Second Mate
Overview
 
A second mate or second officer is a licensed member
Licensed mariner
A licensed mariner is a person who holds a license issued by one or more countries to hold senior positions aboard ships, boats, and similar vessels. The United States Coast Guard grants licenses to members of the United States Merchant Marine in five categories: deck officers, engineers, staff...

 of the deck department
Deck department
The Deck Department is an organizational unit aboard naval and merchant ships. A Deck Officer is an officer serving in the deck department.-Merchant shipping:...

 of a merchant ship. The second mate is the third in command (or on some ocean liners fourth) and a watchkeeping officer, customarily the ship's navigator
Navigator
A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation. The navigator's primary responsibility is to be aware of ship or aircraft position at all times. Responsibilities include planning the journey, advising the Captain or aircraft Commander of estimated timing to...

. Other duties vary, but the second mate is often the medical officer and in charge of maintaining distress signaling equipment
Global Maritime Distress Safety System
The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System is an internationally agreed-upon set of safety procedures, types of equipment, and communication protocols used to increase safety and make it easier to rescue distressed ships, boats and aircraft....

. On oil tanker
Oil tanker
An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. There are two basic types of oil tankers: the crude tanker and the product tanker. Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries...

s, the second mate usually assists the chief mate
Chief Mate
A Chief Mate or Chief Officer, usually also synonymous with the First Mate or First Officer , is a licensed member and head of the deck department of a merchant ship...

 with the tank-cleaning operations.

The navigator role focuses on creating the ship's passage plan
Passage planning
Passage planning or voyage planning is a procedure to develop a complete description of a vessel's voyage from start to finish. The plan includes leaving the dock and harbor area, the en-route portion of a voyage, approaching the destination, and mooring, the industry term for this is 'berth to...

s.
Encyclopedia
A second mate or second officer is a licensed member
Licensed mariner
A licensed mariner is a person who holds a license issued by one or more countries to hold senior positions aboard ships, boats, and similar vessels. The United States Coast Guard grants licenses to members of the United States Merchant Marine in five categories: deck officers, engineers, staff...

 of the deck department
Deck department
The Deck Department is an organizational unit aboard naval and merchant ships. A Deck Officer is an officer serving in the deck department.-Merchant shipping:...

 of a merchant ship. The second mate is the third in command (or on some ocean liners fourth) and a watchkeeping officer, customarily the ship's navigator
Navigator
A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation. The navigator's primary responsibility is to be aware of ship or aircraft position at all times. Responsibilities include planning the journey, advising the Captain or aircraft Commander of estimated timing to...

. Other duties vary, but the second mate is often the medical officer and in charge of maintaining distress signaling equipment
Global Maritime Distress Safety System
The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System is an internationally agreed-upon set of safety procedures, types of equipment, and communication protocols used to increase safety and make it easier to rescue distressed ships, boats and aircraft....

. On oil tanker
Oil tanker
An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. There are two basic types of oil tankers: the crude tanker and the product tanker. Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries...

s, the second mate usually assists the chief mate
Chief Mate
A Chief Mate or Chief Officer, usually also synonymous with the First Mate or First Officer , is a licensed member and head of the deck department of a merchant ship...

 with the tank-cleaning operations.

The navigator role focuses on creating the ship's passage plan
Passage planning
Passage planning or voyage planning is a procedure to develop a complete description of a vessel's voyage from start to finish. The plan includes leaving the dock and harbor area, the en-route portion of a voyage, approaching the destination, and mooring, the industry term for this is 'berth to...

s. A passage plan is a comprehensive, step by step description of how the voyage is to proceed from berth to berth. The plan includes undocking, departure, the en route portion of a voyage, approach, and mooring at the destination.

The GMDSS officer role consists of performing tests and maintenance, and ensuring the proper log-keeping on the ship's Global Maritime Distress Safety System
Global Maritime Distress Safety System
The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System is an internationally agreed-upon set of safety procedures, types of equipment, and communication protocols used to increase safety and make it easier to rescue distressed ships, boats and aircraft....

 equipment. Safety equipment includes Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon
Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon
Distress radio beacons, also known as emergency beacons, ELT or EPIRB, are tracking transmitters which aid in the detection and location of boats, aircraft, and people in distress. Strictly, they are radiobeacons that interface with worldwide offered service of Cospas-Sarsat, the international...

s, a NAVTEX
Navtex
NAVTEX is an international automated medium frequency direct-printing service for delivery of navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts, as well as urgent marine safety information to ships...

 unit, INMARSAT
Inmarsat
Inmarsat plc is a British satellite telecommunications company, offering global, mobile services. It provides telephony and data services to users worldwide, via portable or mobile terminals which communicate to ground stations through eleven geostationary telecommunications satellites...

 consoles, various radios, Search and Rescue Transponders, and Digital Selective Calling
Digital Selective Calling
Digital Selective Calling or DSC is a standard for sending pre-defined digital messages via the medium frequency , high frequency and very high frequency maritime radio systems. It is a core part of the Global Maritime Distress Safety System .-Workings:DSC was developed to replace a call in older...

 systems.

