.
Cheers
Colin

MARINEJOCKY
27th April 2010, 11:02
Marconi Sahib,

I hope you were taking my point the way I meant it, I was trying to say that us engineers used to think that unless you use something more than just a pin hammer and a small spanner you did not really qualify as a real engineer.

SM, Fishing, the kid has no idea how to use a hook.

Ron Stringer,

I never considered any sparkie I sailed with a technician and certainly not an engineer, it took him all of his time just to get the football scores for the real workers onboard.

Mikel1, watch & learn

Blackal
27th April 2010, 16:54
I trained to be a marine engineer, I worked hard as a marine engineer and I will always be a marine engineer, end of story except to say that some of the best "Engineers" I ever met never had a piece of paper. !

That's exactly the way I felt when it came time to commission my father's headstone:

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/data/504/medium/Marine_Engineer.jpg

Al :)

Pat Thompson
27th April 2010, 17:38
Greetings,

I once knew an engineer who was so thick...even the others noticed.

Do you know, I read this tirade of professional character assasination and think to myself, I must be the worst Chief Engineer ever, probably because I am a deck ape but, and this is a very big BUT, my experience of Engineers makes me very proud and fortunate to have served with men, good men, who know how to make my ship work so perhaps all you lubbers who are looking for a cheap snipe might like to give your own navels a serious looking at otherwise I might start a thread having a go at ABs Firemen, stewards etc who are happy to take a pop at but who may not be too happy to have a pop taken at them.

I feel better for that.

michael charters
27th April 2010, 17:45
I reckon if you did not demand the going rate of pay/salary you were not an Engineer.
Over my cabin door was Chief Electrical Engineering Marine Officer. I was very proud of the title and the braid. In real terms I was only an Electrician. Had to relie on Newnes handbook to understand my trade. Agree that some managers did not understand us engineer in the factories we worked in. lf you know the story of the pied Piper you may understand why some engineer are resentful.

Ron Stringer
27th April 2010, 17:58
Ron Stringer,

I never considered any sparkie I sailed with a technician and certainly not an engineer, it took him all of his time just to get the football scores for the real workers onboard.

MJ. Despite your opinions, R/Os had to undergo training and pass examinations equivalent to those possessed by other technicians (ONC/HNC level) so they were qualified technicians. I never met any that claimed to be engineers.

I do know a number that subsequently left the sea, took further training and education, satisfied the appropriate examiners in order to obtain professional qualifications and so became graduate engineers and/or Chartered Engineers (i.e. proper engineers). However by that time they were no longer employed as R/Os, so they don't count.

As for the real workers onboard, I have to say that I never entertained any ambition to be a worker, on board or anywhere else. I went to sea as an R/O to enjoy myself and see the world, work never entered the equation.

In exchange for my bed and board, and for the transport that the shipowner provided, I carried out certain duties but never considered that to be work. More of a hobby or occupational therapy I would say. For most of the time I did what I wanted, when I wanted. There was no one to direct me, monitor me or criticise my endeavours - I was the only one aboard that knew how to do what I did and understood how things worked. Ideal state of affairs.

Others on board, not sharing the same priveleges and working conditions, may have resented the R/O's luck in securing a cushy number, but I always considered that to be their problem and not mine.

You should bear in mind that envy is one of the deadly sins.

Pat Thompson
27th April 2010, 18:26
Greetings,

Should have added....

Try going to war with them, I did, that's when I found who my friends were

Billieboy
27th April 2010, 18:42
Greetings,

Should have added....

Try going to war with them, I did, that's when I found who my friends were

Yes Pat, it does sort people out!

MARINEJOCKY
27th April 2010, 22:02
Ron,

I should have maybe put out a health warning to others that I was actually showing Mikel1 how to fish as SM was suggesting it was over. I have no idea where he came from but it is amazing that some join the site and within days they want to stir things up for no good reason.

