Tug training and TOAR assessments

For a new towing license; as a component of a 30-day wonder path; or a renewal in lieu of towing vessel sea time:

If you had the option to train and be TOAR assessed aboard an actual tug on a fee basis, would you consider taking advantage of such a service? There would be NO “everyone passes!” guarantee. Strictly pass/fail, by the book assessment.

Sounds like an insurance nightmare, for the operators.

Depends on what you consider a nightmare to be.

I’d be interested in such a thing, if I could afford it right now… just grad’d an academy, have 3rd mates oceans, but for last part of a sea project got on a tug-barge and loved it. Got a little bit of TOAR signed off but prolly less than 15%…
I have been applying with every tug co. for deckhand spots but nobody is apparently hiring… looked at joining IBU up here(near Seattle) but was strongly discouraged by the lady I contacted…
I’d personally be happy to work on a tug for 100/day for a 12 hour day if I had somebody willing to help train me up so eventually I could be a mate on a tug…

Well you are essentially turning the boat into a passenger ship being the crewman is paying to ride it, but at the same time he’s working on it as well but paying to do so. If he is injured I would think it could get ugly but I’m no insurance broker.

Thee is a distinct difference between a trainee and a passenger.

You have to approach the company with caution. A lot of towing companies have had bad experiences with academy grads dew to the fact that they get inpatient and want to be mates right away. You need to let them know that you are willing to work the deck for a as long as you need. I did the same I work on deck for about a year and a half. After I was a better mate than the guys that speed though the training.

What I am trying to say is that the time on deck is essential and over time you will understand it.

Well said!

This post has nothing to do with academy grads. It would be for working individuals that have a license but no toar.

Also, there are sectors of the towing industry where bring a deckhand has almost no bearing on the mates job aside from knowing how to make a line fast.

[QUOTE=dougpine;53011]Depends on what you consider a nightmare to be.[/QUOTE]

Most of the Capt’s I’ve seen have worked with someone for a while before they’re willing to let them take the controls and round up on a barge, drop the wire and make up in push gear etc. Usually, if that trust hasn’t been established, it isn’t going to happen.

Having paid for a course does not make someone competent enough to take the controls and I would have to question any Capt willing to allow someone to do so, the insurance company’s opinion would be the least of my concerns. At the same time, having an option such as this might prevent some of the nepotism and ring knocker paper shuffle’s that occur.

[QUOTE=Capt. Schmitt;53035]Also, there are sectors of the towing industry where bring a deckhand has almost no bearing on the mates job aside from knowing how to make a line fast.[/QUOTE]

That’s a pretty thick layer of bovine fecal matter. Such an opinion displays a lack of respect and value for the job a deckhand does. While I would not characterize a deckhands job as particularly complicated, a lack of the necessary knowledge can get one injured or killed in short order. If the mate is not competent as a deckhand, and I’ve seen a number that aren’t, they aren’t competent as mates as they are incapable of ensuring the safety of their crew.

Thank You!! Well said!
The sector of the towing industry I worked on was the Ocean going fuel barges in NY Harbor and the northeast. A deckhand in that part of the industry is one of the most important positions onboard. They act as QMEDs, cooks, DOCKING PILOT, and more!! It’s that kind of experience that will make a difference for an academy grad!! As an academy grad myself I do know that a lot of you guys could use a little humbling!! And understand the importance of your crew members and the only way to do that is by actually walking in their shoes!!!

[QUOTE=Cal;53037]That’s a pretty thick layer of bovine fecal matter. Such an opinion displays a lack of respect and value for the job a deckhand does. While I would not characterize a deckhands job as particularly complicated, a lack of the necessary knowledge can get one injured or killed in short order. If the mate is not competent as a deckhand, and I’ve seen a number that aren’t, they aren’t competent as mates as they are incapable of ensuring the safety of their crew.[/QUOTE]

In many sectors of the industry I am sure this is true, but it does not apply to what I was referring to. All the mate is is a deckhand who can take a watch underway. The captain does all boat handling, the mates work the deck with the rest of the crew. They are able to train a green mate just as easily as a green deckhand.

