Summary of Requirements and Programme Content.

New Zealand Underwater Courses described on this page:
Master of a Small Commercial Boat (MSCB)/Master of a Small Dive Boat (MSDB)

See New Zealand Underwater Syllabus in Detail

See New Zealand Underwater Trainers

Recommended course materials may be obtained from New Zealand Underwater trainers and are as for the Boatmaster Certificate Course.

Please click on to go direct to the New Zealand Underwater site.

Master of a Small Commercial Boat/Master of a Small Dive Boat

The Master of a Small Commercial Boat (MSCB)/Master of a Small Dive Boat (MSDB) programme is designed to fulfill the training requirements as specified in the MSA training framework for a person wishing to operate as a skipper of a vessel of six metres or less for the purpose of transportation and occupational diving activities.

Recommended hours:

  • Theory components 24-30 hours
  • Practical training component 16 hours
  • "Internship" practical experience under supervision 24 hours.
  • The course is run as:

  • Part One - Master of a Small Commercial Boat
  • Part Two - Master of a Small Dive Boat
  • Part One and Two are run concurrently for candidates of Master of a Small Dive Boat (MSDB). Prerequisites:

  • Be of 18 years of age or older
  • Hold a current drivers license acceptable for use in New Zealand
  • Prior to a certificate of competency being issued the candidate shall fill the following requirements:

  • Attend an New Zealand Underwater approved course with an approved trainer
  • Complete the MSCB/MSDB evaluations criteria
  • Hold a current first aid certificate
  • Hold a VHF radio operators license
  • Satisfy the fit and proper person legal requirements
  • Pass the eye sight test as prescribed by MSA
  • Complete the NZU medical questionnaire
  • Master of a Small Dive Boat (MSDB) candidates additional requirements:

  • Have training in the emergency use of oxygen
  • Have training in diver surface rescue techniques.
  • Have training in international divers hand signals

    Course Outcomes

    Part One: Section A - V Master of a Small Commercial Boat

    By the end of this section you should be able to explain and demonstrate the procedures for launching and retrieving trailed craft of six metres or less from a recognised boat ramp or suitable launching area.

    You should also be able to:

    ADemonstrate maneuverability of the craft in confined and open waters as specified by the MSCB/MSDB syllabus whilst observing local regulations and international avoidance of collision regulations.
    BDemonstrate correct anchoring techniques with reference to depth, type of bottom, tide, wind conditions, ropes to use and appropriate knots to tie.
    CDemonstrate tying up procedures in marina's, at wharves and on mooring buoys.
    DDemonstrate the correct procedures to take during emergency situations and understand distress signals, radio procedures and precautions to take to prevent emergency situations arising.
    EDemonstrate what to do in a man overboard situation and how to stabilise a person after a man overboard situation including treatment for hypothermia and shock.
    FDemonstrate knowledge of buoys and beacons utilised in New Zealand waters.
    GLoad and secure generic and specific equipment as specified in the vessels Safe Operational Plan (SOP).
    HDemonstrate how to use required equipment as required by New Zealand Underwater Code of Practice.
    IUnderstand weather forecast and predict forecast for the next 12 hours for intended operational area of the craft.
    JExplain how to read a weather map and know where to obtain a weather forecast.
    KDemonstrate how to use charts including tidal charts as specified in the MSCB/MSDB syllabus.
    LDemonstrate use of the boats and hand bearing compass as per the MSCB/MSDB syllabus.
    MDemonstrate tying the knots as described in the syllabus and know the application of knots and rope types.
    NUnderstand the effects of poor stability and loading and know how to correct for good stability.
    OState the procedure for dealing with accidents as listed in the syllabus including writing an accident report. See appendix for appropriate MSA accident reporting form.
    PDemonstrate knowledge of the water recreational regulations, marine notices, relevant safe ship management systems, safe operational plans and avoidance of collision regulations.
    QDemonstrate knowledge of how to handle and prevent marine pollution appropriate to the vessel.
    RDemonstrate an understanding of appropriate marine engine operation, function, cooling stating, transmission and electrical system.
    SUnderstand bilge draining and pumping systems and how and when to use.
    TDemonstrate knowledge of machinery checks, adjustments, minor repairs, instrumentation, spare parts, tools and equipment.
    UUnderstand the causes of fire and explosion and know how to respond.
    VDemonstrate safe working practices.

    Part Two: Section 1 - 10

    Master of a Small Dive Boat

    Candidates wishing to qualify as Master of a Small Dive Boat need to also complete the following section.

    1Demonstrate standard international diving hand signals
    2Demonstrate use of a drift line
    3Demonstrate dispatching and retrieval of divers and their equipment
    4Demonstrate use of a separate anchored buoyed diving station
    5Know how to respond in a diving emergency
    6Demonstrate the use of emergency oxygen
    7Demonstrate knowledge of signals to recall divers
    8Demonstrate secure loading of diving equipment
    9Demonstrate when and when not to fly the Code A flag
    10Demonstrate loading and off loading divers from a beach in calm conditions

    SECTION FOUR - Master of a Small Commercial Boat/Master of a Small Dive Boat.


    Click for the syllabus in detail:

    This syllabus is specific to power driven vessels of six metres or less. The syllabus is in two components - general knowledge and engineering. The syllabus covers the following:

    General knowledge

    1. Boat handling
    2. Boat equipment use
    3. Charts
    4. International regulations for prevention of collision at sea
    5. Distress signals
    6. Compass
    7. Tides
    8. Weather
    9. Ropes
    10. Stability
    11. Accidents
    12. Regulations
    13. Marine pollution
    1. Marine engines
    2. Cooling systems
    3. Engine starting
    4. Power transmissions
    5. Steering systems
    6. Electrical systems
    7. Bilge pumping systems
    8. Machinery checks
    9. Adjustments and minor repairs
    10. Instruments and alarms
    11. Spare gear
    12. Fire and explosions
    13. Safe working practice

    See New Zealand Underwater Trainers.

    Recommended course materials are as for the Boatmaster Certificate Course.

    Return to top of Page