Best east coast union?

Looking to join a east coast union as a AB Limited, was working for ferries for 5 years before I got shanghaied into joining NOAA and have only been home for 1 month in the 14 months I have worked here and looking like I wont be able to go home until I quit so I was hoping for some advice on what union to join for either more research ships or cargo ships.

What’s your highest level of certification? Assuming you’re non-license, I’d guess SIU. Idt there’s even other options besides that if you want to sail Union as a rating.

Upgrade to AB-Unlimited, sounds like you have the time and there’s no exam going from AB-Limited. Larger vessels are limited in how many of their ABs can have less than AB-Unlimited. Your chances of getting out as AB with a union will be much greater with AB-Unlimited.

Thank you for the help, im looking into upgrading to unlimited, i was under the assumption that near shore time didnt count towards it.

The requirement is for time on oceans or Great Lakes. Near coastal is a subset of oceans, see the definition in 46 CFR 10.107:
Near-coastal means ocean waters not more than 200 miles offshore…