MSC or Kirby?

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by jakeusmma, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. jakeusmma

    jakeusmma New Member

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    I just graduated from KP in June, and I took a job with MSC. I began training with MSC on Monday, August 11th. That same day, a representative from Kirby Inland Marine called me and offered me a slot in their tug pilot training program. I am now debating whether I should stay with MSC or leave and take the offer from Kirby. I like the offer from Kirby, but I have two major reservations about leaving MSC:

    1. If I leave now, I believe that MSC will unofficially blacklist me, making it impossible for me to be hired by them again.

    2. I've never worked on a tug before, so I have no idea if I would enjoy it. I don't want to flake on MSC for something I'm not certain about.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    Work for MSC for a couple of months and gain some deep sea seatime. Be professional and honest with Kirby. Tell them you just started with MSC and dont feel it 's right to leave a job you just started and you are interested in working with them at a future date. You'll be surprised that they will respect and understand that view.
     
  3. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    The two options are so diametrically opposed to each other in so many ways that it is difficult for any real insight to be gained from the internet. That being said ...

    1. They won't. Somebody leaving a couple days after being hired is nothing compared to the crap/issues that some people deal them. So what if they do, the world is so much bigger than MSC.
    2. Tugs/Inland are awesome! There aren't many deckie jobs that I think are cool but being a pilot/captain of a long haul river boat is one of them. (Tankercaptains job is the other).

    Me though ... If I was sitting in MSC training and I got that same call all you would see is a cloud of dust and all you would hear is beep, beep. (Ancient childhood TV reference that is likely beyond your years)
     
  4. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    I agree with tankercaptain especially since you are not sure if you'd like tugs - they are much much different than deep sea and if deep sea is all you did on sea year and you liked that then give the MSC gig a few months and explain the situation to Kirby - politely and professionally. Also if you do that and take a DP course should you decide to leave MSC later it's likely Kirby or their peers (Otto Candies, etc) will be much easier thing to get into later given the way things are going in the oil patch these days.
     
  5. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    In March you posted that you didn't want to be at sea for months at a time ... good luck with that at MSC.

    Whatever shortcomings tugs might have, the short rotations and predictability make up for it. MSC does have the upside of federal employment and the benefits and retirement that go with that, but there are downsides too. You can spend significant time sitting in Norfolk in the pool waiting for a ship asignment. Sure you are sitting around getting paid but it will get real boring real quick and call me crazy but you can't pay me enough to be away from my family to just sit and wait. You can also spend significant time waiting for a relief to show up. Sure that can happen on tugs too, but waiting a few extra days when I've only been at "sea" for a few weeks is no big deal. Waiting a month when I've already been at sea for six is a huuuge deal. Read the MSC threads on gCaptain and you will see what I'm talking about.

    Its your choice, welcome to the real world, but these are some things to think about.
     
  6. kpmidkp

    kpmidkp Member

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    "One of my friends" works on tugs... specifically Crowley ATBs..... and it SUUCCKKSS

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  7. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    I haven't been around a for a bit, so I will add my two cents worth. I tend to lean toward what Jasperdog and Tankercaptain have to say. Tough it out at MSC for a bit. Get some time on that unlimited license while you are young and can deal with the government employ. Tugs are VERY different and especially inland tugs.

    As far as the comment about Crowley ATBs "sucking"? Well, ocean towing (and I include ATBs) is quite a bit different from other deep sea work. A year and a half after I graduated (34 years ago), I gave up on trying to get work out of the MEBA hall and took the plunge working for Crowley on their ocean tugs. Funny thing is, about 9 of my classmates went to work for them right after graduation, and only 1 was left. Another classmate and I started at that same time in 82, and he only lasted one trip as trainee. It is a VERY different environment from deep sea ships. Me? I thought it was going to be a temporary diversion from my sea going career, but I later made both ocean tugs AND ATBs (not Crowley's) my seagoing career until I came ashore. Tough work. And often some folks think that tough work sucks. . . .
     
  8. kpmidkp

    kpmidkp Member

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    When you can make 30 grand more doing a quarter of the work, you're dang right tough work sucks. Get a job offshore while the money is there to make.

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  9. mfp

    mfp Member

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    How tough is it to work for Hornbek?


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  10. BlueSteel28

    BlueSteel28 Member

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    Transocean vs. Hornbeck vs. Otto candies? Anyone have experience with these companies?
     
  11. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    GCaptain may be a better place to gain insight into specific gulf companies. Lots of guys over there who have worked for all of them.

    If its a question of Rig vs. OSV vs. tug ... I'll take the Rig myself. No need to worry about the boat's schedule affecting crew change being the driving factor.
     
  12. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    And back in my day, I was happy to have stayed out of the oil patch, other than just passing through it. It was much different back then. Jobs on supply vessels were low paying when compared to their oceangoing counter parts (even tugs), less sophisticated vessels, etc. These days, offshore equipment is cutting edge in just about every way. Probably what is lost is the sense of adventure, though. Of course that doesn't always pay the bills. . .
     
  13. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Don't know about that ... I've done a few rig inspections that were pretty adventurous :eek:
     
  14. mfp

    mfp Member

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    My DS is on a tug all over the eastern seaboard....has all his CG credentials..he thinks he is missing out on all the fame and fortune the Gulf has to offer....advice?



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  15. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Yeah, well, there is still some old iron out there. I can't even speak about a claim I handled two years ago. . . . .maybe you inspected THAT one. . . .

    That said, the biggest reason that I stayed out of the oil patch, and still would of sailing was that I was more interested in moving cargo and going from port to port than either staying out on a drillship/rig or moving cargo back and forth to them or platforms. The longest that I ever went without seeing any kind of shore or going ashore was some 10 years ago when I handled a deep water construction claim. I was out on various vessels for 28 days and never saw any land. Not unusual for offshore workers, but it was for me. At least I was able to move between vessels (lay vessel, DSV, Supply Vessel) and a platform under construction to break up the monotony. . . .
     
  16. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Gotta do what makes you happy. I for one, was happy to work on the string or in the notch and NOT in the oil patch for reasons I state in another comment to this thread.
     
  17. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Deck or Engine ... it makes a difference as far as how high he can upgrade his license on tugs. As was told to me ... get as much as you can get as soon as you can get it. If he can upgrade higher on tugs than he can in the gulf, then I would at least stay until then.

    Also what CMakin said ... you have to do what makes you happy. When I was last sailing there were other companies with nicer boats and higher pay rates but they were a lot more uptight than the company I worked for. I was on a good boat with a good run and a good crew so I was happy.
     

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