Are you going to join ship? If yes these points that are mentioned here are good for taking a handover (if you get one). With fast cargo operations, there is not much time for handover to be done in a thorough manner. Here we have mentioned some of the points to be asked, which will be helping you for coming time on the ship.
This is general for every rank and the department. Not specifically for any rank.
Things to Check When Taking Sign On
1) Experiences of people in your department. You can ask this from the person who you are going to relieve. And how many people are going to sign off or sign on. This gives you a head start especially when you are a senior officer.
2) How much cargo and what type or cargo is being taken by the ship.
3) Present jobs going in the engine room or deck and who is responsible for them.
4) Spare parts right now and the ones ordered. Like for the deck washing or laundry or galley.
5) Any new circular from the company regarding work or safety or budget.
6) Any major repair pending or done.
7) Overtime sheets done or not. And what is the practice followed for over time.
8) Recent reports which are sent and where are they kept.
9) Recent deficiency and port state inspection done.
10) Location of important valves and machines. In case you are deck officers, location of all the documents etc is must.
11) Detailed knowledge about how things are being done on the ship like fuel change over or how the watch system is done.
12) Confirmation of when the vessel leaves the port.
13) Jobs that are pending or the ones which are postponed and needs to be done in coming times.
14) Repair log if any, make sure you go through it. Senior officers should pay more attention to it.
15) Present budget situation of the ship and how the vessel have performed in the last month.
16) Environmental target that vessel has and what is the present situation.
17) Present safety procedures followed all over the ship.
18) Your responsibility towards the emergency situation like man overboard, Fire or oil spill.
19) Rank specific jobs like 3rd engineer should look for generator or chief mate should ask for coming drills, tank inspections.
20) If she is due for dry dock, spare list, job list have been made or not.
So these were the things you should ask or try to gain knowledge about when you are having sign on handover. If the handover is of longer duration, then additional information related to work and ambience onboard can be known.