Life with a QMED

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by Nautilus, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. Nautilus

    Nautilus USMMA Class of 2015

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    So what is life as a Deck Officer with a QMED like? As a Deck Midshipman going for a QMED? I'm planning on taking the Maritime Operations and Technology major.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  2. 2009KPer

    2009KPer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    1
  3. wac2013

    wac2013 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    if my information is correct, the class of 2013 (my class) is the last class of shoppers (MOT majors) that will be eligible to sit for the QMED, as the requirements for the program have changed and we are "grandfathered in" under the old requirements. the MOT major is being offered to 2014 with all the additional engine courses and no QMED, but i'm not sure how long that will stay afloat.

    Personally, i would've chosen shopper even without the QMED, simply out of interest. shoppers get to drop some of the more business-oriented deckie classes in favor of basic engineering ones, which in my case is a VERY good tradeoff. is it more work? yes, but not substantially, and i would rather put in the extra effort for a class im interested in than one that i could care less about. also, we learn to weld, use shop equipment, and more importantly gain a BASIC understanding of the forces of black magic that operate down in the engine room:biggrin: from the perspective of getting a big picture perspective on the operations of the vessel as a whole, MOT is a fantastic program.
     
  4. deepsea

    deepsea Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    1
    MOT Grad

    I'm an MOT (shopper) grad from the second year it was offered, and while the Dual program was still available. I think it was and still is the best program at the Academy. I have never used my QMED endorsement, and only know a few grads who have, but I use the engineering skills I learned both in class and as an engine cadet during sea year EVERY DAY. After graduation sailing as third mate through Master those skills and knowledge improved my relationship with the engineer 1000%, and made my job as a mate much easier and much more productive and fun. I sailed for several years as chief mate on older ships that were quite "hands on," and as mate was responsible for the operation and maintenance of hatch covers, hydraulic systems, etc. and the fact that I could weld, rebuild a hydraulic motor, diagnose and repair electrical systems, do my own pipefitting, etc. without running to the engineers (who had plenty to do in their own department,) moved me up very fast. I am certain that I would not have sailed as Chief Mate at 24, or had my Master's license at 25 as a straight deckie! The other questions I ask midshipman who are unsure about their choice is "Do you ever plan to own a house? A car? Anything with a switch, a pump, or a motor?" All of the engineering skills you learn give you a huge advantage in life outside of ships......I could go on about this topic forever, but the point that I think bears repeating is that I still use the skills I learned as a shopper every day, 16 years after graduation...
     
  5. cmakin

    cmakin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    74
    I can say that back when I was a sailing engineer, it was always appreciated if someone in the wheelhouse has a basic understanding of what it is that we do. They are generally easier on the equipment. Which, of course freed us up to lounge around on the Lido deck with our boat drinks.
     
  6. Nautilus

    Nautilus USMMA Class of 2015

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, it just seems the logical thing to me for deckies to understand basic engineering. I mean, it is the Deck department who needs the engines, so I should at least have some knowledge of what makes my engines work. Kinda like Sir Admiral Max Horton, he was primarily deck for the Royal Navy, but knew how his engines worked. I want to be a Deck officer who understands what goes on below. Too bad on the QMED, but hey, I'll still go for MOT!
     
  7. 2009KPer

    2009KPer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    1
    For this new version of MOT, do you still get to sail 90 days as an engine cadet or will it just be all classes?
     
  8. cmakin

    cmakin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    74
    When I sailed, I found that most of the deep sea deck officers did not have that much knowledge or interest in what made things run. When I sailed on ocean tugs, it was a bit less of the problem. Now, this is a huge generalization, because I did sail on ships with a few mates that had a good idea of the overall picture, just as I sailed on tugs with a few mates (and one or two captains) that were completely ignorant. Overall, I guess the close confines of the tugs promoted better understanding of other's jobs. That and the much smaller size of the crew.
     
