Maritime Industry Network

Career Guide

Technical Superintendent

A technical superintendent in a shipmanagement or shipowner company provides technical management of ships. The number of ships can vary from 1 to 5 or more in a typical marine company depending on the type and condition of the vessels, the size of the fleet and the management philosophy of the company. With the support of a crew manager, he or she also manages the crew onboard.

The superintendent generally comes from Engineer Officer background with a couple of years at sea preferably with Class 1 Certificate of Competency (COC).

He or she maintains daily correspondence with each ship's Master and Chief Engineer via email. Any technical, maintenance and crew issues are discussed. Nowadays with reducing communications cost due to advancement in satellite technology, voice call with vessel is gradually becoming a daily routine and not just for emergency cases.

If there is any major equipment repair which requires spare parts or shore support such as specialist engineer, he will source, plan and arrange the repair team to the next convenient port of call. Specialist engineer is usually mobilized for navigation & communications system and equipment in addition to proprietory electronic systems such as cargo tank level gauging system, etc.

He also monitors the statutory and class survey status of each vessel. When a survey item is due in a few months' time, he gets in touch with Classification Society to discuss and arrange a surveyor to attend onboard. Prior to the survey date, he works with the vessel to get it ready to clear the survey without delay.

Every 2½ to 3 years, each vessel is required by Classification Society to enter a drydock in a shipyard for external hull cleaning and paint coating, overhaul of shipside valves, inspection of propeller blades and shaft if necessary. This is part of the 5-year survey cycle and is generally applicable to all vessels. For vessel less than 5 years old, an in-water bottom survey may be acceptable in lieu of dockign survey.

In preparation for drydocking, the superintendent will compile a list of repair, survey and work scopes into a docking specification. It is then used to get quotation from a few shipyards for comparison. Once the yard is selected and yard entry's date is confirmed, he will be on site to supervise and manage the entire work scope and keep it within schedule and budget.

Throughout the year, he is expected to visit and carry out an inspection of each vessel every few months when time permits.

At the end of each financial year, he reviews the crew performance and prepares a budget for for each vessel to keep the ship running smoothly in the coming year.

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