Just got 100 ton master liscense. Want to work on barge tows. How long will I have to work as a deckhand before I can apply for an upgrade? Any info will be greatly appreciated .

Depends if you have a towing endorsement or toar.

there are three distinct ways to get a steering job.

The first is you MUST work ‘On your license’ meaning not as deckhand for several years. I am not sure but I think it is 3 years or 1100 days. Then you must complete a TOAR (while training on a towing vessel) Then you must have 30 days documented seatime ON a towing vessel. (total seatime here is 4 years)

The second way is for you to take the ‘Apprentice steersman’ license exam, and then get 365 days on a towing vessel (as an apprentice (NOT as a deckhand)) You already show at least 365 days to get a 100 ton. You need 180 more to apply for the apprentice. then you sail AS apprentice for 365 more. (Total seatime here is 2.5 years)

The last way is to get a license “Greater than 200 tons” which means 500 or 1600 tons and then completing the TOAR, and the 30 days as in example No 1. (Total seatime here is 3 years)

So in all you see you need around 3 years seatime whichever way you choose to approach it.

You can NO longer work as a deckhand while holding a license to have the time count towards a towing endorsement. You either have to have alot of seatime as OPERATOR on your license, or time as deckhand/trainee counting towards either a 500/1600 ton license or as an apprentice license.

Oh yeah, the time on a towing vessel while you are being ‘checked off’ for your TOAR must be with a USCG approved “Designated Examiner” or DE for the evaluation to count.

I know Im going to get toasted for this one, however…there are a lot of posts on here from guys “im new to the industry can some one give me advice on how to…” it has been said before but you should do a search and look at the older posts. there is a wealth of knowledge on here already for new guys getting into the industry. just my 2 cents. fire away boys

This seems to nearly handicap the process if getting a license since must companies do not have apprentice mate positions. You can no longer work as a deckhands while holding apprentice mate and have that time count? That sucks.

Let me start by saying thank you very much to all who responded I really appreciate it. I realize the process seems simple to people that have been in the industry for awhile. However there seems a several paths and many exceptions. I figured I would just ask a straight forward question that adressed my paticular specific situation. I got the answer that I needed, again let me say thanks for the info!! This forum is GREAT.

I have one more question most of my time was served as a deckhand on dredge tenders with some on a pushboat will the tenderboat time qualify me?

[QUOTE=Capt. Schmitt;55392]This seems to nearly handicap the process if getting a license since must companies do not have apprentice mate positions. You can no longer work as a deckhands while holding apprentice mate and have that time count? That sucks.[/QUOTE]

The NMC in WVa is getting REALLY picky with the wording of sea service letters.

For instance: My old deckhand was going for his Mate of Towing endorsement. This was after him going and getting an “Apprentice Mate License,” Following the program, and busting his ass on his own. The company wrote his sea service letter stating he has served as A.B. deckhand for XXX days, The NMC refused him a license, since the apprentice license states: upon 365 days as apprentice mate aboard towing vessels, and completion of a TOAR. The deckhand spot is NOT an apprentice spot. There is almost NO company hiring people in just a training position now. And the very few that are are VERY selective in picking and choosing who gets in. If (and this is a long shot) the HR in the office will write a sea service letter stating he was employed as ‘apprentice Mate’ then problem solved. But some HR people won’t write that!

If and when tugboat manning comes into effect with stated minimums of crew, then I am certain this issue will have to be addressed, since legally a company could NOT write a seaservice letter for apprentice time for a member of the ‘minimum’ crew (as that would be a violation of manning levels)

On towing vessels, I do believe Gone are the days of ‘learning while you earn.’ Or at least they are getting REALLY short on the horizon. Of course The end around is the "license greater than 200 ton’ caveat. But I don’t see where the actual experience necessarily comes from to cover towing vessels. The stated 30 days is not realistic. So this stretches the time until qualification another year (or two or three) I think this whole thing is being done to “weed out” the hawsepiper from matriculating up the hawse.

Do you think the increased diligence is due to the upswing in accidents? A while back I read at least one article that blamed green pilots for the increase in accidents. Or do you think the example you mentioned is localized to only certain offices or is it nationwide?