Marine Tech Career

Discussion in 'Outboard Maintenance' started by tomahawk, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. tomahawk

    tomahawk Well-Known Member

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    If this is in the wrong place feel free to move it.

    To Cut and Creek or any other marine techs out there, my youngest is a senior and is interested in being a tech on outboards. How do you guys recommend getting started as far as training.?
    There is nowhere close to us on the Treasure Coast. I know there is MMI (Big $$) and Broward CC has a marine program. Any advice?

    Thanks
     
  2. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    What's his level of boat and engine knowledge now?
    The best way to do it is to get a job as the go-fer at a shop and learn hands on.
    I would personally suggest against the school route if he truly wants to be a marine tech.
     

  3. Creek Runner

    Creek Runner Well-Known Member

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    1st tell him to pick another career, and to go to college.

    MMI is great but really doesn't give you the skill set needed to work at a dealership. If he really wants to do this for a living than he needs to go to a dealership and get hired on as a do boy, IE. Moves boats around on the lot, washes boats, test runs, helps rig, helps do mechanical work, sets up boat shows, etc etc. What ever is needed of him, he will begin to learn the trade and once he is able to do rig work by him self unattended. Factory school sponsored by a dealer would be the next step, I would suggest to 1st seek out either a Yamaha or Mercury dealer as these 2 have the most valuable  techs due to the fact they have about 90% of the market share between the 2 of them.

    Now what I would do is go to diesel school, if I really wanted to work in the Marine industry as a tech. Pick your poison Cat, Cummings, Detroit, Yanmar, Deer. Cat would be my choice!

    Anyways hope this helps, btw my 1st line is the best piece of advice I can give your son!
     
  4. Creek Runner

    Creek Runner Well-Known Member

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    Hey aren't you suppose to be working on an F350 or something! ;D

    Beat me to it again! [smiley=1-boxing2.gif]

    I say go to work for Cut's dealer as he always has free time to post on Microskiff :D j/k
     
  5. tomahawk

    tomahawk Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. No real experience, definitely not college material, only one out of three kids went. Getting a job somewhere in the industry is probably good advice. I'd hate to drop a load on a school and him not like it an want to quit.
    two down and one to go...Thanks for the insight.
     
  6. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    No, we've got two blownup 350's right now but I'm busy with Tim repairing a helm master setup.
    These things are a sweet nightmare lol
     
  7. Creek Runner

    Creek Runner Well-Known Member

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    Yeah can we say pre-mature gearcase failure! I had to re-calibrate a triple drive axius system the other day what a pain in the A--.

    Hey people learn how to dock your boat in current and wind!!!
     
  8. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    Or quit being cheap and hire a captain
     
  9. Capt Dan Medina

    Capt Dan Medina Well-Known Member

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    While I do 100% agree the fastest and best way for someone to learn at a quicker pace is to start at the bottom at a dealer, I can also tell you that there are some marine tech programs that are worth their weight.

    I attended the marine tech program at fort myers institute of technology (fmit) formerly lee high tech central. There were a couple reasons I chose to go to the school in fort myers instead of Mmi in Orlando or one of the other schools ( manatee in Bradenton)

    1-Cost of tuition and cost of living. I have a growing family with little ones, and moving to Orlando was very expensive as was the Bradenton area. Fort Myers was closer to the water, and being a die hard fisherman, this gave me extra incentive. Factored into the fact that Mmi was over 20k for the same state mandated curriculum, it didn't make much sense to me. Sure, Mmi has all the bells and whistles as it works with mercury. However, the same basics and core principles are taught at each respective school. Fmit was a state school, so cost was about 1/5th the cost. If he qualifies for a pell grant or scholarship, that will only help to make the costs lower.

    2- growing marine industry and a teacher that is involved. The teacher, mike esterline, is very involved in the marine industry. If you put in solid effort and show a genuine interest in the field, he will get you into the marine field. He knows the dealers, their respective owners, and is an active member for the marine association of swfl. At this school, You get what you put into the class. If you are more interested in being buddy buddy with the other guys in the class instead of learning, this school is not for you.

    The class is basically geared towards giving you the know how to be a successful entry level tech. You learn the principals behind 2 stroke and 4 strokes, diesels, stern drive, straight drive, etc.

    you will learn nomenclature in the marine industry. This in itself is very important. It is great to able to identify the port vs starboard side, the aft or bow of a boat. Knowing what a stator, rectifier and coil are and do....

    You will tear down a small 2 stroke down to the crank, and put it back together using the service manual.

    You will learn to write service orders, diagnose and repair engines and systems.

    You will learn how DC electrical systems work, and the proper way to rig a boat (switches, fuses/breakers, etc)

    I could seriously go on and on about the different things that you learn in the class.

    In my case, this next plus didn't really apply as I've been boating since I was in diapers and already held my captains license, but another big issue is you get real world boat handling experience/diagonosing. Sometimes The only way to verify a repair or identify the problem is water test the boat. Mmi does not offer any on the water training and neither did manatee. For someone who has no or limited boating experience, this can be a huge selling point.

    The other big difference between going straight to a dealership vs the school is that at the school, you have the time to ask questions and fully understand what you are doing. At the dealer, it is all about making the most of your time to make a profit.

    As I stated before, the school is to get you ready to walk into a dealership and not feel totally lost. The dealers do not expect you to come in and be able to rip apart a tranny or lower unit and put it back together. They do want you to be able to do basic items like verify that a bilge pump and float switch are working, and be able to change out the bearings on a trailer, etc. you will learn the more intricate systems at the dealership, and when they send you for manufacturer school/training.

    Only you and your son know the level he is at and if the school would be beneficial. Feel free to pm me if you have any other questions.


    Dan
     
  10. tomahawk

    tomahawk Well-Known Member

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    Wow, thanks for the in-depth reply Dan. I didn't realize there was a program in Ft. Myers or Manatee for that matter. We'll wait and see what he decides, he changes his mind as often as he changes underwear. I think I want it for him more than he does.

    I would love to do it, I recently retired from the public saftey field and need something to do for the next ten years or so, but moving or traveling that far is not an option.

    Thanks again
     
  11. Capt Dan Medina

    Capt Dan Medina Well-Known Member

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    Happy to help. Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any other questions....