The requirements for the Efficient Deck Hand (EDH) course  have been amended to allow a more flexible approach for the yacht, workboat and fishing industry. The following certification and experience will permit entry on to an EDH course and examination.

a) MCA accepted Yachtmaster Offshore certificates and shorebased course;
b) Yacht rating with at least 6 months sea service and a steering certificate or Navigational Watch Rating certificate;
c) Fishing Class 2 CoC or the Seafish 5 day watchkeeping course for under 16.5m fishing certificates;
d) BML Tier 1 level 2 certificates; or
e) Tug rating with at least 6 months sea time (which may be in categorised water) and a steering certificate or a Navigational Watch Rating certificate.

Note: before an EDH certificate can be issued a minimum of 6 month sea service in vessels of more than 15m is required. If you have any questions regarding the prerequisites, or don’t meet them but are interested in the course, please contact our office team.

Duration: 5 Days (0900hrs – 1700hrs)

Cost: £750.00 inc vat

Location: South West Maritime Academy, Cromhall Quarry, Cromhall, South Gloucestershire, GL12 8AA

Certificate validity: This certificate does not expire

Certification: Upon successful completion you will be awarded an MCA approved certificate in Efficient Deck Hand

*Please note before an EDH certificate can be issued a minimum of 6 month sea service in vessels of more than 15m is required.

STCW Basic Safety Training

Efficient Deck Hand

Efficient Deck Hand – What is the EDH course and who is it for?

The Efficient Deck Hand course is an integral part of the Able Seafarer and Officer of the Watch (OOW) certifications, and includes seamanship skills, rope work and rigging and the Code of Safe Working practices amongst a host of other subjects and topics.

Our EDH course leans heavily towards practical, hands-on learning and is a great opportunity to quite literally learn the ropes.

The course covers all the essential skills required to be an effective deckhand, and develops your seamanship skills and ships’ knowledge, helping to promote both safe and efficient working when on vessels.

The Efficient Deck Hand course runs over 5 days, and combines a good mix of both theory and hands-on practical learning, creating a fun and engaging learning environment.

Who needs the Efficient Deck Hand ticket?

This course is a requirement for:


(52 customer reviews)
Category: SKU: Efficient Deck Hand (EDH)


Efficient Deck Hand course – Nautical Knowledge

What you’ll cover during your EDH:

a) Know the meaning of the common nautical terms.

b) The various parts of the ship, for example, decks, compartments, ballast tanks, air pipes, pipeline systems.

c) Knowledge of the correct use of ensigns, courtesy flags and international single letter flags.

d) Report  bearings of  objects or lights in degrees or points on the bow,  using compass cards in 360 degree notation.

e) Understanding helm orders and the ability to communicate with the officer of the watch on matters relevant to watch-keeping duties.

f) Procedures for the relief, maintenance and hand over of a watch and the information needed to maintain a safe watch.

g) Knowledge of the use of lifesaving and fire-fighting appliances as follows;

  • Importance of musters and drills and know what action to take on hearing alarm signals;
  • General arrangements and dangers of fixed smothering systems;
  • Correct operation, precautions and dangers of lifeboat release gear;
  • Procedures for boat preparation and launching;
  • Precautions to be observed when maintaining lifeboats and davits;
  • Fire and watertight doors.

EDH Shipboard Maintenance

What you’ll cover:

a) Practical knowledge of general shipboard maintenance including;

  • The use of painting, lubrication and cleaning materials and equipment and understand routine maintenance and repair procedures.
  • Surface preparation techniques.
  • Manufacturer’s safety guidelines, shipboard instructions, and the requirements safe disposal of waste materials.
  • Application, maintenance and use of hand and power tools.

4. Apply precautions and contribute to the prevention of pollution of the marine environment.

a) Basic knowledge of marine environmental issues including;

  • Precautions to be taken to prevent pollution of the marine environment.
  • Use and operation of anti-pollution equipment.
  • Approved methods for disposal of marine pollutants.

PART II – Practical work Testing as far as possible by practical demonstration.

1. Bends and Hitches

a) Common knots bends and hitches including:-

  • Reef knot
  • Timber hitch
  • Cove hitch
  • Rolling hitch
  • Figure of 8 knot  Wall and crown knot
  • Bowline and bowline on the bight
  • Sheet bend and double sheet bend
  • Sheepshank
  • Fishermen’s bend
  • Monkey’s fist
  • Round turn and two half hitches
  • Marlinspike hitch

Splicing and Whipping

What You’ll Cover:

Common splicing and whipping including;

  • Splice in eight stranded plaited rope
  • Back and short splice in three-stranded rope
  • Eye splice with locking tuck in wire rope.
  • Parcel and serve a splice.
  • Whip a rope’s end using plain or palm and needle whipping.
  • Put a seizing on a rope and wire.

