15th June 2011, 05:58
Hi I sailed as an engineer on U.S. Flag ships from 1974 -2007 starting with the US Lines AMERICAN ALLIANCE (built as 1952 S.S. Buckeye Mariner) and my last vessel was the Sealand Quality. I was a steam apprentice about 3 1/2 years and went motor 2 years after getting my license in 1977. I rarely see ships anymore since the sea lanes are offshore about 50 miles, but I started ship watching in 1965 as a kid. I lived about 1/2 mile from Balboa on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. I saw everything back then and now the world is nothing but ugly box boats and car carriers. I really liked sailing on the 6-7 hatch freighters and the coastwise T-2 tankers (turbine electric tankers built in the 1940s - about 520 of them). I worked for Trinidad Tankers, Keystone shipping, Lykes, US Lines, SeaLand, U.S. Flag Maersk, Navieras de Puerto Rico, Waterman Steamship, Amoco, Marine Transport Lines, and other stuff under contract with my union - Marine Engineers Beneficial Assn founded in 1876. I retired while I still had my health, and now I restore vintage Mercury Outboard motors.
15th June 2011, 06:10
A warm welcome aboard from the Philippines. Please enjoy all this great site has to offer
15th June 2011, 06:11
Welcome from New Zealand John. Interesting stuff mate. Enjoy the site. Ronnie
15th June 2011, 11:51
Greetings and Welcome Aboard!
15th June 2011, 12:09
A warm welcome to SN. I hope that you will fully enjoy the benefits of your membership by joining in the discussions on any topic that you find to be of interest to you.
15th June 2011, 13:31
Welcome onboard to SN and enjoy the voyage
15th June 2011, 14:52
hi john, welcome aboard, have you heard the name henry whitey disley he was president of the marine firemans union for 31 years and retired in 2005. he is my uncle
15th June 2011, 15:00
Greetings John and welcome to SN from across the pond. An interesting list of companies you have sailed with. Bon voyage.
15th June 2011, 23:32
How do John. Welcome from Liverpool England Tony
16th June 2011, 01:53
Thanks everyone! Peter, I never sailed on a ship with the MFOW, which stands for the Marine Fireman, Oiliers, Watertenders, and Wipers Union. Those men, along with the SUP, and MCS were primarily on U.S. flag West Coast steamship companies. The MFOW, SUP, and MCS were unlicensed crew which are called "ratings" elsewhere. The SUP men were in the Sailors Union of the Pacific, and the MSC were the Marine Cooks and Stewards. All three of these unions were on the SAME SHIP along with the ROU (Radio Officers Union), MMP (Masters, Mates, and Pilots), MEBA (Marine Engineers) ans some ships had a purser (Staff Officers Union). West Coast companies were Pacific Far East Lines PFEL, American President Lines APL, States Lines, Matson, and others.
Those unions are now teamed up with the the SIU, the Seafarer's International Union. The National Maritime Union, also unlicensed ratings, is part of the S.I.U now as well. East Coast guys were usually SIU and NMU. these were HUGE unions at one time. The NMU had the liners, AMERICA, UNITED STATES, CONSTITUTION, INDEPENDENCE, Grace Lines, etc., and the New York union hall would change out 1800 jobs every time they came through NY.
Most of the oil companies were company union men like Gulf Oil, Atlantic Richfield (ARCO), Sunoco, Getty Oil, Texaco, Chevron etc. as officers with NMU crew and sometimes company men crew.
I've heard it said in jest on board a ship, of course, that the MFOW stood for "mother fuckers out west". Sorry if I offended anyone...this site is about ships and who worked on them (Thumb)