Watchstanding

A second mate is almost always a watchstander
Watchstanding
Watchstanding, or watchkeeping, in nautical terms concerns the division of qualified personnel to operate a ship continuously around the clock. On a typical sea going vessel, be it naval or merchant, personnel keep watch on the bridge and over the running machinery...

. In port and at sea, the second mate is responsible to the captain for keeping the ship, its crew, and its cargo safe for eight hours each day. Traditionally, the second mate stands a "12-4" watch: from midnight until 4am and noon until 4pm. On watch, he must enforce all applicable regulations, such as safety of life at sea
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea
The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea is an international maritime safety treaty. The SOLAS Convention in its successive forms is generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships.- History :The first version of the...

 and pollution regulations
MARPOL 73/78
Marpol 73/78 is the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978....

. In port, the watch focuses on duties such as cargo operations, fire and security watches
Physical security
Physical security describes measures that are designed to deny access to unauthorized personnel from physically accessing a building, facility, resource, or stored information; and guidance on how to design structures to resist potentially hostile acts...

, monitoring communications, and the anchor or mooring lines.

IMO regulations require the officer be fluent in English. This is required for a number of reasons, such as to use charts
Nautical chart
A nautical chart is a graphic representation of a maritime area and adjacent coastal regions. Depending on the scale of the chart, it may show depths of water and heights of land , natural features of the seabed, details of the coastline, navigational hazards, locations of natural and man-made aids...

 and nautical publications
Nautical publications
Nautical publications is a technical term used in maritime circles describing a set of publications, generally published by national governments, for use in safe navigation of ships, boats, and similar vessels....

, understand weather and safety messages, communication with other ships and coast stations, and to be able to work with a multi-lingual crew.

Sea watch

At sea, the mate on watch has three fundamental duties: to navigate the ship, to safely avoid traffic, and to respond to emergencies. Mates generally stand watch with able seamen
Able Seaman (occupation)
An able seaman is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. An AB may work as a watchstander, a day worker, or a combination of these roles.-Watchstander:...

 who act as helmsman
Helmsman
A helmsman is a person who steers a ship, sailboat, submarine, or other type of maritime vessel. On small vessels, particularly privately-owned noncommercial vessels, the functions of skipper and helmsman may be combined in one person. On larger vessels, there is a separate officer of the watch,...

 and lookout
Lookout
A lookout or look-out is a person on a ship in charge of the observation of the sea for hazards, other ships, land, etc. Lookouts report anything they see and or hear. When reporting contacts, lookouts give information such as, bearing of the object, which way the object is headed, target angles...

. The helmsman executes turns and the lookout reports dangers such as approaching ships. These roles are often combined to a single helmsman/lookout and, under some circumstances, can be eliminated completely. The ability to smartly handle a ship is key to safe watchstanding. A ship's draught
Draft (hull)
The draft of a ship's hull is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull , with the thickness of the hull included; in the case of not being included the draft outline would be obtained...

, trim, speed and under-keel clearance all affect its turning radius
Turning radius
The turning radius or turning circle of a vehicle is the size of the smallest circular turn that the vehicle is capable of making. The term turning radius is actually a misnomer, since the size of a circle is actually its diameter, not its radius. The less ambiguous term turning circle is preferred...

 and stopping distance. Other factors include the effects of wind and current, squat, shallow water, and similar effects. Shiphandling is key when the need arises to rescue a man overboard, to anchor, or to moor the ship.

The officer must also be able to transmit and receive signals by Morse
Morse code
Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment...

 light and to use the International Code of Signals
International Code of Signals
The International Code of Signals is an international system of signals and codes for use by vessels to communicate important messages regarding safety of navigation and related matters. Signals can be sent by flaghoist, signal lamp , flag semaphore, radiotelegraphy, and radiotelephony...

.

