TOAR Detail

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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5 out of 5 stars (based on 73 reviews)
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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

Master of Towing

Rated 5 out of 5
January 8, 2021

I came to Diamond Marine to get my TOAR completed, and walked away with a Master of Towing. There were many challenges, but what I appreciated was Sam’s patient solution oriented mentality. He solved every obstacle with speed and and accuracy. He even gave additional advise in regards to submitting my application. I would recommend this course for anyone who wants to get their Mate or Master of Towing.

Captain Ta’Von Davis

Best TOAR Assessment Class ever! The most fun I have had taking a maritime class.

Rated 5 out of 5
January 8, 2021

In all my years of taking hands on and practical skills classes for the maritime industry, this one is the best I have ever done. The Designated Examiner for the class was knowledgeable and well seasoned in the towing industry and always willing to impart his knowledge and experience onto the class. The tug was an “oldie but goodie” making it a great platform to learn and practice the basics of tug and barge maneuvering before getting overwhelmed by the high speed and low drag controls of modern tugs. In the class each student takes a turn driving the tug doing each maneuver for the TOAR until they were successful with it. They also have a barge that is used for all maneuver, with the instructor going over the tricks of the trade on how to best complete them safely. Nothing in the class is simulated, it is all real world and hands on. I had so much fun in the class, I had wished it was more then just one day.

Alex D.

5 Stars to the Second Power

Rated 5 out of 5
January 2, 2021

My overall experience with Diamond Marine Services and their affiliated partners was perfect ! Sam went out of his way on several occasions to not only answer complex licensing questions but ensure that the licensing process was stress free. The TOAR course was fantastic, filled with lots of hands-on practical assessments. The entire crew at Diamond Marine Services were extremely knowledgeable, polite, and professional. I would strongly recommend Diamond Marine services for all of you licensing needs.

John William

Awesome class

Rated 5 out of 5
December 20, 2020

This was a great class with plenty of opportunities to ask questions and to get amazing hands on experience. Sam and Birk were great to work with and made the whole process seamless. Their commitment to their customers doesn’t just end with the TOAR Class, they are more then willing to answer any questions that someone might have about licensing and the confusing process that come with working with the USCG. I will absolutely be recommending this class/their services to anyone that needs it.

Matt Cannon

Check out our REVIEWS page for more!

How much?

Option 1: TOAR ONLY

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.

Option 2: TOAR and Observation Sea Service

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. In the event you need both the TOAR as well as the required observation on towing vessels sea service, we have a complete solution available for $2500.

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 March 3, 2021
Boston MA
There are 2 seats available.
8:30 am - 4:00 pm March 19, 2021
Boston MA
There are 3 seats available.
8:30 am - 4:00 pm March 31, 2021
Boston MA
There are 4 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!