Best tug company to get a start

Hey guys, I want to make a move. I was a river tankerman for a couple years, then an AB/Tankerman for Vane Bros for a bit. Been working on ferrys the last bunch of years. I have a 500ton Inland and GL master, 200NC mate. Im headed to finish a TOAR sign off next month, and will also test for my NC steersman. Ill need 30 days training and observation on tugs after that. I have STCW, Radar, marine radio operator too. Who would be a good tug company to try and get on as an AB, AB/Tankerman or training mate and get my training and observation time finished, and move into a mate position? I may be able to end up with a 1600 inland master before i make a move. 1 more class, and like 50 days of NC time, Id have a 1600 NC with a TOAR sign off. Any suggestions are appreciated.

If you are saying you “have STCW” it’s probably just Basic Training (there are 29 different STCW endorsements). If you are going to work where STCW is required, you’re going to need more than just Basic Training. To work as an AB where STCW is required you are probably going to need Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch, Able Seafarer-Deck, and Proficiency in Survival Craft. To work as a Mate you’ll need Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch. The STCW is a significant effort. You should probably make sure that’s where you want to go before committing to the costs and time required. Also, l you won’t be able to get some of the required assessments done on an inland vessel and/or one less than 500 GT (200 GRT).

For inland only, and only if you do the inland TOAR. Since you do not (yet) have a license for 500 GRT or more for near coastal/oceans, you can’t work as mate of towing vessels with just 30 days and a TOAR.

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Can you go back to Vane? Last I head they were looking for people and have a training program. Otherwise, seems like most are hiring so pick a geographic region that you want to work in and go from there. Where are you located?

I have all that, Thanks. Also, with about 50 more days of NC time, and a celestial class, I will have my 500 NC mate. According to the NMC checklist, its a toar and 30 days.

I wont be going back to Vane. I’d rather just go be the door greeter at Walmart, but thank you. Looking on the East coast.

Look at a company like Dann Ocean or Tradewinds. You most likely wont be running Mate after 30 days, nor would I think youd want to but you have the right idea. I’d recommend my company bc we are looking for mates and will train, but we aren’t doing any NC work at the moment. I know Foss is gearing up for work on the East Coast up in the New England area soon. They need people in their oceans division. I’ve seen ads recently for Vinik and Stasinos too if that helps. Id look to get with a company that youre willing to be at for a minute. Most place that are going to sign you off will want you to stick around and work there for a bit…

Another recommendation when finding companies would be to use linkedin, FB, and/or subscribe to Workboat Magazine if you aren’t already. It is free and there are usually pages of help wanted ads in the back…

Ha…no, I dont expect to run as mate for a while, certainly not after just 30 days. I just want to get my foot in the door with a company that will help you to move up and foward. Looking on the east coast. I also hope my reply about Vane wasnt to snarky. I had a bad experience there. Not gonna bash them here, but I would not go back there.

I would look into Crowley as being a great place to start in a mate position.

Thank you. I hear good things about Crowley. I also heard they did away with the jab requirements about 2 weeks ago, but its not reflected on their website for all jobs. Do you know if they still require covid shots? Thank you!

Sorry, I don’t know their jab requirements. They do have multiple fleets including government work so maybe it depends on what fleet you are interested in. Certainly a recruiter from their website could be of more insight.