Spacer’s Handbook

Life Boats; Basic Rules and Requirements

All vessels engaged in commercial activities as defined by the CPJCT Article Nine shall be equipped with life boats of sufficient capacity to evacuate all passengers and crew in the event of catastrophic emergency. The numbers, sizes, and operational parameters of the life boats depend on the size and class of vessel and are fully enumerated by vessel size and class in Appendix P.

Safety Drills; Requirements

All vessels engaged in commercial activities as defined by the CPJCT Article Nine shall engage in regular safety drills to assure that all passengers and crew are aware of their duties and responsibilities in the event of emergency. These drills must occur at least once per quarter of operation and may include but are not limited to life boat drills, suit drills, and fire drills. Passenger vessels of more than 20mkt and carrying more than 30 passengers are required to perform these drills not later than seven days after getting underway.

Shares: Explanation and Distribution of

All ship’s personnel are eligible for compensation over and above earned salaries. That compensation consists of a share of the voyage’s profit as determined by the ledger and certified by the Captain.

Share Distribution Table and Explanation:

Share Explanation
Owner: The Owner’s share consists of 20% of total profit before crew share distributions
Captain: The Captain’s share consists of 10% of total profit before crew share distributions.
Ship: The remaining profit is distributed among the ship’s officers and crew based on their rank and/or specialty. Officers receive double shares while crew receive full, half, or quarter shares depending on rank.

Shares: Example

If A ship completes a voyage with the following officers and crew and the profit consists of 10 kilocreds:

Officers (each gets two shares):

  • Captain
  • First mate
  • Second mate
  • Engineer
  • Chief steward
  • Cargo master

Crew:

  • Full share(5)
  • Half share (4)
  • Quarter share (4)

Total shares: 20

Owner: 2000 cr
Captain: 1000 cr
Ship: 7000 cr

The Owner would get 2000 cr. the Captain would get 1000 cr. The remaining 7000 cr are divided by 20. Each share in this example is worth 350 cr and distributed according to share rank with each officer getting 700 cr, each full share getting 350 cr, etc.

Note that the captain, as officer, gets 1700 cr — the Captain’s Share plus a Double Share as officer.

Ship’s Organizational Structure

All vessels engaged in commercial activities as defined by the CPJCT Article Nine, shall be in compliance with all appropriate rules and regulations governing their class and trade. Each ship must carry and display prominently an Operational License granted by the central authority of the CPJCT and subject to inspection and renewal every five stanyers as measured by ship’s secure log. In order to maintain a valid Operational License, each vessel must maintain the stipulated numbers of qualified officers and crew according to ship class and commercial activity. A complete breakdown of minimum crew standards by ship class and activity can be found in Appendix J of this handbook.

Generally officer and crew shall consist of at least, but not limited to, the following:

Captain: Qualified and individually licensed by the CPJCT as captain for the class of vessel.

Deck Division:

Officers:

First Mate: Qualified and individually licensed by the CPJCT as first mate for the class of vessel (required only on vessels larger than 10mkt).
Second Mate: Qualified and individually licensed by the CPJCT as second mate for the class of vessel. (required only on vessels larger than 20mkt)
Third Mate: Qualified and individually licensed by the CPJCT as third mate for the class of vessel. (required only on vessels larger than 50mkt)

Specialist Officers:

Astrogator: Individually licensed by the Confederated Planets Committee on Astrogation.
Systems Manager: Individually certified by the Confederated Planets Committee on Computing, Communications, and Network Systems

Crew:

Able Spacer: Individually certified by passing the Able Spacer exam administered by the designated ship’s officer while underway or by CPJCT field officers in port. Duties include watchstanding, supervising Ordinary Spacers and Spacer Apprentices, and other routine shipboard tasks as directed.
Ordinary Spacer: Individually certified by passing the Ordinary Spacer exam administered by the designated ship’s officer while underway or by CPJCT field officers in port. Duties include watchstanding, supervising Spacer Apprentices, and other routine shipboard tasks as directed.
Spacer Apprentice: Entry level position requiring only valid identification. Individual ships may impose additional requirements including but not limited to language fluency, health assessment, and minimum age. Duties include watchstanding, and other routine shipboard tasks as directed.

Selected Technical Specializations: (See Appendix L for complete list by division)

* Astrogation
* Ship Handling

Steward Division:

Officers:

Chief Steward: Qualified and individually certified as Chief Steward by the Confederated Planets Committee on Passenger Safety (required on passenger vessels, only).
Stewards Mate: Qualified and individually certified as Stewards Mate by the Confederatd Planets Committee on Passenger Safety (required on passenger vessels above 200mkt, only)

Crew:

Messman: Individually certified by passing the Able Messman exam administered by the designated ship’s officer while underway or by CPJCT field officers in port. Duties include watchstanding, supervising Food Handlers and Attendants, and other routine shipboard tasks as directed.
Food Handler: Individually certified by passing the Ordinary Steward exam administered by the designated ship’s officer while underway or by CPJCT field officers in port. Duties include watchstanding, supervising Attendants, and other routine shipboard tasks as directed.
Attendant: Entry level position requiring only valid identification. Individual ships may impose additional requirements including but not limited to language fluency, health assessment, and minimum age. Duties include watchstanding, and other routine shipboard tasks as directed.

