Duties of a Bosun in the Merchant Navy

A Bosun also known as Boatswain is a qualified member of the deck department. Bosun is the senior most rating and the head of the deck crew department. Duties of Bosun in the Merchant Navy include supervising and assisting other deck crew rating with their daily jobs, he is not a watchkeeper except on ships where the crew size is really small. 

 Responsibilities of Bosun

  • A Bosun is responsible for the day-to-day management of the deck crew. 
  • Bosun assigns specific tasks to crew members and works with the team as required. 
  • They need to advise the crew members on any special precautions required for the task.
  • Bosun oversees the progress of work and ensures that it is carried out in a safe and efficient manner. 
  • They have to assist in mooring/unmooring operations.
  • Bosun also needs to take care of the crew morale and welfare, along with the Chief Officer.
  • Bosun has to assist with the training of the deck crew.
  • Bosun needs to make sure that the assigned work is carried out in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Duties of a Bosun in the merchant navy include- the supervision of housekeeping in deck workshops, lockers, and stores. 

Note: In the absence or incapacity of Bosun, the Master/Captain may appoint one of the Seamen to carry out these responsibilities.       

Bosun in merchant navy
Bosun in the merchant navy

How To Become A Bosun in Merchant Navy

In order to become a Bosun in Merchant Navy you have to pursue a GP Rating course. You have to join the deck side and you will start your career as a Trainee Ordinary Seaman with experience and sea service you will be promoted to Ordinary seaman followed by Able seaman and at last, you will be promoted to the rank of Bosun. On average if you’re hardworking, have good appraisals, and complete your seatime quickly, it will take you around 6 – 7 years to reach the rank of a Bosun onboard. 

bosun work
Bosun work

Eligibility for GP Rating 

Qualifications in AcademicsMedical/Physical StandardsAge regulations
For individuals who have passed their tenth classA minimum of 40% from a recognized board is required in English, Science, and Mathematics in the 10th or 12th grades.As per Merchant Shipping guidelines, candidates must be physically and medically fit. They must be capable of seafaring. Both eyes must have a vision of 6/6. (Unaided vision). Furthermore, the candidate should not be colorblind.It must be between the ages of 17.5 to 25.
For individuals who want to do pre sea GP rating course for Fitters/WeldersPass a two-year Industrial Training Institutes course certified by DVET (Department of Vocational Education and Training) / NCVT (National Council of Vocational Training) as a Fitter / Machinist / Mechanic / Welder / Turner with a least 40 percent total mark in the final year of ITI and a minimum 40 percent in English in 10th / 12th.Candidate must be physically and medically fit. Both eyes must have a vision of 6/6. (Unaided vision)Between the ages of 17.5 and 25

If the candidate meets the requirements, he or she will be required to take a common entrance test (CET), from which they will be able to select their desired college based on their rank. For some universities, Candidates who meet the requirements will be invited to an online interview and will be required to take an online test. After the test, the selected candidates will undergo a medical examination with a D.G Shipping-approved doctor.

Salary of Bosun in Merchant Navy

As mentioned above Bosun is the head of the deck crew ratings and therefore he gets paid pretty high compared to other deck and engine ratings. The salary of a Bosun differs from company to company and also varies with the type of vessel he sails in. On average Bosun gets paid around 1500$ – 2000$ per month. 

salary of bosun
salary of bosun

In this blog, we have briefly highlighted the duties of a bosun in the merchant navy and their salary structure onboard. If you are thinking about pursuing GP Rating and joining the deck side then this blog will genuinely be helpful to you. 

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