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Navigational Safety

1 Plan and Conduct a Passage Including Chartwork and Position


a) Passage planning with respect to use of navigational publications including navigational charts, sailing directions, light lists, tide tables, radio and navigational warnings

b) IALA system of maritime buoyage A and B

c) Limitations and sources of error of electronic chart and navigation systems

d) Radar and ARPA – practical use of, modes of operation, limitations and sources of error, including basic radar plotting techniques

e) Understands the importance of regular checking of the vessel’s position and action to be taken if found off track

f) Applies variation and deviation to convert true course to compass course and vice versa; understands the basic causes of variation and deviation

g) Fixes a ships position on the chart given magnetic bearings and/or radar ranges and quotes position by latitude and longitude

h) Finds the magnetic course to steer and the ETA at a given destination given the starting position and log speed

i) Identifies transits and clearing marks from the chart in order to plan a safe approach to harbour or anchorage

j) States the meaning and explains the significance of chart symbols and abbreviations in common use

k) Knows how to obtain and use weekly notices to mariners in order to correct charts

l) Finds the time of high and low water, and predicts intermediate heights and/or times for standard and secondary ports

m) Find and predict set and rate of the tide from tidal reference points on the chart, and tidal stream atlas

2 Meteorology

a) Knows the sources of meteorological information

b) Interprets weather forecasts including knowledge of characteristics of various weather systems

c) Ability to use and interpret information obtained from shipborne meteorological instruments

3 Maintain a Safe Navigational Watch

a) A thorough knowledge of the principles of navigational watchkeeping at sea, including watchkeeping at anchor; as STCW Code A-VIII and ICS Bridge Procedures Guide

b) Understand the use of bridge equipment, including echo sounder and Navtex

c) Knowledge of steering control systems, including automatic pilot and operational procedures and change over from manual to automatic control and vice-versa

d) Maintain navigational records

e) Knows the circumstances under which the Master should be called to the bridge

f) Knows the principles for handing over and relieving the navigational watch - 30 -

4 International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (ColRegs)

a) A thorough knowledge of the ColRegs including:

i. requirements for proceeding at a safe speed and keeping a lookout

ii. recognises the lights and shapes, and fog signals for all classes of vessel

iii. recognises the manoeuvring sound signals

iv. recognises light signals

v. recognise a developing collision situation by compass, radar or visual reference

vi. states the actions to be taken by day and night to avoid collision

vii. describes the precautions to be taken when navigating in or near areas of restricted visibility; assess the likely likelihood of collision of vessel detected by radar alone and action to be taken to avoid a collision

viii. describes the requirements for navigating in or near traffic separation schemes

ix. describes the requirement for navigating in narrow channels Response to Emergencies, Operational Safety and Pollution


1 Distress Signals and Communications

a) States the conditions under which distress signals may be used; understands the various types of distress signal, action to be taken on receipt and the obligations to render assistance

b) Understands the correct use of pyrotechnics, EPIRBS and SARTS including the appropriate circumstances for their use

c) Understands correct distress communications procedures including the terms Mayday, PanPan and Securité messages

d) Emergency communication with the GMDSS regulations

2 Manoeuvring the Vessel

a) Preparation for getting under way, duties prior to proceeding to sea, making harbour, entering a dock, berthing alongside quays and jetties or other ships, and securing to buoys

b) Use and care of mooring lines and associated equipment

c) Helm orders, conning the ship, effects of propellers on the steering of the ship, effects of wind and current, stopping, going astern, and turning short round

d) Action in event of failure of bridge control, telegraph or steering gear, including emergency steering arrangements

e) Procedures for anchoring

f) Understand the precautions to be observed when using winches and windlass

g) Understand the precautions to be observed when mooring and un-mooring

3 Responses to Emergencies

a) Initial action following: man overboard, collision, grounding, flooding or major mechanical damage, initial damage assessment and control, protection of the marine environment

b) Knowledge of fire prevention, use and care of fire-fighting appliances, the shut-down and isolation of plant and equipment, escape and breathing apparatus, fire and safety plans

c) Use and care of lifesaving appliances and equipment including, immersion suits and thermal protective aids, pyrotechnics and line throwing apparatus

d) Launching of liferafts and rescue boats; proper rigging of liferaft hydrostatic release units

e) Basic principles of survival

4 Pollution Prevention Requirements

a) Pollution prevention in port and at sea; measures to be taken to prevent pollution during bunkering

b) Action to be taken in response to pollution incidents in port and at sea

c) Basic understanding of garbage management, and disposal of garbage and oil residue

5 Seaworthiness of the Ship

a) Understand fundamentals of watertight integrity, and the closing of all openings including hatches, access hatches and watertight doors

b) Understands the difference between good stability and poor stability, and recognises the warnings signs of the latter

c) Describes the effect on stability of:

i. raising and lowering weights

ii. low freeboard

iii. obstruction of deck freeing arrangements and scuppers

iv. slack tanks

d) Preparations for heavy weather, ensuring and maintaining watertight integrity

6 Business and Law

a) Understand the content and application of the applicable Codes, namely ‘Small Vessels Code’1 and Large Commercial Yacht Code (LY2)2

b) A knowledge of the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen3, the content and practical application

c) A knowledge of the requirements for musters and drills including fire, emergency, and abandon ship drills

d) Understand the legal obligation to ensure a seaworthy vessel

e) A basic understanding of the laws of salvage

f) Understand the requirements for safe manning, hours of work and watchkeeping

g) Understand the circumstances when a vessel requires a crew agreement

Gary Cunningham 11/05/2018

Recently attended this course and it was run so well and Andy Rowlands was excellent. Everything was explained clearly and in a way that just stuck in my head something which you need to pass this exam. I'd definetly recommend the Seamanship Centre to anyone looking to do there prep course.

Stephen Barr 25/04/2018

A great course that will help you brush up on your knowledge before the exam and explains how to answer the questions properly.
I've been to a few courses here and can't recommend them enough.

Stephen Curran 12/04/2018

Just finished my M200/Oow prep course with Andy he has a world of knowledge and goes the extra mile so you understand. I then went on and passed my oral exam i really recommend anyone going for the exam to go the centre.

Colin Murray 30/03/2018

I have done several courses with Richard and Andy and cannot recommend them enough.They always go the extra mile to ensure you understand, fantastic learning environment and first class learning facilities with a very positive atmosphere,thanks for everything.

Damien O'Doherty 24/04/2017

Having completed several MCA courses at The Seamanship Centre & under Andy's guidance and tuition I found him very helpful, knowledgeable, informative and professional.
I would highly recommend Andy as a great tutor for any marine course holding a wealth of knowledge of the maritime industry,

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MCA Master 200 / 500 Orals Prep

  • Brand: MCA
  • Product Code: MCA Master 200 Orals Prep
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  • €690.00

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