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Discuss RFA Deck Hand? in RFA on Navy Net; Hey guys im new on here and am looking for some information, I came across the role of rfa deck hand and it is a role I have a great interest in. As a recent ...
  1. #1
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    RFA Deck Hand?

    Hey guys im new on here and am looking for some information, I came across the role of rfa deck hand and it is a role I have a great interest in. As a recent graduate (2.1 Civil engineering) i am completely board of my office job and i am lookin for a new more hands on career. I have always been a hands on kinda person and the last thing i want is to so spend the rest of my life in an office.In terms of fitness i have always have kept my self in very good shape and have always been an outdoors person, that said i have zero mariner experience.

    I was wondering if anyone on here is currently or has been a rfa qualified deck hand and could advise me on whch entry route they would recommend,some information on the role , life at sea, the training involved, career progression opportunities and of course their opinion on the role itself i.e how much they enjoyed/ disliked it

    I would be greatly appreciative if someone that has the experence could post on this thread or p.m. me and provide me with the info i need.Cheers!

  2. #2
    Senior Member soleil's Avatar
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    Welcome to Rum Ration, Rampage.

    Just as a matter of interest, have you had a look at what is on offer on the Royal Navy jobs page too?

    Career Packs| Royal Navy

  3. #3
    Moderator angrydoc's Avatar
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    You'd probably be one of the highest qualified on board with that degree!

  4. #4
    Senior Member EarlyChop's Avatar
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    with a civil engineering degree you could be looking at Air engineering officer or Marine Engineering... even the RFA has jobs for qualified engineers... why he preference for motley crew jobs?
    RT for AET in April 2010.

    Everything done.

    Early summer 2012, hopefully.

  5. #5
    Moderator sgtpepperband's Avatar
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    Welcome to RR! Although there are some RFA personnel here that are more qualified than most to provide advice, the RFA do have a dedicated forum where more relevant enquiries could be made:"Toys Out Of The Pram" RFA Forum. Either way, stick around, pull up a bollard and join in the banter.
    "It is the peculiar quality of fools to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own." - Marcus Tullius Cicero
    "To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease." - Lao-Tzu

  6. #6
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    Unfortunatley that forum is still kaput.

  7. #7
    Senior Member WreckerL's Avatar
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    You'd be better off going for RFA Officer rather than a deck ape.
    Sh1t shot, pumping slop.

  8. #8
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    Hi there

    I have just left the RFA. I was in for four years as an SG1-A (deckhand/AB) WreckerL is right, officer is defiantly a possibility with your qualifications but you still may want to go in as an AB, the training programme is a bit longer but I have know people to get fast tracked. The problem with going in as an officer is you enter as a cadet with comparatively low pay, but if you go in as AB there is a system called "rating to officer" with better pay and the RFA will pay your expenses at college.

    As for the job, if your young, free and single, its fantastic, lots of travel. We spend all our time at work on ship, unlike the navy, there are no shore posts (except for higher rank officers). and lots of time off. For every 4 months on the ship you get 3 months leave. The work can be interesting and varies from day to day.

    The bad side is you are away for a long time, if you have family at home it can be very hard, 30 minutes of sat phone time a week and an unreliable email system when you are out of you UK is not a lot. Some people do fine, but there is a reason that the divorce rate in the navy is high, and it is the same for us.

    In summing up, for me it was a fantastic job before I got engaged, but when my situation changed I left. If you think its the lifestyle for you, go for it.

    If you want any more info PM me.

  9. #9
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    Hi blue Jay,

    Im thinking of making an application to join the RFA (deck hand). I have served in the Royal Navy but left a few years ago.

    How many stops do you get on a 4 month deployment?
    What are the work routines for a Deck Hand? Seamanship, RAS, painting and cleaning? Bridge Watchkeeping?
    Do you do duties alongside? Gangway duty etc?
    Single/Double cabins?
    Do you have to march around in training, salute in dockyard etc?
    How long to get L/H rate if you work hard and put the time in?

    Sorry about all the questions! Have looked around on here and the TOOTP website, but their forum seems to be down.

    Cheers in advance to anyone who can give me some feedback.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luminox View Post
    1) How many stops do you get on a 4 month deployment?
    2) What are the work routines for a Deck Hand? Seamanship, RAS, painting and cleaning? Bridge Watchkeeping?
    3) Do you do duties alongside? Gangway duty etc?
    4) Single/Double cabins?
    5) Do you have to march around in training, salute in dockyard etc?
    6) How long to get L/H rate if you work hard and put the time in?
    1) Entirely dependent on where you are. FOST tanker is in port (Portland, yay!) every weekend. Counter-piracy tanker is in port maybe once a month.

    2) Yes, those things.

    3) Gangway watches and if those are infrequent you go into the duty watch roster too.

    4) Single. Diligence is an exception in that if a very large naval party was embarked you might have to double up. Unlikely.

    5) No.

    6) Probably a long time, possibly not. The AB:LH ratio is about 7:1 so promotion is generally slow and often difficult. Passed over ABs frequently rant about the ex-matelots promoted ahead of them, so maybe you've got the right qualifications to get promoted quickly.

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