Changing Times: Yachties to Commercial

steamer659
22nd August 2009, 19:54
In the US Merchant Marine, over the past three or four years, I have witnessed a more than a couple of Limited License Yacht personnel coming over to the Commercial Areas of our Fleet- especially in the Tug / Barge Sector.

The USCG doesn't bar crossing over, but in fact requires a bare minimum of seatime to accomplish this. Bare minimum meaning about a year. I have had the experience of seeing a fair amount of "yachties" in training and other situations, some of whom were licensed limited (1600T) Masters who didn't even know the difference bewteen top and bottom (innage and ullage) soundings, knew not of Damage Control- and often professed that they cared not for "old fashioned" nav techniques- why? they said that the don't need to know it, they have GPS, DGPS and the usual run of electronic toys...
The obvious lack of good "deck sense" was truly apalling.

I have yet to see one engineer crossing over from yachtie to commercial- probably because of uninspected status. How does the MCA / UK System handle this?

MARINEJOCKY
22nd August 2009, 20:57
Steamer659,

Oh my, I am sure to get going on this one, surfice to say I would not sail with a yachtie engineer as a chief engineer on anything that is not painted white, has real cute stewardess's and is allowed to tie up to the inner wall at Monaco.

They are all good engineers if you consider them able to keep the toilets working and the cabins cool and they must have a working knowledge of being able to phone a contractor to fix just about anything that they have no idea about.

Great guys but and it is a huge but.

I had to get up to Savannah for a 180' white boat and found out the chief engineer had joined in Gib' for the crossing. The previous one had left after meeting some girl in Spain and the new one had lost his job as a diver on some research boat. He met the captain of the yacht in the bar that night and got a job.

The Alfa Laval lost the water seal and kept dumping water into the day tank, Chief Engineer did not know what a Alfa Laval did never mind how to fix it and did not know it was in line. He kept installing Racor filter elements until he ran out and by that time the yacht was about 500 miles from Burmuda. It was towed from mid atlantic to Savannah at a salvage cost approaching 1.1million and then two new engines etc etc and another 3.6 million later the yacht was ready to head back to the Meddy' after missing the US NE charter season.

To top it off they, captain and Owner, sent the engineer to a school in Fort Lauderdale for I think about a month to get qualified.

They spend millions and millions of dollars on these yachts but have no idea what they are getting for crew but do know they have a piece of paper. Scrary.

Another surveyor here was getting a job on a yacht and he came to me to ask to borrow my ticket as he had forgotten his in the UK, he still flies around the world surveying yachts.

steamer659
22nd August 2009, 21:36
Jocky- Thanks for your candor- it's refreshing.

Yes, I've actually heard of the same thing happening in the Offshore Industry- (Large Ocean Going Tug) sounding tube plugs leaked on the storage tank- automatic pump refills the day tank- voila 40 EMD injectors on a pair of 645-20's go south- THEN they put a few more of the spares in. Had to send another tug to rescue them....

We may alll recount of how it was in the good old days; but I see a trend across the board where we are losing valuable experience and knowledge.

I'll send you a PM

dave4e
23rd August 2009, 13:06
Interesting, im a Chief Engineer, no interest in becoming a " Yauchtie" engineer, but thats because of my circumstances, would rather be at home with Wife and Kids etc, But all i can say is more power to the Yauchtie Engineer / Deck Officer, if i was a single lad or lass id be off there too, tied up to the Stewardess in Monaco and happily getting paid to phone someone esle to come fix it, Were the good old days better than that? was knocking the weavels out of the biscuits in an un-airconditioned accomadation for months at a time better?
In Todays Marine Industry there are few perks, not the greatest wages, very short time in port, small crews, la la la le la
I would encourage any cadet these days to go off to the Yauchtie world and not end up in 20 - 30 years with bugger all except a few " do ya remember the time " stories from a run ashore in some dump of a Port in the middle of no where.
Yes we are loosing valuable experience and knowledge, but thats the way the industry has gone, make seafaring like it was in the "good old days" and they will come flooding back, as in proper wages, actual contracts, companies that pay pensions, proper number of crew onboard to reflect the size of vessel etc etc,

chadburn
24th August 2009, 12:34
I was aboard the "SS Delphine" two years ago alongside at Monaco, nice pair of triple expansion's fitted (right up my street), well kept Engineroom/auto Boiler's as would be expected of this multi-million Dollar vessel, if I had been a bit younger and fitter I could have just seen myself spending my retirement years fiddling about on her, as dave4e wrote there was some really crappy Port's we visited in the M.N. Monaco would just suit me fine with the bonus of a free Grandstand seat for the best GP in the motor racing calender and at least some use for those old spanner's, scraper's and pig's tail packing extractor's I have kept (just in case) over the years.

janmike
30th May 2012, 19:35
Ten years after leaving the MN I tried my hand at sailing a yatch through an approved sailing school. Wanting to be qualified I looked at the courses and found that my Mates foreign going certificate did not count to any exemptions!

