Fishing Boat Engineer

posted: 04/11/12
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If the captain is the ship's head, then the engineer is the ship's heart. Engineers have the pivotal role of keeping the vessel running smoothly — not the easiest task when such heavy and complicated machinery is involved. Add violent waters, bitter temperatures and blistering winds to the mix, and you've got one of the most difficult roles in what is already among the most dangerous occupations on Earth.


Fishing boat engineer who can maintain fickle machinery in high-stress environment on open seas.

Job Description:

You will be responsible for running the mechanics of the ship throughout the crab fishing seasons. Duties include upkeep of highly valuable equipment both in the engine room and on deck and frequent inspections for leaks. You will need to upkeep equipment that includes a 1,200-horsepower, 12-cylinder main engine, which, without proper care, would cost a cool quarter million dollars to replace.

Applicants should be prepared to wear heavy-duty, protective headphones to prevent permanent hearing loss from being in close proximity to the engine's turbo.

As engineer, you will operate the all-important knuckle crane that transports valuable crab pots on deck, plus manage the vessel's fuel and crab tanks, which make up 148,000 gallons or 60 percent of the boat's volume and can dangerously affect the vessel's balance. While working long, cold sleepless hours, you'll also need to be alert in order to quickly track down and handle emergency repairs to the power generators, pot launchers and crab pumps or other equipment.

On top of these regular duties, the captain expects the ship's engineer to pitch in wherever needed on-board — from hauling in pots to measuring crabs for keepers. As a result, this position is as stressful as the captain's and as physically demanding as the deckhand's.

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

Candidates for position as engineer must have several years experience on a fishing vessel as engineer or deckhand. The ideal candidate will have known the captain for years on a personal level, having won his hard-earned trust on previous expeditions.

Candidates should be expert welders and have a thorough working knowledge of electric and hydraulic systems. They must also be extremely organized to provide for all possible backup supplies, down to spare hydraulic hoses and pulleys. Due to the highly competitive nature of the crab fishing industry, shabby quick-fixes that cause the crew to lose valuable hauls of crabs won't be tolerated. Attention to detail is essential — merely forgetting to turn on a fuel pump can kill an engine.

Why You Should Want This Job:

If you grew up wanting to be Scotty from Star Trek, crab boat engineer is your dream gig. Push yourself and the equipment to the limit in risky ventures with uncertain fates.

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