500 Ton License

Does a Master of Towing endorsement automatically come with a 500 Ton Inland license ?

No. I mean, Hell No!!!

Unfortunately, once you have Master 500, there is a way to get Master of Towing with a completed TOAR plus 30 days of observer time on tugs.

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I have over 300 days of sea time on tugs from about 10 years ago so will that count as observation time? I also have over 2000 days of sea time on offshore vessels up to date

I also have a completed Western Rivers Toar

You’ll need to do the apprentice steering route or a completed TOAR for the area you want to work.

I am trying to work Western Rivers which I already hold a Western Rivers Toar from a simulator course that I took, is that good enough?

Probably not. I think you’ll need some recent Western Rivers observer time.

The USCG NMC staff makes a lot of mistakes. So you’ll probably need to apply and see what happens.

The best thing to do is hire a USCG “license consultant” to help you prepare your application and Shepard your application through the NMC review process.

Go here to the NMC checklists and scroll down to National Mate Pilot of Towing and see what you need. Or Master if thats what you’re going for.


Do you hold Apprentice Mate (Steersman)? If not, Mate 500 with at least 30 days (90 for Western Rivers) on a towing vessel and a completed TOAR may be the quickest path for you.

No I don’t I hold a 200 Ton Master Near Coastal and plan on testing for the 500 Ton Inland this month

Get the 500 ton first, then get the 90 days on Western Rivers tugs, and then go do a TOAR course.

You completed a Western Rivers TOAR, and have no time on a towing vessel on Western Rivers…?

I have time on western rivers tugs but it was from about 10 years ago

I think you’ll need some new Western Rivers tug time. I don’t know how much.