OS Pay?

Anyone know what the going day rate for a OS deckhand on the east coast?

It will vary greatly depending on where on the East Coast with NY being the highest. My company won’t even hire OSs any more with so many experiences people on the street.

If you can upgrade to AB it would help your situation a lot.

Yeah I have the sea time for my AB I just have to pony up the money to get it. You have to pay to play.

It varies. Figure $120 - $150/day

Wow, this is getting close to the scab rates that guys had to work under during the 333 Strike and the Court Injunction. IIRC, the pay went from $85 to $100-$120.

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I should have specified “in the mid-Atlantic area” and yes, I agree. The wages are starting to lose pace with reality.

If the tugboat industry wants to keep attracting people they need to up their wages, go equal time, and make the boats more liveable. The last boat I worked on didn’t have a working toilet for 36 hours. I was just doing some side work for a few days but I don’t even do that anymore. I’m tired of having to work on shitheaps and rustbuckets where crew comfort isn’t even thought of.


How long is a “day”, 8 hours or as long as it takes?
My son gets $85 or so for a “day” helping around the marina and using the utility boat to haul debris and this is his first summer job ever and he doesn’t even have a driver’s license yet.

Depends on when, where and how…in the commercial sector if you hear the phrase ‘day rate’ that normally means a 12 hour day. Some are good about enforcing rest hours and set watches, some aren’t. So a 12 h day can easily turn into an 18 hr.

That is minimum wage or even less :frowning:

Hence why some states, or at least california, the term ‘dayrate’ doesn’t exist and there needs to be an hourly rate specified.
Now in the situation you are talking about doesnt sound like a seagoing job so to speak so that’s s little different. Is he getting paid cash?

No - he gets paid the normal way $10.25/hr for an 8 hour day. It is not a seagoing job unless you count hauling crap around a marina as “sea”, but if you can get $10.25 for a first job ever it seems kind of sad that you could “move up” to a tug and make LESS per hour.
OTOH I did work long long ago running an ancient Hatteras that had been turned into a towboat for a day rate under minimum, wage because having twin 440s was cool and working at Burger King was not, but at least I was Master and Commander of the old girl :slight_smile:

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My first over-18 job was in a marina next door to the (then) Trumpy yacht-building yard in Annapolis. $1.65/hr…

I’m coffee drunk so the following is more of a rant and doesn’t necessarily apply to your quote. Here is some insight for all those os mariners who are chagrined with the current pay rates.

It’s all about moving up, gotta start somewhere. It can be a long and taxing journey to better one’s self. I started out on an overnight charter boat making 50 bucks a day plus tips, and honestly I put in at a minimum 16 hrs a day.
First issue captains license I was making 80 a day plus tips on the charter boats. After a year on that ticket I ventured into the workboat world running launches to ships making $15 an hr. At the time I was very happy with those wages, but this was 20 yrs ago.

Often times one has to step down to step up…and there’s an old saying for those career deckhands who are bitter. Don’t get mad, get a license.


It must be an age thing - Now I would think anyone would be nuts letting a 16 year old loose with 600 HP and a vague instruction to tow some boats someplace. Sure I worked cheap, but I could have done a lot of $$$$ damage! I was too young to think of all the bad things that could have happened.
If I had a tugboat, I think I wouldn’t want my boat screwed up by inept bottom of the barrel deckhands and would pay a little bit more than I absolutely had to. YMMV, I may be looking at this wrong.


Again. Couldn’t help myself…


Some Great Lake tugs pay @200 a day, 28/14.

I started at $125 a week cash plus room and board. Did that for two years. And they was in the ‘90’s