Like I said to Marconi Sahib last year I have spent many an hour waiting with a sparkie to get me a call home when I was home sick and thanks to their efforts it certainly extended my career when all I thought about was home and the latest Dear John I had just recieved (one of many)

I was fishing so please accept my apologies,

James_C
27th April 2010, 22:15
Firstly, I'll just put on my asbestos suit and tin hat.
Now, as we go, if you look at certain (admittedly older) publications, it would suggest that an Engineer was someone who actually consulted/designed/built something.
Would it perhaps be fair to say that "Marine Engineers", who in the modern sense invariably maintained shipboard systems in their many guises were really just 'super duper-fitters'?
In a psychological sense it's interesting that after certain earlier posts, certain individuals seem to be in a mad rush to declare "I'm a real Engineer, honest!"...
Off to the bunker now...

Ron Stringer
27th April 2010, 22:34
Ron, I was fishing so please accept my apologies,

No apologies needed MJ, I was neither upset nor rising to the bait. I never got emotive about the job. I was not committed to radio, electronics or even the MN - it was all the means to an end. At school I got A-levels in Botany, Zoology and Chemistry (and Scholarship Chemistry) and was offered places at several universities. However family circumstances meant that I needed to earn money, so I looked for an easy way to get some and also to travel and see something of the world. The R/Os job was a God-send and I took the opportunity and enjoyed the experience. Apart from the initial 6-month period under supervision, I was always the sole R/O on the ship so didn't build up any cameraderie with others doing the same job aboard, as happened in the engine room or, to a lesser extent, in other departments. I didn't work for the shipowner so had no allegiance to a particular company or ship. A sort of paid tourist.

I spent some 6 years as an R/O and just as the attraction began to pall, I was offered a job ashore with Marconi and took it. Marriage followed, children were added and the need for money continued, so each time I was offered promotion, I took it. That continued until I retired, so I never applied for a job in my life (even when I first qualified as an R/O, Marconi's and other radio companies were keen to get people and contacted successful PMG candidates as soon as the results were announced. Marconi were the first to offer me a R/Os job and I accepted.)

I suppose that, having drifted through a 'career' as I have, it isn't surprising that I feel no great affinity with any of the jobs I did. So do feel free to write whatever you wish about Sparks, or R/Os or operators.

John Dryden
27th April 2010, 22:45
A psychologist would probably think he was just another seaman,mad as a hatter and a lost cause!

MARINEJOCKY
27th April 2010, 22:53
James_c,

I think too many days stuck in Aberdeen with a North wind blowing from one ear clear thru' to the other has made you think you know something about engineers.

Stick to being a driver and let the GPS and autopilot get you from A to B. (*))

MARINEJOCKY
27th April 2010, 23:00
Hi Ron,

I wish I had your attitude but unfortunately my life has been about studying, promotions, working harder than anybody else to get ahead, working even harder when I started my own business and yet harder still when divorced and starting over.

Then I found paradise, yes Fort Lauderdale in my 30's, with some money and an accent and the girls loved it. Had to work even harder just to pay for my wild days but it was 10years of pure fun and then came the young wife, children and now even more hard work, 16 hour days 6 days a week and then maybe, just maybe I get a sunday off. That is when I do the jobs about the house.

My next life I will come back as a R/O or on the Bridge.

Duncan112
27th April 2010, 23:14
In many countries the designation "Engineer" is protected and it could have been in the UK at the time of the Finneston Report. However the CEI chose to protect the designation "Chartered Engineer" instead allowing anyone who wished to describe themselves as an Engineer.

We can argue for days about what constitutes an Engineer or a Technician, I would prefer the definitions in the Engineering Council guide:

Engineering Technicians are concerned with applying
proven techniques and procedures to the solution of
practical engineering problems. They carry supervisory
or technical responsibility, and are competent to exercise
creative aptitudes and skills within defined fields of
technology. Professional Engineering Technicians contribute
to the design, development, manufacture, commissioning,
decommissioning, operation or maintenance of products,
equipment, processes or services. Professional Engineering
Technicians are required to apply safe systems of working.

