I am currently still in school and trying to get on a tug as a cadet to finish out my sea days. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t be able to get my TOAR and my MOT if I do 30 days as a cadet. I tried to go through this forum to find something that answered my question but didn’t have any luck. All help is greatly appreciated.
R u trying to get your ticket punched or do u want to actually be able to perform the required tasks in the future?
I am sure u CAN get ur TOAR and MOT in 30 days but do u want the responsibility of the watch with only 30 days of handling a tug under your belt?
Okay, you don’t have any license yet. You have no experience on a tug, and as a DE I wouldn’t think of signing off a TOAR for you in 30 days. You misunderstand the “30 Day Wonder” thing. It’s meant as a gateway/loophole for[I] licensed[/I] individuals who already have their ticket and wish to “lateral over” to the towing industry. There are plenty of anecdotal references about getting signed off in a day, but that is an unrealistic expectation for most and much less so for a cadet.
You don’t absorb these skills by just stepping on a tug and spending a few weeks aboard, you observe, participate and learn them by seeing, doing, and then performing them competently and safely, [I]after[/I] you’ve seen it from the deck. You may think you understand and be able to quote theory but that’s not experience.
The fact is, you can’t get the experience, maturity, or skill sets under your belt until you’ve had a substantial amount of time on deck. You should realize that it takes a lot of practical experience to understand what’s going on on the deck and how things go wrong before you’d have a clue as to how to deal with it from the wheelhouse. You’ve got to pay your dues to get in the wheelhouse.
I tell every cadet I’ve ever had that they won’t get signed off until they’ve put in their time and at least have some experience under their belt. You’ve got to know what’s going on as a deckhand first, then you can shadow the wheelhouse and learn how its done.
I don’t see how the academies can fill your heads with this nonsense that we’ll sign you off over your summer break. We’ve got men on deck waiting to train and get signed off, and they’ve worked on deck for enough time to have earned that privilege.
Get your degree and your license.
If you want to work on tugs, get a decking job and put in the time to earn your slot as a tug mate, expect to put in 18 months or more learning how to deck a tug. Then if you show us you “get it”, you’ll get your shot.
We’re not going to hand it to you because your Professors said so. You can’t expect us to simply hand you the wheel and sign you off. You’ve never dealt with any real world situations that would temper your knowledge and give you a firm base to work with.
Like I said, get the ticket, put in the time and you’ll get what you want.
I completely agree, I don’t want to be piloting on my own right out of school either. I was just making the enquiry since I know a lot of recent graduates who were seeking jobs were not even considered by tug companies due to their lack of having the TOAR & MOT. I was thinking having the tug experience would entice a company to put me on as a deck hand then a steersman/apprentice pilot until I was ready to fly solo.
I agree with most of it. You do need to walk a mile in their shoes! There is NO substitute for experience. However, the industry IS FULL of wheelhouse personnel whom are afraid you’ll take their job away. So they like to keep you down on deck, by saying your not ready. I met 1 captain, who told me he’d been with the company 19 yrs. 12 yrs before he got to the bridge. He told me, So don’t expect to be there in short time. I left that Company.
Some guys are naturals, some need a lot of work. Some never get it. Shadow the bridge crew 18 hrs a day, even off watch. Show them you desire knowledge. Sooner or later, They’ll get it…
And remember, Common sense ain’t that common. Always think about action/re-action. Always think 5 steps ahead of where you are while piloting.
If the recent graduates are looking for the wheelhouse right out of school, I’m not surprised they’re being kept at arms length. It takes time and experience to get MOT, something they don’t have yet. Why aren’t they biting the bullet and asking for entry level deck jobs and working their way up?
No reputable towing company is likely hand you your own watch fresh out of school and let you stand “the twelve to six” on your own even if you can present a TOAR. We’re aware of what the schools are saying and how the TOAR’s are being signed off. Let’s just say IMHO their standards are a bit too generous.
If you really want the job, first get your ticket and degree, then go back to the companies where you sailed as a cadet and apply for an entry level position. Any cadet I’ve ever had, gets a letter sent to H&R either recommending them for future employment or one with a “scarlet letter”.
You will be able to work on the TOAR after you’ve demonstrated an aptitude for the work.
Mr. Cavo, a respected and valued contributor to this forum, uses a term “supernumerary”, it refers to someone riding as an extra man (like a cadet), not an employee. As a cadet you get a small per diem but you’re not a crew member in reality, you have no responsibility except to complete your “project materials” for school and not get yourself killed.
A cadet is one step away from being a passenger, so he’d be “under our wing” until he completes his tour. You can and will get exposed to the work, but the time frame you’d need to really understand it is a lot more than 30 or 90 days.
Towing barges and ship assist work is serious shit and it’s not a cakewalk.
The scale of what we work with in the real world dwarfs the nonsense the academies are claiming as actual towing experience. They should hang their heads for claiming your TOAR sign-offs are realistic when they use paint rafts and motor-launches.
Put the time in on deck to get the experience and training in towing operations and learn them from the ground up. Don’t think that we’re being unfair and holding you back. Everyone has skin in the game on a tug. If you don’t know your job, it could end up killing more than just you.
