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Unit 4

SHIPS ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION

Objectives of Unit 4

4.1
Ships departments
4.2
The deck department
4.3
The engine department
4.4
Function
Self-assessment test
Progress test
Answers to self-assessment test
Bibliography / Webography

The main objectives are:


enumerate the departments of a ship
know the functions of all officers and petty officers
describe each department
understand the responsibilities of the crew

Ships departments

4.1

During a voyage, the ship is operated for 24 hours of every day. The day at sea is divided into
4-hour periods starting from midnight. These periods are called watches. They are named as
follows:
Midnight to 0400 hours - Middle watch
0400 hrs to 0800 hours - Morning watch
0800 hrs to Noon
- Forenoon watch
Noon to 1600 hours
- Afternoon watch
1600 hrs to 2000 hours - Evening watch
2000 hrs to Midnight
- First watch
The work of the ship is organized under four departments: The Deck, Radio, Engine-Room
and Catering Departments. The names of the personnel and the departments to which they
belong are shown in the following table

DECK DEPT.
Officers
Chief Officer
Second Officer
Third Officer
Navigating Cadets

CAPTAIN (Overall Command)


ENGINE-ROOM D.
CATERING DEPT.
Chief Officer
Second Officer
Third Officer
Fourth Officer
Engineering Cadets

Petty Officers
Bosun
Fitter

Purser

Pumpman

Chief Steward
Chief Cook

Motorman
Oiler

Second Steward
Second Cook

Ratings
Able Seamen
(ABs)
Efficient Deck
Hands
Ordinary Seamen

RADIO DEPT.
Radio Officer

The organization of the crew of a cargo ship is changing, but it is still customary to
find Deck, Engine, Catering and Radio Departments in ships of a reasonable size. Each
department is made up of a varied number of officers, petty officers and ratings.
The man in charge of a ship is the Master. He must be well qualified and an
experienced navigator. Although his correct title is the Master, he is addressed as 'Captain'.
He is responsible for the efficient navigation of the ship, the lives of those on board, and the
safe delivery of the cargo.
The Chief Officer, or First Mate as he is often called, is the Master's chief officer and
head of the Deck Department. He is assisted by a Second Officer (Mate), a Third Officer
(Mate), and sometimes a Fourth Officer (Mate). Several companies employ a First Officer
as well as a Chief Officer. The Deck Department also includes a Boatswain (Bosun) and
a Fitter, both petty officers, and a number of ratings. These are made up of Able Seamen
(AB), Ordinary Seamen (OS) and a middle grade known as Efficient Deck Hands (EDH).
There are other grades of seamen. On some ships Navigating Cadets are carried for training
purposes.
The Chief Engineer is head of the Engine Department. He is assisted by a
Second, Third, Fourth and sometimes Fifth Engineer. An Electrical Officer may also be
carried. The engine room petty officers are the Storekeeper and Donkeyman. On tankers
there is also a Pumpman. He is also a petty officer. The engine room ratings are
Motormen and Oilers. There may also be Engineer Cadets.
The Catering Department is under the Chief Steward. It is divided into a saloon
and galley section. The former is headed by the Second Steward, the latter by the Ship's
Cook. They are both usually petty officers. They are assisted by several stewards and
cooks, and by a number of junior ratings.
The Radio Department often consists of only one man: the Radio Officer.
Exercises
A. Are the following statements true or false?
1. The day at sea is divided into four periods.
2. The captain has an overall command of the ship.
3. The deck department is under the command of the navigating officer.
4. The afternoon watch is between noon and 1700 hours.
5. The loading and discharging of cargo is one of the responsibilities of the first mate.
B. Give brief answers to the following questions:
1. How many departments are there on board a ship?
2. What are the responsibilities of the master of the ship?
3. What are the duties of the chief officer?
4. Why is the second officer called the navigating officer?
5. Who is responsible for the safety equipment on board?
6. What is the main responsibility of the chief engineer?
7. What is the work of the fitter?