Incorporated Engineers maintain and manage applications of current and developing technology,and may undertake engineering design, development, manufacture, construction and operation.
Incorporated Engineers are variously engaged in technical and commercial management and possess effective interpersonal skills.

Chartered Engineers are characterised by their ability to
develop appropriate solutions to engineering problems, using
new or existing technologies, through innovation, creativity
and change. They might develop and apply new technologies,
promote advanced designs and design methods, introduce
new and more effi cient production techniques, marketing and
construction concepts, or pioneer new engineering services and
management methods. Chartered Engineers are variously engaged
in technical and commercial leadership and possess effective
interpersonal skills.

As well as these definitions there is also a requirement for academic standards at each stage of registration, these standards have increased over the past 25 years, initially it was possible to register as a Chartered Engineer with a Chiefs Certificate, now however you require a MEng or equivalent.

So far so good, however now we come to the nub which has been touched on above - does the posession of a superior academic qualification enabling registration make you automatically into a better Engineer? Speaking as one who has registered via examination I would say the answer is a resounding NO. I am no better engineer than I was before I succeeded in registering as a Chartered Engineer, I am however more employable in some peoples eyes.

gingerbeer73
28th April 2010, 08:57
In many countries the designation "Engineer" is protected and it could have been in the UK at the time of the Finneston Report. However the CEI chose to protect the designation "Chartered Engineer" instead allowing anyone who wished to describe themselves as an Engineer.

We can argue for days about what constitutes an Engineer or a Technician, I would prefer the definitions in the Engineering Council guide:

Engineering Technicians are concerned with applying
proven techniques and procedures to the solution of
practical engineering problems. They carry supervisory
or technical responsibility, and are competent to exercise
creative aptitudes and skills within defined fields of
technology. Professional Engineering Technicians contribute
to the design, development, manufacture, commissioning,
decommissioning, operation or maintenance of products,
equipment, processes or services. Professional Engineering
Technicians are required to apply safe systems of working.

Incorporated Engineers maintain and manage applications of current and developing technology,and may undertake engineering design, development, manufacture, construction and operation.
Incorporated Engineers are variously engaged in technical and commercial management and possess effective interpersonal skills.

Chartered Engineers are characterised by their ability to
develop appropriate solutions to engineering problems, using
new or existing technologies, through innovation, creativity
and change. They might develop and apply new technologies,
promote advanced designs and design methods, introduce
new and more effi cient production techniques, marketing and
construction concepts, or pioneer new engineering services and
management methods. Chartered Engineers are variously engaged
in technical and commercial leadership and possess effective
interpersonal skills.

As well as these definitions there is also a requirement for academic standards at each stage of registration, these standards have increased over the past 25 years, initially it was possible to register as a Chartered Engineer with a Chiefs Certificate, now however you require a MEng or equivalent.

So far so good, however now we come to the nub which has been touched on above - does the posession of a superior academic qualification enabling registration make you automatically into a better Engineer? Speaking as one who has registered via examination I would say the answer is a resounding NO. I am no better engineer than I was before I succeeded in registering as a Chartered Engineer, I am however more employable in some peoples eyes.

