License Inclusion

Hello! So I did see the CFR regulations regarding my topic but I am wondering if anyone can clear it up for me. I have my 100 ton inland captains license and then got my 3rd mate oceans unlimited license. I am currently trying to get my unassisted towing endorsement but I am wondering if it will apply to my 100ton inland license or if it will apply to the 100ton master license that’s built into my 3/m license that should be near coastal or oceans? This is where I am confused. Does anyone know what masters license is included with 3/m oceans unlimited? The CFR says something about “within limitations” but I just want to make sure that’s within limitations of my 3/m and not my 100 ton inland. Sorry for the long explanation but bottom of the line, if I add the unassisted towing endorsement, would it be to my 100 ton inland master license? or would it be part of the built in master license within my 3/m license? TIA

Ill take a stab at it.

“Assistance towing” endorsement is the SeaTow / TowBoatUS, tow in the disabled pleasure boat endorsement.

You cant run a tug boat with it.

Other guys will chime in, but with your third unlimited, I think you need a TOAR to get in the pilothouse on a tug.

Years ago when I upgraded from 100 ton to 500 ton master, they “dropped” the “Assistance Towing” endorsement from the face of the license, as it wasnt needed over 500 GT (as explained to me). I dont think an unlimited license gets that endorsement. I currently only hold a 200 ton license, and the endorsement…But no way am I getting into a tug pilothouse with it.

Its a 10 question test that you (as a 3M) could probably pass in your sleep.

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Thanks! That is my intention, to work for sea tow or tow boat US but they won’t hire me with the inland masters license and the endorsement because then i’m restricted with who to help. That’s why i wanted to clarify that and i’m hoping it will apply to the master license built into my mates license.

If you have a 3rd Mate endorsement, you do not need an assistance towing endorsement to engage in commercial assistance towing (e.g. SeaTow, et al.). See 46 CFR 11.482(a):
Holders of endorsements as… master or mate endorsements authorizing service on inspected vessels of 200 GRT or more do not need the assistance towing endorsement.

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thank you very very much, exactly the answer and CFR i needed!!

When you got 3rd mate did you get stickers or a new book? If you got a new book I’m surprised they left the 100 ton Inland in there at all.

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I got a new book and yes it’s still in there, inland master is even listed before unlimited mate. It is very frustrating because people see that first and say “we don’t have work for inland masters”.

How long ago did you get it? If it’s recent you can say they messed up and demand a new book without it. When I got Master Unlimited Oceans they left Master Unlimited Inland in my book also and I demanded they remove it to avoid that same confusion.

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Though beware, you may have a hard time getting work as a 100 ton Master with just a 3rd Mate because those same people are probably not going to understand that a 3rd Mate authorizes you to serve as Master on vessels up to 99 GRT.

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Simple problem to solve. Go get some seatime and upgrade to 2nd Mate and Master 1600 Oceans.

Of course, you will then encounter people that say: “you are overqualified.”


You may find it harder to convince them that a 3rd Mate can be master on a vessel under 100 GRT.

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I am already having that problem. does anyone know what limitations the 100 ton master has when it’s built into a 3/m unlimited? is it near coastal or oceans?

It has the same limitations as your mate license, whatever those are.

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The holder of a license or MMC for master, mate, or operator endorsed for assistance towing is authorized to engage in assistance towing on any vessel within the scope of the license or MMC- so can you run a tug boat and tow in a vessel as long as it is not a barge?

Sure. As long as the vessel being towed is disabled and the tug is under 26 feet.

Assistance towing doesn’t have to be under 26 feet.

If the tug is under 26 feet, it’s not a towing vessel. Anyone can tow anything with it, no license required.

Umm… no. Anyone can tow anything with it if they aren’t doing it for money. If you are doing it for money, you need to have a license that allows you to conduct assistance towing when doing that (master or mate 200 GRT or greater or a specific endorsement if less than 200).

And I don’t know why you think a tug under 26 feet isn’t a towing vessel. It isn’t Subchapter M, but if it is used for towing, I think that is all that is necessary to call it a towing vessel. Even the little SeaTow boats can be a towing vessel if they are pulling something.

Obviously, you don’t know.

I dove into that after I let my 500 ton license expire, and replaced it with the easily obtained 200 ton.

The rules seem to indicate that if you’re towing a “disabled vessel” (I’ve never seen a size limitation) and using/operating a “towing” vessel (converted Bayliner or legit “tug”) within the limits of your license (let’s say a typical tug under 200 GT), you’re good to go.

Its entirely possible that subchaper M throws a monkey wrench in that entire paragraph though. I am aware of some relatively LARGE assistance towing vessels scattered around the country including legit tugs. “JAGUAR” in New Bedford comes to mind.

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The USCG definition of a “towing vessel” excludes boats under 26 feet.

Although one or more 25’-11” boat(s) may be pushing a 200 foot barge, they do not require any inspection or licensed mariners.

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