How will you take over a vessel from Yard ?


1. Company Briefing

2. Take-over check list

3. Certification:

  • Registry & Change of Flag
  • Markings on Hull
  • Surveys
  • Interim/Provisional Certificates
  • EPIRB Registration
  • SMS Manuals on Board
  • Copy of DOC

4. Safety Related

  • LSA FFA checked against Record of Safety Equipment
  • Emergency Contacts of Owners, Charterers, Managers
  • Familiarization of Crew
  • LSA FFA Marked with POR & Vsl’s Name
  • Training Manual
  • Emergency Drill

5. Pollution Prevention

  • Provisional SOPEP Manual if not approved yet
  • Anti-Pollution kit
  • Garbage Management Plan

6. Crew Administration Related

  • Articles
  • OLB
  • SMD
  • Cert/Licenses
  • Health Books
  • Crew List

7.  Voyage / Cargo Instructions r’cd from Owners / Charterers

  • Sailing condition – Load and Stress Distribution Plan

8. Navigation Related

  • Manoeuvering Information (Wheelhouse poster)
  • Functioning & Errors of Eqpt
  • Compass Deviation
  • Steering & Emergency Steering
  • Bridge Familiarization
  • Spares of Bridge Equipment
  • Charts & status of correction
  • Passage Plan
  • Pilot Card
  • Met Equipments & Spares
  • Flags
  • Manuals of Equipments
  • Mandatory Publications

9.Drawing & Manuals and display Posters


  • Equipment
  • Cert of Operator
  • Distress Instructions
  • GMDSS Maintenance Plan Certificate

11. Cargo & Related Manuals (endorsed by Class):

  • Loading manual
  • CSM
  • Cargo, Ballast & Fuel Ullage Tables
  • IG Manual
  • COW Manual
  • ODME Manual
  • CBT Manual
  • Ballast Water Management Plan

