Wages at sea

Ferrous Phil
14th July 2007, 19:15
In the 80's I could never say I was underpaid whilst UK coasting thanks to a pay scale that gave a (low) weekly basic and then had extra top up payments for every possible eventuality, this included being at anchor, or locking in, or loading, or discharging, or more than two ports in one day.
I expected to take a pay cut when I left foreign going ships but providing we were busy my monthly pay was double deep sea salary.
I remember finally taking a shore side job in 1984 for 3.20/ hour and how hard it was to adjust.
I wonder if coasting wages are still ahead of that found ashore? or was I just fortunate to be on a busy ship ?

Pat McCardle
14th July 2007, 19:37
You might have been in there prior to the decline in standard wages to consolidated wages ie no overtime, loss of sleep 2 for 1 & 3 for 1. I was better paid as a Bo'sun 24 years ago than I am now as Mate (In real terms)In fact, I was better paid than the Mate then but we had to do some hours. I was with Stevie Clarke's then.

wa002f0328
14th July 2007, 19:45
(
you should have been there in 1953, we worked then for our pennys,(Thumb)

Pat McCardle
14th July 2007, 19:48
DITTO early 80's!!

John Rogers
14th July 2007, 19:50
When I went to sea on a small coaster in 1947 my pay was eight pounds a month,(Deck Boy) I received 30 extra shillings for trimming the cargo of grain each time we loaded, and we earned it shoveling the grain inside the hatches, no mask or eye protection back in those days. After a couple years I went below and shoveled coal for 30 pounds a month. How times have changed.
John.

Eggo
16th July 2007, 05:56
When I went to sea on a small coaster in 1947 my pay was eight pounds a month,(Deck Boy) I received 30 extra shillings for trimming the cargo of grain each time we loaded, and we earned it shoveling the grain inside the hatches, no mask or eye protection back in those days. After a couple years I went below and shoveled coal for 30 pounds a month. How times have changed.
John.John ,I to worked on a coal burning coaster 'Cliff Quay' and we had to pay the steward each week for the food. They had a generator for lights etc but used to switch it off at 1900 in port and we had to make do with oil lamps. Les

davemoore
21st September 2017, 00:55
During the late 50s was cabin boy on two of Constantines old coal burners cabin boy plus mucking in aboard ,i.e. Washing down decks ,helping with hatch boards,running ashore as messenger boy all for 7pounds a month . During the last few decades crews don't know they are born .I didn't care how much I got paid I just loved being at sea

spongebob
21st September 2017, 02:00
I was over 21 years of age when I finished my Dockyard apprentiship so pay was 44/ month
Joined Rangitane as Junior engineer at 37-10 /month for round trip. Free board and lodgings at sea as opposed to the 2 a week I was paying my mum partly compensated but being on a passenger ship didn't help.
Joined the NZ Union steamship co the next year as a fourth engineer on 61/month plus overtime for hours outside 8/ day at 1.5 times for first three hours then double time , plus one days leave accured for every Sunday at sea.
Deck crew were on similar rates but the mates received overtime for Sunday's which led to a few funny arrival times .
All in all , in those days it was a licence to print money especially when on the banana run with port arrival and departure stand bys in the engine room and 24 hour engineer aboard duties when loading at Pacific island ports while at anchor when we had to maintain heat on the main engines etc ready for a quick exit to sea should there be a sudden weather event.
These conditions allowed me to buy and pay off a quarter acre plot of land and save the deposit for a housing loan which was a big boost but after I came ashore the rates became even better and I often wonder if these largely contributed to the demise of coastal and inter colonial shipping .
We had four unions at sea, the Marine and Power engineers institute, the Merchant Service Guild fepresenting the mates , the cooks and stewards union and the Seamanship union. The latter was the one that pushed for the increased pay and conditions and the rest of us benefited .
Bendix washers, pop up toasters, TV then coloured Tv , etc.i only saw the toaster!
Great times

Bob

lakercapt
21st September 2017, 05:03
Robbie too had the generator closed down after the last meal if not working cargo. On the older ships it as a battery light in the cabin. The later ships had a night generatot which only had a very limited amperage. When coming back from shore anyone could top up its small fuel tank and it ran tll the cook got up and had the engineer start the main gennie. One time a new enginer could not get the main gennie on the board as during the night it had ran out of fuel and was still connected. On another coaster the cook had to collect money from us each week to pay for our food. Those were the good old days !!!!!! We were paid weekly in cash.

Engine Serang
21st September 2017, 08:47
"A (low) weekly basic and then had extra top up payments for every possible eventuality, this included being at anchor, or locking in, or loading, or discharging, or more than two ports in one day."

Phil, did you spend longer filling in claim forms than actually working?
Nowadays we are on a consolidated salary but still spend our time filling in ISM forms. The more things change the more they stay the same.

Winmar
25th September 2017, 05:31
As a young 2nd mate on Chemical vessels in the early 80's I remember a reasonable fixed wage but you also got tank cleaning money, Saturday's worked in port, Saturday's at sea, overtime etc. The old man did the wages on board and you signed for your allotment to home and then he paid you off with the balance. Without a trip to the loft I cannot remember amounts but I remember one pay off after a hard trip. We lived in Southampton then and we're saving to get wed but our old banger finally refused to turn too! So off we went to Bristol Street Motors in Shirley high street. There was a lovely black Branny new Escort in the showroom that we both homed in on and the now wife said that at least if we bought new we could rely on it so we did a deal with Mr Smarm who thought we were tyre kickers. He got all the papers out for Hp and I paid him from my pay off! He was speechless!