Actually there isn’t such a blurred line. If ANYONE pays ANYTHING towards the voyage they have crossed from being an employee to being a passenger.

Having been involved in a Jones Act lawsuit, This is fact.

I would be really surprised if any company would allow this. Certainly an aware, well insured one wouldn’t.

[QUOTE=Capt. Schmitt;53047]In many sectors of the industry I am sure this is true, but it does not apply to what I was referring to. All the mate is is a deckhand who can take a watch underway. The captain does all boat handling, the mates work the deck with the rest of the crew. They are able to train a green mate just as easily as a green deckhand.[/QUOTE]
This is the problem with ‘pencil whipping’ a 30 day wonder. What you are talking about is NOT a ‘real’ mates job, but a ‘sea mate’ What Ca; is referring to is an actual, stand alone, competent qualified Mate. There IS a huge difference. But the TOAR program is being abused, even twisted to let less than competent guys like this slide through. Since a completed TOAR does not differentiate between what is expected of you as a ‘sea mate’ or as a real Mate.

[QUOTE=Capt. Schmitt;53035]This post has nothing to do with academy grads. It would be for working individuals that have a license but no toar.

Also, there are sectors of the towing industry where bring a deckhand has almost no bearing on the mates job aside from knowing how to make a line fast.[/QUOTE]
It has EVERYTHING to do with Academy grads! No other licenses require just a Toar and 30 days. Very few guys start out on their first license towing with a 500 or 1600 ton license.

When it is faster to get a 500 tion and a toar than it is to do the apprentice mate program, why not? That’s what the guys I work with are doing.

The academy guys can get toars done in school so this poll doesn’t apply to them…

That is a bit egotistical to say the only “real” mates are the ones that meet your standards. If you took one of your new york “real mates” and put him on a mississippi river tow he would be fucking clueless. To them he isn’t a real mate.

There are a couple things being tossed around as ‘absolutes’ that I would take issue with.

Just a deckhand? Show me a shit hot Captain or Mate and I’ll show you AT LEAST one shit hot deckhand who is INSTRUMENTAL is helping that Captain or Mate maintain that status.

A Mate is just a deckhand that steers? Where YOU been? It ain’t that way in NY (OR in Mississippi I would imagine)! Hell, if that was the case most Captains would NEVER sleep!

[QUOTE=Capt. Schmitt;53052]If you took one of your new york “real mates” and put him on a mississippi river tow he would be fucking clueless.[/QUOTE]

Clueless? No.

Useless? Yes.

The same would hold true for a Mississippi River Pilot on an ocean tow, but for different reasons. I’ve lived in St Louis for 11 years and I have yet to see a barge being [B]towed[/B] on the Mississippi, but I’ve seen all manner of barges being [B]pushed[/B]. Guess what, we push barges in New York as well (albeit one at a time). The concept is the same and I’m fairly certain the mechanics of the makeup are similar. Navigating some of the monstrosities I’ve seen would be another matter entirely. A similar deficit would be experienced by a River Pilot dropping a barge on the tow wire…

To compare a mate that navigates from sea buoy to sea buoy with either is merely a stretch on your part to justify a flippant and degrading remark about deckhands that has escalated to including Mates.

Is it lonely at the top?

[QUOTE=Capt. Schmitt;53051]When it is faster to get a 500 tion and a toar than it is to do the apprentice mate program, why not? That’s what the guys I work with are doing.[/QUOTE]

The apprentice mate programs have virtually nothing to do with a TOAR, they have to do with STCW requirements. I’m not sure what comparison you’re trying to make here.

The academy guys can get toars done in school so this poll doesn’t apply to them…

I would have to question the veracity of this statement. I can’t say unequivocally that they don’t, but I have yet to see an academy grad that graduated with a completed TOAR. With the exception of SUNY’s 2 year program, most academies are focused on unlimited tonnage vessels, not towboats.