License from a Cracker Jack box

I have seen numerous complaints by Masters and Mates with towing endorsements complaining about the TOAR assessment record and the ability of a Master of greater than 200 GRT being a 30 day wonder. First of all the USCG says a minimum of 30 days, there is nothing that says that the DE could not take a year or more if he felt it necessary. I am sure we have all seen Masters with similar licenses having vastly different abilities, some are great others appear to gotten their license from a Cracker Jack box. Secondly, I know of very few Master of greater than 200 GRT who would want to risk their license pushing a tow down stream before they were ready. Sure, there are some Bozo’s out there, but I believe the USCG thought if you were a qualified DE that you could figure out who was capable and who was not. I have also seen it repeated frequently that there just are not enough Masters and Mates with towing endorsements. Who is to blame for this, I believe the very ones who complain about the TOAR in the first place. You have an abundance of skilled Masters and Mates who are interested in learning your craft currently working in the GOM. It would only require that your companies and you, the licensed personnel, make an effort to train them to do the job, if they are found lacking show them the door. It seems that many of the towing companies are now hiring new grads from the academies with third Mate licenses. They often quit after learning that you expect them to get a little dirty and work hard, moving on to the deep water vessels. Well I say it serves you right, there is an abundance of highly qualified licensed personnel who have paid their dues the hard way and you have ignored to your loss. I have worked with unlimited Masters and Mates, and as I said earlier, some are great and others not so great. So in closing, if a USCG qualified Master or Mate ask if you would help him with his TOAR, he maybe asking for you to train him in the art of towing and not to just sign off on the assessments just because he has a license. You may not remember this, but you too had someone train you. Be safe out there and I will always give you guy’s a slow bell in a narrow canal.<O:p</O:p

Capt Mac - Very well put. I just had lunch with a very knowledgeable & skillfully tug captain and we had a similar discussion. It is amazing that these companies like to hire an academy grad over a hawsepiper because he has the schooling. I too have seen many academy grads hired on, get the DP training and move on to better things. My biggest regret is not doing the TOAR when I had the chance. Someday I will tackle that challenge also.

[B]In 1984 I tested for and was issued a 1000 Ton Mate Freight and Towing. When I renewed in 1989 that endorsement was no longer on my license as they had done away with that in favor of the 500 GT and 1600 GT Master. Now my 1600 Ton Oceans Master does no cover towing. It was not my fault that my seatime on Ocean Tugs was acquired with the 1600 ton Ocean Master. If the CG now requires a separate license for towing then I want my 1000 ton Freight and Towing license back…I asked for that in a letter to my evaluator and have not received any response to that issue…[/B]

By the way, thanks for calling it the “Art of Towing”, it has a nice ring to it.

I get that you think we ( Towing Master DE’s and towing companies) are ignoring the experienced mariners who wish to take a different direction in the industry. I think you’re off the mark with your post. They aren’t applying here.

We (Towing Master DE’s) aren’t the ones complaining about the TOAR, we’re embracing it. It’s the one thing standing between an academy graduate stepping aboard and taking the helm without a clue. It has happened in the past and the TOAR prevents it from happening again.
I think and I expect you may agree, the ones who are complaining should re-assess their position, it’s there to prevent an underqualified operator from steering his tow into danger or endangering himself and his crew (Perhaps those who need to complete the TOAR in spite of the license and experience on other vessels)
Any experienced mariner from any sector can agree that our jobs are not the same but for the “being afloat” part. I don’t presume to know how to handle a DP rig, I know tugboats. I would expect to need training and the need to put in time to earn my DP certificate.

I don’t agree with your reasoning on why we have a shortage of licensed mariners, specifically towing masters.
I think the experienced men and women looking to switch to tugs or towboats are reluctant to subject themselves to the ignoble tasks associated with “starting at the bottom” again. I get that. I don’t think you’re suggesting that we allow a Master >/= 200gt aboard and start him or her at the wheel without putting a reasonable amount of time on deck, IMHO it would be ludicrous.