In Reply to Capt Wahl;
I see fewer of these Tugasaurs these days that feel threatened by the young newcomers. My experience in the last ten years is a long way from the paranoia these guys used to exercise. I’m sure they’re still out there, I hope they’re retiring out soon.
If the new guy “gets it” he’ll see his promotion in due course. I see little benefit in guaranteeing a short stint on deck and then a shoe-in to the wheelhouse. If they’re not ready we all pay the price for letting them kill us or themselves. Twelve years to get promoted to Mate or Captain? It seems to me either a tight, low attrition company, or lack of drive. Why wait twelve years if you’re going nowhere?
[QUOTE=jfk;44107]I am currently still in school and trying to get on a tug as a cadet to finish out my sea days. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t be able to get my TOAR and my MOT if I do 30 days as a cadet. I tried to go through this forum to find something that answered my question but didn’t have any luck. All help is greatly appreciated.[/QUOTE]
[B][I][U]IMHO[/U][/I][/B]… as a DE…I find this question and underlying “attitude” just plain scary…what is even scarier is there is probably some DE out there willing to accommodate this guy!!
[QUOTE=seadawg;44122][B][I][U]IMHO[/U][/I][/B]… as a DE…I find this question and underlying “attitude” just plain scary…what is even scarier is there is probably some DE out there willing to accommodate this guy!![/QUOTE]
I think he qualified his feelings. Give him the benefit of the doubt. You gotta start somewhere.
The way things are going, hawsepipers are a dieing breed. If you want to see or read something scary, go to the IMO website under new proposed regulations and look at the things they are pproposing. Everything from supply boats to running in the ice to hauling anchors with NO OJT. You HAVE to do the training so everybody will be specialized. I am glad I only have 15 to 20 years left. Soon you are going to need training kjust to scratch your ass or change your mind.
There is a HUGE difference between ‘having a license’ and being competent. I don’t mean to bash the school system, but there is a HUGE disconnect between what is being taught and what is needed to stand your [U]own[/U] watch on a towing vessel.
Most of the teachers sailed on ships that are smaller deadweight tonnage wise than some of the ATB, and tug barge combinations out there today. In virtually every case, when the ships hit the pilot station, the Pilot does the actual harbor entry, and then a docking pilot actually docks the ship. If the ship does the docking themselves, the Third, second and chief mate don’t actually do the ship handling, but the Master does it. Having sailed on ships I know the truth! The third goes out on deck, the second keeps the bell book, and the chief is usually doing cargo paperwork, to speed up the port turn around time. Yet the industry is told that ‘Unlimited’ licenses are worth more both experience wise and proving competence than the ‘Limited’ tonnage licenses with regards to operating the towing vessels. You can learn theory of Electronics, ships business, navigation, Rules, and spend hours (days) on a simulator. But NOTHING is a substitute for actually seeing/feeling/handling tugs and barges underway, alongside, astern in all the different possible combination’s. Not just talking about it and drawing it on a dry erase board, but seeing it happen, and seeing what happens when it goes awry. They all handle differently, and the changes in draft and apparent wind change everything.
Now we have this 30 day check off and TOAR system. This was tailor made expressly for, and to benefit maritime graduates. No other category of new mariner meets the criteria to be able to qualify for this 30 day rule. The only other mariners who can benefit from the 30 day rule are individuals who already have a 500 ton (or larger) license, which shows they already have over 5 years sea time actually doing, learning and earning.
You must be aware that the job of third mate is a ‘sea mate’ position. When you get to the sea buoy the master comes up, and babysits the pilot. On a tug, there is just a master and a mate. Working 6 on and 6 off the master can’t cover the mates watch if the mate is inexperienced. The mate must be self sufficient and be able to stand their own watch. There are some tug companies who do have a three watch system. But those ‘second mates’ are not doing any more than following the autopilot, and ensuring the vessel doesn’t stray off course.
Now to answer your question. As I understand it (as a DE) your TOAR only counts when you do the evolutions and have a license over 200 tons. You don’t have a license yet! So what you are trying to do is to have the TOAR ‘pre done’ so when you graduate and get your license you’re ready to go. I think that is not the intended spirit of the regulation.
If you find someone (a DE) who will sign you off like this, then I would suspect their professional judgment!
Well said Cappy208, my point exactly.
[QUOTE=kjfink;44110]I completely agree, I don’t want to be piloting on my own right out of school either. I was just making the inquiry since I know a lot of recent graduates who were seeking jobs were not even considered by tug companies due to their lack of having the TOAR & MOT. I was thinking having the tug experience would entice a company to put me on as a deck hand then a steersman/apprentice pilot until I was ready to fly solo.[/QUOTE]
You are not the first cadet who has come (to me) and said these words. However your own words are both the answer and the dilemma.
You want to be ‘signed off’ on a TOAR so you can get an apprentice slot. In reality you need to deck first, to get the apprentice slot, THEN after you have some time you fill out a TOAR, then you go steering.
The intention of a TOAR is to prove (somewhat) that you are ‘ready to go’ and stand your own watch. Somehow the expectation of receiving a TOAR has been muddled (by more than one cadet, at several schools) into the perception it is something that it never was intended to be.
The enticement is not that you have a TOAR and no experience, but that you are willing to learn, do, excel, stand out and stick it out. Then a TOAR will put you above the rest.