The Officer Of the Watch position is found on larger yachts and sometimes is known as the Second Officer. The role is a support to the Chief/First Officer and comprises responsibility for the safety of the vessel and all individuals on board – both guests and crew during the period he/she is on duty.
Much training is necessary for this position of responsibility and a minimum requirement is Officer of the Watch (Yacht) 3,000 gt A-II/1 or higher. In most cases the personnel in this role have had more than three years of experience in a Mate or Bosun position within yacht crew. In addition to the responsibility of safety this position tends to support the Chief Officer in terms of administration and leads the Deckhands in deck maintenance duties, and can require basic engineering knowledge.
Typical tasks, beside the obvious navigation watch duties and safety related responsibilities, include maintenance and stowage of yacht for sea, plus maintenance of deck equipment for instance painting, varnishing, repairs to corrosion, rope splicing, carpentry, and maintenance of outboard motors, as well as keeping inventories of all deck equipment, tender driving, and water sports management.
Of course, in addition to technical knowledge and onboard experience the ideal candidate will be able to delegate tasks, manage a team and additional certification such as Dive Master or Fishing Specialist would be considered an advantage. It is expected that an Officer of the Watch would keep up with continued education and licensing to stay up to date with all certification requirements and standards.