Towing Vessel (Tugboat) Captain Information Page

A Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) officer endorsement as Master
or Mate of Towing Vessels is required to be the first or second captain
on towing vessels greater than 26 feet in length.

The Apprentice Mate (Steersman) is the most direct route to Mate
(Pilot), and then to Master of Towing.

Professional Requirements for Apprentice Mate (steersman)

The Apprentice Mate requires 540 days that includes 360 days on
towing vessels, and 90 days on the desired route.

Advancement to Mate and Master of Towing

The Apprentice Mate may advance to Mate of Towing after gaining
360 days experience on Towing Vessels while holding an
endorsement as Apprentice Mate, completing a TOAR for the route,
and an approved Radar Observer Class.

Mate of Towing may advance to Master of Towing after gaining 540
days as Mate on Towing Vessels while holding an endorsement as
Mate of Towing.

Towing Officer Assessment Record (TOAR)

Except for a few old-timers who where grand-fathered in, every
mariner who stands watch on a towing vessel must have a completed
TOAR for that route. There are four TOAR assessment sheets:

Recommended Training Package for Apprentice Mate (Steersman)
These courses will satisfy the exam requirements for Apprentice Mate
(Steersman) of Towing Vessels. Radar Observer is required to sail as
Mate or Master on all towing vessels greater than 26 feet.
  • COLPAC 281 Master 100 ton ($1,250)
  • COLPAC 526 Upgrade Master 100 to 200 ton ($650)
  • COLPAC 33 Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Upgrade ($450)
  • COLPAC 399 Radar Observer Unlimited ($800)

Please check the
Master / Mate page and the Radar Observer page;
or call (503) 841-6066 for scheduling options.

A mariner holding an existing endorsement need only complete the
prerequisite upgrade classes.

COLPAC 33 Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Upgrade ($450)
This two-day class will satisfy the exam requirements for adding an
endorsement of Apprentice Mate (Steersman) of Towing Vessels IF
the mariner either holds an endorsement as Master 200 tons, or has
completed the 200 ton exam requirements within one-year.

Subjects include Rules and Regulations for Towing Vessels; and
Towing Vessel Terminology, Seamanship, and Safety.

The Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Upgrade class may be scheduled
any Monday and Tuesday, OR Thursday and Friday that the school is

Please call (503) 841-6066 to schedule a class or for more information.
Columbia Pacific Maritime INC
10580 SE Washington Street - Portland, OR 97216

We are located just east of the 205 Mall off Interstate 205 on SE
Washington Street.

For more information or Email Questions to:

Class & Scheduling:

Radar, ARPA, AB:

OUPV, Master, Mate:

Please call or email any questions, we are here to help.

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