  9. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    13
    I wholeheartedly agree.. a 'working knowledge' of engineering will vastly improve your relationship with the engineers because, for one thing, it'll keep you from damaging or destroying equipment that they'll have to fix.

    it can also get you into trouble...

    While welding, pipe fitting, electrical repair and troubleshooting and other engineering skills are important and beneficial to know, you might run into jurisdictional problems with engineering unions if, as a deck officer, you use those skills to do a job that is typically done by the 'black gang'. This is particularly true on ships that have separate deck and engine unions representing the officers. If you did any of that work on a ship that had MFOW unlicensed union engineers on board, I guarantee you'd be look a SERIOUS labor beef.

    Working outside your jurisdiction can also be seen as taking away overtime from the engineers (both licensed and unlicensed)and consequently messing with their 'rice bowl', and they're not going to be very happy about that. Believe me, they would much rather be 'turning to' on 'oscar tango' than enjoying umbrella drinks on the Lido Deck.. right cmakin?:smile:

    One other thing.. I think it’s equally important that the engineers have an understanding of what we do in the deck department. However, what I’ve experienced in 34 years going to sea, is your average engineer has no clue about ‘stability and trim’, navigation, weather routing, shiphandling or seamanship in general and most would prefer to keep it that way.
     
  10. Sea Faring Moose Mom

    Sea Faring Moose Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is Why..

    These comments are exactly why my DD went Shopper. I really HATE to see this program discontinued at USMMA.

    Good understanding and Good relationships are essential in a work place!!

    :thumb:
     
  11. deepsea

    deepsea Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    1
    But not on a non-union ship where everyone is on salary...... though I was on a union ship once where the C/E asked me to weld something that he couldn't.......
     
  12. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    13
    What was wrong with the assistant engineers?? couldn't they weld for pete sake!!!:eek:
     
  13. deepsea

    deepsea Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    1
    Nope. Interesting trip...
     
  14. cmakin

    cmakin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    74
    Well, when I worked Union jobs, yeah, I didn't mind the OT. For 4 years or so, I sailed on a job where I just got my day rate plus a bonus. OT loses its allure when no extra money is involved. Hence my irritation at being disturbed during Happy Hour.

    I am surprised that the engineers you sailed with didn't have a clue about Stability and Trim. That said, I certainly had a few assistants that had no idea, and I find that embarassing. I will say that KP did a decent job in giving us, as engineers, an idea of what general seamanship and navigation (at least piloting) skills are required "upstairs" with both the early introduction to Nautical Science during Plebe year and the Sea Project. Ship or Boat handling I got both on the waterfront at school and later when I sailed on ocean tugs. While not necessarily routine, I do have some wheel time on both tugs and ITBs.
     
  15. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    160
    Amen to that! Just last week I had to teach the mate how to do an eye splice. I also agree that there is a lot more cross pollination on tugs. Partly due to the close confines but also because for many, the engine room is the pathway to the wheelhouse. It is a hawsepipers domain and most engineers started on deck and a lot have their eyes on the wheelhouse.
     
  16. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    13
    Maybe the engineers that deepsea was sailing with were spending too much time on the 'art of knotting and splicing' and not enough time perfecting their own 'craft'..:rolleyes:
     
  17. cmakin

    cmakin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    74
    Or having boat drinks on the Lido Deck.
     
  18. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    13
    :yllol::shake: 'splice the main brace'..
     
  19. kpbaseballmom

    kpbaseballmom Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    My DS, an engine cadet, told me that he spent a lot of his free time up with the deckie cadet while on his first sea term. Several deck officers were also kind enough to answer his questions since he showed so much interest. So, it's not unusual for an engine cadet to gain "deckie" knowledge. DS said some people are surprised that he knows so much about the deck side, but it only makes sense that there should be some shared experience and knowledge that will prove valuable later in their careers, as has been mentioned here. Never a bad thing to walk in someone else's shoes.
     

Share This Page