The vessel is a complex working environment, full of precise rules and principles. As an employee, you must familiarise yourself with these rules, in order to perform adequately in ship’s hierarchy. You must focus your effort to LEARN on daily basis and gain knowledge from available sources, such as your colleagues, instruction manuals, and even stickers on the wall. You will absorb every information which may add to your knowledge of the vessel.

The only way to prosper in ship’s micro-society is to learn.


First, adhere to the system which is ALREADY IN PLACE.

Arbitrary decision making and personal inventiveness are discouraged until you know everything there is to know.  All developments must happen within the existing system (SMS).


Don’t jump ahead, stick to what has been defined for you to do!


Vessel is a place of work, which sets us free from poverty. As such, it has to be respected. It is of utmost importance to keep it functional and well arranged. All items should be placed in their designated place of storage, even the computer files.

No one should enter other man’s workplace without purpose or invitation. All respect should be given to a colleague working on his task. Do not be distracted by his job, and do not distract him, unless asked to do so.


Walk through the vessel as if you are walking through a narrow hallway, connecting you to your destination.


Come prepared and commit yourself entirely.
This does not only apply to punctuality at the start of the day, but to “on the clock” mentality which should carry throughout all things. Your present task is your highest priority and it must command your focus. Being on time means that you care for yourself mentally and physically that you’re well prepared for work. That includes, but not limited to:

  • get sufficient sleep (8 hours)
  • maintain a healthy diet
  • drink water

Organise your time. Be on time. Plan ahead, to complete your task on time.


When performing any task, no matter how small or great, due attention to detail will be demonstrated. Thoroughness applies to steps preceding and following the task, as well as the task itself.

  • The task will be planned
  • The tools and materials will be prepared in advance and laid out on a work surface in logical order

The task itself will be performed to exact and precise marine standards – meaning THE HOLY BOOK, also known as USERS MANUAL, will be followed to the letter.  In absence of such manual the diligent seafarer will seek advice and guidance of THE WISE ONE, also known as head of department, i.e. Chief mate or Chief engineer.

  • Upon completion of the task the work is not yet complete. The workspace will be cleaned and tools returned to their respectable storage compartments.
  • Once the job is complete, the workspace cleaned, and tools returned, job is not yet complete.Unless the WISE ONE is informed, the work never happened. Head of department must be informed the job is done. Also, if you noticed during your work that something is missing or running low, he must be notified about it so he can act (e.g. order missing tools or consumables)


This instruction is about FEEDBACK. Communication is essential in our environment. One must be sure that the other has received the message sent.

The only way to ensure understanding is that receiver repeats the message back to sender. In some circumstances it might be enough to say “I UNDERSTAND”, but in no circumstances will message be followed by silence from the receiver side. This ensures that the sender and receiver are on the same page.

Occasionally, you may find the directive confusing. In such cases the preferred terminology is “I DON’T UNDERSTAND” or “PLEASE REPEAT”.


Propper feedback helps to ensure efficient execution.


“Sent” does not mean “received”. Always get a receipt – a signed paper or an email which confirms you did your due diligence, and serves as an evidence in your archive. Without a receipt your actions cannot be proved. Without a receipt you don’t exist.

Never just say what you can email. After an email, confirm receipt by telephone call.


Keep a list at all times. Your tasks and important notes will be written inside, because it is more reliable then forgetful mind. Have a notebook where you keep track of every detail of every duty delegated to you.
Your list is your future and your past. It justifies your actions and efficiently fulfils your day with meaningful tasks.


  •  Make it a habit to scan your environment for items out of place. Do not walk past something which is not where it belongs! It is a sin by omission.
  • Put away everything not in use. If unsure, leave it out. Restore order and do not let disorder to spread like a disease throughout the ship.
  • Group all similar objects. Improve the arrangement of things by implementing reason and logic.

There is a place for everything, and everything should be in its place.


Oversight, weakness and lack of responsibility are not desirable in our little world, where we depend on each other immensely. We need to redeem ourselves and take responsibility for our actions, oversights and omissions. Responsibility is an essential trait of any crewmember. Taking responsibility for the mistakes is a sign of good faith and character.


Mistakes happen, and it is important to claim them as our own.


Nothing in the world can take a place of persistence.

  • Talent will not. Nothing in the world is more uncommon than unsuccessful people with talent.
  • Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
  • Education will not. The world is full of educated idiots.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. This is why you must strive to learn and do better every day. Even if you are not good at particular task, you will become better at it if you persist.