Selected Technical Specializations: (See Appendix L for complete list by division)

* Chef
* Steward
* Bursar

Engineering Division:

Officers:

Chief Engineer: Qualified and individually licensed by the CPJCT as Chief Engineer for the class of vessel AND qualified and individually licenced by the Confederated Planets Committee on Power Systems Engineering to be an operator for all classes of engines, boilers, reactors, and generators on the vessel upon which he or she serves.
Engineering First: Qualified and individually licensed by the CPJCT as Engineering First Officer for the class of vessel AND qualified and individually licenced by the Confederated Planets Committee on Power Systems Engineering to be an operator for all classes of engines, boilers, reactors, and generators on the vessel upon which he or she serves..
Engineering Second: Qualified and individually licensed by the CPJCT as Engineering Second Officer for the class of vessel AND qualified and individually licenced by the Confederated Planets Committee on Power Systems Engineering to be an assistant operator for all classes of engines, boilers, reactors, and generators on the vessel upon which he or she serves..

Crew:

Machinist: Individually certified by passing the Machinist exam administered by the designated ship’s officer while underway or by CPJCT field officers in port. Duties include watchstanding, supervising Enginemen and Wipers, and other routine shipboard tasks as directed.
Engineman: Individually certified by passing the Engineman exam administered by the designated ship’s officer while underway or by CPJCT field officers in port. Duties include watchstanding, supervising Wipers, and other routine shipboard tasks as directed.
Wiper: Entry level position requiring only valid identification. Individual ships may impose additional requirements including but not limited to language fluency, health assessment, and minimum age. Duties include watchstanding, and other routine shipboard tasks as directed.

Selected Technical Specializations: (See Appendix L for complete list by division)

* Power Systems
* Propulsion Systems
* Environmental Systems

Cargo Division:

Officers:

Cargo Master: Qualified and individually licensed by the CPJCT as Cargo Master for the class of vessel (required on any vessel carrying more than 10mkt of cargo, only)
Cargo First: Qualified and individually licensed by the CPJCT as Cargo First Officer for the class of vessel (required on any vessel carrying more than 100mkt of cargo, only)

Crew:

Cargoman: Individually certified by passing the Able Cargoman exam administered by the designated ship’s officer while underway or by CPJCT field officers in port. Duties include watchstanding, supervising Cargo Handlers and Cargo Loaders, and other routine shipboard tasks as directed.
Cargo Handler: Individually certified by passing the Orginary Cargoman exam administered by the designated ship’s officer while underway or by CPJCT field officers in port. Duties include watchstanding, supervising Cargo Loaders, and other routine shipboard tasks as directed.
Cargo Loader: Entry level position requiring only valid identification. Individual ships may impose additional requirements including but not limited to language fluency, health assessment, and minimum age. Duties include watchstanding, and other routine shipboard tasks as directed.

Selected Technical Specializations: (See Appendix L for complete list by division)

* Cargo Routing
* Cargo Handling

Special qualification:

Commercial courier vessels, yachts for hire, and other small craft carrying less that 10mkt of cargo and no passengers may operate with only a Captain, provided the captain’s license carries the appropriate small craft endorsements in astrogation and engineering. Up to ten (10) passengers may be carried on such craft as appropriate providing the captains’s license carries an additional small craft steward endorsement.

Note: Private vessels not engaged in commercial activities as defined by the CPJCT Article Nine, are not subject to the rules and regulations found in this document and, instead, are subject to local rules and regulations in force in the planet and/or sector of registry.

Vacuum Environment Suits

All ship’s personnel will have access to, and training in the use of, vacuum environment suits. VE-suits come in three classes — emergency suit, soft suit, and hard suit. Each suit has a slightly different configuration and application but all have the same basic function in terms of allowing the wearer to operate in vacuum.

Emergency Suit
The emergency suit is the lightest and shortest duration suit. They provide the bare minimum vacuum protection and operational duration and are intended for crew and passengers who have little or no training in vacuum environment operations. The emergency suit has sufficient air reserve for up to two stans, depending on exertion levels, but carries no water or sanitation fittings. Regulations call for every registered commercial vessel to have at least one of these suits available for every person aboard.