Navigation

Celestial
Celestial navigation
Celestial navigation, also known as astronavigation, is a position fixing technique that has evolved over several thousand years to help sailors cross oceans without having to rely on estimated calculations, or dead reckoning, to know their position...

, terrestrial, electronic
Electronic navigation
Electronic navigation may refer to:*Global navigation satellite system, satellite navigation systems*Radio navigation, the application of radio frequencies to determining a position...

, and coastal navigation techniques are used to fix a ship's position on a navigational chart
Nautical chart
A nautical chart is a graphic representation of a maritime area and adjacent coastal regions. Depending on the scale of the chart, it may show depths of water and heights of land , natural features of the seabed, details of the coastline, navigational hazards, locations of natural and man-made aids...

. Accounting for effects of winds, tide
Tide
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the Earth....

s, currents
Ocean current
An ocean current is a continuous, directed movement of ocean water generated by the forces acting upon this mean flow, such as breaking waves, wind, Coriolis effect, cabbeling, temperature and salinity differences and tides caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun...

 and estimated speed, the officer directs the helmsman
Helmsman
A helmsman is a person who steers a ship, sailboat, submarine, or other type of maritime vessel. On small vessels, particularly privately-owned noncommercial vessels, the functions of skipper and helmsman may be combined in one person. On larger vessels, there is a separate officer of the watch,...

 to keep to track. The officer uses supplemental information from nautical publications
Nautical publications
Nautical publications is a technical term used in maritime circles describing a set of publications, generally published by national governments, for use in safe navigation of ships, boats, and similar vessels....

, such as Sailing Directions
Sailing Directions
Sailing Directions is a 42-volume American navigation publication published by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency . Sailing Directions consists of 37 Enroute volumes, 4 Planning Guide volumes, and 1 volume combining both types...

, tide table
Tide table
A tide table, sometimes called a tide chart, is used for tidal prediction and shows the daily times and height of high water and low water for a particular location...

s, Notices to Mariners
Notice to Mariners
A notice to mariners advises mariners of important matters affecting navigational safety, including new hydrographic information, changes in channels and aids to navigation, and other important data.Over 60 countries which produce nautical charts also...

, and radio navigational warnings to keep the ship clear of danger in transit.

Safety demands the mate be able to quickly solve steering control problems and to calibrate the system for optimum performance. Since magnetic
Compass
A compass is a navigational instrument that shows directions in a frame of reference that is stationary relative to the surface of the earth. The frame of reference defines the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west. Intermediate directions are also defined...

 and gyrocompass
Gyrocompass
A gyrocompass­ is a type of non-magnetic compass which bases on a fast-spinning disc and rotation of our planet to automatically find geographical direction...

es show the course to steer, the officer must be able to determine and correct for compass errors.

Weather
Meteorology
Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries...

's profound effect on ships requires the officer be able to interpret and apply meteorological information from all available sources. This requires expertise in weather systems, reporting procedures, and recording systems.

Traffic management

The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 are published by the International Maritime Organization , and set out, inter alia, the "rules of the road" or navigation rules to be followed by ships and other vessels at sea in order to prevent collisions between two or more...

 are a cornerstone of safe watchkeeping. Safety requires that one live these rules and follow the principles of safe watchkeeping. Maximizing bridge teamwork, including Bridge Resource Management is an emerging focus in watchkeeping.

The main purpose for Radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 and Automatic Radar Plotting Aid
Automatic Radar Plotting Aid
A marine radar with automatic radar plotting aid capability can create tracks using radar contacts. The system can calculate the tracked object's course, speed and closest point of approach , thereby knowing if there is a danger of collision with the other ship or landmass.Development of ARPA...

s (ARPA) on a ship's bridge are to move safely among other vessels. These tools help to accurately judge information about prominent objects in the vicinity, such as:
  • range, bearing, course and speed
  • time and distance of closest point of approach
  • course and speed changes


These factors help the officer apply the COLREGS
International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 are published by the International Maritime Organization , and set out, inter alia, the "rules of the road" or navigation rules to be followed by ships and other vessels at sea in order to prevent collisions between two or more...

 to safely maneuver in the vicinity of obstructions and other ships.

Unfortunately, radar has a number of limitations, and ARPA inherits those limitations and adds a number of its own. Factors such as rain, high seas, and dense clouds can prevent radar from detecting other vessels. Conditions such as dense traffic and course and speed changes can confuse ARPA units. Finally, human errors such as inaccurate speed inputs and confusion between true and relative vectors add to the limitations of the radar/ARPA suite.

