Deck department
Overview
 
The Deck Department is an organizational unit aboard naval
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 and merchant ships. A Deck Officer is an officer serving in the deck department.
The main work of the deck department is proper watchstanding and the maintenance of the ship's hull, cargo gear, and accommodations as well as the ship's life saving and firefighting appliances.

A typical deck department for a merchant ship would include:
  • (1) Chief Officer
    Chief Mate
    A Chief Mate or Chief Officer, usually also synonymous with the First Mate or First Officer , is a licensed member and head of the deck department of a merchant ship...

    /Chief Mate
  • (1) Second Officer
    Second Mate
    A second mate or second officer is a licensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The second mate is the third in command and a watchkeeping officer, customarily the ship's navigator. Other duties vary, but the second mate is often the medical officer and in charge of maintaining...

    /Second Mate
  • (1) Third Officer
    Third Mate
    A Third Mate or Third Officer is a licensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The third mate is a watchstander and customarily the ship's safety officer and fourth-in-command...

    /Third Mate
  • (0-1) Boatswain
    Boatswain
    A boatswain , bo's'n, bos'n, or bosun is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The boatswain supervises the other unlicensed members of the ship's deck department, and typically is not a watchstander, except on vessels with small crews...

  • (2-6) Able Seamen
    Able Seaman (occupation)
    An able seaman is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. An AB may work as a watchstander, a day worker, or a combination of these roles.-Watchstander:...

  • (0-2) Ordinary Seamen
    Ordinary Seaman (occupation)
    An ordinary seaman is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The position is an apprenticeship to become an able seaman, and has been for centuries...



Depending on the size and employment of the ship, a boatswain
Boatswain
A boatswain , bo's'n, bos'n, or bosun is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The boatswain supervises the other unlicensed members of the ship's deck department, and typically is not a watchstander, except on vessels with small crews...

 may be employed.
Encyclopedia
The Deck Department is an organizational unit aboard naval
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 and merchant ships. A Deck Officer is an officer serving in the deck department.

Merchant shipping

The main work of the deck department is proper watchstanding and the maintenance of the ship's hull, cargo gear, and accommodations as well as the ship's life saving and firefighting appliances.

A typical deck department for a merchant ship would include:
  • (1) Chief Officer
    Chief Mate
    A Chief Mate or Chief Officer, usually also synonymous with the First Mate or First Officer , is a licensed member and head of the deck department of a merchant ship...

    /Chief Mate
  • (1) Second Officer
    Second Mate
    A second mate or second officer is a licensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The second mate is the third in command and a watchkeeping officer, customarily the ship's navigator. Other duties vary, but the second mate is often the medical officer and in charge of maintaining...

    /Second Mate
  • (1) Third Officer
    Third Mate
    A Third Mate or Third Officer is a licensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The third mate is a watchstander and customarily the ship's safety officer and fourth-in-command...

    /Third Mate
  • (0-1) Boatswain
    Boatswain
    A boatswain , bo's'n, bos'n, or bosun is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The boatswain supervises the other unlicensed members of the ship's deck department, and typically is not a watchstander, except on vessels with small crews...

  • (2-6) Able Seamen
    Able Seaman (occupation)
    An able seaman is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. An AB may work as a watchstander, a day worker, or a combination of these roles.-Watchstander:...

  • (0-2) Ordinary Seamen
    Ordinary Seaman (occupation)
    An ordinary seaman is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The position is an apprenticeship to become an able seaman, and has been for centuries...



Depending on the size and employment of the ship, a boatswain
Boatswain
A boatswain , bo's'n, bos'n, or bosun is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The boatswain supervises the other unlicensed members of the ship's deck department, and typically is not a watchstander, except on vessels with small crews...

 may be employed. If carried, the boatswain, generally a senior able seaman will act as a foreman of the ship's deck crew and as the chief mate's representative on deck, effectively as a fourth mate.

The chief mate
Chief Mate
A Chief Mate or Chief Officer, usually also synonymous with the First Mate or First Officer , is a licensed member and head of the deck department of a merchant ship...

 is the head of the deck department. This involves administrative tasks such as scheduling work, quality control, coordinating with other departments, and conflict resolution. The chief mate also compiles supply, overtime, and cost control records, and requisitions or purchases stores and equipment.

Due to IMO regulations, larger cargo and passenger ships generally carry at least three able seamen and may carry ordinary seamen.

The ship's other deck officers, generally a Second Mate and Third Mate are also members of the deck department.

Other shipboard departments typically include the engine department and the steward's department.

Naval usage

In the military, the deck department comprises sailors
Sailors
Sailors is the plural form of Sailor, or mariner.Sailors may also refer to:*Sailors , a 1964 Swedish film*Ken Sailors , American basketball playerSports teams*Erie Sailors, baseball teams in Pennsylvania, USA...

 who perform a variety of functions depending on ship type and size.

Examples include maintenance and upkeep of the ship, handling of the ship's rigging and ground tackle, coordination of underway replenishment
Underway replenishment
Underway replenishment or replenishment at sea is a method of transferring fuel, munitions, and stores from one ship to another while under way.-History:...

 operations, conductance of minesweeping operations, maintenance and operation of the ship's boats, supervision of diving and salvage operations (including towing), and serving as shipboard seamanship specialists. Undesignated seamen, or those who have not selected a rating (e.g. job or vocation), are normally the most junior sailors onboard and are usually sent to the Deck Department for their first assignment.

Deck Department professionals are led by Boatswain's Mates
Boatswain's Mate
A Boatswain's mate is a job classification in Navies and Coast Guards.*Boatswain's mate , a job classification in the United States Navy*Boatswain's mate , a job classification in the United States Coast Guard...

, sailors who have chosen seamanship as their primary area of expertise. Depending on ship type and size, the Deck Department can be a division or ship's department. On some ships the First Lieutenant
First Lieutenant
First lieutenant is a military rank and, in some forces, an appointment.The rank of lieutenant has different meanings in different military formations , but the majority of cases it is common for it to be sub-divided into a senior and junior rank...

 serves as the Deck Department's division officer and is a junior officer (usually an Ensign
Ensign (rank)
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name....

 or Lieutenant Junior Grade) while the Operations Officer or Weapons Officer serves as the Department Head. On others the Deck department is its own department, reporting directly to the ship's Commanding Officer
Commanding officer
The commanding officer is the officer in command of a military unit. Typically, the commanding officer has ultimate authority over the unit, and is usually given wide latitude to run the unit as he sees fit, within the bounds of military law...

.

See also

  • Engineering department


The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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