What Do These Words & Abbreviations Mean? Common Words, Phrases, and Acronyms You May Come Across

  • Onboard Yacht Service – the time spent signed on a yacht, irrespective of the vessel’s activity.
  • Actual Sea Service – time spent at sea, which may include time at anchor or river and canal transits associated with a passage.
  • Stand-By Service – time immediately following a voyage while the vessel is under preparation for a subsequent voyage. A maximum of 14 consecutive days may be counted at one time, but on no occasion may a period of standby service exceed that of the previous voyage. Therefore, under no circumstances can your total standby service exceed your actual sea service.
  • Yard Service – time when standing by a build, refit or repair.
  • Sea Service – includes a combination of actual sea service, stand-by service and/or yard service
  • Watch-Keeping Service – actual sea service spent as a watch-keeping officer in full charge of a navigational watch for not less than 4 out of every 24 hours while the vessel is engaged on voyage.Watch-keeping service may be recorded on a cumulative basis. This means that every 4 hours watch-keeping accrued may be counted as 1 day of watch keeping service and does not need to be completed in a 24 hour period.Time spent at anchor associated with a passage, whilst the Officer is engaged in a bridge watch and if this passage is part of the same 24 hour voyage, can also be accepted.Completing more than 4 hours watch-keeping within a 24 hour period cannot be counted as more than 1 day watch-keeping time, e.g. a 12 hour watch within a 24 hour period can only be counted as 1 day of watch-keeping time.
  • MCA -Maritime and Coastguard Agency – a British (U.K.) marine regulatory and safety organization
  • MSN – Merchant Shipping Notice
  • OOW – Officer of the Watch
  • STCW – Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping
  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aid
  • COLREGs – International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972
  • ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Information System
  • CoC – Certificate of Competency