12. Stores & Provisions

  • Bunker Requirements
  • Provision/Stores/Paints/Chemicals/Gases

13.Cash on Board for Emergency Purchases

14.Log Books

  • Deck & E/R
  • Movement Books

15.Standing Orders of Master & C/E

  • I will go to the Company Office for briefing as per the SMS.
  • Obtain Taking over check-list from Company’s Office
  • Before delivery of ship, there will be Sea-Trials, checking & trial of all equipment.
  • BUSINESS :Ship Specific Business Information
  • Obtain Emergency Contacts & details of Owners, Manager’s, Charterer’s H&M and their reporting requirements.
      Confirm that the Certificate of Registry or the Interim Certificate of Registry has been received.
    2.  Change names on bows & stern, and change POR on the stern Names & Port of Registry
      (Consider if bead welding required around new name & POR)
      All L/Boats, Rescue Boats, L/Rafts, L/Buoys and all Documents having POR mentioned to be replaced / repainted with new POR.
    3. EPIRB registration to be arranged.
    4. All Officer’s & Crew’s have Flag State Licenses & Endorsements respectively.
    5. Letter from Class – Stating that Name, Flag & Class as appropriate, changed to be ensured received on board
    6. Ship’s Certificates – Statutory and trading certificates
      Check all certificates are in date and Endorsed as per Certificate of Registry.
    7.  Ship’s Survey status Check for outstanding Class Surveys and carry out if due / required.
    8. Safety management Certificate – Interim certificate should be received.
    9. SMS Shipboard manuals should be available on board along with a Copy of DOC.
    10. Ship’s Certificates – Statutory Certificates – As reqd by Flag State Regulations – Put on Public view
    • Approved Ship Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP/SMPEP) should be r’cd & placed on board.
      If not yet approved vessel should have an unapproved copy.
      Oil Spill Equipment checked for quantity, condition and instructions to all crew regarding its use.
    1. Articles of Agreement (AOA) :Open Articles and Get Officer’s & Crew Signed on
    2. Official Log Book (OLB) – As reqd. by Flag State Regulations.
      Open and enter all relevant details. Enter the members comprising the Safety Committee.
    3. Safe Manning Certificate – Check Minimum Manning against on-signers.
    4. Crew Documents – Officer’s & Crew’s Passport, CDC’s collected,checked valid, and kept with Master. (US Visa. Check valid Yellow fever.)
    5. Certificates (Licenses) – Officer’s & Crew’s Certificates & Endorsements as per STCW’95 valid and required number of Officer’s have GMDSS Certificates.
    6. All Officer’s & Crew’s pre joining Medical Report & D& A declaration received.
    7. Crew List (needed for sailing) Get one made up.
    8. Cash Check if sufficient Cash on board for Emergency purchases.
    9. Terms and Conditions of Employment for Officer’s & Crew
    10. Reporting Start Weather Reporting & Send AMVER Reports at sea.
    1. Manoeuvring Information – Turning Circles, Emergency stop, etc.
    2. Check information is posted in the wheelhouse
    3. Emergency steering change over instructions
      Check instructions are posted in wheelhouse and at steering gear.
    4. Steering – Change-over between Auto-Pilot and manual
      Check that operating instructions are clearly displayed near Steering Stand in W/house.
    5. Compass Deviation Card
    6. Check that card is posted in readily accessible position on the Bridge.
    7. If Dev. Exceeds 5 deg request Office to arrange for Compass adjuster.
    1. Drawings, Manuals.
    2. Check if List of all drawings, manuals, Ship’s and its machinery particulars maintained.
    3. Missing Drawings and Manuals should be notified to the Superintendent for replacement.
    4. Bunker System – Heavy Oil System, Marine Diesel Oil System , Lubricating Oil system ,Get ships drawings copied.
  • SAFETY :
    1. All L.S.A. & F.F.A. Checked for quantity as per Record of safety Equipment and all in good condition with no equipment validity dates expired.
    2. Ensure replacement done prior sailing if found in poor condition or dates expired.
    3. Emergency Muster List: Get a Minimum number completed and posted.
    4. Emergency Drill – Test familiarization & Muster List
      Essential if even limited time prior sailing, Mandatory within 24 hours
    5. Company’s additional Guidelines.
    6. Check if Additional Files (Emergency Contacts, Regulations Updates, M-Notices, , Loss Prevention Bulletins, Accident Reports, Training Material, Flag State Circulars, Port State Regulations, Survey Checklists) & sample Deck & Engine Checklists & Procedures provided on board.)
    7. Mandatory & Recommended Publications. Check if all Mandatory and Recommended Publications from List.
    8. Emergency Power
    9. Draw up a list of all Equipment operating on Emergency Power (Emergency Generator / Batteries). Post List on Bridge & ECR.
    1. Loading manual – Stability & Hydrostatic data and Grain Loading manual.
    2. Ensure endorsed by class for name, flag and Class changes.
      Loadicator to be tested to see if test conditions match results with that of the Loading manual.
    3. Cargo Securing Manual (CSM)
      Ensure endorsed by class for name, flag and Class changes.