C. Ask questions to which the underlined words are the answers.


1. The day at sea is divided into six periods.
2. The captain has an overall command of the ship.
3. The chief officer is responsible for the loading and discharging of cargo.
4. The work of the ship is organized under four departments.
5. The second officer is often called the navigating officer.
D. Observe the use of the underlined words in the following sentences.
a. The second officer is called the navigating officer.
b. Look at that pitching ship.
c. He works in the catering department.
Now complete list A by choosing the right information from lists B.
A.
1. Catering boys
2. Rolling ships
3. Sailing vessels
4. Loading operations
5. Lifting machinery
6. Fire-fighting equipment
7. Steaming lights

B.
(i) give way to power-driven vessels in
narrow channels
(ii) are derricks and cranes
(iii) should be regularly checked
(iv) work in the catering department
(v) are of great importance at night
(vi) are uncomfortable for passengers
(vii) are the responsibility of the first mate

E. Observe the two ways of expressing the same idea


The master is responsible for the efficient navigation of the ship.
The master is in charge of the efficient navigation of the ship.
Now complete the following sentences:
1. The chief officer is in .. the morning and evening watches.
2. The chief engineer is .. for the efficient operation of the main engines.
3. The fitter is in .. the hatch covers and maintenance.
4. The chief steward is ..for ordering provisions.
5. The person .. of the deck repairs is the carpenter.
6. The person .. for the overall command of the ship is the captain.
4.2
The deck department
The Deck Department is responsible for navigating the ship safely and economically from
port to port. The Master is an experienced navigator and usually works out the best course.
The Second Officer is responsible to the Master for keeping the ship on course and for
looking after all the equipment used for navigation. It is also the job of the Deck
Department to see that the cargo is stowed properly in the holds and kept in good condition
during the voyage. The stowage of cargo is the responsibility of the Chief Officer. He is
helped by the Second and Third Officers. In addition, when the ship is not fully loaded, the
First Mate must see that the holds are cleaned and prepared for their next cargo. In a tanker
the cargo tanks are washed out during ballast passages and freed of gas. At sea, much of the
Deck Department's time is spent maintaining the ship and her equipment in good condition.
This means constant cleaning, painting and repair work. This is done by ratings under the

supervision of the Boatswain (Bosun). A programme of maintenance for each day is worked
out by the Chief Officer. He also looks after the general day-to-day running of the
department and deals with any problems. The Third Officer is in charge of the life-saving
equipment. The different appliances must be complete and in good working order.
The Boatswain and the Fitter are directly responsible to the Chief Officer. The Bosun sees
that his orders and those of other deck officers are carried out by the crew. He is a man with a
lot of knowledge and practical experience in seamanship. The Fitter is usually a qualified
shipwright. He no longer works only with wood as his name suggests. His most important
regular job is to sound the tanks and bilges in order to check the depths of liquid in them.
He also operates the windlass, when the anchors are being raised or lowered.
The Deck Department is also responsible for keeping watches. An officer is always on
watch on the bridge. He is the Master's representative and answers to him for the safety of
the ship during his watch. In ships where a Chief Mate and a First Mate are carried, the First
Mate is the watchkeeping officer.
Exercises
Complete these sentences with one word from the passage:
(a) The Second Officer is the ... officer, therefore he must be good at calculating the
ship's position and course.
(b) The careful ... of cargo is important in order to keep it safe and easily unloaded.
4.3

The engine department

The engine room is the heart of a ship where the power is generated to drive the ship. The
main power is derived from two boilers. These are oil fired, forced draught, water-tube type
boilers with superheaters and economizers. The power derived from the boilers is used to run
the high and low pressure turbines. The turbines are coupled through cross-compound, double
reduction gears which drive a shaft. In addition to the boilers and propulsion machinery, the
engine room also contains auxiliary machinery to run the rest of the ship's systems. Steam
driven generators provide electricity for the ship's lights and the D.C. motors. An electrical
distribution panel allows the ship's electrical systems to be run from the steam generators,
diesel powered auxiliary generators or shore power. There are two refrigerator compressors
to maintain the temperature in the walk in freezer and chill boxes. There are also two air
compressors.
Each watch is generally manned by at least 3 people; the engineer-on-watch, the fireman, and
an oiler. The engineer-on-watch's station is the main operating control panel. The main
operating control panel has gauges that allow the engineer to assess and maintain the overall
condition of the steam plant, propulsion systems and other machinery. Some of the gauges
and controls at this station are: main steam pressure, vacuum pressure, auxiliary steam
pressure, level of the D.C. heater, level of the main gear sump, RPM.'s of the shaft, total
revolutions of the shaft, control air pressure, and the forward and astern main throttle wheels.
The fireman's station is the fire room; here the fireman monitors and maintains the boiler
operation. Sight gauges allow the fireman to monitor the water levels in the boilers. There are

periscopes that allow the fireman to monitor the quality of combustion and adjust the fuel-air
mixture accordingly. The fire room control panel allows the fireman to monitor steam
pressure of each boiler, the superheat temperature, fuel oil temperature, combustion air
pressure, and various control air pressure gauges for the automatic water controls of each
boiler.
Finally, the oiler's job is to make rounds engine room keeping watch over all the machinery
for signs of trouble. As his job title would imply, the oiler is responsible for ensuring all
machinery and bearings are well lubricated.

