How to Become a Ship Captain
Last updated on February 25th, 2023 at 07:15 am
In this blog, we will discuss the journey of a cadet. For becoming a captain in the merchant navy, one must appear for numerous exams and must attain a lot of knowledge and experience to become a Captain.
I. DECK CADETSHIP
The first and foremost stage is to become a CADET from a sponsored company.
For joining a ship as a CADET you are required to complete the following courses:-
- STANDARDS OF TRAINING, CERTIFICATION, AND WATCHKEEPING FOR SEAFARERS (STCW).
- BASIC TRAINING FOR LIQUIFIED GAS TANKER CARGO OPERATIONS (GAS DC, if want to join GAS takers).
- BASIC TRAINING FOR OIL AND CHEMICAL TANKER CARGO OPERATIONS (OIL DC, if want to join oil or chemical tankers).
- A CADET must complete 18 months training onboard if passed from DIPLOMA IN NAUTICAL SCIENCE.
- A CADET must complete 12 months training onboard if passed from BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN NAUTICAL SCIENCE.
After a cadet has completed his 12 months training, he is eligible to do the following required compulsory courses for 2nd mates’ exams.
- AFF :-ADVANCED FIRE FIGHTING
- MFA :-MEDICAL FIRST AID
- PSCRB:-PROFICIENCY IN SURVIVAL CRAFT AND RESCUE BOATS OTHER THAN FAST BOATS.
- RADAR:-RADIO DETECTIOIN AND RANGING.
- ECDIS:-ELECTRONIC CHART DISPLAY INFORMATION SYSTEM
- GMDSS :-GLOBAL MARITIME DISTRESS AND SAFETY SYSTEM
These all-courses charges are solely beard by the CADET and nothing detects in the company’s account, all terms & conditions are as per company policy and are subject to change.
II. CADET TO 3RD OFFICER
Getting a 2nd mate’s COC is a dream to which a CADET aspires
For clearing a second mates’ examination, clear: – WRITTEN,ORALS,&SIGNALS
i) WRITTEN EXAMINATION 2ND MATE F.G
- TERRESTRIAL AND COASTAL NAVIGATION (MIN 140/200)
- CELESTIAL NAVIGATION. (MIN 140/200)
- METEOROLOGY (MIN 50/100)
- CARGO HANDLING AND STOWAGE (MIN 120/200)
- BRIDGE EQUIPMENT AND WATCHKEEPING (MIN 100/200)
- SHIP CONSTRUCTION, STABILITY, SHIP SAFETY, AND ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION (MIN 120/200)
After clearing the written exams ,you should go for orals
ii) ORALS EXAMINATION 2ND MATE F.G
- FUNCTION – 1: NAVIGATION AT THE OPERATIONAL LEVEL
- FUNCTION – 2: CARGO HANDLING AND STOWAGE
- FUNCTION – 3: CONTROLLING SHIP OPERATION
iii) 2ND MATE SIGNAL EXAMINATION
The examination conducts by flashing the Morse code light , a candidate must identify the light signal and write down the answer on the answer sheet. For passing instantly identify Morse code light. There are various means and methods to learn Morse Code like YouTube and various apps.
On getting all second mates ticket, a person can join as junior officer. Few companies send directly as third officer.
III. 3RD OFFICER TO 2ND OFFICER
To become 2nd MATE, one needs to get promoted onboard or get a promotion from the company by the recommendation of the master. Most companies ask the 3rd officer to gain experience in his post like 2-3 sails on average but some companies will give a promotion only after good remarks from MASTER that the 3rd officer is capable of performing his duties well and can be promoted to 2nd officer.
IV. 2ND MATE TO CHIEF OFFICER
Criteria for Chief Mate :-
- Candidate must have 18 months sea time experience as 2nd mate COC holder.
- For getting Chief Mate Phase I,9 months of sea time is required as Chief Mate.
- For getting Chief Mate Phase II,18 months of sea time is required as Chief Mate.
i) CHIEF MATE F.G WRITTEN EXAMINATION TOPICS
- PHASE I
- PRACTICAL NAVIGATION
- CARGO HANDLING & STOWAGE
- SHIP STABILITY
- SHIP CONSTRUCTION
- SHIP SAFETY, DAMAGE CONTROL & MAINTENANCE
- PHASE II
- BRIDGE WATCHKEEPING, SHIP HANDLING & EMERGENCIES
- NAVIGATIONAL AIDS
- GENERAL ENGINEERING KNOWLEDGE
- MARITIME LEGISLATION
- SHIP CONSTRUCTION
- SHIP STABILITY
ii) CHIEF MATE F.G ORAL EXAMINATION
On Clearing PHASE I and II, Orals Examination are:-
- FUNCTION 1: -NAVIGATION AT THE MANAGEMENT LEVEL
- FUNCTION 2: – CARGO HANDLING & STOWAGE AT MANAGEMENT LEVEL
- FUNCTION 3: – CONTROLLING THE OPERATION OF THE SHIP & CARE OF PERSONS ON BOARD AT THE MANAGEMENT LEVEL.
On getting CHIEF MATE TICKET, it does not guarantee that you will be sailing as chief officer .It is standard set by the company only good experienced candidates are required for a particular rank.
Gaining experience and knowledge of work will automatically increase your promotion chances ,same is reflected in master’s feedback form .
V. CHIEF OFFICER TO CAPTAIN
- Total 36 months experience after 2nd mates license, OR
- 12 months after Chief Mate COC
- There is 1 written and 1 orals exam
- Course Duration: – The course duration is of 45 days for doing ASM (Advance Ship Course Management).
- Followed by 1 simulator based modular course
- Upon successful completion Master Receives his COC(FG)