Hoping to return to Tug&Barges -not from GOM

#1

Hey gCaptian friends, I was hoping to pick your brains on the best route to the the wheel house. I have not sailed in about 9 years (and no I wasn’t doing the Drill ship thing, I was in am in an unrelated industry), still have my 3/m Unlmt & Stcw,Radar, PIC (need 2 transfer to reinstate) Toar was never 100% completed so prob need to start that over. I have 2 years on tugs (1 on a NY Harbor tug as A/B Deckhand slinging lines and 1 year as A/B Tankerman on an ATB in NY watching tanks fill up). Now that you have the basics here are the questions:

  1. The way my old company did it was Deckhand- Tankerman -2ndMate-Training Mate - then get cut loose as a Mate. I have come to realize not all companies do it this way. Some have manned barges, some don’t move oil barges,etc. Which companies in NY have a similar structure allowing for intermediate positions like A/b tankerman (on the ATB )- Second mate, that allow you to start to train, while also making a bit more than just deckhand pay???

  2. If I was to forego any cargo ops (either by choice or forced) and go with a company that will employ me as a deckhand, given I need a Toar etc. With my (albeit little) experience, how long do you think it will take to become a steering Mate and which company would be the best for this? (This is assuming I am not a complete idiot, fairly likable and hard working, which I am not saying I am, but lets assume the best).

  3. Given the option of either of the two above, which would be the best way of getting to that steering position?

  4. Should I bank on any employers giving credit to the 2 years of tug experience or is that too old?

Thanks for your help guys.

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#2

Things are really tough right now. GOM mariners are flooding the other sectors. You are definately marketable and more so than the average bear because of your experience.
Get in wherever you can in any capacity.Once you are in you know its only matter of time to advance…if you want to be picky about positions now is not the time.

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#3
  1. The way my old company did it was Deckhand- Tankerman -2ndMate-Training Mate - then get cut loose as a Mate. I have come to realize not all companies do it this way. Some have manned barges, some don’t move oil barges,etc. Which companies in NY have a similar structure allowing for intermediate positions like A/b tankerman (on the ATB )- Second mate, that allow you to start to train, while also making a bit more than just deckhand pay???
    All depends, the only company in the northeast where mates get involved in cargo is Kirby (ksea), usually they expect a guy to train while working as an AB for a while before getting bumped up to a training spot. but all depends.
  1. If I was to forego any cargo ops (either by choice or forced) and go with a company that will employ me as a deckhand, given I need a Toar etc. With my (albeit little) experience, how long do you think it will take to become a steering Mate and which company would be the best for this? (This is assuming I am not a complete idiot, fairly likable and hard working, which I am not saying I am, but lets assume the best).
    less than a year or ten, depends on your skill level and how bad the company needs you, who you work with etc. Mcallister is the way to go for experience in your situation.
  1. Given the option of either of the two above, which would be the best way of getting to that steering position?
    Harass people weekly or daily making yourself available to take any job they have without being picky. offer that you’d be willing to fill in as deckhand for a few days just to get your foot in the door, but make sure they know you do have licenses and experience to back it up.
  1. Should I bank on any employers giving credit to the 2 years of tug experience or is that too old?

it will differentiate yourself from green guys with no experience and your age will set you apart from 22 year old academy kids. I’d probably hire you over them, but your mileage may vary. its cyclical, one week many companies will need guys, the next 3 months they won’t need to hire anyone.

you could look into crowley atb’s who seems to hire people more for their big license and tankermen ticket than their tug experience.
[B]
when you talk to these companies make it perfectly clear that you were in fact in the industry a while ago, have a license, and are ready to go in any capacity to get back onboard at a moment’s notice.[/B] beating around the bush or not making these items perfectly clear will not help.

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#4

How would taking an approved towing course if he doesn’t have a valid TOAR look on a application.

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#5

[QUOTE=Tkoval;175214]How would taking an approved towing course if he doesn’t have a valid TOAR look on a application.[/QUOTE]

It it would look like a joke to a tug owner or real port captain (ex real tugboat captain).

But it might look great to a 25 year old HR girl or a KP kid with 5 minutes of experience who is playing port captain.

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#6

but if he went to diamond or equivalent on the Hudson and got a toar done on his own dime I’d respect the initiative. Especially since he knows he will have to train and perhaps deck for a while. It’s the guys that expect to walk into a steering job after getting signed off that suck.

