Portland area tugs

Hey guys I’m an academy cadet looking to complete(or get started) on my TOAR this summer. Just wondering if there is anyone out there working around Portland or the PNW who might give me advice on companies/contacts. Also, is completing a TOAR in 30 days overly ambitious?


Hi Alex-

So you want to be a “30 day wonder”?:slight_smile:

I haven’t started my TOAR yet- so can’t help with how realistic of a goal it is.

Portland area tugs include-

Tidewater Barge Line

Shaver- was hiring a while back…

Bernert Barge Line

Olympic Tug and Barge- Part of Harley Marine

Brusco- over in Longview WA- not too far away

Sause has an Office in Coos Bay Oregon- I think they may still be hiring deckhand/cook.

IBU (union) has an office in Portland- I’d check with them too.

One last tip- check with the barge builders in the area- there are several- such as Sundial- they may have leads

I know people at a few of those companies- but nobody in HR.

If you expand your search to the whole PNW- there are lots of companies- FOSS, Harley, Starlight, Western, Dunlap, and many more.

I’m a cadet as well- but JUST got out of school or would have asked the other cadets for leads for you :frowning:

Good luck-Anthony

[quote=Axelrod;29415] is completing a TOAR in 30 days overly ambitious?

as a DE and speaking for myself alone…short answer is yes…not saying it can’t be done…don’t know how completing it in 30 days would be perceived by the USCG…they probably don’t care or know any better…pretty sure they frown on “pencil whipping” though??

here is a couple of links you might not have:



[B]***forgot about this…thanks again Jim[/B]

[B]From www.tugboatlife.com,[/B]
[B]Wheelhouse forum, TOAR VS TRAINING[/B]
[I][B]" You need to complete a TOAR. [/B]There[/I]
[I]are only a few programs approved to[/I]
[I]substitute for a TOAR, they are programs[/I]
[I]operated by tug companies and are done[/I]
[I]onboard. There is no “course” ashore you[/I]
[I]can take instead of the TOAR. The[/I]
[I]approved programs are just company[/I]
[I]variations on the TOAR, with the same or[/I]
[I]similar demonstrations required.[/I]
[I]…you probably will not get your TOAR[/I]
[I]signed by a conscientious DE in only 30[/I]
[I]days. Unlike STCW assessments, the sign[/I]
[I]off in the TOAR isn’t a simple assessment,[/I]
[I]it’s the DE indicating they found you[/I]
[I]competent after a period of observation.[/I]
[I]While you might find someone who will sign[/I]
[I]off in 30 days or less, most DEs who will[/I]
[I]have you working as their Mate, will take[/I]
James D. Cavo
Chief, Mariner Training
and Assessment
USCG National Maritime Center

I agree with the “30 day wonder” thing. After 30 days as a cadet on a new boat you are still trying to figure out your ass from your elbow… It was my understanding that they will only accept 30 days of limited time toward an unlimited license, just wondered if it was possible. Even if I don’t complete the TOAR any experience would be great and staying on longer might be an option.

Thanks for all the info guys

Unless you were born with a tiller in your hand, you will probably not be able to get up to speed fast enough. Not to discourage you, but just to be realistic. With an unlimited chief mate’s license and 15 years on the water, it took me (many years ago) 6 months to get the TOAR signed off. Not that there aren’t people capable of accomplishing it faster…:rolleyes:

I have been asked several times to sign off a TOAR in a trip or two. Sorry charlie, 30 days ain’t long enough. A spectacularly able, receptive candidate may be able to get fully signed off on a TOAR in a year. maybe more, maybe less. But this 30 day thing is ridiculous! Someone in the USCG was sleeping when they accepted this 30 day rule. A mate on a towing vessel must be a ‘stand alone’ watch stander, because on a six and six rotation, if you can’t do your watch, and have to wake up the Captain, or if the Captain isn’t comfortable with you and is awake alot, then He is NOT getting his six hours off! The only way to become well trained is to do the TOAR training and cover all the scenarios, and makeups, not just once, in good weather, but alot of repetition, and trial and error.

Just so you know, there are places that encourage a quick signature, so they can use you on a wheel watch. However I would not be able to sleep with someone who was fast tracked to fill a spot. Some companies have a policy of the Captain doing ALL the maneuvering, with the mates, being sea buoy to sea buoy mates. It all depends on where you go, and what they expect.