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Old 02-22-2014, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Idaho
836 posts, read 1,330,970 times
Reputation: 1553

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But I've never heard a kid refer to himself by that term
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:08 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,466 times
Reputation: 10
Default Hi Broomstick

Quote:
Originally Posted by broomstick View Post
A dream of mine has always been to be a deckhand on a commercial fishing vessel, specifically in Alaska. I know that I probably won't make the most money doing it, and I know that it is HARD and very grueling work, but I want to do it as I feel it is something that would be a very rewarding experience in my life. I've heard stories of people just driving up to Alaskan fishing villages and walking the docks until they would find a skipper looking for a few deckhands, but I don't know. It just seems like that would be too easy. I have no experience in the fishing industry, and honestly, besides for a short stint at a pizza place, I have little job experience. I am an excellent worker though, and I am willing to work the hours and do my part on the ship. I'll be graduating from high school soon, and was considering heading to Alaska towards the end of this Summer and trying my luck, but as I said, I am hesitant because I just have a feeling I won't get that lucky. I look very young for my age, and have a real baby face, and I fear that any real seaman will just write me off as some kid who doesn't know the first thing about anything. I'm simply asking, from those of you in Alaska with the knowledge, what would be my best approach at this? I am eager to get started but the Summer will be here soon and I need to begin planning my course of action, and figuring out how exactly I will get to that position as a deckhand.
I ran across your post. Sounds like you are very determined to fulfill your dreams. Go for it. I did. I was 19 when I first set my feet on dock in Craig, AK. Yes it took me a quite a bit of money to get there but it was well worth it. I walked the docks for about 30 minutes and had a deck hand job as a greenhorn. Greenhorns dont make the same money as a seasoned deck hand but you will definately have your foot in the door. In just 2 weeks, with very little sleep or rest, i made $3,000. I started out on a purse seiner as being the "web" man. In total I made $11,000 with the seiner. After the seiner I was hired aboard a troller. Very easy work compared to the seiner. In a week I made $2,000. But I wasn't satisfied, i wanted to try long lining. So I got lucky again and landed a job on a long liner. I made $3000 in just 56 hours, but be in mind this was without sleep or rest. Very hard work indeed, little rest, your work platform is constantly moving, keep your eyes wide open and stay out of "the bite". Every vessel I boarded I was well fed and taken care of by fellow deck hands. No one wants to see any one get hurt and it's very easy to happen during commercial fishing. My Brother is currently in Bristol Bay, as a Captain of his own vessel now,a gill netter, in the water waiting on the largest salmon run in the world. I've worked on his vessel several times but my health has gotten the best of me and I can no longer work. Believe me, if you adventure to Alaska, become a deck hand, you will make the best money you have ever made in your life. And the scenery and wildlife will take yur breath away. I've returned to Alaska 6 times, not to work but just visit. It's a very majestic place that keeps calling me back. Keep in mind Alaska is also unforgiving. I wish you the best in your future dreams and never let anything hold you back from achieving those dreams. Sincerely, Kedo
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:17 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,466 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by KedoParsons View Post
I ran across your post. Sounds like you are very determined to fulfill your dreams. Go for it. I did. I was 19 when I first set my feet on dock in Craig, AK. Yes it took me a quite a bit of money to get there but it was well worth it. I walked the docks for about 30 minutes and had a deck hand job as a greenhorn. Greenhorns dont make the same money as a seasoned deck hand but you will definately have your foot in the door. In just 2 weeks, with very little sleep or rest, i made $3,000. I started out on a purse seiner as being the "web" man. In total I made $11,000 with the seiner. After the seiner I was hired aboard a troller. Very easy work compared to the seiner. In a week I made $2,000. But I wasn't satisfied, i wanted to try long lining. So I got lucky again and landed a job on a long liner. I made $3000 in just 56 hours, but be in mind this was without sleep or rest. Very hard work indeed, little rest, your work platform is constantly moving, keep your eyes wide open and stay out of "the bite". Every vessel I boarded I was well fed and taken care of by fellow deck hands. No one wants to see any one get hurt and it's very easy to happen during commercial fishing. My Brother is currently in Bristol Bay, as a Captain of his own vessel now,a gill netter, in the water waiting on the largest salmon run in the world. I've worked on his vessel several times but my health has gotten the best of me and I can no longer work. Believe me, if you adventure to Alaska, become a deck hand, you will make the best money you have ever made in your life. And the scenery and wildlife will take yur breath away. I've returned to Alaska 6 times, not to work but just visit. It's a very majestic place that keeps calling me back. Keep in mind Alaska is also unforgiving. I wish you the best in your future dreams and never let anything hold you back from achieving those dreams. Sincerely, Kedo
Also try Paul Hall School Of Seamanship, Located in Piney Point, MD
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:38 PM
 
741 posts, read 695,707 times
Reputation: 1356
In a crappy-economy world where Deadliest Catch has been on for a decade now regularly talking about how much money those guys make, it has radically changed the profile of getting fishery work.

