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Looking for information regarding joining deckhand

Firstly thank you for taking ya time to read this. And I'm an annoying person.. I can't seem to do long story shorts, so i need to explain my situation first. Apologies in advance

My names Douglas, I've drifted through my 23 years of life in quite a misserable state. High school was my best times because i was highly academic but that's when my mothers health continued to deteriorate since 2005 and until today. My grades in 6th FLUNKED Because i was torn away from my friends and ended up in a high school / 6th form for top end people.. Snobs.. Rich kids.. etc etc.. To say i didn't fit in was an understatement. Meanwhile with my mums health when i was just about to do exams.. The surgeon gave up on giving a shit and tore out all her intestines and declaring she has 3 weeks to live.

I.. Well I stopped caring at that point.. I didn't care about college, I didn't care about myself. I spent most of the time wasting days on the computer gaining weight. I never got a job and so i've been relying on my parents for support

I've always ALWAYS wanted to go into the Merchant Navy, But was always afraid to commit. And knowing that i want to be in the merchant navy was just like holding a jar.. The lid was "Merchant navy" but i didn't have the foggiest of clues what that actually meant .. which careers were included.

This year.. Well December my father went into prison. and my mother was in hospital still and it finally opened my eyes with a curb stomp of how Pathetic my life has been. I'm tied down with being my mothers carer at the moment.

What i'm wondering is: Is there a way that i can apply.. Do the course and exam.. and then defer it for a year whilst i train my body to loose weight and such and make sure that my mother is able to live comfortably in a decent house when we sell this one.

I have multiple questions regarding like.. What sort of Health/weight is acceptable when you apply?.. Facial hair; Are you allowed to keep a beard.. Grow a beard or clean shaven? What exactly entails with the RFA.. I know a basic idea of you spend a few weeks doing like a training course before being moved down to portsmouth to a ship called "HMS Riley" or something similar.

If possible can i continue to ask questions if and when i think of some?
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
You'll get more advice from RFA personnel on here if you say what trade you want to go for.

As an aside the "ship" is actually a shore establishment in Torpoint, Cornwall. It's name is HMS Raleigh.
 
The trade? All i know was the course was Deck Hand officer or Engineering? ahhh.. My apologies as i said i have limited knowledge but thank you for replying
 
Depends if you want to go officer route. Prob not because you need good grades. This word "rating" keeps popping up and it's really fuckin annoying. It's crew. We crew the ship not rate it. As for Crew jobs you have;
Deck- work all the ships equipment and general dogs body. Help land helicopters, tie ship up, ditch gash, steer the ship, keep lookout, provide security whilst in port (shift system), paint the ship, do the replenishments, all the general jobs.

Motormen- engine room workers. Bit fucked over for time off in port as they work in watches at sea and in port. They work bloody hard especially when the ships in hotter climates. Do all the clanky engine room shit. Greasing stuff and mopping.

Cooks-pretty self explanatory.

Stewards-set tables and wash dishes. Make officers beds and ditch there shit. Do a lot of cleaning and silver service stuff.

Comms-sit in an air conditioned office and appear to do dick all whilst moaning the most. Really I have no clue what they do. A lot of computer based work and solve constant problems with shit equipment.

That's the basics. Yes you can have a beard. Yes you can be fat as fuck but there's lots of stairs and some of the bunks are small.
If you need more info just ask


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Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
Depends if you want to go officer route. Prob not because you need good grades. This word "rating" keeps popping up and it's really fuckin annoying.

Get her! Those who are not Officers have been "ratings" since long before you went to sea. Ask the Officers who went the RTO route for your starter for 10.
 

slim

War Hero
Get her! Those who are not Officers have been "ratings" since long before you went to sea. Ask the Officers who went the RTO route for your starter for 10.

But has this always been the case for RFAs Seadog?
Not having served on an RFA or worked with one I have no idea.
 

The Oggy

Badgeman
No it's merchant rules daft lad. You ask some of the older boys if there ratings. They will tell you that they most certainly are not. Fucking ratings. More matelot bullshit. So you are obviously an officer? And ratings are beneath you?


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Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
I'm looking at the Merchant Shipping Act 1906 ( as one does). Ratings were ratings then. Still are.

Ask the older hands what their STCW III/4 or II/4 is. Ask them what the Slater Fund is. Ask them what MSN 1863 refers to.

None of the above derives provenance from 'matelots'. Just because you don't like it, doesn't make it any less so. Suck it up.
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
I'd be more disposed to answering your questions Oggy if you did me the courtesy of addressing the points I've made about how, like it or not, 'rating' describes those who are not officers. I have some photos of RFA ratings in white fronts and milk churn hats. Before your time but some of the older hands.....

I've been gobbing off on Rum Ration for 9 years. There should be enough posts to give you an idea of my part in the big tapestry that is, the Naval Service. Some RFA ratings hate that description too. Be careful, all this anti RN angst will give you ulcers.
 

The Oggy

Badgeman
Yes rating does describe people. Just as much as dickheed describes yourself. But I reckon you won't like having that title. As do people you refer to as ratings.


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slim

War Hero
Yes rating does describe people. Just as much as dickheed describes yourself. But I reckon you won't like having that title. As do people you refer to as ratings.


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As a new boy you have certainly got the measure of Seadog:D:D
However don't dismiss him completely he does occasionally give some great information:eek:
 

The Oggy

Badgeman
Seems like he is not well like. I can't stand gobby cockheads like him. All fart and no shit. Brilliant on forums. But an absolute shitbag of an officer.


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Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
Just as much as dickheed describes yourself. But I reckon you won't like having that title.
I've been called worse. Usually when I'm right and pissed on some know fcuk all sprog's bonfire.

But were supposed to be civil here. Shit slinging is for Diamond Lil's.
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
You need to make your mind up Oggy. Am I "daft lad" or "old man"? I can see that you're confused. I understand and sympathise.
 

The Oggy

Badgeman
Now who is dodging the questions. Just what give you such authority to Lord it over us mere "ratings" have you served or are you some Walt sat on your computer dreaming of a life at sea?


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Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
Some coherency would be good Oggy. For the most part, it's you that is deciding where I fit in. You used the word "obviously" as I recall. Are you doubting your previous analysis? That could be hard on you.
 
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