Answered: Why Captain's Cabin is Mostly on the Starboard Side of the Ship

Answered: Why Captain’s Cabin is Mostly on the Starboard Side of the Ship

captain cabin starboard side
Image Credit: Capt. Kate McCue

Last updated on August 18th, 2021 at 11:31 am

There are many questions in shipping industry which seem to be mysteries of the ancient shipping times like Why a ship’s bottom is mostly painted red, or Why ship’s speed is measured in Knots, or Why ships use Port and Starboard instead of Left and Right and a lot more. Another such question is “Why Captain’s cabin is always or mostly located on the Starboard side of the ship?” Read on to know the interesting facts behind it.

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. S/he can then also monitor if the officer on watch has taken the required action to avoid close quarter situation.

Hope that you learned something new today, if you have any other interesting facts to share with us, feel free to comment.

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