What license do I need for a tugboat?

To stand a watch on a towing vessel you must hold an endorsement as Mate (Pilot) of Towing Vessels, or Master of Towing Vessels. These endorsements have no tonnage limitations, but are for uninspected towing vessels; which include all towing vessels operating exclusively on Inland Waters, and seagoing tugs less than 200 GRT (500 GT).

To qualify as Master of Towing you must either:

  1. have four-years of total sea service experience that includes 18 months as mate on towing vessels while holding an endorsement as Mate (Pilot) of Towing; OR
  2. hold an endorsement as Master 500 tons or higher (inspected vessels), have 30 days of training and observation on the route, and a completed TOAR (Towing Officer Assessment Record) for that route.

To qualify as Mate (Pilot) of Towing you must either:

  1. have 540-days of total sea service experience that includes 12 months as Apprentice Mate (Steersman) of Towing Vessels, and a completed TOAR for that route; OR
  2. hold an endorsement as Master 200 ton or less (not limited master), have 30-days of training and observation on the route, a complete TOAR for that route, and have completed the towing exams or an approved course; OR
  3. hold an endorsement as Mate 500 tons or higher (inspected vessels), have 30-days of training and observation on the route, and a completed TOAR for that route.

To download the towing endorsement checklist, TOAR assessments, or to learn more about towing vessel endorsements and courses please visit the Towing Vessel page on my website.

Advertisements