Some Suggested Masters Standing Orders


  • All Officers are to comply with the provisions of MGN 315 ‘Keeping a Safe Navigational Watch’
  • Unless I have formally taken charge of the watch, you are my appointed my deputy and are responsible for the safety of the ship, her cargo and all the persons on board.
  • There may be times when you feel that your experience does not amply cover the current situation, or one which is developing. Remember, I may be able to share my experience with you. Call Me and ask.
  • A “Guard Zone” is to be established around this ship, of radius 2 miles. During ocean and coastal passages, when there is no Pilot on board, no vessel is to be allowed to come within this “Guard Zone”. If it does – call me at once.
  • Fire is a major hazard on every vessel. This ship is no exception. I, therefore, require a proper fire patrol every hour during darkness. The fire patrol must report to the bridge. I insist that the fire patrol record book should be completed at all times.
  • Passage Planning; Officers are to study and MGN “Navigation Safety”, and my own requirements listed in the passage planning notebook.
  • Lookout. A proper lookout is to be maintained at all times. A deckhand is not posted on lookout to meet the requirements of Rule 5 but as a member of the bridge team. The lookout is to be properly briefed as to their duties. They are to be fully utilised, to the extent of their abilities, in any way leading to the maintenance of a proper lookout, including the use of all lookout aids fitted. Clear weather practice in the use of such aids is to be given so as to improve the effectiveness of the lookout maintained.

Call the Master if:

  • Restricted Visibility is expected or experienced
  • Traffic Conditions or movement of other ships is causing concern
  • difficulty is experienced in maintaining course
  • Failure to sight land, ATN or sounding by an expected time
  • Unexpectedly sight Land, ATN or Sounding occurs
  • Breakdown of Steering, Navigation, Communication or machinery equipment.
  • If Heavy weather is encountered or in doubt of weather damage
  • If any hazard is encountered, Ice, Trees, Containers
  • If a distress signal is received
  • any other emergency or doubt
  • if any security concerns arise

All Officers are to sign below to indicate that they have read and understand these standing orders