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Commercial Vessel Master

Courses > Part-time > Master > Commercial Vessel Master

Commercial Vessel Master


MQF Level
17 days
Mode of Delivery
Face to Face 100%


The course is of 67 Hours spread over 17 Days

In this course applicants will become familiar with the following:


  • Display knowledge of maintaining a safe navigational watch including:

  1. A thorough knowledge of the principals to be observed in keeping a Navigational Watch
  2. A thorough knowledge of the content, application and intent of the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea
  3. Bridge procedures
  4. Ability to operate, interpret and analyse information obtained from radar and other navigational aids

Ship Handling and Manoeuvring

  • A thorough knowledge of how to handle vessels, berthing and unberthing, turning short round
  • Use of anchors, preparation for anchoring with a single anchor, use of second anchor, mooring
  • Dry-docking procedures and preparation for entering or leaving a dry-dock
  • Common types of propulsion and manoeuvring arrangements including twin screws and thrusters
  • Manoeuvring to launch survival craft in bad weather
  • Towing: the danger of girting, and being towed
  • The effects of interaction and squat on ships in general; excessive speed and the effect of wash in confined waters

Emergency Response

  • Initial action following man overboard, collision, grounding, flooding or major mechanical damage, additional measures to be taken to protect the marine environment
  • Action to be taken when vessel is in distress and disabled; abandon ship and survival procedures
  • Use and care of distress signals
  • Beaching a vessel
  • Emergency towing arrangements
  • Fire Prevention, the use and care of fire-fighting appliances, including shut-down and isolation of plant and equipment, escape and breathing apparatus, fire and safety plans
  • Action to be taken, to prevent the spread of fire
  • Use and care of life saving appliances and equipment, including portable radios, EPIRBs and SARTs
  • Operation of survival craft and rescue boats
  • Use of training manuals

On Board Operations

1. Compliance with Pollution Prevention Requirements

  • Precautions to be taken to prevent pollution of the marine environment, including Garbage Management Plans
  • Master’s duties, obligations and liabilities, including the keeping of records
  • Actions to be instigated in response to pollution incidents on board and encountered at sea
  • Measures to be taken to prevent pollution during bunkering

2. Seaworthiness, Safety and Security

  • Preparations for heavy-weather, ensuring and maintaining watertight integrity
  • Use and care of all deck appliances and fittings, bilge pumping arrangements
  • Organization of drills (fire, abandon ship, man overboard and other shipboard emergencies)
  • Stability

          a. A general understanding of the contents of the stability book

          b. The danger of slack tanks and necessity of securing against downflooding

          c. Preparations and precautions to be undertaken for dry-docking and  undocking

          d. Knowledge of the effect of trim and stability

          e. Knowledge of safe handling, stowage and securing of cargoes, including dangerous, hazardous     environmentally harmful cargoes and their effect on the safety of life, the vessel and the environment

  • Demonstrate the use of the IMO International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code and other relevant codes and guidelines
  • Dealing with security on board vessels. Security plans and measures and procedures to protect vessel, cargoes and persons on board from risks of a security incident

3. Legislative Requirements

  • A sound knowledge of the relevant provisions of port and shipping related legislation particularly

  1. Ports Regulations
  2. Commercial Vessels Regulations
  3. Dangerous Cargo Ships, Marine Terminals and Facilities and Bunkering Regulations
  4. Berthing Regulations

  • Knowledge of Port Notices, Merchant Shipping Notices and Notices to Mariners
  • Accident reporting and reporting of the dangers of navigation
  • Knowledge of the application of current Health and Safety legislation including on board Safe Working Practices
  • Permit to work procedures and method of ensuring safe access to enclosed spaces
  • Safe manning requirements
  • Certificate of Registry and its legal significance
  • Certificates and Surveys required by commercial vessels
  • Demonstrate use, entries and maintenance of logbooks including accident reports
  • A general understanding of the scope and application of the IMO International Safety Management Code (ISM)

Applicant must be 22 years of age, have at least 24 months appropriate sea service and be in possession of a General Purpose Hand Certificate. Applicant may only apply for this course after being in possession of a Transport Malta Notice of Eligibility to attend the course and final examination

To be issued with a Mate licence from Transport Malta, applicants should have completed the following course:

  • Commercial Vessel Mate
  • STCW Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats Certificate
  • STCW Advanced Fire Fighting Certificate
  • STCW Medical First Aid Certificate
  • STCW GMDSS Restricted Operators Certificate (ROC)

Subject to the completion of the additional requirements, license will be issued by Transport Malta

Oral and Written Assessment at the end of the course

Course notes are included in course fee

On completion of the course qualified candidate can serve as Master on a commercial vessel of 24 metres in length and over within ports, internal and territorial waters of Malta.

Note: Medical Certificate – Transport Malta

Applicants are reminded that Transport Malta requests a valid Medical Certificate which can be downloaded and printed from this link for Licencing purposes.

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