Dickyboy
25th September 2017, 05:41
Here's a handy tool that compares old wages, or values of Brit Pounds from yester years to todays equivalent.
Ie My first trip pay was 14 per month in 1964, now worth 255.99!
What were you worth when you first went to sea? ? :)

http://thedesignlab.co.uk/costofliving2015/ukupdate.php?uid=48

Winmar
25th September 2017, 08:46
Using Dickyboy's conversion tool, my first wage as a cadet of 76 per month on the 30 September 1976 equates to 493.59 today. I wonder if we have any cadets who read the boards who could confirm what they get today as an Induction cadet or whatever they call them now a days?

TonyAllen
25th September 2017, 12:15
7,50 per month as pantry boy with my first ship.then the same with blue funnel as galley boy.a little bit more 2nd trip.last trip 37.50 month as ass cook

davemoore
25th September 2017, 20:15
I don't think many of us went to sea for the money it was I believe it was for the adventure it certainly was in my case .Worked on leaving school on a farm ,the wages were 3 pounds a week but always had a hankering to see the world and I did for next to nothing. looking back it was one of the best experiences during my life .So for being paid wages I met real men some good some bad and became worldly wise at a young age .Was lucky to be at sea during the 50s and 60s they will never be better times in my opinion

slick
25th September 2017, 20:20
All,
As an Apprentice , the one ambition was to finish your Indentures on Articles out of the UK , your wages went to AB's, Wahoo!!, wealth beyond the dreams of avarice.....
Hains paid overtime to their Apprentices 1/1d per hour rising to 2/2d in ones second year.

jmbrent
25th September 2017, 20:53
First trip junior engineer with Mobil in 1962 was 80 per month, waiting at home for 6 weeks waiting for a telegram to come, after 4 weeks phoned York House and asked if they had forgotten about me as no money had arrived. The reply was they had not forgotten and they would send a cheque, which duly arrived for 80 pounds, never had as much money in my life. The cheque was from the First National Bank of New York and was about A4 size and the Trustees Saving bank had never seen anything like it and it took 10 days to process it. Then at 6
weeks the telegram came for me to go to York House with full sea going gear to join Mobil Comet in Palermo. The beginning of a new life and I enjoyed every minute of it, hAPPY DAYS.

tom roberts
25th September 2017, 22:34
Fail your lifeboat ticket and you stayed on 16 a month as an senior ordinary seaman as you needed the ticket to allow you to go for e.d.h.and more money,the Liverpool examiners for both lifeboat and e.d.h.were sticklers for passes so fail either one and you stayed on low wages.

Pat Kennedy
25th September 2017, 22:35
When I went to sea on a small coaster in 1947 my pay was eight pounds a month,(Deck Boy) I received 30 extra shillings for trimming the cargo of grain each time we loaded, and we earned it shoveling the grain inside the hatches, no mask or eye protection back in those days. After a couple years I went below and shoveled coal for 30 pounds a month. How times have changed.
John.

John, Things had not improved very much when I went to sea as a deck boy in Blue Funnel in 1958. My wage was 3/6/8 per week, working 10 hours a day, seven days a week, and I paid off after 3 months with 20.(plus the traditional whip around from the ABs which netted me another 15.)
At the same time, a school friend working in a shoe shop in Birkenhead earned 4/2/6 per week, working 9 to 5 six days a week. How I envied him, but he envied me the deep tan and the Hong Kong chinos and bomber jacket!
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

John Rogers
26th September 2017, 00:01
They were the good old days Pat,we learned from that experience and are better for it. The working man on the dock in Avonmouth was making 5 pound a week.

holland25
26th September 2017, 01:19
24 pounds per month as 3rd R/O with Marconi in 1956,joined Blue Flue in 1957 and my wages went up to 44 pounds per month. Was sorely tempted to go with the Greeks, cant remember the amount, but it was referred to as Film Star money,I resisted.

Dickyboy
26th September 2017, 06:40
First trip junior engineer with Mobil in 1962 was 80 per month, waiting at home for 6 weeks waiting for a telegram to come, after 4 weeks phoned York House and asked if they had forgotten about me as no money had arrived. The reply was they had not forgotten and they would send a cheque, which duly arrived for 80 pounds, never had as much money in my life. The cheque was from the First National Bank of New York and was about A4 size and the Trustees Saving bank had never seen anything like it and it took 10 days to process it. Then at 6
weeks the telegram came for me to go to York House with full sea going gear to join Mobil Comet in Palermo. The beginning of a new life and I enjoyed every minute of it, hAPPY DAYS.

Before I went to sea I was a bricklayers apprentice earning around 4.00 pw.
After I'd only been working there for a couple of weeks my pay packet contained an extra 11. The building trade had some sort of weird system of holiday pay which I never understood. I was amazed to find all this cash, and couldn't understand (And still don't) how I was entitled to all this dosh, having only worked there for a couple of weeks. I'd never seen so much money in my life, and it came out of the blue.
I counted it over and over, sort of gloating at my wealth.
I still consider that 11.00 to be the largest sum of money I've ever had in my hand. Even though in more recent times I've had tens of thousands if pounds in my hands. That 11.00 was an ENORMOUS sum to me.
A couple of weeks before that I'd been a schoolboy still getting pocket money, and doing paper round type jobs for a few shillings a week.

PS That's 207.84 in todays money.

Geoff Gower
26th September 2017, 09:37
This is a copy of my voyage to/from West Indies in 1955,barely 15.10.00 for the 2 months and 8 days when tax is deducted