Columbia River Lock Closure
This year’s (2023) Columbia River Lock Closure is from March 4 thru March 25, 2023. One of the mariner’s biggest challenges is finding the time to take the classes needed to advance their credentials. Consequently, the Lock Closure is a great time to do this. Therefore, we have scheduled classes for towboaters during the closure.
Full Apprentice Mate (steersman) of Towing class. Taking this 16-day class is the easiest and least stressful path to Mate (Pilot) of Towing. This lock closure class is scheduled March 6 thru 21, 2023. To explain, this one class includes. Firstly, the Master 100-ton class. Secondly, the Upgrade 100 to 200-ton class. And thirdly, the Apprentice Mate (steersman) of Towing Upgrade class. The cost of this 16-day class is $2,200.
Radar Observer Unlimited class. Federal regulations require that the Master of Tow and the Mate of Tow hold a Radar Observer license. We offer a 4-day Radar Observer Unlimited class that meets this requirement. This lock closure class is scheduled March 13 thru 16, 2023. The cost of this class is $600.
Call 503-841-6066 to schedule a class, or for more info.
How it Works (deckhand to mate)
In short, this is how it works. Firstly, get the Apprentice Mate license. This requires a total of 540-days of experience that includes 360-days on a tug. Meaning that 180-days can be anywhere on any kind of a boat. Then apply to the Coast Guard and take the 16-day Apprentice Mate class.
Secondly, after getting the Apprentice Mate license on your MMC, you go back to work as a deckhand on the tug for 360-days. During this time, you will complete:
- The TOAR (Towing Officer Assessment Record).
- A Radar Observer class.
- A Basic Firefighting class.
Thirdly, upon completion of the above you can apply for Mate (Pilot) of Towing without taking any more exams or classes. Furthermore, you can advance to Master of Towing on experience alone. More >>
In conclusion, if you have the time apply to the Coast Guard for the license now. Yes, it is 6-months before lock closure. But, applying now will save you time in the long run. Upon approval by the Coast Guard, you will have one-year to take the class. Most important, the sooner you get the license the sooner you start counting off the days to Mate of Towing. Apprentice Mate Checklist >>
From your friends at Columbia Pacific (ColPac) Maritime School (colpacmaritime.com).