Best opportunities for a 500 ton NC Master

I have a 500 ton NC Master with BST STCW & TWIC. (AB unlimited too)

Most of my time is as AB & Mate, but I also operated 60 & 100’ pilot boats for awhile - & grew up with small boats. I can drive a boat. Also have sailed as unlicensed engineer.

I’d like to maintain my residence in CA & work stints wherever the pay is best. Probably crew boats in the Gulf?

I’d appreciate any general tips/thoughts, & if anyone could recommend companies or recruiters that I should contact.

Thank you!

The gulf is pretty dead. There are some OSVs and crew boats in the LA/LB area, maybe you can check them out.

It’s going to be hard to get on a crew boat right now with plenty of experienced people looking for work. You might be able to get a deckhand spot on a tug and get a TOAR done that way. Have you looked into the West coast towing outfits?

Hey Bayrunner, thanks for the reply.

That’s surprising to hear - although it was totally an assumption on my
part, not based on any real information.

  1. Do you think that OSV’s & crew boats are the best bet, given my license
    & goals?

  2. Any tips on how to find the operations in LA/LB area?

Appreciate it,

Thanks Capt. Phoenix. I’m just starting to investigate, so all of this
information is helpful & welcomed.

I’ve done some AB work on tugs, but I didn’t know about the potential to
get a TOAR. Seems to be a big gap these, getting the tow endorsement, as
most tugs don’t have a mate position.

I’ll ask around about that.

In my experience most tug boats have at least one mate, sometimes more. I think tugs that run with just a master are in the minority.

Tugs that don’t have mates? Didn’t know the gulf was slow? Where have you been hiding?


workboat jobs in California were few and far between during the best of times, and during the best of times wages were behind the curve as well.

with that being said, right place right time and networking is just a critical as ever, and you could luck out and stumble across something. if you are in the so cal area I’d try american marine, ship services, curtin maritime or pacific tugboat. those would be your best bets. trying the ship assist tug companies is one of the toughest nuts to Crack anywhere, but if you want to give that a shot and starve a lot go sign up at the IBU.

I wish you all the best in your search. On the West Coast there are only a handful of players left and that has made the market sour. The East Coast has more companies through the region and the Gulf, not so sure. If you read the jobs postings, Hardley Marine is building multiple ATBs ( Elliot Bay Designless Group) and is looking for anyone who is willing to go work in Alaska and pay for their flights. Opportunities abound there it looks. Give it a shot! In the dark.

Thanks CTony & Shackles! I really appreciate the specifics.

I’m not opposed to Alaska…

Best regards,