Thanks for your comment as above and especially your summing up at the end. I perceive you were an engineer before you studied for Chartered Status. That is great and just the way it should be. I considered myself to be professional as it was my profession and in fact still is.
Yes, it has been frustrating coming into the "shoreside" engineering world and at times down right confusing. Your comment about being more employable "in some peoples eyes" has me realising that you went the degree route as you saw a means to use the system, and good luck to you. I do realise that society has it's structure as we had at sea as well, but I have to question the validity of the structure (not that it will change) that allows a society to value degrees (champagne socialist style) to almost the exclusion of other skills. I do also realise that to increase one qualification academic study is the only way to go, but, I also realise that the world is missing out on a wealth of skills and knowledge often because the person cannot do the written work (dyslexia) or never developed the ability to do exams. Exam taking is also a skill and unfortunately one that is not shared by all. You end up with some who are good at that skill and eventually become a very employable engineer (but often no use to man nor beast, except themselves) and others who are often good practical engineers who are looked down upon by the engineers with the degrees etc because they do not have the ability to see or judge the value of the person.
I still maintain that in the future we are going to have to back off from this obsession with degrees and start the structure again.
With regards to definitions as in your post. I do remember that the term Technician was rumoured to be on the way but never came to anything. The guy who looks after the bag sealer at work is called a technician and so are the people who look after the hygiene tests, so all terms will have their problems I suppose.
I also believe that human nature is fundamentally snobby as we all look down on various people to some extent and I find I have to remind myself on occasions that the cleaner is not beneath me. Indeed, If you take the case of a sewerage worker, he is without a doubt more important to the continuation of civilisation than most of us and who gives him a second thought.
It's all still about perceived social structure isn't it? Apart from the need to make money.
Cheers for the chat
Colin

forthbridge
28th April 2010, 13:28
I still maintain that in the future we are going to have to back off from this obsession with degrees and start the structure again.


I think this is beginning to happen with the latest edition (2010) of the Engineering council's UK Spec which can be found at
http://www.engc.org.uk/professional-qualifications/standards/uk-spec
The section shown below shows that it is possible to become a Chartered Engineer without a degree by for example completing work based experiential learning.

Applicants who do not have exemplifying qualifications may demonstrate
the required knowledge and understanding in other ways, but must clearly
demonstrate they have achieved the same level of knowledge and
understanding as those with exemplifying qualifications.
Ways to demonstrate this include:
• Taking further qualifications, in whole or in part, as specified by the institution
to which they are applying
• Completing appropriate work-based or experiential learning
• Writing a technical report, based on their experience, and demonstrating their
knowledge and understanding of engineering principles
• Until 2011, taking Engineering Council examinations.
Applicants should consult their licensed professional engineering institution
for advice on the most appropriate option.

paullad1984
28th April 2010, 14:39
Qualifications dont mean much,ive met some very highly educated idiots over the years, i have more respect for someone whos come up from the bottom personally

Pat Thompson
28th April 2010, 14:52
Greetings,

Whose bottom paul ???

Satanic Mechanic
28th April 2010, 16:02
It is a matter of level. I don't have a degree for a number of reasons but mostly because I don't operate at degree level Engineering, I operate at the level "below" that. That is to say more towards the hands on end, where the degree guys design the idea and I build it and implement it (usually with a few tweeks from my experience).

They are different disiplines in a way but mutually dependent and complimentry and to be honest the guys I work with at that level are very good and we have a very good working relationship whereby they respect my technical input and I in turn respect their design ability's - its a very broad church who am I to say who isn't welcome in the choir.

the biggest problem with those who 'worked their way up' is that a) they keep bloody telling you and b) they seem to think it automatically makes them right - no matter what happens

joebuckham
28th April 2010, 16:55
whatever career path any one of us followed, just take heed of the wise words of an old sailor, who i think was replying to a shipmate who had just been holding forth on the wonders of connubial bliss, they certainly apply equally well to every aspect of our lifes achievements;

son, just remember, if you can do it, anyone can do it, and if you're not doing it then you can bet your bottom dollar that somebody else is doing it(Thumb)

Pat Kennedy
28th April 2010, 18:57
A tale of two 'engineers'
my brother left school at sixteen got an appreniceship as a fitter with the Mersey Dock Board, went to sea as a junior engineer with Blue Funnel and Cunard, came ashore and became chargehand fitter in a ship repair yard and when that closed down he finished his career as plant engineer in a pharmaceutical works.
My son left University at age 23 with a 2.2 in construction engineering, and his very first job was as site engineer on a construction site. Now he is project director.
He doesnt know one end of an engine from the other.
I know which one is the real engineer.
Pat

Satanic Mechanic
28th April 2010, 19:00
A tale of two 'engineers'
my brother left school at sixteen got an appreniceship as a fitter with the Mersey Dock Board, went to sea as a junior engineer with Blue Funnel and Cunard, came ashore and became chargehand fitter in a ship repair yard and when that closed down he finished his career as plant engineer in a pharmaceutical works.
My son left University at age 23 with a 2.2 in construction engineering, and his very first job was as site engineer on a construction site. Now he is project director.
He doesnt know one end of an engine from the other.
I know which one is the real engineer.
Pat

They both are.

