Apprentice Mate/Steersman Upgrade

Hi, I had a few questions regarding the upgrade. As I understand it from looking around online, 100 Ton Master NC can upgrade to a 200 Ton Master NC with the seatime they had as 100 Ton Master NC as long as that time was 67 GRT tons or more, correct?

Now, with this 200 Ton Master NC upgrade in hand, they may sit for the Apprentice Mate/Steersman license or endorsement, correct? Or (& this is the big question) do they have to have deck dept seatime on a towing vessel first? (I’m on my 5th issue, & I don’t want to start over hopping barges)

I think I understand the TOAR requirements to get the Mate Of Towing license, which as I understand it, you must hold the Apprentice Mate/Steersman to begin accrueing the seatime for, correct?

Thanks for your help in understanding the upgrade process.

If you have the days you’re much better off going right to a 500/1600 master or mate’s license and adding a towing endorsement that way.

Thanks 4 the input. Is it possible for a 100 Ton NC master to go straight to a 500/1600 Ton Master or Mate? Seems highly unlikely, but I guess the rules could be different nowadays.

Ok, maybe my last reply did not go thru. Thanks z, for your input. I’ve found out a 100 Ton NC Master can sit for the AM/S w/o upgrading their license to 200 Ton (which may be a good thing, as I’ve never been on towboats), then put in the seatime to go on up.

I can see that this forum’s mod every post for approval b4 letting them be posted makes for a long wait time b4 posts go up on the board.

I’ve read some of the other threads in the tugs section, & the prevailing attitude towards oil patch guys switching to tugs is one of unfriendliness, which I completely understand, I never liked punks that were never even deckhands strolling unto the boat with a 100 Ton license, so been there, done that. But guys that have been deckhands for several years (5+, myself) then got their captain’s license, held that for even longer (5th issue, as I said) should count for at least a little less of that discrimination towards a GoM oil patch mariner trying to make the switch.

But if it does not, I won’t be surprised. :smiley:

There’s no beef with a guy who works hard for a license and comes to tugs looking to learn and isn’t a self appointed expert. Just know odds are you’d likely have to spend some time on deck. You can go right to 3rd Mate unlimited from no license, you can definitely get a 500 from a 100 ton. Look into the “old rules,” if you can still apply under them you best do it while you can, and go right for 500-master. That bypasses some STCW classes/assessments you’d need for mate, and other changes saving you $$. For all I know that date may have come and gone though. Also, most tug companies really want to see a tonnage license plus mate/master of towing. Only makes sense to get at least a 500. That opens up doors to osv’s etc as well.


  1. Canmarinersalreadyinthesystemchoosetobeevaluatedunderthenew requirements when it benefits them prior to January 2017? It is my understanding that they have a choice.

The grandfathering provisions found in 46 CFR 11.301(g)(3) for STCW officer endorsements are an important part of this Final Rule. They permit mariners who commence service or training before March 24, 2014, to use the existing requirements until January 1, 2017, if they choose. The changes to the national credentials will be phased in over a 5-year period starting March 24, 2014, consistent with the Coast Guard’s normal approach to implementing credentialing rules.

In August 2015 I went from 100 ton NC to mate of towing and 200 ton master. No apprentice mate, I skipped that. It’s spelled out on the NMC checklist for mate of towing and in the CFR. I had over 1080 days of master sea time, took the apprentice mate course and upgrade course from 100 to 200t. I completed my toar and my employer wrote a letter on letterhead attesting I had at least 30 days of training and observation on towing vessels.

[QUOTE=ZREXMike;160742]Thanks 4 the input. Is it possible for a 100 Ton NC master to go straight to a 500/1600 Ton Master or Mate? Seems highly unlikely, but I guess the rules could be different nowadays.[/QUOTE]

I went from Master 100T to Mate 500T…it’s do-able, you just need the sea-time and have to pass the tests. I recommend UpgradeU or Lapware, I spent every minute off watch with Capt. Joe’s for over a year before I was confident enough to go to the REC and test. Terrestrial isn’t a walk in the park… there’s a great thread on upgrading to 500T in the Training and Licensing sub-forum if you haven’t already read it. As soon as my Mate 500 came in the mail, I took my signed off TOAR to the REC and got my Mate of Towing…relatively seamless upgrade from 100T to Mate of Towing.

[QUOTE=captjamied;178219]I went from Master 100T to Mate 500T…it’s do-able, you just need the sea-time and have to pass the tests.[/QUOTE]

I believe it’s even better to do the Master to Master progression and go straight to 500 ton Master. That bypasses the OICNW assessments which he probably doesn’t have.

OP, you have until the end of this year to go that route so get on it…

Yeah, I did the OINCW assessments on my own dime at MERTS.

So what’s the upgrade from 3rd mate unlimited to 1600ton master??

[QUOTE=RubberRhib888;178484]So what’s the upgrade from 3rd mate unlimited to 1600ton master??[/QUOTE]

It’s the upgrade from 3rd Mate Unlimited to 1,600 ton Master.

Seriously though, I’m not sure what exactly you’re asking.

I’m getting mixed information. Is there a single test with only 20-30 questions or is it a battery of tests? Sorry for the vague question earlier, I typed and sent it on the fly.

Going from 500/1,600 ton Mate to 500/1,600 ton Master is 6 or 7 tests depending on NC or Oceans.

If you qualify for 2nd Mate (which requires holding a 3rd Mate) 1,600 ton Master is only three tests.

If you actually hold 2nd Mate it’s only one test.