    4. All securing equipment checked for quantity, type and condition and securing of present cargo as per Plan from CSM.
    5. Cargo, Ballast & Fuel Ullage Tables – For Tankers and Combination Carriers
      Ensure endorsed by class for name, flag and Class changes
      Inert Gas Manual – For Tankers and Combination Carriers
      Ensure endorsed by class for name, flag and Class changes.
    6. Crude Oil washing (COW) Manual – For Tankers and Combination Carriers
      Ensure endorsed by class for name, flag and Class changes.
    7. Oil Discharge Monitoring Equipment (ODME) Manual – For Tankers and Combination Carriers
      Ensure endorsed by class for name, flag and Class changes.
    8. Clean Ballast Tanker (CBT) Manual – For Tankers with CBT
      Ensure endorsed by class for name, flag and Class changes.
    9. Ballast Water Management Plan
      Check on board and being followed. Send sequence for Ballast Water Exchange to Office for approval as soon as possible.
    10. Garbage Management Plan
      Check on board and being followed and Record book filled, Receipts filed, Placards displayed and crew instructed on segregation/disposal
      Sailing condition – Load and Stress Distribution Plan
    1. Bridge Equipment
      Check all functioning. Obtain errors as appropriate.
      Open logs. (GMDSS, Battery Log inclusive).
      Prepare Aerial / Antenna Plan and Post same in wheelhouse if not done.
      Spares ordered and defective Equipment rectified by Service technician.
      Additional Equipment to fit as decided and checked functioning.
      All Bridge equipment manuals located and kept readily available.
    2. Charts & Publications
      Ensure all charts and publications for Voyage are on board and are corrected. Requisition for charts directly with Office or Agents(if urgent) or supplier of Folio Management System.
      Chart Correction Log checked matching charts / corrections.
      Passage Plan
      Prepare passage Plan from present sailing berth to arrival next berth
      Meteorology equipment
      Check all functioning. Check sufficient spares on board (Barograph paper, thermometer, vick & container, Met. Log book, Coding decoding book, etc). . Obtain errors as appropriate.
      Request Met. Dept to supply shortfall.
      Post Sea State & Cloud Charts in W/house.
    3. Pilot card.
    4. Pre-Departure checks.
    5. Anti-drug Traffic, Smuggling & Stowaways
      Carry out search for Drugs, contraband and stowaways. File C/L and make log book entry(Deck/OLB). Check if Alcohol meter supplied on board.
    1. Medicine Chest Certificate / Medical Log
      Check if Medicine Chest is as per Scale of relevant M-Notice MSN 1768 (M+F) & MFAG Appendix 14 (Ships carrying IMO Cargo)& certificate on board
      Requisition for shortfall.
      Medicines labelled and arranged in lockers.
      List of Narcotics made. First aid kits available.
      Start Medical Log.
    1. GMDSS Maintenance Plan Certificate
    2. Check if Shore based Maintenance Plan for GMDSS Equipment received and Post copy near GMDSS Equipment.
      (Also post handling of Distress messages via VHF, MF/HF, Satcom – near equipment)
      Voyage / Cargo Instructions
      Have sailing / voyage instructions from Owners / Charterers / Managers been received
      Hand-over completed.
      Departure message. Soonest after well clear and FAOP
    1. Spare Part Management
    2. Requisition for urgent spares as decided in consultation with Suptd.
    3. (Minimum Spare Parts list for company’s general guidelines for deciding minimum stock to be referred to)
    4. Planned Maintenance System (PMS)
    5. Check Software for PMS on board.
    6. Load PMS Software on dedicated computer & verify operational.
    7. If PMS Software not yet available, then commence using paper based PMS.
    1. Bunkers
    2. ROB and distribution verified. (Sounding / Ullage tables on board)
    3. Fresh Bunkers ordered as required for voyage.
    4. Fuel Sampling Kit (Bottles & labels) & Drip feed fuel sampling point on board.
    5. Fresh Water (Sounding Table on board)
    6. ROB and distribution verified.
    7. Fresh water ordered as required for voyage.
    8. Chemicals
    9. Gases
    10. Paints
    11. Stores
    12. Provisions & Bond Stores
    13. Check Provisions & Bond Stores ROB & arrange supplies sufficient for the forthcoming voyage
    1. SOLAS Training Manual (Life Saving & Fire Fighting Training and Maintenance manual)
    2. Familiarisation Training
      (Safety Familiarisation for all Off/Crew/Pass., Bridge / E.R. Familiarisation & Job Familiarisation)
      Complete as soon as possible but Within 6 hours of joining , Before taking over Navigation / Deck watch

Master standing Orders.
Place on Bridge with the Night Order Book.
Master’s Night Order Book.
Attach to a note book & Place on Bridge.
Chief Engineer’s Standing orders.
Place in Engine Control Room.
Chief Engineer’s Night Order Book.
Attach to a note book & Place in Engine Control Room.

About the author

Amit Sharma

Graduated from M.E.R.I. Mumbai (Mumbai University), After a brief sailing founded this website with the idea to bring the maritime education online which must be free and available for all at all times and to find basic solutions that are of extreme importance to a seafarer by our innovative ideas.

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