How will you take over command of a vessel?

A) Company Briefing
B)Letter of Introduction to Master
  1. HO/TO Check-list
  2. Statutory Certificates & Surveys
  3. Crew concerning Documents
  4. Cash & Provisions
  5. Cargo concerning Documents
  6. Trading Certificates
  7.  C/E
  8. C/O
  9. 2/O
  10. 3/O
  11. Chief Steward/Chief Cook
  12. Round with Master
  13. MSA 208 Entry in Official Log Book – Cert & docs
  14. Entry in Official Log Book – Taken over command
  15.  MSA37 AoA & endorsement in Cert of Registry
  16. Inform Owners


A)  Firstly I’ll go to the company for briefing as per SMS

B) On Board, I will introduce myself to the outgoing Master with the Letter of Introduction from the company.

  1.  I will proceed as per company’s “Checklist of Handing Over/Taking Over Command
  2. I will check all the Statutory Certificates for their validity & refer to the Quarterly listing for surveys coming up.
  3. I will check & take over the following documents concerning crew:
    (i)Articles of Agreement
    (ii) Official Log Book
    (iii) Deck Log Book
    (iv) CDC, Passports, Certificates of Competency, Medical/Health Books
    (v) Confidential Reports of officers & Crew
  4. I will check and take over “CASH & PROVISIONS” concerning documents:
    (i) Cash on board
    (ii) Cash disbursement & vouchers etc
    (iii) Radio accounts
    (iv) List of Bonded stores
    (v) List of stores & provisions on board
  5. I will check & take over the “CARGO CONCERNING DOCUMENTS“:
    (i) Charter Party including special instructions if any
    (ii) NOR , Note of Protest
    (iii) Bills of Lading (Master’s Copy)
    (iv) Stowage Plans
    (v) Cargo Manifest and/or shipper’s declaration
    (vi) Stability information booklet
    (vii) Grain Authorization document (if applicable)
    (viii) Chain Register
  6. I will check & take over the following “TRADING CERTIFICATES“:
    (i) Certificate of Registry
    (ii) Last Port Clearance / Inward / Outward Clearance
    (iii) Valid Light House dues
    (iv) Medicine Chest Inspection Certificate
    (v) Deratting or deratting exemption Certificate (Ship Sanitary Inspection Certificate)
  7. Next I will meet C/E and check the following:
    (i) Bunker ROB
    (ii) Any requirements for the voyage
    (iii) Oil Record Book (Machinery spaces)
    (iv) Condition of Engine Room & Peculiarities if any
  8. I will meet the C/O  check the following:
    (i) FW ROB
    (ii) Any requirement(s) for the voyage
    (iii) Oil Record Book ( if applicable)
    (iv) Condition of cargo, cargo gear & general maintenance
    (v) Stability of the vessel
  9. I will meet the Second Officer & check the following:
    (i) Charts & status of their update (Last Notices to Mariners received)
    (ii) Nautical Publications & their updating status
    (iii) Medicine Chest & hospitals
    (iv) Navigation Equipments & their maintenance status
    (v) Manoeuvering Booklet
    (vi) Any requirements for the voyage
  10. I will meet the 3/O  and check the following:
    (i) Condition of LSA & FFA
    (ii) Updated Muster List
    (iii) Any requirements for the voyage
  11. I will meet the Chief Steward/Chief Cook & check the following:
    (i) Condition of Galley & Meat Room
    (ii) Provisions & Bonded stores on board
    (iii) Any requirements for the voyage
  12. Next I will take around with outgoing Master on deck, accommodate as well as the Engine room checking the condition, maintenance and cleanliness of various areas.
  13. As per MSA 208, I will make an entry in the Official Log Book of all certificates including stability information (reqd as per MSA 298) taken over & same signed by both the Masters
  14. Also, I will make an entry in the Official Log Book & Deck log book stating that the vessel lies safely afloat at the time of handing over/taking over at mentioned place with ROB-cash, FO, FW & drafts F & A. This entry is to be signed by both the Masters.
  15. As per MSA 37, I will go with Articles of Agreement (if there is any crew change) and certificate of registry to Principal Officer MMD or Indian Consular office to get my name entered in Certificate of Registry.
  16. Finally, on taking over, I will inform the Owners of the same.


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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