Master's Standing Orders





  1. Call the Captain any time you require assistance to maintain a proper watch, or are in doubt. Call the master for fire alarms, bridge equipment malfunction, reduced visibility(LESS THEN 3 NM), severe or unexpected weather conditions. The watch officer is free to call upon the Master at any time. No bridge watch officer is expected to be able to handle all situations regarding safe navigation of the vessel without the assistance of the Master in certain circumstances. It is crucial to notify the Master in sufficient time to allow him to properly assess the situation.


  1. Maintain a proper lookout at all times. Ensure watch AB has been instructed in his duties.


  1. Your primary duties are watchkeeping, and navigation. Secondary duties are communications, record keeping and may also include other duties.  Secondary duties should under no circumstances interfere with the exercise of primary duties.


  1. Give all traffic a wide berth. The circumstances and conditions will dictate the proper distance. Unless otherwise instructed, in open sea a 2 mile CPA may be sufficient, in confined waterways or in coastwise traffic a CPA of over 1 mile may be appropriate.  Call the captain if in doubt.  AB is to standby helm or in hand steering when within 1NM of any vessel. Obey COLREGS.  Use the ARPA and visual bearings to determine if risk of collision exists.  Make early and substantial course changes to avoid all close quarters situation; actions should be readily apparent to other vessel


  1. You are expected to know the position of the vessel at all times. Do not rely solely on any one method to ascertain your position, maintain a proper DR plot and use other means when available.


  1. Courses, speeds and fix intervals as required by the voyage plan or as otherwise approved by the captain. This should not prevent the watch officer from taking actions to comply with COLREGS or to avoid hazard to ship or crew.


  1. Respond to alarms as per Master’s Supplemental Instructions. Change watch as per Bridge Check list # 1. Review and be guided by vessel’s procedures manuals.



  1. Bridge watch in accordance with principles of Bridge Team Management including when pilot is aboard. Be guided by “Bridge Team Management Assignments”


  1. Use good seamanship. Maintain watertight integrity of the ship.


  1. If for any reason you are unable to comply with these standing orders you are to call the captain immediately.