How to become a yacht engineer: Approved Engine Course (AEC)
Written by Michael Henson
Last updated: 11/10/2016
If you plan on having a job on a superyacht as an engineer, you’ll need to obtain the internationally recognised skills and MCA qualifications necessary. Read on for a breakdown of how to take your first step on the ladder if you are planning a career as an engineer on board.
The largest yachts of today employ multiple engineers from assistant engineers to 2nd and 3rd engineers, right up to the top-level chief engineers.
The first step – Approved Engine Course (AEC)
The Approved Engine Course (AEC) is the first level qualification for the MCA Engineering Officer training scheme. It is seen as the first step on the engineering ladder for those with no formal marine engineering experience and is an ideal introduction for those who wish to improve and enhance their employment prospects in various aspects of the marine industry.
A quick summary of the Approved Engine Course (AEC)
The MCA Approved Engine Course (AEC) is a four-day course (30 hours) that provides the practical basic hands-on training and theoretical knowledge of engines and associated systems.
Further to the job opportunities the course will provides an invaluable skills base for those planning to skipper smaller yachts.
The course is not a compulsory, however it is advised for a career in marine engineering. It costs between £550 and £875.
What job can you get with the Approved Engine Course (AEC) certificate?
It enables you to work on board yachts as an engineer, duel deck engineer (a deck hand and engineer) and also legally you can become a chief engineer. However it would be very unlikely to become a chief engineer with this certificate alone, remember the Approved Engine Course (AEC) is the first level qualification for the MCA Engineering Officer training scheme. Read these amazing guides to improve your chances of getting an engineer job.
Having obtained the MCA Approved Engine Course certificate, it offers up the opportunity to legally fill the position of:
- Chief engineer on sailing yachts over 24m in length and less than 200gt and 750 Kw within 60 miles from a safe haven
- Chief engineer on motor yachts over 24m in length and less than 200gt and l500Kw within 60 miles from a safe haven
- Act as the assistant engineer on vessels over 200gt within 60miles from a safe haven (under the Large Yacht code LY(2)
What is involved in the Approved Engine Course (AEC)
The course includes practical sessions as well as all the theory requirements and will cover:
- The principles of two and four stroke engine operation
- Construction of engines
- The role of air in the combustion process
- Fuel systems
- Cooling systems
- Lubrication systems
- Engine electrical systems
- Power transmission
- Hull fittings
- Fault finding and rectification
- Safe working practices
- Bottled gas installations
- Pollution prevention
Approved Engine Course (AEC) examination and assessment
Continual practical assessments with theory-based examinations will take place throughout the course.
Approved Engine Course (AEC) Prerequisites
- Students must be 18 years and over and hold a current medical fitness certificate (ENG1)
- Students with no formal engineering must have completed one month's vessel experience
- All students must have completed the compulsory STCW 95/2010 course