One may be proficient with a large supply vessel, even an expert at DP, but tugboats ain’t that. One wouldn’t have the means to tell the deck gang what to do without firsthand knowledge. There are similarities with tugs and towboats that would apply to many different vessels, but in the end a tugboat/towboat is called upon perform any number of jobs that are very different. It takes a good amount of time to see all that a tug can and cannot do, and longer still to learn how to do them.

Any 3rd Mate that’s hired will be deckhand to start just like anyone else, Steersman Apprentice or not). They won’t see steering time until the master is satisfied they understand the deckhand’s job first. You can’t do an “end around” on the knowledge and experience you’ll need before you can stand your own watch in the pilothouse handling barges or assisting ships. Yes, some 3rd Mates quit and move on, but it’s hardly our fault for demanding they learn the job on our terms. We’re not being malicious by asking that much.

That said, I would be happy, no delighted, to assess someone’s ability and add to their knowledge and train them for the position, they just have to show up. They’ll need to show me they understand what a tug can and cannot do from the deck [B]first[/B]. Putting in the time is necessary, once that is done I will do everything I can to get them where they need to be. There’s no way you can manage the work without having experienced it from the deck first.
More experienced people will advance more quickly than inexperienced ones, it depends on many things. I had a fishing boat captain with 20+ years experience come aboard as a deckhand many years ago, he proved to be a helluva sailor. He stated in our first conversation that he wanted to steer eventually. My answer was, “I’ll teach you how to deck, and when I see you understand that, I will train you for the wheelhouse”. He was determined and allowed himself the time to learn what he needed and ended up as a tug mate within 3 years from that day. He showed dedication in every step he took. He had what it took and made it work, I was happy to help his advancement to the pilothouse.

So, when are [I]you[/I] coming aboard?

to Steve Foster; If you held a Freight and Towing license I believe you should have been grandfathered for the MOT. The rule states that if you were a tug operator before May of 2001 and could show the time, you would get the endorsement at your next renewal. I’ve included a link to info that may be useful in your dealings with the NMC.
Regards,
Capt Bill Brucato

I’ll second the opinion expressed in Capt. Brucato’s post, and recommend the posts [B]Hit The Deck[/B] and [B]Back On Deck[/B] from the MTVA forum for further reading.

To captbbrucato & captjacksparrow, excellent reply’s to my earlier post, License from a Cracker Jack box.
<O:p</O:p
Capt. Brucato, thanks for the invite, but I am too old a sea dog to learn all that you guy’s would need to teach me, but I do have great respect for what you do with your little boats. I wrote mostly for some of my mates who are always asking the questions I passed tried to convey and that I have been unable to provide an educated reply too.
<O:p</O:p
Capt. Sparrow, by the way a great name, ([I]sic[/I]) I found both of the articles you attached enlightening especially, Hit the Deck.
<O:p</O:p
Thanks again for taking the time to post these replies; I am sure that this will clear up many of the questions regarding the TOAR in the GOM, it did for me.

[quote=captbbrucato;17829] [I]…you should have been [/I][I]grandfathered[/I][I] for the MOT. The rule states that if you were a tug operator before May of 2001 and could show the time, you would get the endorsement at your next renewal.[/[/I]quote]

Note that this was for the [U][B]first[/B][/U] renewal after May 21, 2001, At most, it was valid until May 21, 2007 (five yaer validity of the olicense plus a one-year “grace period”). But this option has now passed. If you beleive it should be extended, how do you reconcile allowing someone who hasn’t been on a towing vessel for 20+ years to get the license based on prior service many years ago, yet someone who got the license from 2001 to 2004 who does not have towing vessel experience in the past 5 years has to re-do the “manuevering and handling” section of the TOAR to renew the license? Obviously the intent of the rule was that you have to remain current on towing vessels or demonstrate your continued proficiency. The grandfathering was a short term provision to allow mariners working on towing vessels to transition to the new license with minimal disruption.