Pat Kennedy
28th April 2010, 20:55
SM,
Well perhaps I'm taking too narrow a view of what constitutes an engineer.
To me , its a mechanical engineer.
I used to work as a gas maintenance engineer, looking after central heating boilers etc, but I never thought of myself as an engineer, my brother would have laughed his socks off.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

Macphail
28th April 2010, 21:23
Engineers work to develop economic and safe solutions to practical problems, by applying mathematics, scientific knowledge and ingenuity while considering technical constraints.
Chief Engineer MN in a nut shell.

John.

Ron Stringer
28th April 2010, 21:48
They are different disiplines in a way but mutually dependent and complimentry ....

.... the biggest problem with those who 'worked their way up' is that a) they keep bloody telling you and b) they seem to think it automatically makes them right - no matter what happens

Absolutely right on both counts! (Applause)

eldersuk
29th April 2010, 00:42
A Merchant Navy Engineer is put in charge of a plant and sent away from any outside assistance and is expected to run the plant efficiently and safely.
This is achieved through a combination of experience and ingenuity which are very valuable commodities which can only be acquired over a period of time and are continuously added to.
There is very little "exam" type engineering involved.

Derek

Billieboy
29th April 2010, 07:37
Reminds me of a chat in one office I worked in; my sales engineer(?) on hearin my date of birth, said "With all that Grey Hair, I thought that you were much older than Me!" No, I Replied, "I've got twenty years more Experience!"

Satanic Mechanic
29th April 2010, 10:15
A Merchant Navy Engineer is put in charge of a plant and sent away from any outside assistance and is expected to run the plant efficiently and safely.
This is achieved through a combination of experience and ingenuity which are very valuable commodities which can only be acquired over a period of time and are continuously added to.
There is very little "exam" type engineering involved.

Derek


This is true, now compare that to the guys who actually design, say, the Main Engine. I couldn't do it that's for sure but they are every bit as much an Engineer as I am

Ron Stringer
29th April 2010, 11:17
This is true, now compare that to the guys who actually design, say, the Main Engine. I couldn't do it that's for sure but they are every bit as much an Engineer as I am

Or even the those who designed the workplaces where the engine was built, the roads and bridges used to transport the materials required for its construction and to deliver the finished product to the shipbuilding yard, the cranes that lifted it aboard and so on. Others developed the metals and their alloys used in the engine's construction. And even ship's engines are now controlled by software - automobile and aero engines have been for many years. All designed by engineers, regardless of the branch of engineering involved, whether mechanical, materials, civil, software or whatever.

Engineering does not begin and end with a Chief's ticket or in a ship's engine room.

gingerbeer73
1st May 2010, 18:04
This is true, now compare that to the guys who actually design, say, the Main Engine. I couldn't do it that's for sure but they are every bit as much an Engineer as I am

Oh, I don't know, if you had the opportunity to develop those skills you and a lot of practical engineers could probably do it. A lot of it is trial and error. A lot parts are bought in, like turbos etc. There is nothing perfect in an engine design, although more modern engines of all sorts have become more reliable, the basic principles of design have been very similar for many a year and it is probably due more to lubrication improvements than anything else. The rest is, can you work a CAD program and "shite, that broke last time, lets take a bit off that part and make that part a bit bigger, or we can put a bit more on the cam to get more power". It mostly R&D. The skilled people are the machinists and the guys who put it all together.
Also, there is lots of shite machinery out there in other fields that are a real headache. There is always room for improvement. R&D is continuous.
Colin