Towboat jobs?

Hey guys, I’m looking for an entry level deckhand job on a towboat(pushboat). Due to where I live I would like to work for a company that I can do a 28/28 or similar schedule. Most companies seem to do 28/14 or 14/7. Kirby seems like a good company as an example but they don’t do longer on/off??? Will companies that normally do 28/14 actually let you do a 28/28?? Also would having a 25 ton OUPV get you in to the wheel house any faster if that is your ultimate goal? I’ve had the 100ton class, but my sea time is only on small fishing boats. Where would be a good place to look for towboat deck jobs? Thanks guys.

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You can work for Blessey marine they have some boats that do 21/21 and if u have a 100ton you would have to go and upgrade to a towing apprentice mates to work on a tow boat but if you had your license for a while and you upgrade you have a better chance of getting in the wheelhouse faster overhere just go on the Blessey web site that’s and fill out a app online and I’m sure they will call you.

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21/21 would be great…Thanks for the info. I applied online so we’ll see. The website doesn’t mention the 21/21 schedule. Is it typical for bigger companies to have some boats with this type of schedule? Also they mentioned “hub” cities, where are their hub cities? Thanks again.

Hub citys are places that have major airports like New Orleans,Houston and so on that’s for crewchange and they do have a few boats that do day for day.

Try Bouchard Transportation

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American Commercial Lines, ACL for short, does 28 on and off. Went to a big hotel event years ago for people interested in working for them. The had a 100 pound dead lift test and a job offer if completed. Several girls tried but none passed. They got offered cook jobs. I did not take the offer because pay was low.:mad:

Yeah they pay sucks at ACL and all you can be is a deckhand Then to the wheelhouse. Blessey or Kirby the companys that push the clean and dirty oil you move up from deckhand to Tankerman.

I’ve applied at ACL a week or so ago, I haven’t heard anything. Kirby says 28/14 and 14/7 …do they have any 28/28 boats?(or 21/21)

I applied to kirby a year ago and they told me they had 1200 applications on file

1200- that’s alot. They’ll have 1201 if they do 28/28 LOL. What’s the deal with Ingram Barge Co.? How come you have to live in a certain area? If an employee has his ass where he’s told to be, to meet the boat, when he’s supposed to be there, what’s it matter where he spends his time off?

Just move back home.

It’s all who you know these days.

I hear k-sea west coast is hiring tankermen, they start out at about 350 per day, but when you become a lead tankerman, they bump you up to 475 a day…

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careful of ksea west coast, i used to work for them and still have a lot of buddies that do, the word form them is that a lot of boats are laid up and guys not working. the office is pretty quick to throw you under the bus for anything, and most important of all, if they ask you to do anything make sure it is in writing and that more than one person in the office knows what you are being told what to do, they have a lot of armchair experts that work in the office that will tell you to do some funky stuff, but if you do it and it doesnt go right they will say they have no idea why you did it and throw you under. big big big time CYA over there.

I sail past 4-5 K-Sea tugs every Tuesday while going through the Ballard Locks, most of them haven’t moved for awhile. Maybe they move during the rest of the week, but don’t think so cause they alwasy seem to be tied up the exact same.

[QUOTE=bell47;46518]Hey guys, I’m looking for an entry level deckhand job on a towboat(pushboat). Due to where I live I would like to work for a company that I can do a 28/28 or similar schedule. Where would be a good place to look for towboat deck jobs? Thanks guys.[/QUOTE]

Don’t know where you live but Madison Coal and Supply is pretty much 20/20 across the board. Few boats are still 28/14 but are rare. They are based out of Charleston, WV. 304-926-1100
Good, family owned company to work for. PRetty much have the Kanawha RIver sewed up plus a few Ohio River boats which is where I spent my time.

I also used to work for them, and I completely agree with you on those counts, as well as having about the worst equipment out there. But as an entry level job for an a/b, or tankerman in training, they would be tough to beat, as far as pay and upward mobility goes. This however, does not hold true for the engineers on their boats. Most of the tankermen get paid more than the vessel engineers and mates, and office support is hard to come by. I hear that they are now doing “failure based maintenance.” Yes, not a good place to work, but in this market, beggars can’t be choosers.

very true slugwrench, the way the economy is and jobs are you have to take what is out there, im just saying for guys to watch themselves over there. that place was awesome when we were seacoast, and when we split and made sirius maritime it was the best company ever, to bad ksea had to go in there and just flush all the hard work that guys had done. oh well.

