There are a variety of shore side jobs available for merchant mariners who no longer wish to spend the majority of their time at sea. One such opportunity is that of a ship vetting specialist. This article takes a look at this very unique occupation and identifies some of the qualifications one might need if he or she were to consider a career as a ship vetter.
In a nut shell, a ship vetting specialist is responsible for identifying the best possible [available] ship for his or her client’s needs. In other words, they answer the question “what ship will offer our client the best value”.
When evaluating a vessel, a ship vetter looks at a variety of data related to the ship’s historical performance and regulatory compliance and uses this information (along with his own subjective assessment of the ship) to rate the ship on it’s suitability and potential for a client. This information is then used to compare the vessel to other prospective vessels available for hire so a recommendation can then be made to the client on which vessel will offer them the best “bang for the buck”.
Metrics considered when evaluating a particular ship may include but are not limited to: Safety Record, Performance, Condition, Previous Penalties/Fines, Port Detentions, Classification Society Status, Special Class Notations, DWT, Efficiency, Crew Nationality, and Flag State.
Most major shipping clients (including the oil majors) have some sort of internal ship vetting department. Smaller companies resort to outsourcing their ship vetting needs to independent ship vetting companies such as RightShip and SGS.
Ideal candidates for these ship vetting positions will have extensive knowledge of ship board and port operations and vessel condition assessment. Masters and Chief Engineers are natural choices, but individuals with strong analytic and quantitative skills may also find success in this field.
To learn more about ship vetting opportunities available in the industry, a simple keyword search for “ship vetting opportunities” in Google is a good place to start. You can also try the maritime job boards at Rig Zone, gCaptain, CareerBuilder and Monster.