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The role of Second Officer typically appears on yachts over 50m | 165ft in size, where the growing responsibilities of a Chief Officer require additional support. 


The Second Officer is tasked with supporting the Chief Officer and is responsible for voyage planning and watchkeeping duties amongst other tasks. Depending on the size of the yacht, the Second Officer’s time is divided between managing deck and bridge duties.



What does a Second Officer do? | Second Officer Job Description


On the bridge, the Second Officer participates in navigational and watchkeeping duties as well as keeping the charts and publications up to date. On deck, they are responsible for the day-to-day running of the deck and need to be confident to lead and train the Bosun and a team of Deckhands.


Other duties include monitoring the navigation and radio equipment and undertaking bridge watches when at sea.


The responsibilities of a successful Second Officer include:


  • Chart and publication corrections

  • Keeping the navigational equipment up to date

  • In charge of GMDSS log books and equipment

  • Passage planning

  • Watch-keeping duties

  • Leading and training the deck team

  • Overseeing deck maintenance

  • Tender driving

  • Overseeing and assistance with all water sports



Soft and hard skills required to be a Second Officer


The role requires responsibility for navigation and navigational equipment and thus the Second Officer needs to possess strong navigational skills along with good chart knowledge and a sound understanding of voyage planning.


The skills of a strong Second Officer include:


  • Strong knowledge of navigational equipment and charts

  • Excellent navigational skills

  • Excellent understanding of the weather and the effects of winds, tides, currents, etc.

  • Understanding of safety procedures on board

  • A positive can-do attitude

  • Excellent leadership and communication skills

  • Advanced product knowledge and deck maintenance skills

  • Excellent tender driving skills

  • Advanced water sports knowledge



Mandatory certificates needed to work on board a yacht 


All crew members regardless of their position and seniority need to have a valid STCW Basic Safety Training certificate, along with a recognised Seafarers medical certificate, the most popular being the ENG1 which is issued by an MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) professional medic. 


Without these two certificates, it is not possible for crew to work on board a yacht and a Recruiter will not be able to assist you in finding work onboard a yacht. 


For more information about mandatory certificates please visit our Mandatory Certificates Guide.




Are you ready to secure a Second Officer position onboard a yacht?


Become a member of YPI CREW through free registration and let us guide you through your job search.


Each of our recruiters is specialised in crew placement for a particular department and they will do their best to get you an interview onboard a yacht. They will also advise you on how to best present your experience and skills and prepare for a yacht job interview.

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Second Officer jobs

Second Officer on board a yacht provides additional operational support onboard larger yachts.

Second Officer Yacht Jobs, Superyacht Officer Jobs

Ulrica Lindström, Head of Captain and Officer Department, YPI CREW Yacht Crew Agency

Ulrica Lindström

Head of Captain and Officer Department

Chloé Collet, Captain and Officer Recruitment Specialist, YPI CREW Yacht Crew Agency

Chloé Collet

Captain and Officer Recruitment Specialist

Lisa Frost, Captain and Officer Recruitment Specialist, YPI CREW Yacht Crew Agency

Lisa Frost

Captain and Officer Recruitment Specialist