You are pretty demanding for wanting a “towboat” job.

I guess it all depends what sector you want to work. My first towboat job as an in experienced deckhand was after 4 years in the Navy. By the time I took the job I was pretty much homeless and not too far from starving. Mac and cheese with no milk or butter and ramen noodles was a good day.

The personnel man said he would hire me if I went to his “assosiate’s deckhand school”. Turned out to be little more than a two bit head hunter with some serious mental issues down in Mobile, AL.

The guy showed us a few tricks and then a week later drove us up to the Ingram office in Paducah to be hired on the spot as green deckhands.

Ingram put me through two weeks of their deckhand school. 1 week classroom and 1 week workin the fleet building 15+ barge tows all day and night.

If you made it that then they hired you for $65/day. That was in the mid to late 1990’s. Break that down on an hourly basis and tell me how shitty the pay is.

I was a yankee drifter that didn’t “know” anybody. I made it to Leadman or in about a year and a half. The deckmate had been so for years and had at least 5 more years of deckin left in him.

Nobody but family or close, close connections ever got into the “steersman” program back then. The modern CG apprentice mate license is modeled on the old system of training a guy to be a First Class Pilot Western Rivers. As a matter of fact you had to get that license before the would make you an actual “steersman”.

Most of the boys that I worked with had never graduated high school or even Jr high. They lived in impoverished parts of the South were they could actually live on $65/day split in half for you with the Ingram “split pay system”. Half while you are on and half while you are off. 30 on and 30 off. You got paid every two weeks but it wasn’t much.
To a good ol boy from a boonedock southern town where there are no jobs that is steady work.

Somebody pushed the flush handle on the inland towboat industry a couple years ago now.

When things were boomin there were no shortage of mom and pop ops that were doing anything they could to get pilots to drive their boats.

Lots of guys went into the new “steersman” programs. Then the bottom of the economy fell out and inland and offshore towboats took major hits.

Now is definatley not a good time to be looking for a steersman’s job or even a pilots job.

I have seen a few ads for inexperienced deckhands here and there. I guess that is a good sign. Maybe things are picking up? Or maybe they just need to keep up with the high turn over rate of inexperienced deckhands.

Not many companies are stable right now besides Ingram and Kirby. ACL was close to filing bankruptcy again before they got bought out. Florida marine just got bailed out. Not sure on Blessy.

Offshore towboating pays more but then again you have to be able to read and write to get a z card.

Just like anything else towboatin whether offshore or inland is a livnin. You aint gonna get rich bein a deckhand.

Ingram travel restrictions are just another effort to reduce costs assosiated with crew change logistics.

Ingram can pick and choose right now. I dont think they were so choosy a couple years ago when they couldn’t even find a pilot to drive their boats.

Supply and demand.

If the economy picks back up wages will go back up and guys will move up.

No entry level job in the merchant marine is going to pay well. You have to pay some dues first. Get some sea time.

Yes tankerman pays well but with the money comes responsibility.

They say you havn’t worked for Bouchard unless you have been fired at least three times by Marty.

Good luck getting hired. Hope you got about 2500 bucks saved up to foot your own expenses through the hiring process and until you get to the boat.

Hornbeck is overcrewed, so is Crowley, K sea, you name it. Boats are laid up. There are gonna be extra hands about.

Good luck getting a job as a tankerman or barge captain on a liquid ATB right now.

Again it depends on who you know not what you know.

If you have someone that can get your hired somewhere take the job and start working your way up. Take whatever schedule they have and keep your eyes peeled for oppurtunities to advance whether it is with your company or another. Sometimes you have to move on to move up.

I don’t remeber being too picky choosy when I took my first towboat job. I was just grateful to have 3 hots and a cot again.

Good luck

Yeah, I’m probably a little picky, but I have a good job right now so I can hold out for the right boat job. I want the longer rotation because I live in Maine and I figured with the economy the way it is I’d be paying for some of my own travel to the boat. Longer rotation = less travel, and yep, I’ve actually got money saved up to supplement my first year or two as a green deckhand… This is a career change for me, so yes I’m going to take my time and pick the job that’s right for me and my family. The reason I want a towboat job on the rivers is because I grew up in Mississippi, right on the river,…It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do. My grandfather was a Capt. on a towboat years ago, so it’s something I kinda grew up around. I would probably take an ATB/tug job, if the right one came along, but it would just be for the sea time, I want to be on the rivers. OICUR12 - Thank you for the honest, real look at the towing industry. That kind of info is priceless.