Trainee Kit List

The following list is only intended as a general guide as to what you’ll need throughout your training, so make sure you ask your Training Officer if you’re unsure of anything. It’s better to ask now than end up without the necessary equipment. 

Much of the following will be required at sea as well as when attending college. Carefully consider what is required – and how often you think you will be doing your washing! 

It is important that you always keep your kit in good order, and in particular your uniform, and that you replace items as necessary.


  • White shirts with fitted epaulettes (long or short sleeved).
  • Trousers – black.
  • Naval style jersey – round neck with fitted epaulettes.
  • Black Uniform shoes and black socks.
  • Tie – Company, Merchant Navy or SSTG.
  • Working clothes for all climates expected: Boiler suits, T-shirts, working shirts and trousers. 
  • Safety boots and shoes with steel toe-caps and spare laces. 
  • Extra uniform requirements apply to some types of vessels (for example Cruise ships) or specific companies. The onus is on you to make sure you know what is required. 

Clothing (General): 

  • T-shirts, casual trousers, shorts, shoes (non uniform), trainers, flip-flops/sandals etc. 
  • Sports kit, including shorts, shirts, swim gear, etc. 
  • Sunglasses, sunhat. 
  • Underwear, socks, thermals, night wear, etc.

  • Toiletries, including razors, shaving oil or foam, toothbrushes/paste, soap/shower gel, deodorant, hair gel, and sun tan lotion/block, etc. 


  • Original signed MLC Compliant Training Agreement.

  • MNTB Training Record Book.

  • Folder and paper for Operations Workbook.
  • Original Discharge Book (may not be issued to you until towards the end of Phase 1) and Seaman’s Card as required by ship owner.

  • Original STCW certificates: Proficiency in Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting, Personal Survival Techniques, Elementary First Aid, Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities, and Security Awareness.

  • Other original certification as required by the shipping company e.g. Tanker Familiarisation, Designated Security Duties, etc.
  • Original ENG 1 Medical certificate (Valid for the entire voyage). 
  • Original Passport (Should be valid for at least 6 months after the date you expect to return to the UK.

  • Visas as required.
  • Vaccination certificates (as required) and vaccination record.
  • Any other documentation as instructed by your shipping company.
  • Scientific calculator (non-programmable). 
  • Folders, dividers, colour tabs for referencing. 
  • Pens, pencils, coloured pencils, highlighters. 
  • 12’’ ruler. 
  • Stapler, blu-Tack. 
  • Paper/notebook. 


  • Mobile phone. 
  • Laptop, USB memory stick, portable hard drive.

  • Watch, alarm clock, radio, torch & batteries. 
  • MP3 player with headset. 
  • Digital camera & cables. 
  • Travel plug adaptors (2 & 3 pin), batteries & chargers. 

Equipment & Items Required For Chartwork and Navigation (Deck Only): 

  • Parallel Rules. 
  • Dividers (straight or single handed): You must obtain a good quality pair. Poor quality dividers are difficult to set accurately, may not retain the required setting and can be slow and difficult to use when working to the degree of accuracy required. If you are unsure, seek advice from your college lecturer. 
  • Pencils – 2B are essential. Harder pencils are not easy to erase and leave marks on charts. Softer leads produce thick lines unless sharpened very frequently. 
  • Eraser. 
  • Radar plotting sheets (if you’re feeling adventurous, take a few to sea with you). 
  • Norrie’s Nautical Tables & A Seaman’s Guide Pocket Book of The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea. 
  • Make sure you carefully file any college notes  that might be subsequently required for revision or whilst at sea. Don’t rely on the information being available on board (there are a considerable number of ships that still don’t have internet access 24/7). 

Engineer Only: 

  • Compass/dividers. 
  • Drawing instruments. 
  • Graph paper. 


  • Money – Cash, cards & cheque book (keep these separate as far as possible). Cards are really useful particularly in emergencies when travelling but make sure you have sufficient credit. 
  • Contact lenses & fluids, glasses, sun glasses. We recommend taking a second pair of glasses.
  • Any medication that you need. 
  • Books/magazines, etc. 
  • Photos of family & friends.

  • Sweets, biscuits or anything else you might really miss from home, especially if you are going to be away for some time.

 Packing Tips: 

  • Tough travel bags or sports bags that fold flat are preferable to suitcases as storage space, particularly on board, can be limited. 
  • Take a large towel. Always useful, plus it can be used for separating your working gear from your clean gear. 
  • When you return home after each trip, separate all of your kit into three piles; frequently used, sometimes used and never used items. Consider leaving all the items in the never used pile at home next

  • Take a copy of all your original documentation (for example Discharge Book, passport, visas, certification, pages from your Training Record Book) and leave these copies at home. 

One Last Tip: 

  • It is really important that whilst training you don’t wear any clothes or accessories that might cause a hazard to you or fellow students or ship mates at any time.

We are indebted to all past SSTG trainees who have contributed to the above list. If you have any useful suggestions to make please let us know and we will see if they can be incorporated.

Updated:   April 2017.