ship captain

Rank Of Ship Captain

The Ship’s Captain or ‘Master’ as also called, is the highest rank and position onboard a ship. The captain oversees all the ship’s crew, operation, cargo and activities onboard being the recognize as the head of all ship’s staff.


Two types of license that a ship’s captain may hold which is “Limited & Unlimited” and it’s determined by the type or size and voyage (if near costal voyage or foreign going) of vessel the captain will command. The licence is a managerial level license which give captian the authority to manage the human resources onboard and all operation on the vessel.
The license is issued in accordance to the STCW Reg. II/2, II/3


Being the highest authority onboard a ship the position of the captain holds a high responsibility in making sure that the crews are safe, a safe working environment for the crew is provided, cargoes are delivered on time. The duties and responsibilities of the captain are not limited to;

  • Contact person between crew and the office
  • Heads the deck department
  • Watchkeeping (if required)
  • Manages all ship crews/ staff
  • Prepares crews monthly wages
  • Crew, ship & cargoes safety
  • Crew representative
  • Signing and keeping relevant ship documents
  • Preparing ship for Vetting
  • Job planning
  • Carrying out routine inspections on ships accommodation
By Nyi Nyi Aung

The captain duties and responsibilities can be summarized in making sure the ship complies with the regulations and guidelines for effective ship operation without causing harm to the crew, environment, ship and it cargo.

The captain has the powers of making decisions that he or she deems best for the ships crew and operations but must guided in accordance with the regulations provided by the international & state maritime regulatory bodies for best practices.


Title: The position of ships captain being the highest rank onboard is honorary position where first attachs the title of a “Captain” to the persons name.

Uniform: the captain maybe seen dressed on

  • White shirt and white/black trouser
  • Epaulets having 4 stripes or bars with an anchor or diamond shape on both shoulders
  • Sailors cap (P-cap) white colour.

Accommodation and Office: usually the captain stays at the last deck before the wheelhouse (Bridge) on the Starboard (Right side) of the accommodation where a personal cabin and dayroom is allocated to him or her. The captain also has a personal working office aside from the ship’s office where all paper-works can be done without going to the wheelhouse working station.

Work/Rest Hours: the captain work as a daysman on normal occasions but may keep watch if necessary depending on the operation or situation. The work hour is from 0800H-1700H lunch and coffee breaks inclusive.

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