I did find out that higher RYA certificates did count towards a class 4 certificate.

Something wrong I think

kewl dude
30th May 2012, 20:28
I thought I recognized this vessels name SS Delphine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Delphine_%281921%29

I attach two pictures of this vessel I have on my machine. When I sailed the great lakes 1960-1966, what we knew as the Dodge Yacht was plainly visible docked, at what we knew as the Dodge Estate, in the lower section of Lake Ste Clair. I never saw this vessel away from its dock.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horace_Elgin_Dodge

Greg Hayden

slick
31st May 2012, 06:08
All,
I recently watched a film on television 'Woman of Straw' starring Gina Lollobrigida, Sir Ralph Richardson and Ssssean Connery.
Most of the play was on a Steam Yacht named S.Y. Natalie one of the lifebuoys was marked R.S.Y.C.
Does any one have the true identity of said yacht?
Further one of the end scenes was filmed I think in Shoreham (?) and there was along shot of a Stevie Clarkes collier also unknown?
The film was made about 1966 I think.
Yours aye,

slick

gordy
31st May 2012, 09:08
I went from deep sea engineer to yachtie engineer, (boatyard) and back to deep sea, wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Once I'd established that outboards were just like my Vespa engine with a long shaft I was off and running.

The wee Lymington yard I was in had boat owners from all branches of the military, (retired WW1 & 2!), and what characters they were.

For entertainment value it was streets ahead of deep sea.

I thoroughly agree that anyone trained only on yachts would be a liability deep sea.

stevekelly10
31st May 2012, 11:04
I thought I recognized this vessels name SS Delphine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Delphine_%281921%29

I attach two pictures of this vessel I have on my machine. When I sailed the great lakes 1960-1966, what we knew as the Dodge Yacht was plainly visible docked, at what we knew as the Dodge Estate, in the lower section of Lake Ste Clair. I never saw this vessel away from its dock.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horace_Elgin_Dodge

Greg Hayden

I had the pleasure of working on the S.S Delphine Nov 03 to March 04 as 2nd engineer. It was a joy to behold! She had just arrived in Monaco and had pride of place , berthed at the head of the "T" jetty in front of the swimming pool! It was owned by a Belgian business man and his daughter was given the task of running it! The ship had recently completed her restoration, but there was still a load of work to complete to get her ready for the cruising season. I had to rediscover things I had only read about when I was cadet! It was also somewhat of a shock to my system as my last job prior to this was 2|E on a 459.000 dwt ULCC ! Initially I was supposed to take over as C\E when the then incummberent C\E went back to his normal job as a senior inspector with the Canadian coastguard. He was a steam enthusiast and had taken a sabbatical year off work to oversee the restoration. As things worked out, I chose not to take up the offer as I was not happy by the way the operation was run and the Monaco lifestyle was not for me! I have heard that the turnover of crew since has been exceptionally high. I can understand why!
Incidently the engines where Quadruple expansion not triple expansion as someone else stated earlier in this forum and I have heard recently that the Delphine is up for sale, also that plans are available to re-engine her as a diesel electric propulsion, Sacrilege!

chadburn
31st May 2012, 13:41
I had the pleasure of working on the S.S Delphine Nov 03 to March 04 as 2nd engineer. It was a joy to behold! She had just arrived in Monaco and had pride of place , berthed at the head of the "T" jetty in front of the swimming pool! It was owned by a Belgian business man and his daughter was given the task of running it! The ship had recently completed her restoration, but there was still a load of work to complete to get her ready for the cruising season. I had to rediscover things I had only read about when I was cadet! It was also somewhat of a shock to my system as my last job prior to this was 2|E on a 459.000 dwt ULCC ! Initially I was supposed to take over as C\E when the then incummberent C\E went back to his normal job as a senior inspector with the Canadian coastguard. He was a steam enthusiast and had taken a sabbatical year off work to oversee the restoration. As things worked out, I chose not to take up the offer as I was not happy by the way the operation was run and the Monaco lifestyle was not for me! I have heard that the turnover of crew since has been exceptionally high. I can understand why!
Incidently the engines where Quadruple expansion not triple expansion as someone else stated earlier in this forum and I have heard recently that the Delphine is up for sale, also that plans are available to re-engine her as a diesel electric propulsion, Sacrilege!

Yes of course you are right about her American built engine's what a mistake for me to make, it was some time ago. I met the Owner's Daughter whilst on board and she certainly ran the show. When you were on board were you having trouble with an eccentric strap on the Starboard engine and thinking about sending it to Germany for machining?

stevekelly10
31st May 2012, 14:32
Yes of course you are right about her American built engine's what a mistake for me to make, it was some time ago. I met the Owner's Daughter whilst on board and she certainly ran the show. When you were on board were you having trouble with an eccentric strap on the Starboard engine and thinking about sending it to Germany for machining?

