Ratings are the support staff on board who work under the guidance of the officers in operating the ship. They are skilled seafarers who work in both the deck and engine departments and form an important part of the team. Other ratings work in the catering department involved in a variety of catering services on-board, including preparing and serving food for the crew or, in passenger ships, for both passengers and crew. Some ships also employ ratings in communications jobs on board.
As a Deck Rating you’ll assist with the operation and maintenance of the deck equipment such as the winches for the mooring ropes and the cargo cranes. You’ll undertake the “fabric maintenance” of the ship ensuring that it not only looks smart but is also protected against the wear and tear effects of the weather. In port you’ll be involved with the cargo operations – loading and unloading the ship. As a Deck rating you are also part of the mooring operations team. Once at sea as a suitably qualified rating you will steer the ship and also act as look out on the bridge.
As an Engineering rating you’ll work on the day to day monitoring and maintenance of the equipment in the engine room and also anywhere else on the ship, such as the steering gear. You’ll be involved in cleaning, lubricating and assisting with stripping, repairing and fitting new or refurbished parts under direction by engineer officers.
As a Catering rating you’ll perform a variety of jobs as well as being cook or cook/steward – such as forming part of emergency response teams involved in firefighting, security and passenger controller rescue duties.