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Question for Botswains


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Hello, I could not find out any information on this subject. I want to be a tugboat captain, and have read that being a boatswain is way to become a tugboat captain. I am interested in being a boatswain but wonder how the transition to becoming a tugboat captain works?
Being a Bos'n will help you with some of the navigation as well as get you used to being in a maritime environment. But like everything else you need to look at what Bos'n's do and to what level they are trained to and look at the requirements for the Master's Ticket. You'll find you will have to do more schooling for things such as stability and engineering. I looked into it years ago and realized even though I was QL6 and did my Tender Charge course I still had a way to go. If your eventual goal is to get your Master's papers then look at MARS officer instead. That will get you a lot further ahead.
Echoing FDO's comment here. Tug boat Master is not a walk on job. You have to train for it and it sure isn't like driving a pleasure boat.

Bosun's used to get a Tender Charge that was essentially a deck hand qualification that, as i recall, was recognized by the CCG. If one could get posted on a tug and got along with the Master, they could (and many did) get hands-on experience running the tug. But, the Bosun never received the full training required to actually become tug masters. They had to do extra schooling on their own time to get their papers. Granted I'm not a bosun, but I haven't heard of too many of them getting posted to a tug in the last decade and a half. These duties have been absorbed by the civilian auxiliaries.

If a tug master is what you want, and you really want to be in the military to do it, go the MARS route. That should take care of most training requirements plus some experience and then all you need to do is challenge whichever test that will give you the papers.

If you don't want the military, CCG college and many marine oriented colleges and universities should be able to hook you up.