Soft Suit
The soft suit is the basic vacuum work suit intended for use inside ship and station hulls. They are heavier and more durable than emergency suits. Because they are intended for extended use, they have sanitation fittings as well as replaceable air and water cannisters. Soft suits can be used in any gravity environment but have no propulsion capability. Soft suits have only limited radiation shielding and should normally be used inside inside of a ship or station hull. They are intended for the use by trained officers and crew and only those individuals who are so certified should be allowed to use soft suits in operational settings.

Hard Suit
The hard suit is a heavy duty vacuum work suit intended for use outside ship and station hulls. In addition to all the features of the soft suit, the hard suit has a stiffened exo-skeleton with mount points for various tools such as propulsion units and grapplers. They are used in low-grav and no-grav vacuum environments for construction and repair as well as cargo handling. Hard suits have extensive radiation shielding and can be safely operated outside of the ship or station hull. They are intended for use by trained officers and crew and only those individuals who are so certified should be allowed to use hard suits in operational settings.

Excerpted from The Articles…


Article 37

Certain circumstances require the Captain of a vessel to exert extraordinary control on the flow of information from the ship. Special cargoes, important passengers, or other sensitive information can be temporarily suppressed for the safety and welfare of the ship and crew. When questioned about these situations, all crew will be instructed to politely invoke Article 37 and refer all inquiry to the Captain or other designated source for official information.

40 Responses to Spacer’s Handbook

  1. Christopher Weible says:

    OK, I want to see Appendix L

  2. Nate says:

    So, do I.

  3. Donal says:

    I’m the sort of geek who wants to see Appendix P.

  4. The Bee Lady says:

    Thanks for the details, Nate. I got so caught up in it that for a second I forgot it is not real. Yet. This is just so much fun!

  5. Nate says:

    It *IS* fun, isn’t it? :)

  6. Jersey Todd says:

    Where there are Space Rules, there must be SPACE LAWYERS…

    Just saying – might be a good idea for a book….

    ehh, no.

  7. PavementPilot says:

    Could you add any views of the Tablet they spacers use. Screen shots of different screens, etc. I am a Blackberry user and would like to make wallpapers and Themes for the BB Storm.

  8. Nate says:

    Oh that’s an interesting idea.

    Hmm…

  9. cyotee says:

    I love the Space Lawyers idea. Jag in space, but good. Your world leaves a lot of room for expansion, and spinoffs.

  10. Spinoffs, expansion, and games. The Golden Age is exactly the kind of thing I have in mind when thinking about the Traveler rpg. It could seriously work on that end, or it’s own little system. Traveler is already there, though. Just take out the aliens. And for those who want high adventure, there’s got to be criminal organizations, pirates, oh my stars and garters! Mouth waters just to think.

  11. Also, Nate, the stories themselves are No-Derivative. Would you have a problem with people throwing together non-commercial indie rpg settings set in the Golden Age? Obviously Share-Alike.

  12. Nate says:

    Go to the forums.

    Create an account (email me when you have so I don’t reject it as a spammer).

    There’s a whole thread about user created content there called Kufiri sector.

  13. Nate. Can’t find your email for the life of me, and it’s hidden on your forums account. Submitted as “docsax” for approval. Sorry about the newbery.

  14. Nate says:

    Note the link on the sidebar here that says “Contact” – that’s how you would, like, contact me.

    I’ll check the forums now

  15. jayseye says:

    Is there an extra “inside” in this sentence under Soft Suit above?: “…should normally be used inside inside of a ship or station hull.”

    Noticed this while waiting for the latest episode of Captain’s Share to download. Hope you get a good deal on movie rights, so you can write full time!

  16. holly_w says:

    So, your going to let us all know when you done with Owners Share – cannot wait – great voice for this stuff too – just love your writings and all your adventures you take us on -

    thanks so much keep up the great work!

    holly

  17. Nate says:

    I will, yes. Half Share is taking priority at the moment but it’s all in the queue :)

  18. Doug says:

    Very nice web site. Have you thought about putting a Wiki system behind some of the background pages, like this one. You have a good number of enthusiastic fans. I bet they could add tons of background material and content.
    You would be the supreme editor, so no worry about people adding things that do not fit.
    Just and idea.
    Keep writing, I am really enjoying the books so far.

  19. Nate says:

    I have thought of it and I use a wiki when I write, but opening up one for fans to plunk in hasn’t been something I’ve wanted to take on so far.

  20. Hi Nathan

    I would have thought the owners share would have been higher than %20. That doesn’t leave a lot of profit for the investment put into the venture, or for paying out dividends. I would have though it would have been at least %50, with %10 for the captain, and the remaining %30 for the crew.

    Also in smaller crews in means that those lower down recieve more than the captain? And isn’t it negotiable for captain? Doesn’t Ish negotiate a 15% share in Captains share, and I can’t see the owner wanting to have the captain taking close to the Owners share.

