Tugboat Wages 2022

Yes of course. Fixed it.

8 posts were split to a new topic: Off topic from wages thread

I hear that Western Towboat sent out an email awhile ago announcing higher wages are coming.

Have they arrived? What are they?

I hear 6% increase at Western Towboat. That seems rather small.

Base Master $754
Master (west of Cape Spencer) $830

Base Deckhand $348
Deckhand (west of Cape Spencer) $382

Western often sails short one deckhand and splits the missing man’s wage among the crew. That bumps Master to about $916 and deckhands to about $420. Guys with seniority get more.

I have not heard about Deckineer or Mate pay.

Nor have I heard about cargo pay.

Western’s pay appears to be about average.

Hello, What company? I’m tankerman AB

What companies?

How do you know

Hey, they (Western) did give out a 6 percent raise.
Mates were at $503
With the raise it went up to $533.
You are correct about them running short and the crew splitting the pay. There are a lot of 5 man crews instead of 6. They seem to be having major turnover right now.
Hands down the nicest and cleanest boats around, though.
You should live local because they have no dedicated schedule and no travel pay and most likely you will be on a different boat with a different crew every trip until you can get on a permanent boat.

I used to work there.

This was in reference to vitus.

Where I work a deckhand is a guy with only an OS endorsement, or no MMC at all. Is that the case here? Or does the term “deckhand” in this case mean an AB?

I did not know how Western distinguishes between OS and ABs. They also have Deckineers that certainly make more.

A lot of tugs are 99 GRT, so no MMC required for the deckhands.

Same for you as an UIFV?

Certainly, at some companies there is a big difference between OS and AB pay. But at some other companies there may not be any difference.

At some companies, an OS with proven Alaska tugboat skills that can operate equipment, set ramps, load and unload cargo, lash cargo , etc. would probably get paid quite a bit more than an AB unlimited without those skills.

At the mom and pop non-union companies, what people get may depend more on their longevity, perceived value to the company , and negotiating skills than anything else.

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Yes. At CTI deck crew is split between ABs and deckhands. Deckhands don’t require MMC or STCW.
Because of it, deckhands with no sailing/Alaska experience start at only $200. But top OS deckhands make $350. At any rate, lowest paid AB deckhand here makes $390 (highest about $490). New hire ABs make $350. More with Alaska experience.

Because our guys get 1.5 days for each calendar days of seatime, like some tugs do, it only takes five 25-day voyages to get enough seatime for AB-fishing, so a green new hire can nearly double his pay in a year.

Is it normal for most tugs to sail without a designated cook? If so, who cooks?

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Yeah, pretty normal. Some companies run designated cooks. Some union contracts pay the AB more with those duties.

Generally speaking, the ab on the back watch will handle the cooking duties, and it may only be dinner. Rest of the day it’s a fend for yourself or whoever feels like making breakfast and lunch will do it.

Some boats if the rest of the crew wants to give the ab a break (or if their cooking sucks) they’ll chip in on dinner duty.


Vane gave a 2% raise and lost a lot of people


9.5% raise over 3 years, 3/3/3.5, has started a mass exodus. Rumor is the company has reached out to the union wishing to offer sign on bonuses in an attempt to attract mariners to fill spots. I expect a dramatic suitcase parade should that begin.


Who is that?

The large harbor tug company on the gulf coast. I posted the contract wages above. Standard of living is suffering greatly due to inflation. Funny how all of the sudden more money is on the table for sign on bonuses. As I said higher up as well, union doesn’t want to look the gift horse in the mouth.

Rumor is said union vocalized wanting to keep all their contracts within 3% of each other to prevent scalping of employees. Company’s union.

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The larger FOSS and Crowley boats have cooks.

Most companies have eliminated cooks. Usually, one of the deckhands cooks, or is at least the lead cook. Some are good cooks, some are not. I know captains, mates and engineers that like to cook. Some companies make an effort to get deckhands that are good cooks, some just don’t care.

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Curtin Maritime Tug Crews:
AB 1,2,3: $300-375
Assist Engineer: $400
Mate 1,2,3: $425-525
Engineers 1,2,3: $450-700+
Captains 1,2,3: $600-750+
They pay for all travel. Curtin talks about all the pay rates in their interviews, they are pretty open about it, especially for a non union company. Some of the crews will work on rig tenders and dredging and make prevailing.