The area of seller navy involves a specific order of hierarchy through the seafarers holding various ranks on ships. This ranking system ensures smooth coordicountry of onboard operations and also promotes appropriate monitoring methods.

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Being a line of work-related that calls for an extremely high degree of professionalism wherein lax performance have the right to bring about drastic aftermath, the pecking order is crucial to an economically viable version for shipboard operations through a shore-based support frame.

The nomenclature of the vendor navy ranking mechanism is universally welcomed by shipping providers and commercial vessels approximately the civilization.

The ranks and also responsibilities that come with it are somewhat equivalent across the totality market via minor alters in names and also duties assigned to certain positions differing among shipping providers and also the mechanism of the nomenclature they follow. As discussed over, basically it is practically all the very same.

In basic, the ranking device on merchant vessels greatly separated into the following categories:

Deck DepartmentEngine DepartmentCatering Department 

The bridge of a vessel is a hub that is fitted via critical devices for the safe navigation and also watchmaintaining of the vendor ship.

Owing to the progressed and specific nature of the bridge tools, a requiwebsite ability collection is imperative for an individual to control all the devices and also thereby safely navigate the ship.

Seafarers under the deck department of the ship are vested via the responsibility of managing ship navigation, along with taking care of cargo operations and berthing tools current on the deck of the ship.

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Similarly, seafarers functioning in the ship’s engine room fall under the engine department. This mostly consists of marine engineers and ratings responsible for operation and maintenance of ship’s machinery.

The engine room houses the component of the ship that fuels/propels the vessel altogether and needless to say, a specific collection of abilities is important to the engine room personnel as well.

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The 3rd department, or the catering department, is responsible for the preparation of meals and general housekeeping for crew and passengers.

The variety of human being employed in this department (which is under the purview of the Master, as with every little thing else) varies among ships and also obviously, a passenger ship will certainly have far more catering staff than a cargo ship owing to the number of civilization that have to be serviced.

A vessel thus calls for a definite system of merchant navy ranks that would allow the distribution of assignments in a expert and also formal manner.

Merchant Navy Ranks 

The Captain

The Captain (or Master) of the ship is the final authority of the ship and is the highest rank that one deserve to accomplish onboard. He shoulders complete obligation and also oversees all shipboard operations.

The Captain is in command of a merchant ship at all times and also regulates the proper everyday transactions and handles the legal affairs on maritime issues.

In the unlikely occasion that the Master is not current on board, the Chief Mate is assumed to be interim in charge of shipboard operations.

The Deck Department 

Chief Officer/MateSecond Officer/MateThird Officer/MateDeck Cadets

Deck Rating (non-officers) 

Trainee OS

Chief Officer / First Mate

Chief officer occupies the second responsible place after the Captain of the vessel. He is the executive head of the deck department and also executes the order of the Master at the operational level (although the rank itself is a much more managerial position).

He supervises the vessel’s crew and looks after the various deck operations which include, but not limited to the everyday ongoings of the deck as per the work schedule as well as the cargo operations to be brought out while in port.

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The Chief Mate prioritises the defense and safe functioning of the vessel and also is responsible for the welfare of crew and passengers (if on a passenger ship) on board.

Additionally, the correct functioning of the hull, the accommodation area, the cargo gearing, the defense appliances and the fire prevention equipment is regulated by the Chief Officer.

Chief among all of his duties is the safe navigating of the ship for which he is an OOW for the navigational watches between 0400-0800 hrs and 1600-2000 hrs.

Alall set burdened with the majority of work-related in the port, the Chief Mate usually does not keep port watches as he is constantly overseeing the cargo occupational.


Representation Image – Picture by Jose Jacob

2nd Officer/ Mate

The 2nd Mate is an OOW responsible for the charts & publications on board and also their maintenance. Also, he is the medical officer on board responsible for the upstore and administering of all medically related services onboard.

Being an OOW, the navigational watch timings for him are 1200-1600 hrs and 0000-0400 hrs while at sea. In port, his watches are from 1200-1800 hrs and 0000-0600 hrs

Third Officer/ Mate

The third Mate is in charge of all the LSA and also FFA onboard and is assigned the duty to upkeep and keep them onboard. Acomponent from that, he hregarding handle all the port files for usage by the Master in addition to handling the bond store onboard.

Being an OOW, the navigational watch timings for him are 0800-1200 hrs and 2000-0000 hrs while at sea. In port, his watches are from 0600-1200 hrs and also 1800-0000 hrs

Deck Cadet

The deck cadet is the trainee officer onboard, fresh out of the Institute. His single task is to learn, comprehend and also use abilities for the procedure of becoming a professional officer later on.