If you want high risk high reward work, find jobs where there isn't an ongoing reality show documenting how a guy with tattoos on his face can still bang down $20K in one month.
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
7,078 posts, read 11,866,440 times
Reputation: 5815
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaba View Post
In a crappy-economy world where Deadliest Catch has been on for a decade now regularly talking about how much money those guys make, it has radically changed the profile of getting fishery work.

If you want high risk high reward work, find jobs where there isn't an ongoing reality show documenting how a guy with tattoos on his face can still bang down $20K in one month.

I hear that with the crackdown on illegal aliens in Texas that the field is wide open for lawn boys and burrito benders. Ima guessing if a person really buckled down he could pull in 20K a year if you worked all the overtime they gave ya.
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:17 AM
 
Location: alaska
319 posts, read 847,048 times
Reputation: 157
Default deck hand

i loved it. all the work u can possibly do in a 14-20 hr day working the gear.bout 3-4 weeks of that then ya get to go fishing. yaaaahooo. we worked 51hrs non stop fishing blackcod. cold wet tiered. not hungry. we ate well. after 8 days i swore i'd never go out again. then i got my sare of the trip. i had more money than for any 6 month period of any job i'd ever worked. but i love the sea and boats. a good place to hire on a boat heading to ak. is ballard in seattle wa. all kinds of companies and boats.
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Redwood Shores, Ca
376 posts, read 403,431 times
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it used to be a great way to make money, back in the 90's before IFQ's, when boats fished derby style and the season's were only 48-72 hours long. 50K for 72 hours of straight work, was not uncommon at all. But that's the glory in it, the truth was in order to hold that job for the next year, you had to do boat yard work in Ballard. Then ride the boat up to Alaska which is 7 days. Then gear work in Dutch Harbor. While you get to see the fishing part on Deadliest Catch, it cannot depict the true pain that went into it. Between Red Crab and Opies we made 100K+, for maybe a weeks worth of fishing, it wasn't just 7 days of work. It was kind of crazy, getting paid 750 a day to sit at the processing dock to get offloaded. It was an experience, but if you think you can work it a few summers and make enough to buy a boat, you are just dreaming.

Back in the 70's I heard of stories of guys winning poker games in the bar, with permits on the line. They could take that permit and fish salmon. Guys who went up to Alaska, back in those years, got in when it was great. They could take that salmon permit and parlay it into king crab boats today. Those days are gone, with IFQ's you will have to fish months in order to make what I did in 72 hours. It's a different fishery. While they don't necessarily fish in the conditions we fished in, because it used to be a derby fishery. The boats will still be out in that crappy ocean, jogging into the sea, until the weather backs off enough to work safely.

What does it take to work as a deckhand? Resilience, mental toughness, physical strength, and balls.
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:31 PM
 
Location: alaska
319 posts, read 847,048 times
Reputation: 157
Default when i started

there was no halibut season. fish blackcod year round. pursaine 24hrs a day.then they started tagging fish. that was the end of anything. to go from the fishhouse to a boat is hard.your working when the boats are in.off when the boats are out. i got real lucky.i flew into sitka i shoveled ice off the boats to make money.i'd walk the floats and dock metting the captains. then bout aweek i had a job on a cod boat.yaaahooo. we would switch out the gear for cod, crab, butt,and salmon in summer easy fishing in the summer after what we went thro from jan to may. if ya can you should note things before hiring on a boat.like how much does the skipper drink. that could be a problem. what kind of shape is the gear in. is it new. if not has it been maintained. is the boat painted. if not are they going to. if not does it look ok. no rust-some rust or rust bucket. does the crew seem to get along. work well together . it's not always the best looking boat with the best gear that can make u bucks and bring u home. sometimes the gear looks good cause they hardly use it. i look for the in between boat. she may be a little rusty she may need a little paint. the gear maybe a little worn but well maintained.the crew works well together . i try to get on a native boat . they are hard hard working fisherman. they know were and when the fish are. i've been blessed to be the only white man on many boats.i green horned on a native boat.they taught me well.and just how much work you can get done in a 51hr day.yaaaaahooooo.remember there is no rope on aboat. everything is a line. bow line,anchorline.groundline,bouy line.tie upline.well u get it.oh did i mention the pain.cuts blisters. hoooo my hands hurt me backs stiff my feet hurt ect.yaaaaahoooo.

