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EricGT

Dockmaster/Handler training

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This is going to be a pretty vague/naïve question.  So I figured I would come in here first to take my lumps.

The wife and I are looking to move to the Florida Keys in 2020 to begin the second half of our lives.

My wife's degree is in education and mine in business management.  She loves her line of work; I do not.

So my life goal is to start over at 50 years of age and train towards becoming a dockmaster. 

If moving to the Florida Keys, I want to be near the water and boats.  Makes sense, eh?

Question is- Where should I start?  Are there online course I may take to at least start with some sort of basic knowledge prior to stepping foot on a dock as a dockhand?

This looked like an excellent resource until I realized it is based out of the UK.  https://maritimetrainingacademy.com/

Perhaps this is not an issue.

 

Has anyone chosen this path?  If so, what were the early lines of direction?  It is very difficult to obtain any type of on the job training when one lives in the rolling hills of central Pennsylvania.

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Step 1 would be to see if anyone is even hiring in that area.  Step 2 would be to decide whether you are independently wealthy enough where you would be able to survive on minimum wage and only work because you just LOVE to be near the water.  Im sure many people ahead of the line would have to die before a real dockmaster job with a decent enough salary would become available but hey you never know.   Maybe take on a second job at McDonalds?

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Need to smoke a huge pipe. Wear a yellow raincoat. Also wear 12" high rubber boots.

 

You are qualified................. Must know where every business is located in the area.

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 ARRR             You be a salty seadog !!

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In searching over the past several months I do see dockmaster and dockhand positions open throughout the Keys. There are many marinas and resorts throughout the area requiring such positions. 

Im sure it sounds crazy to start over. However we do have the funds to survive off of for some time.

I could just go and buy a business.  But as I am sure many of you know, business ownership becomes as taxing mentally as some jobs requiring physical labor. 

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8 hours ago, WaterDR said:

Where is your degree from?

No degree. 

Area of education is in original post. 

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The dockmaster/dockhand is a trade learned thru experience and kind of apprentiship more than a formal schooling, in N America at least. The sailing and boating experience, the boat handling experience, knowledge of boat maintenance, local knowledge regarding water/tides/weather/safety as well as knowledge of local services ... all add up to qualifications that make a good dockmaster.

One should know the lines, mooring schemes best for local conditions, be quick with basic knots (like figure 8 done correctly), and be efficient in basic boating skills to start as a dockhand and progress from there. There is plenty of summer dockhands and gas dock attendants that have no clue. This is not only annoying but often plain dangerous ... do not be one of them.

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... and hire salty or otherwise experienced people ... that could be your Plan B.

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Plan A;  Get a job at the local marina.......

Plan B;   Take up golf and be a starter.

 

 

.

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You can certainly do as you wish and find a new career.  Good luck!  It’s brave and not easy.

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On 6/13/2018 at 1:23 PM, Richard W said:

The dockmaster/dockhand is a trade learned thru experience and kind of apprentiship more than a formal schooling, in N America at least. The sailing and boating experience, the boat handling experience, knowledge of boat maintenance, local knowledge regarding water/tides/weather/safety as well as knowledge of local services ... all add up to qualifications that make a good dockmaster.

One should know the lines, mooring schemes best for local conditions, be quick with basic knots (like figure 8 done correctly), and be efficient in basic boating skills to start as a dockhand and progress from there. There is plenty of summer dockhands and gas dock attendants that have no clue. This is not only annoying but often plain dangerous ... do not be one of them.

So true!! I just helped my friend bring has boat up from Florida. We went out side about 20 miles out for the first 3 days and than did the inner-coastal. I thought I was good. At night, he was talking to 900ft freighters and 300ft yachts like an every day event. Using A.I.S. and radar to plot victors for a C.P.A. "Closest Point of Approach".

Point being, experience is a great teacher. A Dock Master must arrange slips as to who is out and who is in. Along with there payments! Also, must know what type of power is need for that boat, 30amps, 50amps and some 220v and some take 240V.  AND Richards points too.       

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