Friday, 10 February 2017


I was surfing the net and came across a site called Seatalk, It is a wonderful tool for those not so proficient in the english language wanting to get more familiar with seafaring terminology. Best of all it is free for anyone to use. I suggest to go to the FAQ section first or clicking the "how to use" video, as the website is not very straightforward to use.  Below is the excerpt from their homepage.

What is SeaTALK?

SeaTALK presents a unique online platform for Maritime English resources! The platform provides a Maritime English syllabus with materials within a framework of STCW competences, CEFR levels and the ECVET system.
The SeaTALK platform offers Maritime English Training Modules for each rank and function on board:
  • Deck Ratings (Support Level) 
  • Engineering Ratings (Support Level) 
  • Deck Officers (Operational Level) 
  • Engineering Officers (Operational Level) 
  • Electro Technical Officers (Operational Level) 
  • Senior Deck Officers (Management Level) 
  • Senior Engineering Officers (Management Level) 
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Thursday, 9 February 2017


After having stepped off Maryah in January I looked for new challenges but it appeared no one was stepping off or looking to employ Captain's. I ended turning down one offer as I was just about to board a plane for a course so that went as well. Then having been pretty much unemployed for most of 2016 I did my STCW Manila upgrading and renewed my license so I am good to go for the next 5 years.

Courtesy of The HR suite

Then I also decided to further my education a bit and have gone looking at shore side career paths that could be a possibility. The difficulties with choosing anything viable and good as well as recognized by a serious body is very difficult, the plethora of what is on offer is staggering.

For example there is the Maritime training academy that offers dozens of maritime related courses and was about to sign up for them but after discussing it with a few colleagues I did not go for it. The opinion was why go for a half-hearted solution instead of a full MBA at a university? The price of a yacht management course is cheaper than uni but is the certificate really worth it? Will it teach me anything of value at this age and at this point of my career? Is the MTA cert valued in the industry?

Then I started looking at universities offering MBA's in the maritime sector, one criteria was how much could have been done online as distance learning. I got up Liverpool university and another university in Hamburg, the MBA was a couple of years hard study and cost around 30.000EUR. I followed a colleague of mine that did the Liverpool MBA being overworked to the hilt doing assignments. In the end I found a solution close to home and applied for a Master in Maritime Management in Finland. As a citizen the education is free. At the time of writing this I have already submitted my thesis plan to Novia and awaiting news if I will be admitted this autumn or not.

Then as a more practical certification I went of the Lloyd's superintendent training programme that is 1 part online and then physical courses at their training facilities. This is by no means a cheap solution and the Superintendent certificate is ranged from Bronze to Platinum. To reach the bronze level they require a minimum of 5 courses and the more courses you do, the more you pay and you get a certificate attesting to this (12 courses for platinum, one course around 750EUR). As you can see the more courses you do, the more you pay. As a private person they give a considerable discount and as I have attended courses I saw most participants are from shipping companies that pays for them assuming this being part of their policy of improvement.

I also came across an outfit that could be confused with Lloyd's but has actually nothing to do with them, it is Lloyds maritime academy. Apparently this outfit appears to be a thorn in Lloyd's side when I asked one lecturer about them but another said some clients had good experience of their courses. It appears their curriculum is recognized by RINA as well as, when I was in touch with them, the course fees were not too exorbitant. The saying goes that there is hardly anything that is good and comes cheap so I skipped them too but who knows, maybe their courses are good. I don't want to prejudice something I have not actually experienced.

As a a conclusion there is a lot on offer but it is not cheap and it is not easy to ascertain the value in such courses as well how they are regarded in the maritime industry. When looking into these outfits I would carefully read the fine print and then look into the accrediting bodies that are displayed on their pamphlets. The key is the accrediting body and knowing which bodies are recognized in the industry and reputable, not very easy as for me this appears like entering a jungle. I understand there are also the "flag of convenience" outfits ashore too that are more interested in you loosening purse strings to their benefit than educating you.
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