Towing Officer Assessment Record

TOAR Class 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.

30 Days of Training and Observation *NEW

As described in the towing vessel license pipeline towards the bottom of this page, 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 or via email at office@diamondmarineservices.com.

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 towing services home ported in Boston, MA. Please  visit our LOGISTICS page for more information.

Check out some recent reviews of our TOAR Class

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Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 96 reviews)
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T.O.A.R.

Rated 5 out of 5
September 21, 2021

Went to get my T.O.A.R. Great class! Really exceeded my expectations. A real “Hands on” class where you actually learn something.
Sam is always willing to help with any questions long after you’ve completed the class without “nickel and diming” you.
Cannot recommend Diamond marine services enough!

Michael Parenteau

TOAR Assessments

Rated 5 out of 5
August 9, 2021

Had a blast doing the assessments in Boston. The tug used is a very cool old tug. I had never ran a single screw boat of any real size and I had no problems what so ever the boat handles like a dream making the assessments go very smoothly. The coolest part is the class is centered around the boat handling aspects of the TOAR. Everyone got to have their turn docking and undocking, towing on the hip through a bridge, making up a tow, landing the barge along side another barge it was a really fun and informative experience. Capt. Birk was really great to work with.

Cole Ward

No Title

Rated 5 out of 5
June 23, 2021

Excellent service. Highly recommend.

Master of Towing Endorsement

Rated 5 out of 5
April 14, 2021

I recently took the TOAR course for my Master of Towing Endorsement. I had issues with the NMC and Diamond Marine stepped in and handled everything. I told them the problem I was having and they took over. It was so stress free, and easy. They definitely went above and beyond!

Peter Kaple

Patience and explanation

Rated 5 out of 5
February 12, 2021

I highly recommend this class. My instructors were Sam and Birk. What both instructors are good at is 2 very important things in particular:
They’re experienced Captains AND they’re good teachers and that’s what you want in an instructor, someone who not only knows the material but has the patience to explain why a maneuver or something else will or will not work. Another great thing is these guys are going to let you drive and get your hands dirty. Great job guys.

Aaron V Burnett

Check out our REVIEWS page for more!

How much?

One day TOAR Class

Our one day TOAR Class 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.  Class schedule and availability are in the table below.

Training & Observation Program

We have coordinated with partner vessels to provide a platform to complete the required 30 days of training and observation required for an original towing license.  The cost for this program is $1500. NOTE: The program runs for 20 twelve-hour days.

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!)

TOAR Assessment Schedule. Click on the blue date link, to sign up.
Time Date Seats
8:30 am - 4:00 pm Oct 13, 2021
Boston MA
There are 1 seats available.
8:30 am - 4:00 pm Oct 14, 2021
Boston MA
There are 3 seats available.
8:30 am - 4:00 pm Nov 17, 2021
Boston MA
There are 2 seats available.

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:

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.

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

Check out some recent reviews of our service

Check out our REVIEWS page for more!