What does a Ship and Boat Captain do?
Command vessels in oceans, bays, lakes, rivers, or coastal waters.
- Steer and operate vessels, using radios, depth finders, radars, lights, buoys, or lighthouses.
- Compute positions, set courses, and determine speeds, using charts, area plotting sheets, compasses, sextants, and knowledge of local conditions.
- Inspect vessels to ensure efficient and safe operation of vessels and equipment and conformance to regulations.
- Measure depths of water, using depth-measuring equipment.
- Direct or coordinate crew members or workers performing activities such as loading or unloading cargo, steering vessels, operating engines, or operating, maintaining, or repairing ship equipment.
- Monitor the loading or discharging of cargo or passengers.
- Calculate sightings of land, using electronic sounding devices and following contour lines on charts.
- Signal passing vessels, using whistles, flashing lights, flags, or radios.
- Maintain boats or equipment on board, such as engines, winches, navigational systems, fire extinguishers, or life preservers.
- Signal crew members or deckhands to rig tow lines, open or close gates or ramps, or pull guard chains across entries.
- Read gauges to verify sufficient levels of hydraulic fluid, air pressure, or oxygen.
- Maintain records of daily activities, personnel reports, ship positions and movements, ports of call, weather and sea conditions, pollution control efforts, or cargo or passenger status.
- Arrange for ships to be fueled, restocked with supplies, or repaired.
- Assign watches or living quarters to crew members.
- Purchase supplies or equipment.
- Tow and maneuver barges or signal tugboats to tow barges to destinations.
- Perform various marine duties, such as checking for oil spills or other pollutants around ports or harbors or patrolling beaches.
- Collect fares from customers or signal ferryboat helpers to collect fares.
- Sort logs, form log booms, or salvage lost logs.
- Resolve questions or problems with customs officials.
- Interview and hire crew members.
- Dock or undock vessels, sometimes maneuvering through narrow spaces, such as locks.
- Adjust navigation according to weather conditions.
- Conduct safety drills with crew.