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#7

[QUOTE=z-drive;175237]but if he went to diamond or equivalent on the Hudson and got a toar done on his own dime I’d respect the initiative. Especially since he knows he will have to train and perhaps deck for a while. It’s the guys that expect to walk into a steering job after getting signed off that suck.[/QUOTE]

I agree that he should go to Diamond and get his TOAR. It would be an advantage. He just shouldn’t expect it to work any miracles.

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#8

Can you complete a Toar without holding a license

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#9

[QUOTE=Tugslasthitch;175257]Can you complete a Toar without holding a license[/QUOTE]

Yes. It is possible, but probably rare.

Hypothetical Example: 730 days as deckhand on a 5000 ton factory trawler (360 while holding AB) , plus180 days as AB on a tug (with 60 days of “observation time”), plus 730 days as unlicensed master of a 199 ton FV, plus TOAR course, leads to first license as: Master FV 5000, 2nd Mate Unlimited, Master 1600/3000, and Master of Towing,

Diamond is selective. They only take people with adequate qualifications and experience for their TOAR course. The course is too short for inexperience people. You have to be able to run a 120’ single screw tug, make up to a barge, tow and push, and land the barge alongside s dock in a strong current. I believe they review experience and interview applicants by phone.

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#10

Not just diamond in any situation ,I sailed with acapt who had his de for two years before I got my apprentice mate and I could have done my Toar then? The nmc says you don’t have to hold A license or apprentice mate before completing a toar

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#11

The guy has a license. Third mate.

He completes his TOAR and can start working as mate of towing.

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#12

Hey Guys thank you so much for the feedback (Especially Z-Drive). I’m gonna put myself out to all the companies that work in the NE, not be too picky and just get on a boat. To be honest I am so excited to just get back on the water, I would be happy with anything (but still have 2 kids to support). Hopefully with a bit of luck it won’t take to long to get to the wheel house, however I am under no illusions, prob a long road ahead of me.

Regarding the class up in Kingston, I did want to take it, but most of the people I have spoken to said that it doesn’t matter because I still need practical training either way. Although I think the class serves a great purpose, if your on a boat w/o a DE or need it for a 2nd mate (cargo position).

Much appreciated guys, hopefully be out there soon!

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#13

He has a license. He can go to Diamond and get a TOAR done. Then he’ll have to get a company to hire him and let him work 30 days with the sea time letter written up as working as “Mate-Training and Observation”.
With his license, completed TOAR form, and 30 days sea service letter all in hand, he can legally work as a Mate.
Perhaps that previous tug time counts as training and observation time? I dunno. Jdcavo will know.

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#14

[QUOTE=0rion;175299]The guy has a license. Third mate.

He completes his TOAR and can start working as mate of towing.[/QUOTE]

He would be legally allowed to, but good luck getting a Mate spot with no experience.

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#15

[QUOTE=Capt. Phoenix;175311]He would be legally allowed to, but good luck getting a Mate spot with no experience.[/QUOTE]

If he is a young academy grad, there are companies that would put him on as a seabouy mate (like Crowley) or that would put him in a mate training program (Maybe Kirby). There are mom and pop companies that will train an inexperienced guy willing to work cheap.

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#16

What im asking is can you have your Toar completed prior to holding license , working on deck and training in the wheel house on off time completing the check list ?? Jdcavo??

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#17

[QUOTE=tugsailor;175313]If he is a young academy grad, there are companies that would put him on as a seabouy mate (like Crowley) or that would put him in a mate training program (Maybe Kirby). There are mom and pop companies that will train an inexperienced guy willing to work cheap.[/QUOTE]

I too know of a couple companies that will fast track a master/mate with at least a 500 grt ticket. But like you said, usually lower scale pay and just standing at sea watches…little or no stick time.

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#18

Still have to do the 30 days after his toar is signed off. And most legitimate outfits will put you in a training mate spot i.e. Deckhand learning how to work on a tugboat, your progression up depends on how big of a sponge you are and if you hold water or not.

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#19

[QUOTE=Tugslasthitch;175315]What im asking is can you have your Toar completed prior to holding license , working on deck and training in the wheel house on off time completing the check list ?? Jdcavo??[/QUOTE]

Yes. You cannot get the license until you have the TOAR.

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#20

[QUOTE=rshrew;175323]Still have to do the 30 days after his toar is signed off.[/QUOTE]

No you don’t. You only need 30 days total, not specifically after the TOAR is complete.

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