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Commercial Vessel Mate

Courses > Part-time > Master > Commercial Vessel Mate

Commercial Vessel Mate


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


The course is of 62 Hours spread over 17 Days

During this course applicants will become familiar with the following:

Plan and Conduct Safe Navigation

  • Demonstrate an ability to identify detail found on Admiralty navigation charts including:

  1. Meaning of symbols and abbreviations, depths and height contours, recognition of buoys, lights, range of visibility of lights, use of leading lights, transits and light sectors, sounding lines
  2. Identification of suitable anchorages, depths and nature of bottom
  3. Knowledge of chart corrections

  • Demonstrate an ability to plan a passage using Admiralty navigational publications and Notices to Mariners
  • Demonstrate an ability to correct compass courses
  • Maritime Buoyage systems – IALA Region A
  • Knowledge of weather information available to shipping

Maintain a Safe Navigational Watch

  • Knowledge of the principles of keeping safe navigational watch at sea, including watchkeeping at anchor and in port. (Bridge Procedure Guide)
  • A thorough knowledge of the content, application and intent of the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREG) and of those Annexes to it concerned with safe navigation during the hours of daylight, darkness and in restricted visibility. Candidates will not be placed in a position to handle a sailing craft, but will be expected to recognise the lights carried by such craft and to have a knowledge of her possible manoeuvres according to the direction of wind
  • Demonstrate the use of an Azimuth mirror (terrestrial bearings only)
  • Describe compasses commonly fitted on board of ships; variation and deviation, causes and effects
  • Basic precautions to be taken with the Automatic Pilot
  • Describe steering control systems, operational procedures and change-over from manual to automatic and vice versa
  • The International Code of Signals – recognition and knowledge of the meaning of the single flag signals
  • Display a knowledge of the use of Navigational Aids and their limitations

Ship Handling and Manoeuvering

  • Helm orders, the effect of propellers on the steering of the ship, turn Short Round, bringing a ship to a single anchor in an emergency
  • Knowledge of factors affecting safe manoeuvring and handling, proper procedures for anchoring and mooring, berthing and unberthing under various conditions of wind and current
  • Action in the event of failure of bridge control, engine telegraph, steering, and describe typical emergency steering arrangements
  • Knowledge of towing procedures and arrangements. Tug use in port. Towage terminology and safe working methods
  • Knowledge of Interaction and squat on ships in general

Emergency Response

  1. Respond to Navigational Emergencies

  • Initial action to be taken following man overboard, collision, grounding or flooding and protection of the marine environment
  • Assisting a vessel in distress, the use and care of distress rockets and line-throwing rocket apparatus carried on board
  • Action to be taken when in distress, the use of distress signals and awareness of penalties for misuse
  • Use of the IMO Merchant Ship Search and Rescue (MERSAR) Manual (candidates to be aware of the main provisions contained in the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) manual, Volume III)

     2. Respond to Other Emergencies

  • Fire Prevention: the use and care of fire-fighting appliances; shut-downs and isolation for plant and equipment; escape and breathing apparatus, fire and safety plans
  • Action to be taken to prevent the spread of fire
  • The use and care of life-saving appliances and equipment including portable radios, EPIRBs and SARTs
  • The operation of survival craft, rescue boats and emergency disembarkation equipment


On Board Operations

  1. Compliance with Pollution Prevention Requirements

  • Precaution to be taken to protect the marine environment, including Garbage and Sewage Management Plans
  • Appropriate actions to be taken in response to pollution incidents on board and at sea
  • Measures to be taken to prevent pollution during bunkering operations, including checklists. Layout of fuel tanks and transfer arrangements

     2. Seaworthiness

  • Preparations for heavy-weather, ensuring and maintaining watertight integrity
  • Use and care of all deck appliances and fittings, including air-pipes, vent pipes, sounding pipes and bilge pumping arrangements
  • Stability

    1. A general understanding of the contents of the stability book
    2. The danger of slack tanks and necessity of securing against downflooding
    3. Preparations and precautions to be undertaken for dry-docking and undocking

  • Knowledge of safe handling, stowage and securing of cargoes, including dangerous, hazardous and 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

    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
  • Knowledge of the application of current Health and Safety legislation including on board Safe Working Practices
  • Demonstrate use, entries and maintenance of logbooks including accident reports

Applicant must be 20 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 license from Transport Malta, applicants should have completed the following course:

  • 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 Bridge Watchkeeper and Deputy 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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