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Ships departure check item - Matters that require attention at port

Any prudent master will make arrangements and prepare his vessel prior sail out from a port. Summarized below are some basic check items . These procedures are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship.

1. All crew present on board : Deck dept. Engine dept. Catering dept.

2. Replenishment of bunkers, lubes, stores and spares

3. Replenishment of provisions and freshwater.

Container ship loaded condition

Fig :Container ship loaded condition


4. Confirmation of draft , stability and hull strength as per "Procedures for Confirming draft , stability and hull strength

5. Confirmation of water tightness of openings as per "Procedures for Confirming Closure of Openings

6. Confirmation of necessary legal documents, trading certificates and port clearance



7. Completion of cargo and related work including lashings

8. Disembarkation of labors/ stevedores/ terminal personnel / agent etc

9. Confirmation of securing or lashing of movable objects

10. Completion of repairs and disembarkation of workers/ contractors/ technicians etc

11. Disembarkation of all visitors & collection of passes issued to visitors, any missing passes reported to SSO

12. Stowaway search carried out (as per SSP search cards)

13. Engine Room given adequate (at least 1 hour) notice for preparing M/E / Bow Thruster

14. Confirmation of readiness for main engine trial (condition of gangway, bow and stem, manifolds, and others)

15. Stations for departure planned & crew advised of Stand-By time

16. Confirmation of power supply & operation of winches and windlass

17. Passage Plan for intended voyage prepared and signed

18. All charts and publications for voyage up to date and courses laid

19. Latest weather forecast and navigational warnings for area at hand

20. Tidal calculations for departure ready

21. Main Engine tried out ahead and astern, correct print-out on telegraph logger (where fitted)

22. Confirmation of binoculars and daylight signal lights

23. Preparation of Pilot card and information exchange and bell book

24. Ships clocks checked and synchronized, including with E/R

25. Steering gear tested individually and as per SOLAS V/26

26. AIS correctly set to sea mode (transmission power, etc) & ship data updated. SVDR status checked - NO ALARMS

27. Bow Thruster tried out (where fitted)

28. Compass repeaters aligned (incl. in strg flat where fitted)

29. Gyro error checked and magnetic compass illuminated

30. Whistle tried out (unless prohibited)

31. Radars on standby (operational only when permitted by port), speed input set for ARPA through water

32. Echo sounder switched on / Zero alignment done / annotated

33. Confirmation of VHF channel in use

34. Navtex receiver set to correct station & information checked

35. "Course Recorder checked for paper and time/course synchronization, and annotated"

36. GMDSS equipment switched on and functional

37. Navigation lights switched ON and tested

38. Other equipment checked

39. Confirmation of meeting with the Pilot about passage plan

40. Sailing report required by Port Regulations including notification to VTS if applicable

41. Confirmation for watch schedule

42. Fire detection system operational


Related articles


Collecting Information and Data for Passage Planning

Securing your vessel for sea passage - when to check and what to check

Confirming stability & hull strength prior sailing






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