[quote=stevefoster;17777][I]…I want my 1000 ton Freight and Towing license back…I asked for that in a letter to my evaluator and have not received any response to that issue…[/[/I]quote]

The change to the freight and towing license circa 1987 [U]increased[/U] the authority of your license, from 1000 GRT to 1600 GRT. However, even if we kept this license, it would have been changed in the same rulemaking that created the towing vessel licenses that was part of the fallout from the [I]Mauvilla[/I]/Amtrak [I]Sunset Limited[/I] casualty in 1993. Part of the intent of that rulemaking was to make all mariners on towing vessels, regardless of the specific license they hold perform practical demonstrations of their ability to operate a towing vessel. Asking for the long-gone Master of Freight and Towing Vessels license is not going to lead to anything but a diminution of your credibility, it will make it easier to dismiss any valid comments you have.

The above notwithstanding, you could have been grandfathered to the license when you renewed between 2001 and 2006. But your opportunity to do so has since passed. One of the reasons you cannot avail yourself of the grandfathering now is the general intent of the current regulations, and for the grandfathering. The grandfathering was intended solely to allow working mariners on towing vessels to transition to the new license with minimal disruption (hence the timing based on the renewal of the existing license). However, the long-term intent was clearly that if you don’t use it, you lose it, as evidenced by the requirements to renew the license in 46 CFR 10.227(d)(8)(D)(vi)(A) [formerly 46 CFR 10.205©(iv)(6)(i)]. This regulation requires a mariner who already holds Mate or Master of towing vessels renewing their license to complete the maneuvering and handling section of the TOAR (section D) if they do not have towing experience in the past 5 years. Clearly, if a mariner who got the “new” license but doesn’t have recent experience has to re-do the TOAR, someone who hasn’t been on a towing vessel for 20+ years should be subject to the same requirement. So even if you were grandfathered, you couldn’t renew without towing experience or re-doing the manuevering part of the TOAR.

[I][EDITED TO CORRECT TYPOS][/I]

Of course, I will defer to Mr Cavo,
I’ll admit I didn’t read the section that qualifies the “grandfathering privilege”. I wouldn’t suggest or support the premise of [“allowing someone who hasn’t been on a towing vessel for 20+ years to get the license based on prior service”]. I was merely pointing out the fact he [I]should[/I] have been grandfathered. However, if he failed to ask about it within the term of his first renewal after May of 2001, he can’t have been operating tugs. Without the endorsement he couldn’t have handled the boat [I]legally[/I]. I just wanted to offer a bit of reference material and never progressed to the logic you provided.
Thank you for the explanation Mr. Cavo.
Regards,
bb

[QUOTE=captbbrucato;17956]Of course, I will defer to Mr Cavo,
I’ll admit I didn’t read the section that qualifies the “grandfathering privilege”. I wouldn’t suggest or support the premise of [“allowing someone who hasn’t been on a towing vessel for 20+ years to get the license based on prior service”]. I was merely pointing out the fact he [I]should[/I] have been grandfathered. However, if he failed to ask about it within the term of his first renewal after May of 2001, he can’t have been operating tugs. Without the endorsement he couldn’t have handled the boat [I]legally[/I]. I just wanted to offer a bit of reference material and never progressed to the logic you provided.
Thank you for the explanation Mr. Cavo.
Regards,
bb[/QUOTE]

The exception would be the AHTS vessels. They tow 45,000 grt semi-submersibles without the need for a Towing Endorsement.

[I][quote=captbbrucato;17956]…I wouldn’t suggest or support the premise of [“allowing someone who hasn’t been on a towing vessel for 20+ years to get the license based on prior service”]…bb[/quote][/I]

I think we’re in agreement, the MTVA forum article you cited “Back on Deck” also supports the premise that you need to stay active to retain skill.

This has certainly been an interesting read, myself having worked 3years on deck w/o a license and then leaving for deep sea once I got my 3/M’s, now find myself wanting to get back on tugs with hopes of getting in the wheelhouse.I remember my first job on deck as a new green 3/M working as an AB…I swore up and down I knew it all and should have my license in a rack somewhere vs still holding a paint brush…its amazing how much my attitude has changed in 5 years.Now I just wish I could FIND one of those companies that is willing to put new hires through the paces of completing a TOAR, that want to persue the job in the wheelhouse as a career vs as something to do till something bigger comes up (ie green 3/M’s). It seems most companies I have spoken to in the past year have been almost belittling me when I speak of prior experience and desire to come back to tugs, Im afraid the “new 3/M’s” have but a bad taste in many of the HR’s mouths and they kinda treat all new folks the same…(but then again I was guilty of the 3/M issue myself)

