Almost every towing company is looking for mates and almost every deckhand on a tugboat wants to get their Mate of Towing license as fast as possible. The good news is that the path to a Mate of Towing license is clearly outline in 46 CFR 11.465 Requirements for endorsements as Mate (Pilot) of Towing Vessels. The following three paths to Mate of Towing are outlined in this regulation:
- 900 days of total qualifying experience that includes 360 days on Towing Vessels while holding a license as Apprentice Mate (steersman); and 90 days of training and observation on the requested route while completing the TOAR (Towing Officer’s Assessment Record).
- If you hold a license as Mate of inspected vessels GREATER than 200 tons (meaning Mate 500 tons or more) and have completed 30 days of training and observation on the requested route while completing the TOAR you can work as mate of towing on any towing vessel within the limitations on your license.
- 1080 days experience working as master under the authority of a license as Master 200 tons or less; and 30 days of training and observation on a towing vessel while completing a TOAR; and completion of the Apprentice Mate exams or completion of an approved Apprentice Mate course.
The applicant for a Mate of Towing license must hold a Radar Observer Endorsement.