HR glossary of terminology
Radar, or marine radars, are X-band or S-band radars used on ships. Radar is used when a vessel is underway to detect land obstacles as well as other ships. Radar aids in navigation and is crucial for collision avoidance by providing distance and bearing.
A raft is any flat structure that is used for transportation or support on water. Rafts are normally typified by their basic design, and unlike boats, they do not have a hull. A raft is usually kept afloat by the use of buoyant materials such as wood, sealed barrels, or inflated air chambers. Rafts do not normally have an engine and are instead propelled by oar by a person standing upright. Rafts are also used for leisure purposes and can be attached to the bottom of a river, lake or sea for swimmers and sunbathers to relax upon.
A seafarer’s rank is their job title or position. Ranks work on a system of hierarchy, both in the military and in the merchant navy / merchant marines. The highest rank on a vessel is the Master (or Captain) with entry level seafarer jobs such as Deck Cadet and Wiper being lower ranks.
Ratings is a general term used to describe a skilled seafarer who works in a support role on a vessel. Ratings can work in any department (i.e. Deck Department, Engine Department or Stewards Department) and their tasks vary depending on their rank (see above) and job. A crew is made up of Officers and Ratings. To put it in the same terms as a job on land, such as that in an office or warehouse, an Officer (e.g. a Chief Officer) has management responsibility while a Rating is part of the ‘workforce.’
A reef is a geographic feature such as a ridge or shoal of rock, coral, sand or other similar material that lies beneath the surface of the ocean or other natural body of water. Reefs are relatively stable and can cause vessels to run aground if those responsible for navigation are not careful.
A reefer box is an insulated shipping container designed to carry cargo such as fresh food and other produce that needs to be temperature controlled.
A reefer ship is a container ship that has refrigeration and is used for transporting frozen foods such meat, fish and ice cream as well as produce that needs to be kept chilled such as fruit and dairy products.
Return cargo is a term used to describe it when a ship returns with additional cargo to the port where the initial cargo was loaded.
Rigging refers to the system of cables, ropes and chains that are found on a sailing ship, sail boat or sailing yacht. This system supports the mast or masts and is used to adjust the position of the boat’s sails and the spars to which they are attached.
Roll-On / Roll-Off Ship
A roll-on / roll-off ship, also called a ro-ro, ro/ro or roro ship allows wheeled cargo to be driven on board rather than be loaded by crane. This could be a cargo of new cars or vans, but ro-ro can also refer to passenger ships such as ferries and military transporters which carry tanks.
Rolling cargo is cargo that has wheels - such as cars, trucks, trailers, buses or even tanks - which can be driven on to a ship. (See roll-on/roll-ff ship above.)
A RoPax ferry transports vehicles (roll-on roll-off) as well as passengers (pax).
A ro-ro ship, ro/ro ship or roro ship allows wheeled cargo to be driven on board rather than loaded by crane. This could be a cargo of new cars or vans, but ro-ro can also refer to passenger ships such as ferries and military transporters which carry tanks. Ro-ro is short for roll on / roll off.
A rudder is the primary method of control that is used to steer a ship or boat, or even a submarine or hovercraft. It is an underwater blade that is positioned at the stern (back) of a vessel and controlled by its helm. When that is turned the rudder will also turn and steer the bow of the ship in the same direction.
Running aground or grounding is when a ship touches or hits the ground in a shallow part of the sea, a river, lake, canal or other waterway and gets stuck.