License routes

just upgraded and need clarification uscg cant give it!! Had mate/pilot of towing inland,great lakes,western rivers and 200 ton near coastal. Upgraded to master of towing inland,great lakes,western rivers and 200 ton near coastal. Received new license and was issued master of towing near coastal and western rivers. Question is does the near coastal cover inland,great lakes? Also new license has no tonnage for the near coastal. What if any tonnage limits for near coastal routes,and if so would this tonnage limit be for inland waters,great lakes also?

Did you have a Mate of Towing 200 ton NC or a 200 ton NC Mate?

yes had mate/pilot of towing inland great lakes western rivers 200 ton near coastal now have near coastal & western rivers master of towing. problem is i on 489 ton utv linehaul boat western rivers (mississippi river) which is ok because western rivers has no tonnage restriction. But my understanding is that the near coastal covers inland routes to the limit of license which i beleive is 200 ton, so if i go through locks and into inland waters would i be legal. Old license had inland and near coastal seperated which inland had no tonnage limit and near coastal was 200 ton.

Could you get your new license and type out exactly what it says, word for word? I’m confused as to what you are saying you have… Also, the 200 ton limit you had before, was that on your towing license or was that a separate 200 ton license?

You bring up a good question for Mr Cavo to wade through. It used to be pretty clear, that as long as you didn’t cross the line of demarcation a ‘master or mate’ of towing vessels was good to go on any tonnage UNINSPECTED towing vessel in inland waters. Going through a lock may be the line between western rivers and inland but not between inland and near coastal. The line of demarcation is found on all charts (that have one) and is also listed in the CFRs and the Rules of the Road. As part of the grandfathering process, and trying to make it more difficult to get the towing endorsement the USCG has made several more loopholes that need to either be clarified, opened or closed. Now it is so confusing to get a straight answer from anyone in a blue suit as to the the changes in the law. And the people you talk to at NMC are NOT the evaluators. They are civilian telephone workers who’s job is to take notes, and try to deflect you from actually talking to an evaluator. Sort of like a layer of insulation from actually getting to someone who you can actually have a rational conversation with.

Grandfathering has long expired. It was only available until the first renewal of a license after May 21, 2001. It has not been available for anyone since, at the most recent, May, 2007.

There is no tonnage limit on towing licenses when operating inland or western rivers. Also, a near coastal towing license gives authority to operate a towing vessel inland, but not western rivers, that is why the route is given as near coastal and western rivers.

Did you complete a TOAR to get the near coastal route on your towing vessel? If not they may have made a mistake in giving it to you. Having a Master 200 N/C license and a inland/WR towing vessel license doesn’t qualify you for a near coastal towing license.