What a refreshing attitude, [I]Salinity[/I]. The industry would be so much better off if more people saw it your way. There are, however, companies on both the east and west coasts that not only hire green 3rds for the wheelhouse, but actually prefer them. This isn’t a dominant practice, certainly, but it is disturbing nonetheless and plenty of needless damage (to both property and careers) has occurred as a result of it. Worshiping the paper instead of a learning ethic and ability…

Thankyou for the info, Im learning all about Tugboats. this has given me an even more determind approach to getting the right captain for The Brenda Rose. the last time i captained a boat I was in the virgin islands .she was a two seater sea kyak. oops. so im not prpared to sail the Rose with my partner at night under the moon light.With a torch and walkytalky… im ringing the coast guard.got to find one of the captains that sailed her. or first mate. even better i would love to learn all about the engine. so if you know the…? how do you say " 1st class Engineer the main Man him that knows about the EMD 657C 12 cylinder. i need a crew with those quallities to move this lady down the river. we Tom & Jason are new to this sport. but we have taken on the task of restoring this old girl to her formal glory. so when looking for a Tugboat/captain to push her up river or down what should i be thinking?.. bank loan or some good old navey rum the real stuff not pussers the stuff the navey stoped drinking in 1970… I think because they went atomic makes sence… anyway my dad sent me a bottle. loved to have a pint of grog with the captains of the Brenda Rose. Who took her to pitsburg what a lady she’s a work horse.i have many questions about her history. it might take more than one pint and a game of pool before we hear her life story. thanks for reading this…Is there a place to get the history or service logs. any documentations. please help sorry to ask… … cheers from The Rose, TOM & Jason…

[B]You have IMO# for her ? Previous company/owner name ? you have any pics of restoration ? goll, give us something here :rolleyes: even the serial’s on engines can help track a lot, get all you can and put it in your “profile” lol. [/B]
[B][/B]
[B]No really need more info, may be able to help and direct you better. :)[/B]

Is the vessel a 95 ft. tug built in 1940 hailing from Paducah, KY?

Here’s a good site to get info on documented vessels, either by name or Official Number:
http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/CoastGuard/VesselByName.html

You can get a complete chain of title from the USCG for any documented vessel from the USCG Documentation Office.
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvdc/

Thanks for the help this will get me closer to the history of this old girl. the load down …purchased her not even a week ago i leave saturday. to tnn tombigbee waterway misssissippee. Tom my buddy and i will restore her she’s a beaut. so 1940 tugboat. 106ft 205 tons sigle screw prop .EMD657c 12 cylinder. owned by triple k transportation LLC. last owner. Actually im looking for their phone number and address see if they have any history reports on her. sorry no new pic’s not until i see her on monday. we must go lets talk latter. thanks again i need surport this is a new sport for me looking for the captain want to talk to them about history…one’s again thanks Tom & Jason

im back in denver short trip to see brenda rose shes sinking nobody wants to help her … warning to all sea going crew… those boys down in mississippee are bloody pirates no respect for the river no honnour. coast guard needs to buck up and show some muscle… are we under war right now or is the moonshine that strong. if the brenda rose sinks in the middle of that channel is will be eviroment hazard. come one people who’s going to save the fish then. who needs two ye hards from denver to come down a fix this crap. every one’s got ther fingers in the pie. corps of enginneer columbus. who wants names and numbers. calling all captain’s… come one sailor this is your bread and butter. this river is americas life line. the brenda rose did a lot for this country and nobodt want to fix’s it greed… oh but its going to cost to must cry baby… whats it going to take some limey from colorado to throw some pounds down there. captain cook will turn in his grave i pound has to leavage the dollar on home ground. history shows the dollar has back the pound like true allie dose i guess its time to return the faver ay…bollocks i’d raver drink a warm beer in the rain than line those boys is pockets. all i got to say is lets go round the back it time to teach some manners… toms pissed… jasons going mental we are not on the brenda rose. i go snow boarding tommorow. we got 6inchs last night go A basin & keystone ye ha…