Able seaman

An able seaman (AB) is a seaman and member of the deck department of a merchant ship with more than two years' experience at sea and considered "well acquainted with his duty".[1] An AB may work as a watchstander, a day worker, or a combination of these roles. Once a sufficient amount of sea time is acquired, then the AB can apply to take a series of courses/examinations to become certified as an officer.[2]

Able seaman
Able seamen generally serve as a ship's helmsmen, relying on visual references, compasses, and a rudder angle indicator to steer a steady course as directed by the mate or other officer on the bridge.
General
Other namesAble Rate
DepartmentDeck department
Reports toboatswain, chief mate
LicensedNo
Dutiesto be able at a moment's notice
RequirementsAble seaman's certificate
Watchstanding
Watch (at sea)Helmsman, Lookout (varies)
Watch (in port)Varies (varies)

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