Quote from Skippy John
2. the Energy Clients want to see all skippers holding at least MCA STCW 95 Master (Code Vessel) <200gt and often build this level of CoC into the charter contracts
I endorse everything Skippy John says and particularly his point above.
Amongst other things I'm a commercially endorsed skipper but am predominantly shore-based these days as a site manager on new-build offshore wind farms.
I've just completed an 18 month contract on a new-build off the UK coast and am 5 days into a new project working out of Denmark on a project in German waters and amongst other things, I control the supply/crew boats so I have a handle on this....
The relevant qualifications are just the start. More improtant than anything is the attitude; there are some absolutely brilliant skipers I've had the pleasure to work with but these guys are in high demand and their employers look after them very well (albeit not quite to the £80k mark mentioned in one of the posts!). I'm afraid to say however that there is a steady stream of people holding the correct tickets who, for one reason or another, struggle to come to terms with the highly regulated, health & safety driven culture, with its attendant paperwork and reporting procedures. I also have to say that there are many people in the industry who will be responsible for tasking and controlling you who will see you as nothing more than a taxi driver!
I also have to say that the projects are moving further offshore and this involves generally larger supply and crew transfer vessels that are working 24 hours a day. That means two crews doing 12 hour shifts, staying aboard the 'mother ship' when off duty and frequently staying offshore for 7 days before coming in to collect bunkers and head back out again.
This puts strain on vessels and crews alike; stuff breaks, people struggle to deal with the relentless nature of the work and many people are simply not cut out for it.
Yes, there are days when you can hook up to a tower, get the fishing rod out and enjoy the sunshine but they are few and far between. More likely is the need to ride out a weather system, getting 'mullered' whilst maintaining station as the designated emergency response vessel, whilst looking enviously at the 15,000 ton mother ship sitting relatively untroubled nearby.
It's not everyone's cup of tea but on the other hand, the industry will always welcome suitably qualified skippers who can add value to the project, not just drive a boat.