    If the Captains is always %10, then on the Agammenon all the officers double shares are greater than the Captains (I work the crews to 12 shares, which from a profit pool of 10,000 works out to 7000 / into 12 at 580 per share, so double is 1160, while Ishs would be 1000)

  21. Nate says:

    the captain is an officer and gets double plus captain’s bonus. captains make out pretty well.

    Owners have to make it up in volume which is why they tend to run fleets. I suspect the captains had a lot to say with how things were set up in the early days and have managed to maintain their position.

    and yes, it’s all negotiable by contract.

  22. With owners taking 20% of profit off each ship, I would expect them to be making a lot of money. And if they have only one ship, they are likely to be captain of that ship. This would mean they get the owner’s 20%, the captain’s 10% and an officer’s double share. I would suspect that the dividends to the stock holders would be calculated as an expense and not come out of the owner’s share directly. However, if Ish is going to buy out his stock holders, the money to do that would come out of his personal earnings.

  23. Mary Beckett says:

    Nate – If you say the captain also gets the officer’s double share, then you need to update the example above in your spacers’ handbook as this is not what the handbook says. I think your example of shares breaks down in a small crew environment and maybe there would need to be an adjustment for very small crews.

  24. Nate says:

    Oops. Thanks, Mary.

  25. Duncan Hilchie says:

    FYI Nate – “Soft suits have only limited radiation shielding and should normally be used inside inside of a ship or station hull.” There are two inside’s to this sentence.

  26. Nate says:

    Should be fixed.

  27. Osman says:

    Interesting read. Just noted something that is not consistent with information found in Captain’s Share. I recall Mr. Ricks left for a new berth, leaving deck division to take a position of Messman elsewhere. One of his main reasons was he did not enjoy watchstanding and wanted to have a day worker schedule serving in Steward Division. In the handbook above, it listed that watchstanding is part of expected duties for Messman. Is this inaccurate, or do some ships establish watch for crew in the steward division while others do not?

  28. Nate says:

    @osman – messman’s “watch” is basically a day job. It’s a catch all term meaning “whatever hours we tell you to work.”

  29. Ada Kerman says:

    Nate – Did you just add the Article 37 language this month?

    Also, I am training myself up in order to go into business offering web design. I would love to set up a wiki for you, for free, either on your site or as a fan-run wiki on my own website. Interested?

  30. Patrick Robinson says:

    Article 37… Owner’s Share…. Episode 28…. …. derp….

  31. Matthias says:

    Hi, and thanks for the great books! The “Safety Drills” heading is missing a “t” in “safety” and in its text you have an extra “i” in “responsibilities.” I was also wondering whether the text really conforms with what is said in “Double Share.” There you quote the regulations and the wording is different; particularly there is no mention of suit drills, which is the whole point of that Double Share episode. Perhaps the text above should be fixed to conform with what the podcasts says. Thanks again!

  32. The Captain says:

    Not too surprising, Matthias.

    I wrote the Spacer’s Handbook before I wrote Quarter Share. There are lots of discrepancies between them including missing pieces that I needed for the story but weren’t written up here.

  33. Nate,
    I enjoyed all of the books as fun reads! I find them great enjoyable listens on pod casts and a real fun and different series. I don’t like to second guess what the author is trying to say (unless of course the I can’t follow the story) but just enjoy the ride.
    I suppose so many fans get into the “nuts and bolts” of the story that it gets treated as a “real event” and I can’t do that. I love your stories and the way you read them. Just wanted to know why you write all your stories in red? Your pod casts always say “Written in red by Nathan Lowell”. Curious!

  34. The Captain says:

    There’s one in every crowd, Barry. :)

  35. don says:

    It”s written and read by Nathan Lowell, not written in red. Tickled pink, I think, is the right phrase. Sigh.

  36. Robert Hoving says:

    No big deal but. In Quarter Share I think it was said the ” Louis Mc Kendric” was a 42 kiloton ship.I assume that the 3rd mate discription was a optional so the ship could have 3 shifts not 2 12 on 12 offs.

  37. The Captain says:

    Lois McKendrick is a 72 mkt mixed cargo hauler. If it says forty-two, that’s a typo :)

  38. Doc Coleman says:

    Looking at the shares… Doesn’t the ship’s pooka get a share? Or even a quarter share?

  39. The Captain says:

    No. Un-rated member of the crew.

    But an interesting idea. :)

  40. Doc Coleman says:

    So the pooka is funded solely by donations?

    I’ve dealt with organizations that have some kind of common fund, and they’ve always gotten a share of the profits. Seems to me that you need the pooka to be paid when things are going well so it can help out when times are lean. Even a tenth share would make a difference over the lifetime of a ship.

    Doc

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