Masters of the Navy

To qualify an Officer to receive a Commission as Master, he must have been at Sea at least seven years, two of which in Her Majesty's Navy, in the quality of Acting Master or Second Master; or, having served seven years at Sea, shall have actually been one year or more Chief Mate, and two years Master, or two years Chief Mate, and one year Master of a Merchant Vessel. He shall produce Certificates of diligence, sobriety, and good conduct from his Captains, also from the Owners, for the time he served as Master, and from the Owners and Master for the time he served as Mate; and shall pass such Examination as the Admiralty may from time to time direct; but no Candidate shall be examined before he shall have attained the Age of twenty-one years, nor after the age of forty.

Time served as Master, shall, in future, be considered as time served as Lieutenant, to qualify an Officer to receive a Commission as Commander, under Her Majesty's Regulations, Art. 2, Sec. 4, Chap. 3, in the event of any particularly distinguished conduct which in the opinion of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty it may be proper to reward by such advancement. A Master's Assistant (when such rating shall be allowed by the Admiralty) may be so rated, on receiving the sanction of the Admiralty, and on passing such Examination as the Admiralty may direct.

He shall have been at sea either in Her Majesty's Navy three complete years, or in the Merchant Service four years (one of which as Mate or Inferior Mate); or for combined periods of two years in the Royal Navy, and two in the Merchant Service; or one year in the Royal Navy, and three in the Merchant Service, and shall be full 16 years of age.

He will be required to have a thorough knowledge of Practical Observations of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, for ascertaining the Latitude; to work double Altitudes; the Longitude by Chronometer; and to keep a Ship's reckoning by the common Rules, usually denominated a day's work. He will also be required to produce Certificates of Servitude and Regularity of Conduct.

Candidates for the appointment of Acting Master's Assistant are to be strictly and carefully examined in the presence of the Captain, or Commander, by a Master and Naval Instructor, and, when there shall not be an Officer of the latter Class, by two Masters, touching their abilities in Seamanship, Navigation, &c. The Certificates of Qualifications are to be signed by the Captain, or Commander, as well as by the examining Officers; and all Candidates who shall be found qualified, agreeably to the before-mentioned provisions, will be considered eligible to be appointed by their Lordships as Acting Masters' Assistants in Her Majesty's Navy accordingly.

Such Masters as shall not have served afloat as Masters in the Royal Navy six complete years, and are not already in the receipt of higher half pay, shall not be entitled to any increase of pay beyond Five shillings a day, except in cases where it shall appear to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that inability to serve the prescribed term of six years shall have been caused by wounds or ill health, arising from the service.

Examination of Masters.

The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty having been pleased to signify their desire, that the Reports made by this Board should state, whether the qualifications of Candidates for appointments, as Masters and Second Masters in the Royal Navy, be such as would obtain a First, Second, or Third Class Certificate in the Merchant Marine, it is hereby notified, that the necessary examination for this purpose will embrace the following subjects, viz.:—

1st. As respects the lowest, or Third Class, Their ability to correct the courses steered by Compass for variation, Leeway, &c—to work what is termed a day's work—to prick off a Vessel's place on a chart, either by the calculated latitude and longitude, or by the Bearings of the land by Compass. They must show that they understand the use of the Quadrant or Sextant, and can observe the Sun's meridian altitude, and there from determine the latitude; and are able to work the Tides by the age of the Moon, from the known time of high water at the full and change.

2nd. As respects the Second Class, Candidates must, in addition to all the foregoing qualifications, be able to ascertain the latitude by double altitudes of the Sun, and by meridian altitudes of the Moon, or of those bright Planets or Stare, the places of which are given in the Nautical Almanac. They must understand the care and management of Chronometers, and the mode of working out and ascertaining the longitude there from; and they must be able to ascertain the variation of the Compass, by the azimuth of the Sun, as well as by the amplitude.

As respects the First Class, Candidates will, in addition to all the foregoing qualifications, undergo a more strict examination as to their proficiency in Navigation. They must have a competent acquaintance with Plane Trigonometry, a general knowledge of Nautical Astronomy, including the determination of the latitude by reduction to the meridian, and of the longitude by lunar observations. They must be acquainted with the mode of ascertaining and applying the deviation of the Compass produced by the local attraction, which is of so much importance in all vessels, and particularly in those built of iron, or having iron on board in any quantity. They must be practically acquainted with the mode of comparing two or more Chronometers, and of rating them by equal altitudes. They must understand the construction of Mercator Charts, so as to be able to correct any errors they may detect in those they possess, as well as to insert with precision any new Shoals or Islands they may discover; and must be well versed in the mode of laying down the required course on the Chart.

In the event of any Candidate proving himself to have higher attainments than the foregoing, such as being well versed in Great Circle Sailing, Spherical Trigonometry, Marine Surveying, and a more extensive knowledge of Astronomy, it is to be noted in his Certificate, and is to entitle him to have "Class 1, extra" thereon.

Trinity-house, London

July, 1846.

The figures prefixed to officers' names signify the rates for which they are qualified. Those qualified for Sloops only, are without figures. Officers passing for higher rates are requested to inform the Editor thereof. Those with an Asterisk against the name are unfit for active service.

The letter F denotes that the officer has passed for a frigate, and L. B. S. for a line-of-battle ship, under the new order.

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