Factory Trawler Living & Working Conditions

Life on a factory trawler is not for the soft-hearted. First, these ships are frequently offshore for weeks at a time, making for tough work conditions. The length of the boat is your entire world. Some of the more modern vessels have incorporated entertainment rooms with satellite TV and DVD players, gaming systems, workout rooms, and even small movie theaters in order to increase morale and make employment more enjoyable. But this is the exception, rather than the rule. On most boats, there is no cell phone reception, no television reception, no wireless internet. If there’s a phone aboard, expect charges of $10 per minute (via satellite)! You won’t have much time for leisure, though, due to twelve- or sixteen-hour work days.

How about living on a trawler? Crew quarters on factory trawlers vary as much as everything else. On some boats, a room will be crammed with four to eight people. There is only one bathroom for every level of rooms. On other boats, there are only two people per room and the factory supervisor tries to make sure that those two are on opposite shifts. There may be a bathroom with a shower between every two rooms. In either case, space is very limited. Bunks are small, but that makes getting up a lot easier. Usually each person only has one locker and a drawer in which to store belongings. So bring only necessities, especially the first time, until you understand the space limitations.

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