Workboat Academy or AB to Mate?

Hello everyone!
I’ve read several posts in this forum regarding the Workboat Academy and the AB to Mate Program at PMI, and I’m interested in attending either one of these programs within the next couple of years. I’m 21 and currently in my 4th year as a history major. I’m interested in PMI because I’m already attending a four-year university, and getting another bachelors degree wouldn’t make sense. I’ve worked mainly for Hornblower Cruises for a couple of years now, and I have a 100 Ton Inland, as well as hopefully my AB Special by the end of summer. I would ideally like to get a third mate unlimited, however, I would be fine with a 1600 ton mate if going for an unlimited isn’t practical. My end goal would be to have a 1600 ton master and be a harbor tug captain, and maybe a bar pilot if that’s attainable for a non-academy graduate. Would I be better off going into the Workboat Academy with my AB in hand or trying to find a job on a higher tonnage vessel and then doing the AB to Mate program? Thanks!

Have you considered the graduate program at SUNY where you get a 3rd mate?


I’m considering that as well, but I’m sure it’s quite a bit more expensive than PMI. I don’t know much about SUNY, as I’m on the West Coast, but I’d certainly like to hear more about other people’s experiences with their masters program.

I don’t have a lot of desire to work deep sea and I’ve always thought operating a tractor tug would be a cool job! Since I didn’t go to an academy, I don’t think getting an unlimited master’s license is feasible for me, however, I feel that a 1600 ton would be a good goal.

Fastest route would be a master program at Texas A&M or SUNY. Come out with 3M unlimited sail on that license for a year then apply for 2M with the 1600 master crossover exam. And yes, even if you sail as mate on a tug(limited tonnage) you can still apply for the 2M there will just be a tonnage restriction on it but that doesn’t stop them from approving you for the 1600 master.

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It’s interesting for a while but the money is horrible.

Why not?

Okay that’s good to know. Thanks!

From what I’ve read, it seems that just finding a job as a third mate is difficult without the resources an academy gives you, but that’s just my perception of it.

Academies have job fairs to introduce you to companies but that’s not really a major resource, most 3rd mates on big ships are in a union. Academy nepotism really isn’t a thing in my experience.