How to become a good Ship Captain?

Traits and Qualities You Need to Develop


A Ship Captain can be considered the leader or commander of a ship. He is responsible for the entire vessel. The ship, its crew, cargo and passengers are all its Captain’s responsibility. Therefore, every ship needs a good ship captain. Someone who has the experience and skills needed to commander a ship. Also, a Ship Captain should possess a calm disposition. So, before we tell you how to become a good ship captain, you must know what being a Captain entails.


  • Supervising passengers and crew members
  • Observing tasks performed by crew members
  • Responsible for safe navigation
  • Ensuring seamless operation of the ship’s equipment
  • Performing business functions
  • Ensuring proper maintenance of ship and equipment
  • Maintaining regular logs throughout the journey


To become a good Ship Captain, who is well-respected by his crew and appreciated by the shipping company, you need to develop the following qualities or traits.


Boldness to step out and step up is a vital skill. To become a good ship captain you need to possess courage. As a Captain you will be expected to take many decisions. Sometimes, the lives of your crew would depend on your decisions, therefore, you need to possess courage to face challenging situations and come out a winner. Storms, piracy, engine failure – no matter what challenges you face, stay positive and behave with courage.


Remember you are your vessel’s in-charge. It’s your job to lead your crew on a successful journey. Show a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions. However, be willing to consider other people’s opinions too. Encourage an open culture where communication is welcome. But at the same time maintain the dignity of your rank and ensure discipline.


Being adaptable is an essential skill for a Captain. You should be open to change and variety in the workplace. You need to have the ability to adapt to varying cultures. As a Ship Captain you might be expected to meet and greet passengers or socialize with locals. Therefore, respect diversity and adapt to social and cultural expectations.

Self Control

A good ship captain should keep his emotions in check, control anger, and avoid aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Team Player

Team work is very important on the board. A great ship captain should be a good team player. He should bind the team and be friendly with them, working as a team at all times.

Physically Fit

Being a good ship master is a very active job. Ship Captain must be fit enough to work for long hours, to complete tough daily duties, prepared in case of emergencies to ensure safety and that of the fellow crew and passengers.

Judgment and Decision Making

A sea captain must be efficient in judgment and decision making. He should be fair enough in considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the appropriate one.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems must be the skills of a good ship captain.

Quality Control Analysis 

An efficient ship master must conduct tests and inspections of products, services to evaluate quality or performance.

Communication skills

A good ship master must be able to communicate in basic understandable language. He must have the quality to talk to others to convey information effectively.

Learning Strategies

A good ship master should select and use training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

All these qualities and skills will allow a person to move on to the next level.  Good ship captains don’t just pop out of anywhere, nor are people born captains. Good ship captains are made from proper teaching and experience.


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Neha Gupta

A Professional writer with over 10 years of experience, I love writing and learning about new areas during the process. Writing about merchant navy has given me a close look at the sacrifices made by the seafaring community and it is a pleasure to bring to light, through my blogs, for all to see and view, the hard work and dedication of these unsung heroes i.e. the seafarers.

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