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A sea captain, ship's captain, captain, master, or shipmaster, is a high-grade licensed mariner who holds ultimate command and responsibility of a merchant vessel.[1] The captain is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the ship‍—‌including its seaworthiness, safety and security, cargo operations, navigation, crew management, and legal compliance‍—‌and for the persons and cargo on board.[2]

Captain's seniority

In a few countries, such as UK, USA and Italy, some captains with particular experience in navigation and command at sea, may be named commodore or senior captain or shipmaster senior grade.

Master

The term master is descended from the Latin magister navis, used during the imperial Roman age to designate the nobleman (patri

In the passenger-carrying trade a unified corporate image is often desired and it is useful for those unfamiliar with the vessel to be able to identify members of the crew and their function. Some companies and some countries use an executive curl similar to that of the Royal Navy.

In the United States, and in numerous other maritime countries, captains and officers of shipping companies may wear a merchant navy or merchant marine regular uniform in conjunction with their employment.

In a few countries, such as UK, USA and Italy, some captains with particular experience in navigation and command at sea, may be named commodore or senior captain or shipmaster senior grade.

Master

The term master is descended from the Latin magister navis, used during the imperial Roman age to designate the nobleman (patrician) who was in ultimate authority on board a vessel. The magister navis had the right to wear the laurus or corona laurèa and the corona navalis. Carrying on this tradition, the modern-day shipmaster of some nations wears golden laurel leaves

The term master is descended from the Latin magister navis, used during the imperial Roman age to designate the nobleman (patrician) who was in ultimate authority on board a vessel. The magister navis had the right to wear the laurus or corona laurèa and the corona navalis. Carrying on this tradition, the modern-day shipmaster of some nations wears golden laurel leaves or golden oak leaves on the visor of his cap.

SkipperA skipper is a person who has command of a boat or watercraft or tug, more or less equivalent to "captain in charge aboard ship." At sea, or upon lakes and rivers, the skipper as shipmaster or captain has command over the whole crew. The skipper may or may not be the owner of the boat.

The word is derived from the Dutch word schipper; schip is Dutch for "ship". In Dutch sch- is pronounced Dutch word schipper; schip is Dutch for "ship". In Dutch sch- is pronounced [sx] and English-speakers rendered this as [sk].

The word "skipper" is used more than "captain" for some types of craft, for example fishing boats.

It is also more frequently used than captain with privately owned noncommercial or semi-commercial vessels, such as small yachts and other recreational boats, mostly in cases where the person in command of the boat may not be a licensed or professional captain, suggesting the term is less formal. In the U.S., a "skipper" who is in command of a charter vessel that carries paying passengers must be licensed by a state or the USCG. If the vessel carries over six paying passengers, it must be an "inspected vessel" and a higher class license must be obtained by the skipper/master depending on the vessel's gross tons.

In the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, and merchant naval slang, it is a term used in reference to the commanding officer of any ship, base, or other command regardless of rank. It is generally only applied to someone who has earned the speaker's respect, and only used with the permission of the commander/commanding officer in question.

Skipper RNR was an actual rank used in the British Royal Naval Reserve for skippers of fishing boats who were members of the service. It was equivalent to Warrant Officer. Skippers could also be promoted to Chief Skipper RNR (equivalent to Commissioned Warrant Officer) and Skipper Lieutenant RNR.