The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Jan. 2, 1884

Full Text


(available on microfilm at Queens University - Stauffer Library, and Kingston-Frontenac Public Library)



Today the new Act, respecting the examining and qualifying of masters and mates of vessels, goes into force. Its provisions we summarise, believing that they will be interesting to a large number.

From this date forward no vessel over 100 tons burden will be permitted to clear without carrying a certified master, and if over 200 tons and carrying 40 ? passengers she must have a certified mate also. This law will not affect those who were in command or acting prior to Jan. 1, as in their case a certified certificate of service from their employers will entitle them to one from their examiners providing they can pass the color test.

Certificates once granted can be cancelled for unseamanlike conduct, drunkeness, afloat or ashore, while in charge of a vessel, and other misdemeanors that may be brought before the notice of a Collector of Customs or the Minister of Marine. A fee of $8 will be charged candidates for examination, and $4 those showing certificates of service as masters, while a mate will be charged $4 and $2 respectively.

Certificates will be granted for those navigating the eastern waters below Montreal, those on the great inland lakes, and those on the minor rivers and lakes. Those wishing to qualify for any one or all of these routes can do so, but when coasting is intended a thorough knowledge of all lights, etc., on the route is required.

Certificates will be granted for steam vessels, for sailing vessels, or for both. Ferry boats under 100 tons burden do not require a certified master no matter what their passenger capacity may be.

A mate must be nineteen years of age and have served two years at sea. He will have to pass a very rigid examination as to seamanship.

A master must be twenty-one years of age and must have been three years at sea, one of which he must have been mate. In addition to the qualifications for a mate he must know the principal lights upon the great inland waters. He will be required to state how he would lay out an anchor in case of stranding, and be able to rig a temporary rudder should the steering apparatus become disabled.

Testimonials of character and of sobriety, experience, ability and good conduct on board ship will be required of all applicants, and without producing them no person will be examined.

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Jan. 2, 1884
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Jan. 2, 1884