4.4

Function

A person's function, or what he does, can be expressed in terms of his responsibility. Study
these examples:
1. The Master is responsible for the safety of the ship.
2. The safety of the ship is the responsibility of the Master.
Note the addition here:
3. The Master is responsible to the company for the safety of the ship.
Exercise 1. Link the following (do not change their order), using whichever pattern above
is appropriate:
(a) Chief Officer - Master - the Deck Department.
(b) Third Officer - the life-saving equipment.
(c) The sounding of tanks and bilges - Fitter.
(d) Radio Officer - radio communications.
(e) Chief Steward - Master - the Catering Department.
(f) The preparation of food -Ship's Cook.
(g) Chief Engineer - the efficient running of his department,
(h) The loading and unloading of oil - Pumpman.
The function of a thing, or what it is used for, can be expressed in a number of ways:
1. By using the phrase: The function of... is to ...
e.g. The function of a crane is to lift heavy objects.
2. By using the verb to use + for -ing
e.g. A crane is used for lifting heavy objects.
3. By using a verb expressing the function,
e.g. A crane lifts heavy objects.
4. By using a prepositional phrase introduced by with
e.g. We lift heavy objects with a crane.

Exercise 2. Rewrite the following sentences in the three alternative ways.


(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)

The function of a thermometer is to measure temperature.


A fire extinguisher is used for putting out fires.
A windlass raises and lowers the anchors.
We measure time with a chronometer.
Self-assessment Test
a. Are the following statements true or false?
1. The afternoon watch is between noon and 1700 hours.
2. The person in charge of the deck repairs is the fitter.
3. The radio officer works under the command of the chief officer.
b. Answer the following questions:
1. What are the duties of the chief officer?
2. What is the main responsibility of the chief engineer?
c. Complete the following sentences:
1. The person .. of the deck work is the fitter.
2. The person .. for the overall command of the ship is the captain.
Progress test. Fill in the following words:
bosun/ chief engineer /chief officer/ steward
1.
2.
3.
4.

The radio officer works under the command of the ...


The chief .. is responsible for the ordering of provisions.
The daily orders to the .. are given to him by the chief officer.
The head of ER is the ...

Answers to self-assessment test


Ex a.
1. T
2. F
3. F
Ex b. Answer the following questions:
1. The stowage of cargo is the responsibility of the Chief Officer.
He must see that the holds are cleaned and prepared for their next cargo. A programme of maintenance for each
day is worked out by the Chief Officer. He also looks after the general day-to-day running of the department
and deals with any problems.
2. The CEng supervises all the activities in the ER.
Ex c.
1. in charge
2. responsible

Bibliography / Webography
1. Georgescu, M. , Maritime English, Students Coursebook, 1st year, 1st term

(on www.cmu-edu.eu)
2. Georgescu, M., Outboard Communication, (2010), Nautica Press,
Constana, ISBN 978-606-8105-13-0

3. Marcu, E. Dictionary of Maritime Electromechanical Terminology English Romanian, (2009), Editura Nautica, Constana
4. Marcu, E. Dictionary of Maritime Electromechanical Terminology English Romanian, (2009), Editura Nautica, Constana
5. Chirea-Ungureanu, C. English Grammar in Use-Exercises and Quizzes,
(2010), Editura Nautica, ISBN 978-606-8105-14-7
6. Chirea-Ungureanu, C. Developing English Communication and
Understandimg Skills on Board Ship, (2013), Editura Crizon, Constanta,
ISBN 978-606-8476-09-4
7. Blakey, T.N. English For Maritime Studies. 2nd ed. Hemel Hempstead,
Prentice Hall International (UK) Ltd, 1987 (ISBN 0 13 281379 3)
8. Murphy, R. Essential Grammar In Use. 1st ed. Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press, 1990 (ISBN 0 521 35770 5)
9.http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/simpre-prepro/exercises
(visited 01.04.2012)