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Marine Engineering Mechanic

Pat in Halifax

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Alas...young man, I am now a CPO1 Stoker meaning I am a stoker no longer. Through succession planning, I am now an administrator...of some sort...? I miss the sweat, the torn work dress shirts, the nasty looks when you tried to grab a quick bite between recharging a fridge and fixing a diesel (and smelling of diesel!). I miss the long hours almost falling asleep flushing the steering hydraulics at 40 deg C..asking for 12 hours to do the job right and being given 6 to do it...sort of.  If you want a Navy job that gives you a meaning at the end of the day, this is it. No disrespect either to other hard sea trades reading this-we all have our axes to grind... but the young man asked about this trade. I am on my way out, you are on your way in. It is an interesting time as an engineer with new ship classes and new upgrades in the works. Do us proud and take the reins - I am tired.
 

Booty22

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Hi guys.


I'm underway to becoming a Mar Eng Mech, I have been told that i definatly qualify as one. I should get a call some time this month with an offer.

I also have my first year Millwright ticket, and am very interested in doing this trade.

I have been in the engine room of one of the Canadian coast guard boats for one day installing a gear box and a huge Flex Coupling.

From that day fourth thats all I have on my mind, Being on board a ship and maintaing/installing new/old mechanical equipment.

Hope all the newcomers get into their training asap and good luck.

Nice to see some people here that are experienced in the trade.

 

chrisf

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Pat in Halifax said:
Plain and simple...It is not sexy. You work in a dirty hole keeping overstressed equipment operating...

Doesn't rain, snow, or blow in the engine room.
 

chrisf

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(Honestly, I've been snowed on in the engine room, but I assume that's the exception, not the rule)
 

Pat in Halifax

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a Sig Op said:
Doesn't rain, snow, or blow in the engine room.
Sometimes I wish it did though. I always wanted a window in the Engine Room/MCR but was always told to go pound sand! I found after I quit smoking, when I finally went to the upper decks after 3 or 4 days, my eyes hurt for about 20 minutes!
 

JAudet

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Thanks for your reply Pat,

I completed my final interview in March so hopefully i have a job offer coming up real soon. Fingers crossed.
 

Booty22

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I've got a few questions to ask.

While performing any work in an area that is considered a "Confined Space" do you have to fill out Confined Space permits?

While peforming any hot work, Do  you need to get a hot work permit?

What class of ship, is the one I'll most likley to be posted to?

What are the Mar Eng Mechs shifts like? (on a regular day without any equipment failing)

Who ever answers these! Could you please tell me what makes this job exciting for you?

Are you still happy with your job?

is there anything that you hate about it (except for the high temps and noise) ?


Thanks for your invaluable info in advance :salute:
 

Booty22

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I got some more questions!!


What has been the most challenging aspect of the job?(for you personally)


How many of the Mar Eng Mechs go to university for two years on the subsidized college VS the ones who do OJT?
 

Booty22

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I just got conformation that there is 50 spots to be filled in Mar Eng Mech.

My source is a recruiter that i emailed through the Forces.ca website.


Good luck to all of us who are currently Merit listed/going through the recruitment process :cdn:
 

JAudet

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Thats great news booty. i was going to go and check this coming friday and see how many were open. Looks promising!
 

Booty22

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Yeah JAudet,  I was very happy to see so many available positions. Now wether I can attain one is anyones guess. But I hope to get a phone call in a few days.


Here is the email, If anyone was concerned about my information :bullet:

Good day,



Thank you for your interest in the Canadian Forces (CF).

There are over 50 positions to be filled for Mar Eng Mech.

Should you have any additional questions please contact us by email, chat or the toll-free number below. 



You may apply online at www.forces.ca



Sincerely,



J.J. Richard

Master Corporal/
 

Pat in Halifax

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Booty22 said:
I've got a few questions to ask.

While performing any work in an area that is considered a "Confined Space" do you have to fill out Confined Space permits?

While performing any hot work, Do  you need to get a hot work permit?

What class of ship, is the one I'll most likely to be posted to?

What are the Mar Eng Mechs shifts like? (on a regular day without any equipment failing)

Who ever answers these! Could you please tell me what makes this job exciting for you?

Are you still happy with your job?

is there anything that you hate about it (except for the high temps and noise) ?


Thanks for your invaluable info in advance :salute:

In answer to these questions, as best I can:

1.  Yes, you still follow Confined Space Entry Rules. The Navy (and Airforce and Army) uses General Safety Standards and in the case of the Navy, ship class specific Safety and Environmental Management Systems which are derived from Canada Labour Code Part II directives. The rules are the same.

2.  Same holds true for hot work but there are actually more restrictions due to armaments and fuel storage.

3.  To say what class of ship is very difficult. Because we have more frigates, odds say you will go there but don't quote me. If you have done your homework and have a specific class in mind, you "might" be able to request while on QL3 in Esquimalt.

