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Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Towing Mate (Pilot) Towing Master Towing

Course requirement for deck licenses over 499 GRT, have put advancement for experience seaman out of reach. Everyone I speak with agrees the new regulations requiring deck license candidates to take up to 11 approved training courses, in addition to examination will have detrimental affect on the already limited pool of licensed officers. The over all cost for the these courses has been estimated at about $10,000 for class room. The lowest estimated class time is 63 days, which is about 3 months.

The good news is there is a new license available for the towing industry, Master of Towing Vessels, and the courses listed below are not needed. What I see in 5 to 10 years is the average license in the towing industry will drop from 1600 GRT to 200 GRT. Most tugboats are built under 200 GRT to remain uninspected, so all that changes is the paper. The exam material for the towing license is exactly the same as the exam material for 1600 Near Coastal, so what actually changes?

Note: GT = ITC Tonnage (international), GRT = Gross Registered Tons (domestic)

Course Requirements
Requirements for licenses 500 GT and above have changed. As of February 1, 2002 all applicants require the following, as well as the appropriate STCW training.
  Current competencies in Basic Safety Training

Model Course hours = 496

 

Completion of the following approved training:

    a. Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
    b. Celestial Navigation (ocean only)
    c. Electronic Navigation
    d. Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
    e. Meteorology (Operational Level)
    f. Ship Construction
    g. Basic Stability
    h. Basic Shiphandling
    i. Steering Control Systems
    j. Cargo Handling & Stowage (Operational Level)
    k. Magnetic and Gyro Compasses
    l. Search and Rescue
    m. Emergency Procedures (Operational Level)
    n. Advanced Firefighting
    o. Medical Care Provider (also known as Medical First Aid Provider)
    p. GMDSS (or limitation to non-GMDSS equipped vessels)
    q. ARPA (or limitation to non-ARPA equipped vessels)  


For a list of all requirements, http://www.uscg.mil/stcw/checklists/mate_oc_nc_500.pdf


The Towing License

The towing license has three levels or ratings, and is issued like other license, i.e. Oceans, Near Coastal, Great Lakes & Inland, Western, and also Limited to certain routes and harbors. The entry level being, Apprentice Mate (Steersman). An OS or AB can apply for Apprentice Mate (Steersman) with 18 months sea time, 12 of the 18 months are requited to be on a towing vessel. Inland 3 months on each route. Advancement to Mate (Pilot), and then to Master no further exams, advancement is based on sea time, and TOAR (Towing Officer Assessment Record)

TOAR (Towing Officer Assessment Record), is a official record of tasks accomplished by the apprentice and signed off by an approved Towing Assessor.

- Download -

TOAR (Towing Officer Assessment Record)

Acrobat Reader Required

Towing Assessors are approved by the NMC. Towing Company's or experienced Masters can submit a request to the National Maritime Center, by providing license info, experience, including vessel official numbers and tonnage. Call (202) 493-1064 for details.

Apprentice Mate (Steersman) of Towing Vessels

Oceans
Near Coastal
Great Lakes & Inland
Western Rivers


 For more information see - CFR Title46 Part 10 Sec. 10.466  
Required Sea Time
18 months

12 of the 18 months aboard a towing vessel.

Inland and Rivers - 3 of the 18, on each particular route.

Exam Modules
Number of Questions
Minimum Score
License
Rules of the Road
30
90
All
Navigation General
20
70
All
Deck, Nav General, Safety, & Environmental Protection
60
70
All
Navigation Problems
20
90
Oceans, Near Coastal, Great Lakes & Inland
Mississippi Map Navigation
10
90
Western Rivers
Navigation Problems Oceans
5
80
Oceans

For all inland routes, as well as Western Rivers, the license as steersman is equivalent to that as apprentice mate. All qualifications and
equivalencies are the same.


Mate (Pilot) of Towing Vessels

Required Sea Time Total of 24 months, 6 months as Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Completed TOAR - No Exam Required

Notes:
(1) Applicants for a raise in grade from Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Oceans to Mate (Pilot) of Towing Vessels Oceans is based on
sea service only, and no examination is required.
(2) Applicants increasing the scope of their license to Mate (Pilot) of Towing Vessels – Oceans and holding a license as Mate,
Oceans, NMT 100 GRT must complete modules Rules of the Road, Navigation Problems, and Deck & Nav General + Safety & Environmental Protection.
(3) Applicants holding a license as Mate, Oceans for tonnage greater than 200 GRT and First Class Pilot providing documentation
of having completed training and/or assessment in towing vessel operations may be issued this license upon successfully completing modules Rules of the Road and Deck & Nav General + Safety & Environmental Protection per CFR 10.465(f).

For more information see - CFR Title46 Part 10 Sec. 10.465


Master of Towing Vessels

Required Sea Time Total of 36 months, 12 months as Mate (Pilot) No Exam Required

Notes:
(1) Applicants for a raise in grade from Mate (Pilot) Near Coastal to Master of Towing Vessels Near Coastal is based on sea service
only, and no examination is required.
(2) Applicants increasing the scope of their license to Master of Towing Vessels – Near Coastal and holding a license as Master,
NMT 100 GRT (except Rivers endorsed) must successfully complete modules Rules of the Road, Navigation Problems, and Deck & Nav General + Safety & Environmental Protection.
(3) Applicants holding a license as Master, Near Coastal for tonnage greater than 200 GRT and First Class Pilot providing
documentation of having completed training and/or assessment in towing vessel operations may be issued this license upon
successfully completing modules Rules of the Road and Deck & Nav General + Safety & Environmental Protection per CFR 10.464(g).
(4) Applicants must have completed the applicable STCW requirements prior to being examined for this license.
(5) Applicants who began their service or training before May 21, 2001 may be issued this license after successfully completing the
modules in ESS 3-51.

For more information see - CFR Title46 Part 10 Sec. 10.464


Also see DECK GUIDE

TITLE 46--SHIPPING CHAPTER I--COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
PART 10--LICENSING OF MARITIME PERSONNEL