2022 Blue Water to Brown

Hey chaps. I’ve been in the industry since 2009. I hold a 200GRT master NC with STCW and associated endorsements.

Im going to sit and test for my apprentice mate/steersman along with western rivers in a couple months and will go knocking on doors in order to find a company that will take me on in order to move inland to get my seatime and TOAR for a Mate of Towing.

Im burned out from the GOM mafia and all of instability with oil prices being part of the major deciding factors in my paycheck.

Anyone mind providing some pros and cons if they made the transition before and how it affected them in the long run? I look forward to your feedback. Thanks.

Like the GOM, go where the money is. Personally I’ll only work even time so make sure you’re going to be okay with the schedule. You can try the NY area for better pay but you may on deck a while before you get back into the wheelhouse.

Thanks for the reply, I understand about the money. Right now my current gig is in the process of money being thrown every which way and I’ve learned like most that this is just a temporary wave.

The NY area is hard up for officers right now. It should be easy to find work.

You can either take the apprentice steersman exam or get 500grt and a TOAR. You will definitely have to deck before you can get in the wheelhouse. There are very good reasons for that.

A lot of companies will hire you if you have the slightest inkling of license/wheelhouse potential. You would be surprised how many people cannot do this job.

I have only seen one of my deckhands make it to a steering job, but she was highly motivated. One guy was killed and the rest washed out, when they saw the training and education they had to get.

If you go the Apprentice Mate route, it’s 12 more months to Mate, and you also need the TOAR. Mate 500 is a faster route to Mate Towing Vessels.

If you have at least 3 years working as Master you can get Mate Towing by taking the apprentice mate exam getting at least 30 days on a towing vessel and completing the TOAR.

Thanks for the reply. I’m down south and I don’t know how hard it would be to get in with an outfit in the NY area. Once my cert is in my hand then I’ll be knocking on a lot of doors.

I do have plenty of seatime documented as Master and my planned route is to take the apprentice mate exam followed with the toar and 30/ 90 days of observation. Thank you for the reply.

Look for a company that has Captains who are Coast Guard approved “Designated Examiners.” Doing the TOAR will be a lot harder if the Captain of your boat is not a DE.

A TOAR isn’t not complete until you have your observation time. Therefore, nothing to extend.

Will do. Thank you.

In the event I’m unable to complete my 30/90 days and the toar for the mate of towing, does the USCG grant extensions for course certificates ?

No. But I am not sure what you are asking about. That the course that substitutes for the Apprentice Mate exam is valid for one year? If so, as I noted, no extensions for any reason. The expectation is that you will have all or most of the sea time before you take the course. The course takes the place of an exam given by the Coast Guard, and you cannot take the exam from the Coast Guard until you have all of the sea time. So the course is already offering you more than if you take the Coast Guard exam.