4.  Stokers generally stand a one in three rotation (one on, two off, one on two off....) as follows:
Mids 0000-0400;
Morn 0400-0800;
Fnoon 0800-1200;
Anoon 1200-1600;
Fdog 1600-1800;
LDog 1800-2000; and
First 2000-0000.
'dog' watches are split to accommodate the supper hour. Cleaning stations occur from 0800-0930 and 1800-1900. Evening cleaning stations are followed by reporting rounds. With no break downs and no training (that will NEVER happen by the way!), based on the above, you work a 70-75 hour work week. (As does, by the way, everyone else on board)

5.  What makes it exciting is essentially answered by the question "What excites you". The hours are generally long which is the norm except that your work environment is generally hot, dirty and hazardous. Picture climbing into a diesel enclosure (the size of a one car garage) 30 minutes after the engine has been shut down after running the last 5 days at moderate to full powers to fix a leak on an oil cooler....or climbing down beneath the main shafts to replace a hydraulic filter on the pitch system. I have to say though, there is nothing like the feeling of power at your finger tips when you conduct a manual start of a General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine. At full power, each of these generate 24,600 hp and when both are driving the ship through the water at 50 km/hr, they are burning 10,000 litres/hr of fuel-that equates to approx 11" travelled for every litre of fuel burnt!
Finally, as a CO once told me, when a stoker reaches what I believe to be the pinnacle of his/her  career as a PO2/PO1 Engineering Officer of the Watch, he/she is the ONLY person on board who can bring the ship stopped dead in the water without the CO's permission!

6.  I was ecstatic with my job right up until 1000 on 15 Nov 2010-That is when I was promoted to CPO1, right out of the trade!

7.  I did not hate the high temps and noise. I hated extremely rough seas but not for the reason that may come to your mind at first. I get pissed off when you can't sleep because you are being thrown around, when you chase the water around the shower stall, when your food is all over the place and when you can't even sit in a chair on watch without something breaking away and flying toward you. I have been hit by broken away cabinets, fire extinguishers, toolboxes, chairs, a coffee machine (not the counter-top kind), a computer monitor and of course, several co-workers. I have permanent scars from burns everywhere, the most prominent on the right side of my face where an invisible jet of superheated steam melted my glasses to the side of my face back in 1988. Most of what I did not enjoy (You shouldn't hate anything) was the non-trade stuff. That said, it was all part of the experience and as I have stated in other threads, I would not trade my experiences for anything and if given the opportunity, would do it all, the same, all over again.

Hopefully that answers yours and maybe others' questions. The Navy (the CF as a whole) will be going through some major transformations in the coming years, not only with the acquisition of new equipment all-around but also with the way we conduct business and the type of operations we are going to be involved in. It will be exciting no doubt but I have to say, my time is ramping down-my head is full. Exactly when, I do not know but I will turn over the watch in due course for the more energetic to take over.
 

Booty22

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Pat in Halifax said:
In answer to these questions, as best I can:

1.  Yes, you still follow Confined Space Entry Rules. The Navy (and Airforce and Army) uses General Safety Standards and in the case of the Navy, ship class specific Safety and Environmental Management Systems which are derived from Canada Labour Code Part II directives. The rules are the same.

2.  Same holds true for hot work but there are actually more restrictions due to armaments and fuel storage.

3.  To say what class of ship is very difficult. Because we have more frigates, odds say you will go there but don't quote me. If you have done your homework and have a specific class in mind, you "might" be able to request while on QL3 in Esquimalt.

4.  Stokers generally stand a one in three rotation (one on, two off, one on two off....) as follows:
Mids 0000-0400;
Morn 0400-0800;
Fnoon 0800-1200;
Anoon 1200-1600;
Fdog 1600-1800;
LDog 1800-2000; and
First 2000-0000.
'dog' watches are split to accommodate the supper hour. Cleaning stations occur from 0800-0930 and 1800-1900. Evening cleaning stations are followed by reporting rounds. With no break downs and no training (that will NEVER happen by the way!), based on the above, you work a 70-75 hour work week. (As does, by the way, everyone else on board)

5.  What makes it exciting is essential answered by the question "What excites you". The hours are generally long which is the norm except that your work environment is generally hot, dirty and hazardous. Picture climbing into a diesel enclosure (the size of a one car garage) 30 minutes after the engine has been shut down after running the last 5 days at moderate to full powers to fix a leak on an oil cooler....or climbing down beneath the main shafts to replace a hydraulic filter on the pitch system. I have to say though, there is nothing like the feeling of power at your finger tips when you conduct a manual start of a General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine. At full power, each of these generate 24,600 hp and when both are driving the ship through the water at 50 km/hr, they are burning 10,000 litres/hr of fuel-that equates to approx 11" travelled for every litre of fuel burnt!
Finally, as a CO once told me, when a stoker reaches what I believe to be the pinnacle of his/her  career as a PO2/PO1 Engineering Officer of the Watch, he/she is the ONLY person on board who can bring the ship stopped dead in the water without the CO's permission!

