Q.How would you take over as Master of a new ship?

Answer 1 Answers

By new ship, I would assume yard delivery of a ship.

In this case, the primary responsibility of the master would be to ensure that the ship is seaworthy. There are three areas that master needs to look for when ensuring the seaworthiness of the ship.

Each company has a ship certificates checklist as part of SMS manuals. Master need to cross check with this checklist if all the certificates are on board before the vessel starts her maiden voyage.

Although Initial "Safety management system certificate" and "International ship security certificate" will be issued by the flag (or classification society on behalf of the flag) after an initial assessment of the implementation of ISM and ISPS code, it is responsibility of the master to do his own assessment of the system before the maiden voyage.

Lastly Master need to ensure that vessel is adequately manned for the voyage. This is done by

  • ensuring vessel has a valid minimum safe manning certificate
  • The number of crew onboard is more than that mentioned in the minimum safe manning certificate
  • The number of crew onboard is sufficient for the trade of the vessel
  • All crew members have valid STCW certificates and other certificates required by the company or third parties like SIRE

This is the statutory part to ensure that the ship is seaworthy. But there are other things that a master need to ensure before setting the sail for ship's Maiden voyage.

  • Crew Training
  • Provision and supplies

Crew training is the most important part. The system and equipments on board are new to all the crew members. Master need to ensure that navigating officers are well trained for the bridge equipments, layout, and the operation.

Master must ensure that chief officer has trained the crew about the deck equipments and chief engineer has trained the engine room staff for the engine room operations and equipments.

In the yard, it is required from the ship staff to ensure that operating instructions are posted near to the each of the machinery and equipments.

Finally master needs to carry out drills and training for life-saving equipments and fire fighting equipments.

At last, it is the duty of the master to ensure that the ship has sufficient provisions, fresh water, and other required supplies for the voyage.

Any other important point I may have missed, feel free to point out.