Target Group:

The Skipper Port Operations programme is open to anyone, company or private individuals, that wish to get a qualification to be in charge of a vessels that are under 200 GT, within Port Operations limits, 15 NM from a harbour in South Africa. Opportunities for certified individuals exist on pilot boats, small tugs, ferries and pleasure boats in many South African ports.


The aim of the programme is to obtain the knowledge and practical skill components that are stipulated in the SAMSA Code. The programme will focus on the safe navigation of a vessel, the handling and stowage of cargo, the management of shipboard operations and care for persons onboard, ship’s master’s business, ship handling and manoeuvring, shipboard security procedures and contingency plans as well as the development and management of personnel onboard.


The Port Operations Programme can be divided into the following 3 Certificates:

  • Skipper Port Operations (<200GT)
  • Master Port Operation (<1600GT)
  • Master Port Operations (Unlimited)

This brochure deals with relevant information pertaining to the first programme, Skipper Port Operation (<200GT)


  • Chartwork
  • Electronic Navigation Systems (ENS: Non-STCW)
  • Naval Architecture
  • Personnel Management and Ship Master’s Business
  • Ship Manoeuvring & Handling
  • Emergency Procedures


18 years of age, SAMSA medical certificate, eyesight test, seaman’s book and short-range radio certificate. English proficiency, mathematics and science at Grade 12 school level or equivalent.

Additional Requirements:

On successful completion of the programme a Skipper Port Operations (<200GT) Certificate will be issued to the learner. With this in hand, the learner requires at least 12 months sea time on a vessel of over 25 GT but under 200 GT of which at least 6 months will have to be on the bridge of the vessel understudying the qualified Skipper. On obtaining the necessary sea- and bridge time the learner, when ready, will then need to make an appointment with SAMSA to sit in for an oral examination. On the successful completion of this examination, SAMSA will then issue the learner with a Skipper Port Operations Certificate of Competence.

Skipper Port Operations (<200GT)

Course Duration: 35 Days
Course Certification: Certificate of Completion
Assessment: Written assessment & Practical evaluation (Simulator)
Validity: 5 years, where applicable
Completion Exit Level: The competent learner will be able to satisfy the knowledge and practical components of the programme as stipulated in the SAMSA Code
STCW Reference: Merchant Shipping Regulations 2013 and the SAMSA Code
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