6.  I was ecstatic with my job right up until 1000 on 15 Nov 2010-That is when I was promoted to CPO1, right out of the trade!

7.  I did not hate the high temps and noise. I hated extremely rough seas but not for the reason that may come to your mind at first. I get pissed off when you can't sleep because you are being thrown around,when you chase the water around the shower stall , when your food is all over the place and when you can't even sit in a chair on watch without something breaking away and flying toward you. I have been hit by broken away cabinets, fire extinguishers, toolboxes, chairs, a coffee machine (not the counter-top kind), a computer monitor and of course, several co-workers. I have permanent scars from burns everywhere, the most prominent on the right side of my face where an invisible jet of superheated steam melted my glasses to the side of my face back in 1988. Most of what I did not enjoy (You shouldn't hate anything) was the non-trade stuff. That said, it was all part of the experience and as I have stated in other threads, I would not trade my experiences for anything and if given the opportunity, would do it all, the same, all over again.

Hopefully that answers yours and maybe others' questions. The Navy (the CF as a whole) will be going through some major transformations in the coming years, not only with the acquisition of new equipment all-around but also with the way we conduct business and the type of operations we are going to be involved in. It will be exciting no doubt but I have to say, my time is ramping down-my head is full. Exactly when, I do not know but I will turn over the watch in due course for the more energetic to take over.


Well Thank you for your time and answers :cdn:

Lol, at all of Question 7. I can't wait to dive deep into the engine room of any class of ship, It is the only thought I have when thinking about the Navy.

I hope to have a long and exciting carreer as a stoker.

 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Just a few additional on Pat in Halifax - for education's sake.

First, the purpose of the two dog watches is not to accommodate supper. Its purpose is to generate an odd number of watches, so that when one in three (the most frequently used rotation before the days we started using one in two "Vietnam modified steaming") you don't always end up in the same three watches , and spread around fairly those Mids watch blues.

Second, the Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOOW) does not have authority to bring the ship dead stopped in the water. Command only has that authority and it is delegated in two steps: First, the Officer of the Watch (OOW), on the bridge, has the authority to order any engine movement she finds appropriate to carry out her duties and responsibilities - though she generally checks with the Captain first, she will act without hesitation when safety of the ship or its personnel is at stake. Similarly, regulations provide that in an emergency only, where casualty to personnel or materiel is imminent unless action is taken, the EOOW may bring an engine down to idle, de-clutch it from a gearbox, disconnect a shaft, stop a shaft or even shut down an engine completely, or any combination thereof, without first advising the bridge. The EOOW however can be overridden by the bridge (OOW or Captain), at which point the EOOW must carry out the order regardless of risk of casualty, but  bears no responsibility for the consequences. It is a testament to the quality of the training of our Mar Eng's that in my thirty five years in the service, I have never heard a single story of an EOOW misusing this authority.

Finally, and I say this for Pat in Halifax's benefit: Most of the "dinosaur" MARS officers (such as I) that were around when the Navy decided to "down-rank" the Chief Engineers from CPO1 to CPO2 are still mourning the consequence of that decision. The CPO2's are doing a fantastic job - don't get me wrong - but there was just an aura of "fount-of-knowledge" around the old CPO1 CERA's that we lost. 
 

Pat in Halifax

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Just a few additional on Pat in Halifax - for education's sake.

First, the purpose of the two dog watches is not to accommodate supper. Its purpose is to generate an odd number of watches, so that when one in three (the most frequently used rotation before the days we started using one in two "Vietnam modified steaming") you don't always end up in the same three watches , and spread around fairly those Mids watch blues.

Too true but all it ever meant to us was a suppertime split!! Many steaming watches (even now) actually combine the dogs and would rather stand the same watch-gives a bit of continuity to life at sea.
 

Booty22

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Well I'm going to be the newest Stoker soon!!!!

I have a long and hard road ahead of me, but I have the paitence and determination to be the best Stoker that I can be.

I start Basic the 25th of April.
 

Pat in Halifax

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The trade is right behind you-Best of luck and don't let the negatives overwhelm you-It's worth it!
 

Booty22

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Pat in Halifax said:
The trade is right behind you-Best of luck and don't let the negatives overwhelm you-It's worth it!



I'll take your advise to the heart.  I like negatives in my life, it makes me enjoy the positives so much more.

:salute:
 
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