Deck General Reference Books & Materials

I am presently studying for my 500 N/C Masters upgrade exam using upgrade U and the Murphy Guides. The module that is giving me the most trouble is Deck General. I come from the small passenger vessel industry and am not familiar with many of the towing and cargo related questions.

What reference materials would you suggest I invest in to master these questions? I would rather have a basic understanding of the material than simply try to memorize the answers (which seems a herculean task anyway). Will the American Merchant Seaman Manual and Chapmans be sufficient? There are so many reference books listed in Murphys that I’m at a bit of a loss as where to start, and which would cover a wide enough variety of topics to be worthy of my investment.


Hi Benmagoo808,

It’s not uncommon (in my experience) for folks to have the hardest time with Deck Gen and Safety. They are two VERY comprehensive exams.

I would recommend the Amer. Merchant Seaman’s Manual and the Merchant Marine Officer’s Handbook for general knowledge. And I would recommend the deck general book from It’s 35$ and will show you how to calculate the solutions for all the math and diagram questions.

Good Luck,
Christine Klimkowski
Instructor and Curriculum Developer