Last edited by unconscious; 07-13-2014 at 03:41 PM.. Reason: i foweled
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:32 AM
 
1 posts, read 141 times
Reputation: 22
I am kinda in the same position as you are, I'm 22, no real direction or commitments on my shoulders, but unlike you I have moderate experience at sea, and I'm not baby faced I'm tall strong, and prime sailor material. And I know someone in the industry. As someone who has walked the path that you are, here is my advice,

First of all, dont walk the decks. Your chances are slim, incredibly so. All the old timers I know gave the same advice.

NOWADAYS the best course of action is to get into processing, like others said, your PRIME goal is to get a position on a tender boat. If crabbing is your ultimate goal, that's a good way to break into the industry, because it's as much a social game as anything. If you can get into a processing ship (not bad pay either) and work your way up the ranks until you land a spot on a tender boat, (tender boats run product between fishing vessels and the processor so the fishing boats dont need to leave the fishing grounds), you will meet crew and captains, and gain rep. From there you can start asking guys on deck if they need help next season etc etc. Its a pretty small handfull of men working crab boats. But if you just want to go out to sea and earn your salt, a good place to start is in smaller ports working lighter shifts. You can earn up some deck time and gain some much needed experience so when and if you decide to go up to Alaska, you wont be completely green and you will increase your chances.

Granted, I am young like you, on paper i have the same experience as you, so my word is to be taken as such. But all the old timers, pros and vets all gave me the same advice.

If you want to get some good practise with some other skills, I would try San Francisco maritime museum. I volunteered there for ten years of my life, from when I was a little kid up until my late teens, and maintaining an antique vessel is a great experience, itll help you by teaching you welding, knots, all rope work and general maintainance that would ultimately make you more useful on a real working vessel. Learn about hydraulics and general repair and some basic first aid if you can. Guys are going to get broken bones and deep cuts and knowing relevant skills makes you more useful. The more you know the more likely you will be accepted. Alot of marine work requires some training or extensive experience, getting licensed as an able bodied seaman is a good step, but for those like us who are young, or perhaps a bit under a financial vice, then that's not usually a good place to start because it takes time. Most people young or otherwise who try to break into fishing work who werent born into it are there for the money. Adventure seekers would be wise to find another route because most of thetime, you would probably have a higher safety rate in the military. EVERYONE gets hurt at sea and it is a hostile environment. But that's part of the allure. I'm getting my start on a small fishing boat in California just to get some deck time under my belt, after that I'm moving up to Newport where I have family to support me while I work those socks, THEN I'm going to Seattle. Jumping right in green as grass isnt a great plan as plans go. Like any career you gotta work up a pecking order and gain experience, but unlike most other careers, there is an incredibly complex social aspect and culture that MUST be adhered to, you are going to work days at a time with no sleep, often times injured, and you have every boy with a television set wanting to be like the deadliest catch boys who will ship out to try their hand, and while they dont have any experience, they are stillcompetition, and the only way to get a leg up on the average Joe rushing out to get a taste of marine life is to get more experience than them. Dont shoot big right off the bat or you are dine a dozen. Study up for a while, practise your knots, study up on sailor culture and traditions, and if you are really driven, you can make alot of money and have some stories to tell, not to mention a decent weighty bragging point on your resume. It's a profession respected across all walks of life for a reason, it's the hardest work you will ever get, its exploitive and you are going to be thrilled by the excitement likely for all of about a day before the wonder and excitement gets pissed down the drain and you are destroying your body.

Anyway, as a fellow aspiring mariner I hope my research and advice will help at least a little. And I wish you luck buddy, I'm hoping mine pays off too.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:57 AM
 
11 posts, read 1,649 times
Reputation: 30
Mahlon hathorn Thanks for a very interesting post.
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