Ever wondered Why the boss on Ship, Captain’s Cabin is always on the Starboard side and not on the port side? Did you noticed it too…
There are many questions in shipping industry which seem to be Mysteries of the ancient shipping times with as many theories floating and one of these question is “Why Captain’s cabin is always on Starboard side?”
Captain’s cabin on the starboard side is a tradition that has been since many years but there has been some exceptions to it where captain’s cabin is on port side.
Leaving aside the exceptions, in old days, the starboard side was considered superior to port side in every sense, be it flag etiquettes or two watch system in old days where more experienced staff used to keep watch on starboard side, the starboard side was considered superior to port side.
Captain being overall in-charge of the ship was considered superior to all the crew onboard and was given superior side of the ship.
In modern days however it is not superiority that is considered for captain cabin to starboard side. Starboard side is give way side in ROR (Rule of the road) and captain is expected to see the traffic on starboard side of his ship just to be aware of the traffic situation where it is his ship’s duty to take action. He can then also monitor if the officer on watch has taken the required action to avoid close quarter situation.
Reasons behind Why Captain’s cabin on the starboard side?
The captain’s cabin being located on the starboard side of the ship is a tradition that has been in place for many years. So the several reasons for Why it is so?
Superiority: In the past, the captain was considered superior to all the crew onboard and was given the superior side of the ship.
Flag etiquettes: The starboard side was considered superior in terms of flag etiquettes.
Two-watch system: In the old days, the starboard side was considered superior in the two-watch system, where more experienced staff used to keep watch.
Odd-even numbering: By general convention on ships, things on the starboard side are odd-numbered, and those on the port side are even-numbered. For example, the starboard lifeboat is always number 1, and the port one is number 2.
Viking era: Some believe that this tradition dates back to the Viking era, when they used to use the stars for navigation, and the captain would always be facing the stars.
Steering oar: Another suggestion is that the captain’s cabin is on the starboard side because the ship was steered from the starboard side with the steering oar or board, and it was usual for the captain to stand on that side.
However, it is worth noting that there are exceptions to this tradition, such as on US Navy aircraft carriers, where the captain’s chair is on the port side of the bridge.
Americans are built different, aren’t they?
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