Being a fresh candiday, a cadet is assigned work that provide him a gradual expertise of the ship and her ongoings which come to usage once preparing for the “Certificate of Competency” examicountries to assume obligation as an OOW in the future.

Aside from the deck work that he requirements to grasp, the major chunk of a cadets finding out pertains to assisting an OOW in delivering out a safe navigational watch


Bosun is the head of the rating division on deck and also carries out the booked work on deck in liaikid via the Chief Mate

Able seaman

According to the modern-day nautical terminology, an able seaman (AB) possesses a vendor mariner’s document and is eligible to help the deck department. Know even more around the rank of Able Seaguy right here.

Ordinary seaman

The short article of an simple seamale, dedetailed by OS, serves the vessel’s deck department. An OS is typically busy through tasks such as buffing, scaling, cleaning the deck and periodically paint the superframework, over the major deck.

An ordinary seamale deserve to undertake tasks like overhauling, splicing ropes, wiring, rigging, etc and also conduct repair job-related on the deck.

It is the Ordinary seaman’s project to encertain the secure taking care of of cargo gears and also loading or dismantling cargo as directed by the Bosun/Chief Mate. A trainee OS is like a cadet however for the rating section. Know more about Ordinary Seamale right here.

The Engine Department 

Chief Engineer2nd Engineer/First Assistant EngineerThird Engineer/ 2nd Assistant Engineer4th Engineer/ Third Assistant EngineerFifth Engineer/ Engine CadetElectrical Officer

Engine Room Rating 

FitterMotormanTrainee Fitter / Trainee Wiper

Chief Engineer

ChiefEngineerr is the head of the engineering department on a vessel. The compelled qualification for this position is loosely described as the “Chief’s Ticket”. Alternatively, he have the right to also be alternatively termed as the “The Chief” and also typically draws similar pay as compared to the Captain, although the complete duty of a particular vessel falls solely on the Captain’s shoulder. Chief engineer offers orders for procedure and maintenance of ship’s machinery mechanism and also is responsible for the engine room department.

2nd Engineer/ First Assistant Engineer

He is associated via the day-to-day activities in the engine room, and he is accountable to the Chief Engineer. Duties encompass constantly supervising the appropriate functioning of all engine room machinery units and likewise asindications tasks to the various other engine police officers and crew. The Second Engineer mostly keeps watch on the engine room, in the time of the day time

Also Read: Duties of second Engineer on Ship

Third engineer/ 2nd Assistant Engineer

This is the following position after the 2nd Engineer and also is assigned tasks to look after machinery ordered by the chief engineer, in addition to everyday watch keeping. He reports to the second engineer

4th Engineer/ Third Assistant Engineer

This is the many junior rank in the engineering department. The Fourth Engineer is came to about the correct working of the machinery devices assigned to him and likewise lug our watch maintaining. He reports to the second engineer.

Also Read:  Duties of a fourth Engineer on a Ship

5th Engineer/ Engineering Cadet

5th engineer is a trainee under the Second Engineer officer, and also he assists and learns while observing and also moving out activities in the engine room. He would acfirm a senior officer (greatly second engineer) throughout the watch duty.

All the engine room ratings report to the second engineer. The design cadet spends his time on board via the chief objective of learning the requisite abilities to ending up being a competent design officer later (by clearing the requisite “Certificate Of Competency examicountries to obtain the license to be a certified engineer)

The Catering Department 

Chief CookTrainee CookStewardChief Cook

Chief cook drops under the catering department of the ship. It is his duty to prepare meals regularly for the crew and also passengers. He is also in charge of the food stores. The Chief Chef assists the Third Mate/Cadet in preparing the requisition for any/eextremely food items to be forwarded to the agency HQ to be procured onboard. The Chief Cook additionally inspects the devices required to store the ship clean and also uncontaminated in the galley location.

Trainee Cook

The trainee cook assists chief cook in preparation of meals and regulating provision


The steward, as the name says, is assigned jobs include food preparation and serving meals on time, sweeping and preserving the living quarters of the police officers, and stocktaking the stores. It is additionally the task of a steward to regulate the grocery accounts, planning menus, and papers the cost manage issues.

It is to note that a galley on passenger ships would involve numerous other ranks too. Read right here around galley jobs.

It is crucial to remember that while the shipboard hierarchy is virtually the same across the market, variations might exist relying on the nomenclature device adhered to in a specific company and also the kind of ship in question.

Having said that, the over provides a durable idea to the reader as to the existing standards with regard to the power structure in eexceptionally department of merchant ships.

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