The radar operator must be able to optimize system settings and detect divergences between an ARPA system and reality. Information obtained from radar and ARPA has to be treated with scrutiny: over reliance on these systems has sunk ships. The officer must understand system performance. Examples include limitations and accuracy, tracking capabilities and limitations, and processing delays, and the use of operational warnings and system tests.

Emergencies

Emergencies can happen at any time, and the officer must be equipped to safeguard passengers and crew. After a collision or a grounding, the officer must be able to take initial action, perform damage assessment and control, and understand the procedures for rescuing persons from the sea, assisting ships in distress, and responding to any emergency which may arise in port.

The officer must understand distress signal
Distress signal
A distress signal is an internationally recognized means for obtaining help. Distress signals take the form of or are commonly made by using radio signals, displaying a visually detected item or illumination, or making an audible sound, from a distance....

s and know the IMO Merchant Ship Search and Rescue Manual.

Cargo handling

The ship's officer must be able to oversee the loading, stowage, securing and unloading of cargoes. Requirements include understanding the care of cargo during the voyage.

Of particular importance is knowledge of the effect of cargo including heavy lifts on the seaworthiness and stability of the ship. The officer must also understand safe handling, stowage and securing of cargoes, including cargoes that are dangerous, hazardous or harmful.

Controlling ship operations

The officer has special responsibilities to keep the ship, the people on board and the environment safe. This includes keeping the ship seaworthy during fire and loss of stability, and providing aid and maintaining safety during man overboard, abandoning ship, and medical emergencies.

Understanding ship's stability, trim, stress, and the basics of ship's construction is a key to keeping a ship seaworthy. Competencies include knowing what to do in cases of flooding and loss of buoyancy. Fire is also a constant concern. Knowing the classes and chemistry of fire, fire-fighting appliances, and systems prepares the officer to act fast in case of fire.

An officer must be expert in the use of survival craft
Lifeboat (shipboard)
A lifeboat is a small, rigid or inflatable watercraft carried for emergency evacuation in the event of a disaster aboard ship. In the military, a lifeboat may be referred to as a whaleboat, dinghy, or gig. The ship's tenders of cruise ships often double as lifeboats. Recreational sailors sometimes...

 and rescue boat
Rescue craft
A rescue craft is a boat, ship or aircraft used in rescuing.The most common are Lifeboat for Inshore and closer to shore rescues. For operations further out from shore helicopters & ships are mainly used....

s, their launching appliances and arrangements, and their equipment including radio life-saving appliances, satellite EPIRB
Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon
Distress radio beacons, also known as emergency beacons, ELT or EPIRB, are tracking transmitters which aid in the detection and location of boats, aircraft, and people in distress. Strictly, they are radiobeacons that interface with worldwide offered service of Cospas-Sarsat, the international...

s, SARTs, immersion suits and thermal protective aids. It's important to be expert in the techniques for survival at sea techniques in case it's necessary to abandon ship.

Officers are trained to perform medical tasks and to follow instructions given by radio or obtained from guides. This training includes what to do in case of common shipboard accidents and illnesses.

United States

To become a second mate (unlimited) in the United States, one must have been a Third Mate
Third Mate
A Third Mate or Third Officer is a licensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The third mate is a watchstander and customarily the ship's safety officer and fourth-in-command...

 and have at least 360 days of service while holding that license. Third mates who attained their licenses after the implementation of STCW
STCW
The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers , 1978 sets qualification standards for masters, officers and watch personnel on seagoing merchant ships. STCW was adopted in 1978 by conference at the International Maritime Organization in...

 95 have passed all the examination topics required for the second mate's license, and can automatically claim the second mate's license after documenting the required service. Third mates who attained their licenses before STCW
STCW
The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers , 1978 sets qualification standards for masters, officers and watch personnel on seagoing merchant ships. STCW was adopted in 1978 by conference at the International Maritime Organization in...

 95 must meet additional requirements.

There are two methods to attain an unlimited third mate
Third Mate
A Third Mate or Third Officer is a licensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The third mate is a watchstander and customarily the ship's safety officer and fourth-in-command...

's license in the United States: to attend a specialized training institution, or to accumulate "sea time" and take a series of training classes and examinations.

Training institutions that can lead to a third mate's license include the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (deck curriculum), the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and U.S. Naval Academy with qualification as an underway officer in charge of a navigational watch
Officer of the Deck
Officer of the deck is a position in the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard that confers certain authority and responsibility. The officer of the deck on a ship is the direct representative of the captain, having responsibility for the ship.-Overview:In port, the OOD is stationed on...

