Beer Info FAQ

Why is it Called Monkey Island on Ships?

Monkey Island, also known as the monkey deck or monkey bridge, is a term used to describe a small structure or platform found on the topmost part of some ships. This elevated platform is typically located above the bridge or wheelhouse and provides an advantageous vantage point for the ship's crew. Despite its name, Monkey Island has nothing to do with actual monkeys. Instead, it serves important functions related to navigation, safety, and communication on board a ship.

Overview of Monkey Island on Ships

Monkey Island is a raised platform on ships that offers an unobstructed view of the surrounding area. It is usually enclosed by railings or protective barriers to ensure the safety of the crew members stationed there. The name "Monkey Island" is believed to have originated from the resemblance of the crew members on the platform to monkeys perched on a tree branch.

Functions and Significance of Monkey Island

  1. Navigation: Monkey Island provides an excellent vantage point for the ship's navigators to observe the surrounding waters, spot potential hazards, and monitor other vessels. The elevated position allows for better visibility, especially when it comes to detecting obstacles like reefs, icebergs, or other ships.

  2. Communication: The crew members stationed on Monkey Island serve as lookouts and communicate vital information to the bridge or wheelhouse. They relay observations about weather conditions, approaching vessels, or any other relevant details that may impact the ship's course or safety.

  3. Safety and Security: Monkey Island acts as a strategic location for security purposes. It allows crew members to monitor the ship's perimeter, ensuring unauthorized individuals or potential threats are detected promptly. Additionally, it serves as a lookout point during emergency situations, such as man overboard incidents or distress signals.

  4. Photography and Filming: In modern times, Monkey Island has also become a popular spot for photographers and filmmakers to capture stunning panoramic views of the ship and its surroundings. The elevated position offers a unique perspective for documenting maritime activities and capturing memorable moments at sea.


Monkey Island plays a crucial role in maritime operations, providing an elevated platform for navigation, communication, safety, and security. Despite its name, it has no connection to actual monkeys. Instead, it symbolizes the importance of having a strategic vantage point on a ship to ensure the smooth and safe operation of maritime activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are there actual monkeys on Monkey Island? A: No, the term "Monkey Island" is purely metaphorical and does not involve any actual monkeys. It refers to the crew members stationed on the elevated platform resembling monkeys perched on a tree branch.

Q: Can passengers access Monkey Island on a ship? A: Monkey Island is typically restricted to the ship's crew members due to safety and security reasons. Passengers are usually not allowed on Monkey Island unless authorized by the ship's captain or crew.

Q: Are all ships equipped with Monkey Island? A: Not all ships have Monkey Island. It is more commonly found on larger vessels, such as cargo ships, naval vessels, or research vessels. Smaller ships or recreational boats may not have this elevated platform.

Q: How did Monkey Island get its name? A: The name "Monkey Island" is believed to have originated from the resemblance of the crew members on the platform to monkeys perched on a tree branch. It is a metaphorical term and does not involve actual monkeys.

Q: Can Monkey Island be found on modern ships? A: While the term "Monkey Island" is still used in maritime contexts, the actual structure may vary on modern ships. The concept of an elevated platform for navigation and observation purposes still exists, but it may be referred to by different names or have different designs depending on the ship's architecture and technology.

Q: Is Monkey Island used in any other industries besides maritime? A: The term "Monkey Island" is primarily associated with ships and maritime activities. It is not commonly used in other industries or contexts outside of the maritime domain.

Q: Can Monkey Island be accessed during rough weather conditions? A: Access to Monkey Island may be restricted during rough weather conditions for safety reasons. The ship's captain or crew may limit access to the platform to prevent accidents or injuries caused by strong winds, heavy rain, or rough seas.

Q: Are there any regulations or guidelines for the construction of Monkey Island? A: The construction and design of Monkey Island, like other ship structures, are subject to international maritime regulations and guidelines. These regulations ensure the safety, stability, and functionality of the platform, taking into account factors such as wind resistance, structural integrity, and visibility requirements.

Q: Can Monkey Island be used for recreational purposes on a ship? A: Monkey Island is primarily intended for operational purposes related to navigation, safety, and communication. While passengers may occasionally be allowed on the platform for specific events or under special circumstances, recreational use of Monkey Island is not its primary function.

Q: Are there any alternative names for Monkey Island? A: Depending on the ship and its specific design, Monkey Island may be referred to by alternative names such as the monkey deck or monkey bridge. These terms essentially describe the same elevated platform used for navigation and observation purposes.