TOAR Detail

Towing Officer Assessment Record

Towing licenses explained

Not all licensed mariners can operate towing vessels.  In order to serve as a Mate or Master on towing vessels including push boats, wire boats, tractor tugs or ATBs, you need to hold a Mate of Towing license or a Master of Towing license.  We used to call these towing endorsements but they are now viewed by the USCG as licenses that have their own evaluation requirements as well as their own renewal requirements.  ALL towing licenses require you to complete a practical demonstration of maneuvering a tug & barge as well as complete a series of discussions specific to towing vessels.  The assessment of these demonstrations are observed by a Designated Examiner and recorded in your Towing Officer Assessment Record .

Sample checklists for towing licenses may be found here:

Master of Towing checklist

Mate of Towing checklist

NOTE: Checklists change frequently. Please visit the NMC website for the latest checklists.



What is a TOAR?

As outlined in NVIC 3-16, the Towing Officer Assessment Record or TOAR is required to document the demonstration of proficiency in the presence of a Designated Examiner.

The TOAR is broken out into seven sections:

  1.  Vessel Familiarization
  2.  Navigation & Piloting
  3.  Watchstanding
  4.  Maneuvering
  5.  Rules of the Road
  6.  Safety & Emergency Response
  7.  Environmental Protection

A TOAR is required if you are applying for any of the following:

  • Mate of Towing while holding a license as 200 GRT Master or less
    • 1080 days as Master required (on NON towing vessels)
    • 30 days of training & observation on towing vessels required
    • NOTE: Mariners holding a license as a Master 200 GRT or less must serve 360 days as a mate of towing before applying for Master of Towing
  • Mate of Towing while holding a license as 500 GRT Mate (or higher)
    • 30 days of training & observation on towing vessels required
  • Mate of Towing as a raise-in-grade from Apprentice Mate
    • 360 days serving as apprentice mate required
  • Master of Towing while holding a license as 500 GRT Master (or higher)
    • 30 days of training & observation on towing vessels required
  • Adding a new route to your current towing license
  • Renew current towing licence without required sea service
You can check out some sample TOARs below:

Look and sound confusing? That's why we're here.

The above is a real BASIC explanation of towing licenses. With over a decade of experience helping mariners complete the steps necessary to transition into the towing industry, we can really help you figure your way through this! If you are interested in getting more information or just want to talk to someone regarding your specific situation, please submit your inquiry via our contact form at the bottom of the page.

TOAR Training Details

DIAMOND MARINE SERVICES has access to towing vessels and designated examiners that can help you with your advancement to Mate (Pilot) of Towing or Master of Towing. Since 2009, we have helped many mariners by providing a platform to complete both the maneuvering requirements as well as discussion based assessments in the Towing Officer Assessment Record. Our program utilizes a working tug and barge with a full crew in the presence of a USCG approved designated examiner.

Do I qualify to participate?

Our program is reserved for experienced mariners. Mariners holding an OICNW endorsed license (STCW II/1 or II/3) can complete all the assessments in the TOAR. If you do not hold an OICNW endorsement, you may be able to join us but we may not be able to complete the TOAR in its entirety. In addition, the extra sea service needed to upgrade to a mate or master of towing from a lower level license is often a surprise to many. For these reasons, we request to open a line of communication so we can better assess your needs. Mariners holding licenses LESS THAN 500 GRT (master or mate) or those without an OICNW endorsement are accepted into the class on a case by case basis. For more information about this, please submit an inquiry via the contact form below.

Location Details:

We operate in partnership with Boston Line Service. Please  visit our LOGISTICS page for more information.

30 Days of Training and Observation

As mentioned above, any application for a mate or master of towing  license should also be accompanied with 30 days of training and observation on towing vessels. If you find yourself in a position where you need observation time, please let us know via the inquiry form (blue button below) or via email at office@diamondmarineservices.com.

What happens next?

In order to really get a handle on things, we strongly recommend filling out our INQUIRY FORM. This way we can get in touch with you with detailed information and keep you informed of class dates for the future. (We do not share or sell information to anyone and chances are if you made it this far, you could benefit from our helping you specifically!)

How much?

The program costs $2000. We ask for a $300 deposit to hold your spot in the class. The balance of $1700 can be paid on our website prior to the start of the course. 

TOAR Assessment Schedule. Click on the blue date link, to sign up.
Time Date Seats
8:30 am - 4:00 pm March 5, 2020
Boston MA
There are 4 seats available.
8:30 am - 4:00 pm March 16, 2020
Boston MA
There are 1 seats available.
8:30 am - 4:00 pm March 17, 2020
Boston MA
There are 0 seats available.
8:30 am - 4:00 pm March 18, 2020
Boston MA
There are 0 seats available.

Check out some recent reviews of our service

TOAR Class

5.0 rating
January 8, 2020

The class was very informative and pretty fun. Captain Birk is very patient and a wealth of information. The tug is very maneuverable and offers a good learning platform. Sam is quick to answer any questions from email or phone and the logistics getting to and from the class is great as well. Would recommend to anyone. Thanks!

Andrew Torti

Best TOAR Training Course

5.0 rating
December 12, 2019

I took this class as a means of fast tracking my TOAR approval and it was well worth it. I was able to complete the course in under 8 hours as my group were all well prepared for the material. It’s all hands on, and in Boston harbor so you get a fairly busy port to practice in. Ben was great, Sam knows his stuff, and all in all just a great day in Boston. Thanks Sam!

Drew Steiger

TOAR Class

5.0 rating
December 11, 2019

I had the pleasure of taking the TOAR class with Diamond Marine Services. It was very easy to sign up for. All the information you need prior to the class is emailed to you. Sam is very helpful if you have any questions. It was very nice to be able to get all the assessments done within one day and have your TOAR, ready to send it within an hour of the class ending. Captain Ben is very knowledgeable and a great instructor. I highly recommend this class to anyone interested in obtaining their TOAR.

Alec Frizzell

Check out our REVIEWS page for more!