Newb In The Industry

Hello Everyone,

Enjoy the site, lot of really good info here. I retired last year after 20 years in the Navy. Last 3-4years of which was on 180ft Cyclone class Patrol Coastal’s. Currently finishing up what I hope is the last of the loose ends with the Coast Guard on my 1600ton Master NC and Master of towing endorsement. Been working in Virginia as a deck hand for a large east coast towing firm on an inland pushboat for the last year (struggling financially of course) and looking forward to getting back into the wheelhouse again. Looking to make as much as I can while balancing home life. Sounds like from previous posts that the oil patch is the place to go. True? What other options are there? Not looking for long hitches.

Thanks in advance.


Many ex-navy types enjoy working for MSC. If interested check out this discussion:

…but it doesn’t meet your short hitch criteria so it seems that offshore or tug work would be your best bet.

Thnks Ds…You’re absolutely right about the hitch criteria. Been trying to steer clear of MSC. Right now interested in learning ship docking with z-drives but if my current employer tries to leave me on the push boats I’ll have to seek greener pastures. Definately want to try stay where the technology is either azimuthing drive tugs or DP. Thanks again.


As I see it, you have two choices. You can utilize your master of towing and stay in the harbor (which isn’t that bad of an idea). Chouest is paying $450/day for harbor tugs at the new LNG terminals. 10 Chouest Captains and 10 Lake Charles pilots just completed simulator training at Mitags for that contract… This will be a high growth area with LNG…not a bad place to be. It will be a 5 and 1 rotation, but every third night, you are the standby tug…which means you go home (if you live within 30 minutes). Those guys will be way over $100,000/year. I’m not sure about open positions, but I’m sure about several more contracts on the gulfcoast.

Chouest isn’t the only game in town.I think Moran is looking for someone in Savanna and Foss was advertising for Long Beach recently. I have no idea about pay or rotation.

The other choice would be an OSV…the better choice in my opinion. You can get unlimited tonnage via 280 class OSVs, DP certification, and around $500/ day as a third or “training” captain(at Chouest). I guess you DO know that your 1600T master can become a 3rd mate, then 2nd mate without testing. You’ll only need tonnage…which an OSV will provide at 1.5 days because of 12 hour watches. This will lead to other options on MODUs and drillships if that is your goal.

As always, it depends on the individual. The license means very little past getting a job; Positions are achieved by performance…meaning getting your foot in the door could be the easier part. </p>

Thanks for the advice Anchorman. Something to mull over while waiting for the USCG Rec in Baltimore to finish my paperwork. (Been 14 weeks now btw). Hopefully any day now, then can start taking my classes and get to work. I guess I’ll see were the company I’m with now wants to put me when the dust clears and go from there. Thanks again for the info.


P.S. - Are there any areas out there where they are seeking Maritime/Waterborne Security and Antiterrorism backgrounds?