Should I stay or should should I go

Looking for a little advise here from some who have been there before. I currently work for An offshore company that doesn’t pay the best as an AB. I have my 3rd mates unlimited and just recently finished my advanced DP simulator course through OSVDPA in gray LA. But!!! I recently got a call from tug boat company on the east coast of Florida that is looking for ABs and pays more than the offshore company and says that once I get my TOAR I can move to the wheel house once a position opens up. I’m torn between the two because I know I cannot use my license to its fullest on a tug boat but I know that tugs also make good money. I’m not sure what I should do, any advise from people who have been here would be appreciated thanks in advance.

There is a lot of pressure on the tugboat companies. Definately more applicants than open spots. Lots of folks like yourself are working in a lesser capacity. They could be honest and truthful about giving you a spot once you get your toar, but you could easily find yourself working as an AB five years from now and them still blowing smoke up your ass.

There is no lay off proof job out there, however most would tell you tugs are safer. I’m assuming you just spent your own money on DP school and if you don’t use it you lose it, so there’s that too.

This is a tough call to make. I would look at who has a better benefits package, better quality equipment as well. That may help you make a decision.


Having been in the towing industry for 40 years, yours is a common question.

I’m on my third company.

Each time I’ve left it was for more money or advancement (or both).

From other peers I have heard the oil patch is cyclical, to a death spiral and that has never attracted me at all.

So… My advice. Leave the ‘patch’ and look for a stable mid sized company. But remember. You’re just a number. No matter how much you think of yourself. Some new hotshot HR dink will come in next year and ‘figure out’ how to cut more costs.

You don’t say how long you’ve been an AB or any other work experience. But you should be aware that if you spend too long as AB without advancing there’s a reason. Them, You, the Crew. Somethings not right. Being the lone watchkeeper on a tug while the off watch is sleeping is WAY different than what you learned in school about how to stand a sea watch as a Junior 3rd.


Dann Ocean?

28/14 rotations.mostly Dredge work.

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No the tug company is signet


In my experience in the tug & barge industry, I personally love it. But again, I do not hold a license of your level. Personally, I love it so much I wouldn’t leave even if I did.

Always follow your heart for what makes you happy!

I’ve never been happier in my life!

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If you’re almost done with the NI DP scheme, finish it! Why make the lateral move to be an AB? You’ve already invested time and money in your DP credential, why would you want to start all over again? Finish your DP, see if you like the oilfield, and if not you can always move on to tugs. And then you’ll have DP and a MOT, making you twice as valuable.

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Go for the money. You can always come back to the OSV’s later when the market picks up.

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Signat has some big boats , take the job get that tour and get your mate of towing oceans , and climb the latter they do a lot of off shore towing and ship assist . Then down the road get on a big Crowley atb they run 3rd mates and require oceans license


Signet is a decent company but they aren’t layoff proof. I’m guessing they got the Trailerbridge contract and are hiring people for that run, but if they can’t keep that contract I’m sure they’ll lay you right off again, just like what recently happened at Foss.


Signets a good company, great benifits
You pay most of your travel but they are steady and take care of their equipment and you eat well all positives in my book and I have worked for lots of companies over the last 45 year

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Don’t focus on the money, as long as you currently live within your means and support yourself and your family. Money will come and go, but your happiness is worth more. Sit yourself down, write out a 5 year plan, listing where you want to be every 6 months (professionally and in life). See what that brings you too, if it takes you down one path, than that’s the path you should follow. Again, don’t focus on position or money, but what brings you happiness.

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