Inland vs Western Rivers test

Anyone have any insight on the differences between the nav general section on the Western Rivers 500 grt Mate exam? I know the chart plot is different, but is the nav general the same as Inland?

There is no western rivers route endorsement on any license except the towing license.

[QUOTE=Capt. Phoenix;76484]There is no western rivers route endorsement on any license except the towing license.[/QUOTE]

Correct, but we do have licenses other than towing vessels for “rivers.”

The subjects on the exams are noted in 46 CFR Table 11.910-2.

Get an inland license and that covers rivers, western and non western, and has identical sea time requirements. What is the point of a rivers license?

If you already hold a 100 WR license, can that be changed to inland then? What about near coastal?

I think some companies pigeon hole you into a more specific license to keep you from leaving…?

If you have a Western Rivers license then you have a towing license. The most straightforward way to cross that over to inland is to do an inland TOAR and , IIRC, 60 days as observer on inland routes.

I’m not sure what “A_Tagt” has, and I wonder if he knows. The words “…of Towing Vessels” should be a clue that it’s a towing license. I would have described that license as such. That he used “100 WR” vice the obvious makes me wonder what it is he has. If he were more specific about what he actually has, he might get some useful info.

Also, –IF– it is a mate or master of towing vessels WR limited to 100 GRT, there is another potential issue, how he was limited to 100 GRT. The typical way that a towing vessel endorsement was limited to 100 GRT is that the holder was grandfathered by having operated towing vessel prior to 2001 under a Master 100 GRT license. How the 100 GRT limit was added will impact how and whether he can obtain an endorsement for another route.

I have wondered about guys who only have 100 ton Master of Towing INLAND. Specifically, why they only have 100 tons. So, it’s generally that they were grandfathered in 2001, and have not take a Master of Towing exam?

I have also wondered why some of these guys are working on NEAR COASTAL routes.

Just as I wonder why so many guys with only near coastal license are going on voyages through the Panama Canal.

The USCG should only issue oceans licenses and only issue the domestic license if they have the STCW endorsement. Foreign inspectors don’t know the intricacies of the US licensing system.


That’s the most likely reason for the tonnage limit. When the towing endorsement was created in 2001, the intent was to grandfather anyone who was then working on towing vessels to retain the same authority they had under the old rules without further obligation. If anyone had this experience under a Master 100 GRT license, they were limited to towing vessels of the same tonnage. In those cases, removal of the tonnage limit would require taking the towing endorsement exam for the route(s).

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The USCG has really devalued US licenses in the global job market by not harmonizing the US implementation of STCW with the International version of STCW everywhere else.

We urgently need to phase out US GRT and use only ITC GT as a tonnage measurement.

I wonder why I spent so much time and money becoming fully STCW compliant with an Oceans license, when so many tug companies continue to use guys with Near Coastal licenses and no STCW on voyages that transit waters more then 200 miles from the US Coast, or within foreign countries.

Do the Subchapter M COIs specify navigation limits such as: Inland, Lakes, Bays and Sounds, Near Coastal, Oceans, or domestic or foreign voyages?

Does the Subchapter M COI for a tug inspected for an Oceans Route, specifically require officers with Oceans licenses?

Yep. 46 CFR 136.230

46 CFR 136.110 - Definitions.
Coastwise means a route that is not more than 20 nautical miles offshore.

Oceans means a route that is more than 20 nautical miles offshore on any of the following waters:

(1) Any ocean
(2) The Gulf of Mexico.
(3) The Caribbean Sea.
(4) The Bering Sea.
(5) The Gulf of Alaska.
(6) Such other similar waters as may be designated by the cognizant Coast Guard District Commander.

Those COI route definitions are apparently the same as under Subchapter T (small passenger vessels).

Of course the Mariner licensing restriction definitions are different. Inland is inside the colregs boundary line; Near Coastal is within 200 miles of the US Coast (not foreign coasts); and Oceans is anywhere in the world.

I am very interested to see an actual COI issued under Subchapter M, especially the manning requirements for more than 200 miles offshore.