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So You Want To Work On A Boat

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    Posted: 08 July 2017 at 22:54
A new book by Thor Robert Erikson called [b]So You Want to Work on a Boat[/b] covers the subject of employment as a commercial mariner. The book is a practical guide for working on commercial vessels. It provides an overview of the industry, presenting the pros and cons of this line of work. It discusses employment opportunities aboard inland and ocean-going vessels, giving detailed information about positions such as QMEDs, able seamen, captains, environmental officers, chief engineers, designated duty engineers, pilots, mates, cooks, stewards, wipers, as well as how to get those jobs.

At around 200 pages, it's a straightforward book. It doesn't claim to hold the keys to "secrets" of getting hired in this industry. It doesn't use the word "killer" in describing its templates for professional mariner resumes and covers letters. There really aren't secrets here. It's just a matter of good qualifications and good preparation. As such, it discusses how to prepare for the interview process.

It covers some of the burdensome things that professional mariners have to put up with, such as MMCs, TWICs, STCW certification, and medical exams. The book includes a section on practical maritime law, which is sensitive to the unfair and unnecessarily harsh development of the concept of "criminalization." This is where a commercial mariner could be sent to jail for errors in judgment or poor seamanship... which have unfortunately come to be prosecuted as crimes in our current legal climate.

Although it isn't a license prep book, it provides a sampling of exam questions in its discussion of merchant marine licenses, basically to give readers a feel of what they could find themselves up against in sitting for license exams. The book includes lists of employers, including operators of container ships, towing vessels, OSVs, ferries, water taxis, research vessels, cruise ships, and dredging companies. It also covers government employers.

So You Want to Work on a Boat also covers educational resources, including maritime academies, community colleges, private institutions and union schools. They say knowledge is power. Well, at least readers could figure out how to empower themselves when it comes to qualifying for desirable jobs.

There's a lot of talk about the industry not being for everyone. Yes, payscales can be attractive. But not everyone is suited to work six hours, and try to sleep for five hours before the next watch. Not everyone can put up with living in a cabin with shipmates. Not everyone can put up with being away from a spouse and kids for several weeks at a stretch. Realizing that everyone has their personal limitations, the book covers employment opportunities within the maritime community that do not require going to sea in the service of a vessel. These areas include shipyards, marine insurance, surveying, maritime security, cargo operations, and more.

So You Want To Work On A Boat


See Pages of the Book at

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