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Navigating and Pilotage Duties of the Fleet


Fleet Circular No. 41.-C.

[Re-issuing the provisions of Circular No. 5C of 27th March 1877, with slight alterations]

Admiralty, 27th May 1879

The entry of Navigating Cadets having ceased, my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are pleased to issue the following regulations for the performance of the Navigating and Pilotage duties of the Fleet, and for the carrying out of the necessary arrangements affecting the present class of Navigating officers.

  1. Circular No. 5 C, of 27th March 1877, is hereby cancelled, and its provisions, so far as they are retained, are embodied in this circular.
  2. All Naval Cadets who entered the service after 31st December 1875 will be required to pass an examination in Pilotage, and after completing the examination in Gunnery for Lieutenant they will be appointed to the Flag Ship at Portsmouth for a period of two months for instruction; they will then be required to pass the Pilotage examination in the Hydrographic Office, Whitehall.
  3. Officers now on the Lieutenants' and Sub-Lieutenants' Lists who apply to be appointed to Navigating, and Pilotage duties will, if approved by their Lordships, be appointed to the Flag Ship at Portsmouth for instruction, for a period of two months ; they will then be required to pass the Pilotage examination in the Hydrographic Office, Whitehall.
  4. No Lieutenant will be eligible for appointment to Navigating and Pilotage duties until he has completed one year's service at sea as a Lieutenant. Every Sub Lieutenant who has elected Navigating duties will when promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, be appointed to a sea-going ship to serve one year as a watch-keeping officer.
  5. Lieutenants may, after performing Navigating duties for three years, pass for First-Class Ships ; but no Officer, after promotion to the rank of Commander, will be considered eligible for a Navigating appointment, unless he has passed for First-Class ships, either in the rank of Lieutenant or Commander.
  6. Officers electing Navigating duties will be required to keep themselves efficient in gunnery, and will, front time to time, be required to go through a short course, of gunnery in the " Excellent" or " Cambridge ;" and in the Quarterly Returns of gunnery from Her Majesty's ships, it will be reported whether they are competent to drill Quarters, and are conversant with the Rifle and Sword Exercises. The Captains of the ships in which they serve will take care that facilities are afforded these officers for keeping up their knowledge on these subjects.
  7. Officers who elect Navigating duties will not he required to continue those duties after promotion to the rank of Commander, unless they should wish to do so.
  8. Lieutenants and Sub-Lieutenants its appointed for Navigating duties will be required to take it share in the ordinary duties of their ships such as Watch-keeping, acting as Divisional Officers, &c., as in the case of Gunnery Lieutenants. But this participation in the ordinary duties should not interfere with their special Navigating duties, and is to be arranged at the discretion of the Captain.
  9. If the Commander, Lieutenant, or Sub-Lieutenant appointed for Navigating duties should be senior to tie Executive Officer he will, in the absence of the Captain, succeed to the command of the ship. But he is not to take upon himself the routine duties of the Executive Officer except by order of the Captain, or in case of necessity.
  10. Officers selected for Navigating duties will remain eligible for promotion to the highest rank in the Service and, as Captains and Commanders, they, as well as Staff-Captains and Staff-Commanders, may be appointed Masters Attendant, Assistant Masters Attendant, and Queen's Harbour Masters.
  11. The pay of the undermentioned Officers performing Navigating duties will be as follows:
  12. Commander.- The full pay of their rank, and additional pay of from 4s. to 5s. a day
    At the discretion of their Lordships.  
    Lieutenants.- The full pay of their rank, and, if of five years' seniority and upwards, extra pay of 3s. a day
    Under five years' seniority, extra pay of 2s. 6d. a-day.
    If passed for First Class Ships, without regard to seniority, additional pay of 4s. a-day.
    (NOTE.-In the event of a Lieutenant for Navigating duties becoming Senior Lieutenant, he will draw allowances as such as well as additional pay for Navigating duties.)
    Sub-Lieutenants.- The full pay of their rank and additional pay of 2s. 6d. a-day.

    All Officers of the Military Branch are liable to be called upon to perform Navigating and Pilotage duties in Her Majesty's ships, but additional pay to Commanders, Lieutenants, and Sub-Lieutenants for doing so is contingent on their having passed in Pilotage.

  13. All Officers now on the lists of Staff-Captains, Staff-Commanders and Navigating Lieutenants, will continue to perform the same duties, and be eligible for the same appointments as at present.
  14. Navigating Sub-Lieutenants, on being selected for promotion, will be allowed the option of being placed ether on the Lieutenants' or on the Navigating Lieutenants' list; but if they elect the Lieutenants' list they will still be required to perform Navigating duties, if called on to do so, until promoted to the rank of Commander.
  15. Officers promoted from the Navigating Sub-Lieutenants' list to the Lieutenants' list, will, within the first six months of their service, be required to go through a course of Gunnery in the "Excellent" or "Cambridge," and in the Quarterly Returns of Gunnery from Her Majesty's ships, it will be reported whether they are competent to drill Quarters, and are conversant with the Rifle and Sword Exercises. The Captains of the ships in which they serve will take care that facilities are afforded these officers for keeping up their knowledge on these subjects.
  16. Commanders, Lieutenants, and Sub-Lieutenants who perform Navigating duties, and officers transferred from the Navigating class to those lists, will be shown in the "Navy List" with the letter N against their names.

By Command of their Lordships,

Robert Hall

To all Commanders-in-Chief, &c.

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