Discussion in 'RFA' started by ..Alfie.., Jul 30, 2014.

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  1. I just got a position as 3rd engineer with the rfa and obviously Ive seen all the brochures and been given the pep talks, but was just curious if someone would be able to shed some light on what the life onboard is actually like any info would be appreciated.
    p.s. How often in uniform and such whatnot actually worn?
  2. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    If you have been taken on as a Third Officer(Engineer) you will be a 4th Engineer. The RFA, like a lot of cruise companies play fast and loose with rank and insignia.

    Officers dress for dinner ( Red Sea Rig) and uniform is worn outside the confines of your cabin most of he time. You can eat in the duty mess in overalls ( not straight from an STP job please) but some seniors and a lot of chefs may fcuk you off if you are not duty. Clue in the name. Any training in RN Establishments; uniform.

    I get the impression you have no idea what you are getting into and the RFA have no idea who they're getting.
  3. The uniform question was more just me lookin for confirmation of what I knew, was more interested to see if anyone could say what being onboard the vessels is like, I dont see how Id know what Im getting into considering its a new job with different vessels, people and locations (and pretty much everything else) thats all part of the fun! :) thanks for the reply though
  4. Who have you worked for before?
  5. Only worked in the north sea so theres no real comparison to be made
  6. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    North Sea eh? PSV, AHTS, ERRV, Dive, Cable, FSPO, Scottish Fishery Protection, trawlers? All of the above? Some other vessel type I've missed?
  7. Errv and ahts, done a couple contracts on fishery research and seismic, still got the new job jitters though haha.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  8. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    My spies tell me that a few RFA engineers & deck officers are heading in the other direction. You may meet them on the gangway.
  9. Have you been 'contracting' since qualifying?
  10. No just for the past several months, the work is gettin a bit more too unreliable of late though
  11. I understand that, it was a similar story when I was working offshore.

    Have you been issued with/accepted a contract?
  12. Social or work?

    Social: there are usually 15-20 officers; there is a bar; there is a gym; often a fair bit of time alongside to go ashore; Internet access is poor.

    Work: between 6 and 10 engineering officers; a similar number of motormen; expect exercises and work outside of your watch, you may be doubled-up on watch (though only likely on Fort Austin at the moment).

    Any more specific questions?
  13. Yes ive accepted the position, thanks megalopteron the social aspect of things was more my query, just how it is in general. What the crews are generally like and such, i was a cadet deep sea and know what the crews were like there obviously it was smaller crews but socialising was always what got you through a seven month trip and kept you smiling, but ive been on a couple of ships where the divide between officers and crew are quite noticable and am curious if this is what its like on rfa vessels, for example on my last contract as a cadet none of the officers would socialise with ratings except the third eng, that was a very awkward ship haha
  14. Yes, there is a noticeable divide, and it works both ways. Separate bars, separate dining facilities. If you make a habit of accepting invitations to the crew bar it may be frowned upon (and acted on) by senior officers, depending on the circumstances and personalities. There are formal restrictions on such things.

    Who you associate with once you step off the gangway is generally regarded as your own business.

    Tread carefully.
  15. Thanks megalopteron for clearing that up, I suppose ill learn like any other job but as ive said just because ive got alot of time with my thoughts just now :)
  16. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Onboard socialising would appear to be with a Kleenex, laptop and 500 GB of porn if the closed cabin doors are anything to go by.
  17. What ship(s)? At sea, in port, or both?

    Bars often see more use in port, especially if there is a high proportion of watchkeeping officers. UMS ships tend to have livelier bars at sea as more of the engineers are free to drink.

    RFA bar culture has changed a lot over the years, and does tend to be less lively than in the past. A combination of new entertainments available in cabins and ever tighter and more strictly enforced controls on alcohol.

    On one recent appointment I was disgusted to find the bars empty at closing time, but the Internet café heaving, though the worst culprits were embarked RN/RM.

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