Efficient Deck Hand – Rope Work and Rigging

What You Will Cover:

a) General deck work including;

  • Care and storage of fibre and wire ropes, cables and chains, including their construction, use, marking, maintenance and proper stowage.
  • Slinging and rigging a stage and bosun’s chair.
  • Pilot ladder or hoists, gangway and accommodation ladder.
  • Rat guards
  • Rigging a derrick or crane.
  • Use and selection of stoppers for wires and ropes
  • Open and closing hatches and watertight doors including bow, stern and other shell doors.
  • General precautions to be taken before and during the operation of a winch whether used for working cargo or warping.
  • Securing the deck for heavy weather.
  • Rigging a hydrostatic release unit.
  • The correct fitting of wire grips (e.g. ‘Bulldog’ grips).

a) General understanding of mooring operations including;

  • The functions of mooring and tug lines and how each line functions as part of the overall system.
  • Safe handling of moorings with particular reference to synthetic-fibre ropes and self tensioning winches.
  • Procedures and order of events for making fast and letting go mooring and tug lines and wires, including towing lines.
  • Working knowledge of the procedures and orders of events associated with mooring to a buoy or buoys.

a) General understanding of anchoring operations including;

  • The use and operation of a windlass in anchor work such as anchoring, weighing anchor, securing for sea and warping.
  • The use of anchors in emergencies.
  • The precautions to be taken in the stowage of chain cable and securing the anchors at sea.
  • The marking of the anchor cable.
  • The procedures and order of events for the use of anchors in various operations.

a) General understanding of cargo operations including;

  • The gear used in cargo work and an understanding of its uses.
  • General maintenance with particular reference to wires blocks and shackles.
  • The capacities, safe working loads, and breaking strengths of mooring and cargo equipment.
  • The procedures for safe handling, stowage and securing of cargo and stores, including dangerous, hazardous and harmful substances and liquids.
  • The ability to use and understand basic signals for the operation of equipment, including winches, windlasses, cranes, and hoists.
  • Basic knowledge of and precautions to observe in connection with particular types of cargo and identification of IMDG labelling.

Contact us

Please contact us if you require any further information about this course or wish to book on behalf of a company:

Telephone: 01454 260130

Normal office hours are (UK time):
Monday  – Friday: 08.30 – 17.00

Please be aware that online bookings for the Efficient Deck hand course will be confirmed with course joining information within one working day of the booking being made. Confirmation of payment will be received by email.

There is a wide range of local accommodation, some of which are within walking distance of the training centre to suit everyone’s budget. For a list of local accommodation please click here.

Additional information

Course Dates

8th – 12th April 2024, 29th July – 2nd August 2024, 21st – 25th October 2024

52 reviews for Efficient Deck Hand (EDH)

  1. S W

    A friendly and experienced lecturer, great facilities delivering many courses.

  2. S Davies

    Martyn is very knowledgeable and easy to learn with

  3. P C

    Really good course and instructor. Teaching was good and at a pace that is easily understood, especially the practical aspect. Martyn is very patient!

  4. I T

    Very good course, well paced. Great mix of theory and practical. Accessible for attendees of all skill levels and the training team will assist on an individual basis which helps with understanding of techniques.

  5. C Taylor

    Friendly staff and a great instructor

  6. B Carter

    Great teacher in a friendly place

  7. J Young

    The course was very educational and Martyn has very detailed knowledge of the subject. Very well run with a good balance between classroom and practical

  8. T Gidts

    Well composed syllabus, a great 4 day course.

  9. F Shamatey

    Instructors are very friendly and very professional, they are the best. South West Maritime Academy is the best Maritime training centre and I will come again, staff are very friendly, my instructor Martyn is the best, see you soon!

  10. A Christensen

    Martyn is professional, has good knowledge and patience.

  11. M Rendall

    Great knowledge and information from Martyn, also very patient and an understanding of how to teach.

  12. E Robinson

    Straight forward, all information needed, taught well and concise, enjoyable environment.

  13. S Edwards

    Really enjoyed this course learning from Martin, great instructor very knowledgeable and easy to learn from.

  14. S Briers

    Instructor was fantastic, friendly and very helpful. It was an excellent course.

  15. C Cutting

    Instructor was really patient and knowledgeable, no pressure was put on anyone at anytime and everyone walked away with loads of great new knowledge.

  16. M O’Brien

    Martyn has super knowledge, he is a great instructor and very patient, professional and friendly.
    He was fantastic, really knew his stuff, broke everything down clearly and slowly with a very calm and patient demeanour, top marks, he made the course!

  17. K Davies

    Martyn is a master of knots and rope, he is a man of patience and understanding.
    All very professional Academy, would highly recommend.

  18. S Robins

    The instructor was very good and helpful, he was excellent.
    I found the EDH course excellent, it will put me in good stead for going on to an AB in the future.

  19. J O’Donnell

    The instructor has great background of knowledge, patience and explained everything, Martyn was outstanding, I will be asking the company to use the academy for all future training.
    There was some content on the course that most seafarers would already know prior to attending but despite this, the instructor still found elements I should know, but didn’t!
    A very good course. I think all seafarers should complete prior to joining their first vessel.

