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U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Deck Exams for Towing Vessel Endorsements - Masters & Mates License Examinations

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Master of Towing Vessels authorizes service within any route authorized by the credential, including harbor assist and limited local area.

Mate (Pilot) of Towing Vessels means a qualified officer of towing vessels operating only on inland routes and pertains to a qualified officer subordinate to a Master of Towing Vessels. A Mate (Pilot) of towing vessels may stand a watch, but a Master of Towing Vessels must also be on the vessel.

Apprentice Mate (Steersman) of towing vessels means a mariner qualified to perform watchkeeping on the bridge, aboard a towing vessel, while in training under the direct supervision of a credentialed master or mate (pilot) of towing vessels.

Assistance Towing means towing a disabled vessel for consideration.

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You may also read: USCG License Requirements



A mariner seeking an original national endorsement or raise of grade based on training or service started on or after March 24, 2014, will be examined under the requirements of the final rule published by the Coast Guard on December 24, 2013, (78 FR 77796) . Those who started before March 24, 2014, will be examined under the regulations and policy in effect before that date unless they have specifically requested to examine for their endorsement under the final rule 78 FR 77796.

Master/Mate (Pilot)/Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Towing Vessel Endorsement OC/NC Exams

master mate steersman towing ocnc exams
Table: Master/Mate (Pilot)/Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Towing Vessel Endorsement OC/NC Exam Details Credits: USCG 

  • Navigation General module will be either Oceans or Near Coastal depending on route requested
  • Near Coastal endorsement options do not take Q416 Navigation Problems Oceans
  • From Near Coastal to Oceans the following modules are required - Q413 Navigation General Oceans & Q416 Navigation Problems Oceans
  • From Great Lakes and Inland to Near Coastal the following modules are required - Q412 Navigation General Near Coastal & Q415 Navigation Problems Near Coastal
  • From Western Rivers must take the full exam for Oceans or Near Coastal Routes - Q413 Navigation General Oceans, Q415 Navigation Problems Near Coastal, and Q416 Navigation Problems Oceans

Master/Mate (Pilot)/Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Towing Vessel Endorsement GL/Inland Exams

master mate steersman towing gl inland exams
Table: Master/Mate (Pilot)/Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Towing Vessel Endorsement GL/Inland Exam Details Credits: USCG 

  • From Western Rivers to Great Lakes and Inland the following modules are required - Q100 Rules of the Road Inland and International, Q420 Navigation General Great Lakes and Inland, and Q421 Navigation Problems Chart Plot

Master/Mate (Pilot)/Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Towing Vessel Endorsement Western Rivers Exams

master mate steersman towing wr exams
Table: Master/Mate (Pilot)/Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Towing Vessel Endorsement Western Rivers Exam Details Credits: USCG 

  • Adding Western Rivers Route to Oceans or Near Coastal, or Great Lakes and Inland endorsements require only the following modules - Q425 Navigation General Western Rivers & Q426 Navigation Problems Chart Plot

Assistance Towing (Any Deck Officer) Endorsement Exam

assistant towing exam
Table: Assistance Towing (Any Deck Officer) Endorsement Exam Details Credits: USCG 

  • Holders of MMC officer and OUPV endorsements must have an assistance towing endorsement to engage in assistance towing.
  • Holders of endorsements as master or mate (pilot) of towing vessels or master or mate endorsements authorizing service on inspected vessels of 200 GRT or more do not need the assistance towing endorsement.

Disclaimer: For general information purpose only. Please check with USCG for the accurate and latest information