World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Master mariner

Article Id: WHEBN0028242482
Reproduction Date:

Title: Master mariner  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of sea captains, Merchant Navy (United Kingdom), Bottomry, Alan Villiers, Robert Bylot
Collection: Merchant Marine, Merchant Navy, Naval Ranks
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Master mariner

A Master Mariner or MM is the professional qualification required for someone to serve as the person in charge or person in command of a commercial vessel. In England, the term Master Mariner has been in use at least since the 13th century, reflecting the fact that in guild or livery company terms, such a person was a master craftsman in this specific profession (e.g. Master Carpenter, Master Blacksmith, etc. [1]). In the United States, the term was introduced in the mid-19th century.


  • United Kingdom 1
  • United States 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5
    • Master Mariner Associations 5.1

United Kingdom

In the UK, the term “Master Mariner” is reserved only for those who hold an unlimited master's certificate. The term “unlimited” (often referred to as unrestricted) indicates that there are no limits on size, power or geographic location on the certificate. It is the highest level of professional qualification amongst mariners and Deck Officers in the British Merchant Navy. The Extra Master's qualification, which was discontinued in the 1990s, used to be the highest professional qualification and it was the pinnacle for any mariner to achieve. There are also various other levels of Master's certificates, which may be restricted or limited to Home Trade/Near Coastal Voyages and/or by gross tonnage. The holder of a restricted Master's certificate is not referred to as a "Master Mariner".

In the British Merchant Navy a Master Mariner who has sailed in command of an oceangoing merchant ship will be titled Captain. A professional seafarer who holds a restricted or limited Master's certificate who has sailed in command of a ship (i.e. appropriate to the size, power or geographic limits of their certificate) can also be titled Captain.

An unrestricted master's certificate is colloquially called a "Master's Ticket" or a "Master's." It is sometimes still referred to as a “Class 1” or “Master Foreign-Going” as it was named during the latter part of the 20th century. The conventions or acts governing the certificate have evolved alongside the shipping industry and the official name of a Master Mariner’s qualification has varied over the years. The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency, in-line with the amended STCW convention,[1] currently title the certificate Master Unlimited.[2]

United States

A Master Mariner license comes rated for the maximum gross tonnage of vessel that license-holder is allowed to operate with the highest being a license for "any gross tonnage", colloquially referred to as "unlimited". Additionally, the licenses come with restrictions as to what waters the officer is allowed to operate on (inland, coastal, oceans). An unlimited tonnage ocean license is the highest level license attainable.[2] A Master Mariner who has sailed in command of a commercial vessel is given the title and the appellative of Captain. Also, in common usage anyone who has achieved any USCG master's license commonly refers to themselves as "Captain", regardless of limitations on that license or lack of commercial or command experience.

See also


  1. ^ STCW
  2. ^ [3]

External links

  • City of London Livery Companies
  • US Coast Guard - National Maritime Center
  • STCW Convention
  • Glasgow Maritime Academy
  • MCA Guidance on Training and Certification (Deck Department)

Master Mariner Associations

  • The Council of American Master Mariners
  • The Honourable Company of Master Mariners
  • The Company of Master Mariners of Australia
  • The Irish Institute of Master Mariners
  • The Company of Master Mariners of Canada
  • The Company of Master Mariners of Sri Lanka
  • The International Federation of Shipmasters' Associations
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.