  20. Joseph Smith

    I found the teaching method very clear, Martyn has extensive experience in this field. Delivered content and answered questions with ease.

  21. Rory Bennett

    Great teacher, very patient and knowledgeable, would recommend school to friends

  22. Steve Hoare

    I though the course was well structured and factual.

  23. Ross H

    It took me a while to understand the correct way to splice, but my instructor broke the lesson down further enabling me to understand it, many thanks.

  24. Steve Spear

    A really enjoyable course. The instructors knowledge was superb and the instruction was excellent. The academy is a brilliant place to attend and you’re really made to feel welcome by all staff. Well done SWMA.

  25. Adrian P

    Thoroughly enjoyable course featuring a good mix of theory and practical skills. All of the staff here are approachable, knowledgeable and clearly keen to help and develop students.

  26. Chris P

    It would be very hard to find a more suited instructor in my opinion, very experienced. Martin is a very approachable, patent and natural teacher.
    Very thankful for Martin putting me right when I was getting flustered. It’s not the easiest subject to teach I imagine, but he remained professional and patient with all and throughout 🙂

  27. Jamie B

    Overall excellent teaching from Martin.

  28. Matthew H

    There is nothing Martin doesn’t know. A very calm and measured approach to the entire course, tutor always at hand to help and show correct methods, excellent throughout 🙂

  29. Matthias Kreithner

    The instructor was very experienced and had good knowledge, teaching very good.
    Martin is an excellent instructor, he makes the contents very interesting even for more experienced seafarers!

  30. Jie Taylor

    Martin was very patient, knowledgeable and friendly. An extremely useful course that everybody on deck should do.

  31. Justin Ellis

    Instructor had great skills and the explanation on splicing was very helpful, Martin is a great teacher. I was very impressed with the friendliness. Very happy with the instruction on the compass. The course was very well taught and gained a lot of knowledge during the course. I learned a lot about rope work especially and feel like I have gained confidence moving forward in my career. Very happy with the course.

  32. Rachel Wheatley

    Instructor was very helpful really good and informative. Very good course, a lot covered, really enjoyed the course.

  33. Matthew Higgins

    Martin has good knowledge and is easy to talk to. Very good course well taught.

  34. David Brooks

    This course is good!

  35. Gavin J

    Martyn is superb, very helpful and explains everything. The course facilities are superb. I’ve taken courses at various locations over the past 30 years, this is my first time at SWMA and I will definitely be returning for other courses. Would highly recommend SWMA.

  36. William M

    Martyn is a great bloke, very friendly, very good course.

  37. Thomas T

    Martyn is very knowledgeable, great at teaching a really nice bloke. Laid back easy going course, calm friendly environment, would definitely book here again for other courses!

  38. Malcolm Nicholas

    Very informative, Martin is very patient and helpful.

  39. Simon Taylor

    Very good course, enjoyed the week.

  40. Ethan P

    The course delivers on the EDH syllabus in a detailed and well presented manor. I am likely to return for any future courses. Martin is a skilled instructor and delivers the knowledge in the class in a easily digestible way.

  41. Kris Ward

    EDH Course was good! Enjoyed splicing and rope work the most!
    Martin was a super patient instructor!
    South West Maritime Academy has been great, facilities were great!
    A+ would recommend

  42. Andrew Cervero

    Really enjoyed the Efficient Deck Hand course, the instructor was excellent.
    I would have liked to spend more time practising splicing & whipping and less time in the classroom but that’s just personal nit picking.
    Overall I think it was an excellent course & would highly recommend it to colleagues and other mariners.

  43. Ashley Marshall

    Very knowledgeable instructor, more than happy to help at any time. Made everything clear on things I was unsure about.

  44. Helena Reynolds

    Really enjoyable course, though it might have been of more use to me before I’d taken my Yachtmaster!

  45. Mark Chamberlain

    I thought the lecturer managed the course structure well. All candidates had a lot of experience and that was taken on-board and the course was delivered at their level.
    The splicing and rope work was a very valuable refresher.

  46. Adam Davies

    Excellent instructors, very friendly and down to earth.
    I found the course easy to follow with good support from the instructors and the facilities very good for training purposes.

  47. Marcin Snios

    I’ve learned a lot from instructor Martin – he knows everything and anything about ropes and rope-work in detail. Very good and transparent with passing information very knowledgeable person. Overall very happy thanks.

  48. Phil Rowlands

    Instructors are really friendly and approachable

  49. Christian Tywunka

    Very knowledgeable with years of experience. Had a good week, very informative.

  50. Peter Wilson

    Extremely helpful, very professional, very educational

  51. Richard Lewis

    Great, Very friendly and welcoming to the course.

  52. Jaime Yeomans

    This course covered everything and taught me some very interesting things. Brilliant instructors overall a very good Academy that I will continue to use in the future.

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