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Forum Home > Masters Orals > Richard Smith - Passenger Ships - July 2013
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Richard Smith – Masters Orals (Unlimited)

Class I Passenger Ships

Glasgow Marine Office – Examiner: Milner

Time: Approx 1hr 15m



After looking through my discharge book for a minute or two, Milner asked a few questions about the ships and then decided the exam would be based around a Panamax-size Bulk Carrier! This made me a bit apprehensive to start with…


• Talk me through joining the ship, talking over from the Master. What certificates would you check for this ship?


• How would you tell the Mate to prepare for a Loadline survey? What other documents are related to this? Conditions of assignment + Stability Manual.


• What is contained in the ship’s Stability Manual and what would you use it for?


• What is a GZ curve? What information does it contain? Units of area? What is the angle of Deck Edge Immersion + where is it on the curve?


• What is your responsibility under ISM + how would you motivate the crew? What kind of things might be included in the SMS for a Bulk Carrier? I wasn’t sure if there was something in particular that he was looking for but I focused on PMS and making sure that there were procedures in place for the maintenance of hatch covers, hold alarms, cargo work etc.


• PSC – how would you prepare? What are the factors that would trigger an Expanded Inspection and what would the inspectors be looking at – particularly for a Bulk Carrier? Looking for Enhanced Survey Report File.


• You are about to sail from Ireland to Canada – what advice are you going to give the 2nd Mate about this passage + what does he need to watch out for? Where would you find information on types of ice?


• What does a depression look like on a synoptic chart? What is a warm front? What clouds would you see before the front has passed? What would the wind be doing? What would a typical Shipping forecast read for this front? Explain a cold front + what conditions would you expect to get?


• You will need to anchor off your destination port – how would you determine a suitable anchorage? How would you anchor if strong winds were forecast + demonstrate an Open Moor.


• Whilst on passage your Magnetic Compass becomes unstable – what might be causing this? Metal objects/tools near the compass + local magnetic anomalies.


• How will you remove a bubble from the Compass Bowl? Where are you going to get the alcohol from? Went blank when he asked this – just said that I might have to just remove it with a syringe!


• You need to make a temporary Deviation Card – what calculations will you need to do when making one? How many shore objects will you need when swinging the ship? This was a bit dodgy. I talked through a few things including how to do a compass error but was sent out to find out about it. He wanted the calculation where you add all the values of deviation on each heading and then divide by the number of values to get the average value of deviation.


• You wake up to the emergency signal and feel a large crash – your ship has collided with another ship at sea. What are your actions? What are your primary concerns and responsibilities? Remember duty to render assistance + pollution prevention.


• Your ship is now being salvaged. What conditions does the tug need to meet before he can claim his reward? Looking for NO CURE, NO PAY. What is SCOPIC?


• ROR – preparations for fog? What fog signal would you sound? He then put a plot down on my Starboard quarter and asked what I would do. After I completed the plot he asked what would my actions be?


• TSS – PDV from port side. PDV from starboard side.


• OPEN SEA – CBD crossing from starboard. Who is give way + Why? What is CBD? PDV crossing from starboard (model was almost abeam). Who is give way + under which rule? Action? PDV right ahead. Who is give way + under which rule? What would you expect the other v/l to do?


• SMARTY BOARD – Pilot v/l from ahead. Tug + tow (no RAM) seen from stbd >200m. What are the arcs of visibility for the Masthead lights? F/V with outlying gear. Aground >50m. NUC stopped. CBD from astern.


• VARIOUS BUOYS – what are they used for? Light characteristics? How would you determine the direction of Buoyage for your area?


Milner’s questions are not always straightforward, so always ask if unsure as to what he is asking. He has a very ‘tough’ style and makes you doubt many of your answers, which is why it is always important to stick to your guns during these exams. He is looking to see if you can hold your nerve.

I wasn’t asked any regulations at all and very little business/law. The whole exam was very practical and he was very keen on seamanship and making you think practically. Sometimes it is easy to forget the obvious under pressure!


Many thanks to Vinil Gupta for his excellent teaching/learning methods for this exam and best of luck to Glasgow Maritime Academy for the future!


July 14, 2013 at 11:12 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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