[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.