Hi Yes we where having trouble with an eccentric stap on the starboard engine, remember it well! the bearing shells had "wiped" and consequently the eccentric on the crankshaft was badly damaged!
The eccentric was removed from the crankshaft, it was in two halves. the halves where held together by two cotter pins and the cotter pins held in place by taper wedges. It was the "devil's own" getting the wedges out of the cotter pins due to restricted access. Eventually managed to do it tho! The eccentric and shells then indeed sent to Germany for repair. Fortunately for me I had left the Delphine before they returned :-)

Julian Calvin
31st May 2012, 15:36
Was recently on a multi-cat general purpose boat that was being used as an anchor handler. Overall length was 26.3 metres but MCA classified her water line length as 23.99m. This meant she could be called a small work boat.
Skipper, quite legally under MCA rules I understand, had a Yachtmasters ticket.
Barge he was working for was using 1000 metre x 52mm cables with 9 ton anchors. Would question why MCA feel that a qualified Yachtmaster is OK for this type of vessel.

stevekelly10
31st May 2012, 16:08
A different way of seagoing :)
http://www.ssdelphine.com/

poseidon9
31st May 2012, 18:46
All,
I recently watched a film on television 'Woman of Straw' starring Gina Lollobrigida, Sir Ralph Richardson and Ssssean Connery.
Most of the play was on a Steam Yacht named S.Y. Natalie one of the lifebuoys was marked R.S.Y.C.
Does any one have the true identity of said yacht?
Further one of the end scenes was filmed I think in Shoreham (?) and there was along shot of a Stevie Clarkes collier also unknown?
The film was made about 1966 I think.
Yours aye,

slick

The Natalie was originally Alice and was built by Swan Hunter in 1929, length 177 ft. Anyone know where that yacht is now? It seems to be that she was a diesel yacht, not a steam yacht.

chadburn
31st May 2012, 19:01
Steve I am trying to remember where her Chief came from when I went aboard, he was not Canadian, American or GB. Dutch, Danish perhap's?

stevekelly10
31st May 2012, 19:09
The guy you spoke to was probably Antione Willie, He's Belgian and was a good friend of the owners and it was him that oversaw the bulk of her restoration in Belgium. He was more of a superintendant than a C\E. I got on well with him.

chadburn
31st May 2012, 19:23
So did I, we had quite a long chat about steam job's he seemed a nice chap.

stevekelly10
31st May 2012, 19:40
It must have been Antione then :-) The chief wasn't onboard at the time we were having problems with the eccentric as he was on holiday then. Antione was there arranging for it to be sent off for repair

chadburn
31st May 2012, 20:13
It would as you say be sacrilege to D/E her, hopefully they have re-think. If I also remember correctly her engine's were built by a locomotive company?

stevekelly10
1st June 2012, 10:28
I can't remember who actually built the engines, but they were designed by Horace Dodge himself. The yacht was built by the Great Lakes engineering Co. Originally all the upper works, accomodation, bridge, etc were built of wood. During restoration the wood was replaced by steel, Unfortunately this adversly affected the ship's stability and she was top heavy. To compensate for this the engine room bilges and tank tops, had a large amount of lead ingots mounted there !

A.D.FROST
1st June 2012, 11:02
The Natalie was originally Alice and was built by Swan Hunter in 1929, length 177 ft. Anyone know where that yacht is now? It seems to be that she was a diesel yacht, not a steam yacht.

http://www.charterworld.com/index.html?sub=yacht-charter&charter=natalie-2448 Try this(K)

Bill.B
24th October 2013, 15:20
I did all the bridge nav comms and steering gear on Delphine when she was in Norfolk Virginia in the early 1990s. She had been bought by a guy in Singapore who owned wood line. There were a bunch of South African defense force guys trying to get her ready for sea to take her to Durban I think. She was a mess as had been laid up in Sunny Point Maryland and took a lot of time and money just to get her seaworthy. Did the sea trial and then she left for Gibraltar but only got to Bermuda when the other boiler died. Next time I heard she had been totally restored and looked great. Lovely ship to walk around and to sail on. The engine was really a thing of beauty same as my other ship Ss J W Brown. Delphine was the first steam ship I ever sailed on. Wished all the motor ships were that quiet. Have a load of photos from then.
Bill Bonner
Radio Holland Norfolk
Ex Reo

chadburn
24th October 2013, 19:38
The "Delphine" is certainly a superb vessel I enjoyed my step back into my past on the old steam jobs when I did my visit, even though she was a mix of old and new systems. Antione Willie was a very good host.