What's life like as a marine engineer?

Ryan9

Newbie
I am thinking on joining the Royal Navy as a marine engineer apprentice. I am wondering if anyone can tell me what the Royal Navy is like ? How many months do you get deployed at sea ? What's the normal days like , working hours etc ? What's the cabins and shower washrooms like ? Basically just how life is like as a Royal Navy marine engineer? If anyone could help me with any of these questions it would be appreciated, thanks!
 
Its like being a WAFU but with work involved.:)
Sea Harrier, 8 Maintenance Hours per 1 Flying Hour (I rest my case) :) mostly carried out in the early hours.

Obviously as a Pinky I was only there for trade cover and to play solitaire.

We can all sit around looking at dials all day :p
 
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Paxman_Valenta

Badgeman
I'll bite.

I am thinking on joining the Royal Navy as a marine engineer apprentice.
No such thing. You'll join as an Engineering Technician (ET) which will involve as its most basic function diagnostic & repair activites on electrical & mechanical equipment as well as ships fittings and fixtures (Hull).


I am wondering if anyone can tell me what the Royal Navy is like ?
It entirely depends on what you want to get out of it. I want to travel and work hard but go and play even harder afterwards. I know that sounds like a itsh cliché but its true. I work my nads off onboard but then go and do a weeks AT in Germany or get the department together and play footie or something like that (beer afterwards/during/before) as appropriate. If you want a decent wage, good benefits and great mates then I couldn't recommend anything else. If you just want to doss around, not work hard and not get promoted then you'll find that fairly difficult as the push in the branch is to get those who can, promoted to fill holes.

Watch the TV programmes, they're pretty "fluffy" and show loads of the good bits but they'll give you an indication of what its like onboard.

How many months do you get deployed at sea ? What's the normal days like , working hours etc ?
Again, depends on where you go and what you're doing. My last gulf trip was 7 months. Most deployments now are 9 months. The OPVs, Survey Ships and PROTECTOR operate on a crew rotation system where the ship stays deployed and the crew moves about. I've no experience of this so can't comment further.

What is a normal day like? Well you'll be watchkeeping which essentially means running around looking after all the machinery. Outside of this you'll be working for your section carrying out preventative maintenance and defect rectification. The ME department also has to contribute manpower to the ships emergency party and other "whole ship" activities such as the dining hall party. So days can be very dull if you're just watchkeeping and nothing much to look after or they can be horrendously busy if you're doing lots of exercises or something like fuelling at sea.


What's the cabins and shower washrooms like ?
I can only speak fr0m Type 23 experience but they represent the "old" way of doing things now. I understand the T45 have communal arrangements but I've no experience of this.

On a T23 there are four messdecks for JR's. The smallest holds 18 bunks and the largest holds 45. It is ship dependent on where you end up. One ship I had was "mixed" messing which means a random handful of branches are dispersed between the messes but I know other ships still employ "tribal" messing which means each department has its own mess. This latter system although not very common, works much better.

Because the T23s were designed before the introduction of females at sea the washing/showering arrangements vary. If you have a male & female ship the showers are split in that the male & female showers are the same room however they've got a bulkhead in the middle so you dip out slightly in that the number of showers available to you are reduced. If you've got an all male ship then obviously you have the full number of showers available to you. I've been shoreside for a while now but I think it was five or six showers & sinks for the JR's. A common sight at 0730 is a queue of lads standing outside the shower cleaning their teeth!

Basically just how life is like as a Royal Navy marine engineer? If anyone could help me with any of these questions it would be appreciated, thanks!
In short:
Busy,
Hot,
Fun.

I hope this helps.
 

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