, any of the state maritime colleges, the Great Lakes Maritime Academy
Great Lakes Maritime Academy
The Great Lakes Maritime Academy at Northwestern Michigan College is located on West Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City, Michigan. The academy was established in 1969 to train men and women to be licensed mariners on ships of unlimited tonnage or horsepower; including research vessels, cruise...

, or a three-year apprentice mate training program approved by the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.

A seaman may start the process of attaining a license after three years of service in the deck department on ocean steam or motor vessels, at least six months of which as able seaman
Able seaman
An able seaman is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. An AB may work as a watchstander, a day worker, or a combination of these roles.-Watchstander:...

, boatswain
Boatswain
A boatswain , bo's'n, bos'n, or bosun is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The boatswain supervises the other unlicensed members of the ship's deck department, and typically is not a watchstander, except on vessels with small crews...

, or quartermaster
Quartermaster
Quartermaster refers to two different military occupations depending on if the assigned unit is land based or naval.In land armies, especially US units, it is a term referring to either an individual soldier or a unit who specializes in distributing supplies and provisions to troops. The senior...

. Then the seaman takes required training courses, and completes on-board assessments. Finally, the mariner can apply to the United States Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

 for a Third Mate's license.

A master
Captain (nautical)
A sea captain is a licensed mariner in ultimate command of the vessel. The captain is responsible for its safe and efficient operation, including cargo operations, navigation, crew management and ensuring that the vessel complies with local and international laws, as well as company and flag...

 of 1,600 ton vessels can, under certain circumstances, begin the application process for an unlimited third mate's license.

If approved the applicant must then successfully pass a comprehensive license examination before being issued the license. Hawsepiper is an informal maritime industry term used to refer to an officer who began his or her career as an unlicensed merchant seaman and did not attend a traditional maritime college/academy to earn the officer license. A ship’s hawse pipe is the pipe passing through the bow section of a ship that the anchor chain passes through. Hawsepiper refers to climbing up the hawse pipe, a nautical metaphor for climbing up the ship's rank structure. Hawsepiper is considered a positive term when said respectfully. Most hawsepipers are proud of their background and use the term to describe themselves.

Several merchant seamen’s unions offer their membership the required training to help them advance. Similarly, some employers offer financial assistance to pay for employee training. Otherwise, the mariner is responsible for the cost of the required training.

There have been complaints that the hawsepiper progression path has been made too difficult since the requirements of STCW
STCW
The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers , 1978 sets qualification standards for masters, officers and watch personnel on seagoing merchant ships. STCW was adopted in 1978 by conference at the International Maritime Organization in...

 95 have been enacted. Issues include the cost in time and money to meet formal classroom training requirements. Critics assert that the newer requirements will eventually lead to a shortage of qualified mariners, especially in places like the United States.

The Age of Sail

In the 1840s personal narrative Two Years Before the Mast
Two Years Before the Mast
Two Years Before the Mast is a book by the American author Richard Henry Dana, Jr., published in 1840, having been written after a two-year sea voyage starting in 1834. A film adaptation under the same name was released in 1946.- Background :...

, the author (Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
Richard Henry Dana Jr. was an American lawyer and politician from Massachusetts, a descendant of an eminent colonial family who gained renown as the author of the American classic, the memoir Two Years Before the Mast...

) describes the role of a second mate on an American merchant trading brig
Brig
A brig is a sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. During the Age of Sail, brigs were seen as fast and manoeuvrable and were used as both naval warships and merchant vessels. They were especially popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries...

 as follows:

The second mate's is proverbially a dog's berth. He is neither officer nor man. The men do not respect him as an officer, and he is obliged to go aloft to reef
Reefing
Reefing is a sailing manoeuvre intended to reduce the area of a sail on a sailboat or sailing ship, which can improve the ship's stability and reduce the risk of capsizing, broaching, or damaging sails or boat hardware in a strong wind...

 and furl
Furl (sailing)
Furling refers to stowing or dousing a boat's sail by flaking , packing , roller furling or just lowering it onto the deck. Nowadays, it is becoming more common to use the term "furling" to refer to reefing a sail that is part of a roller furling system....

 the topsails, and to put his hands into the tar and slush, with the rest. The crew call him the "sailor's waiter," as he has to furnish them with spun-yarn, marline, and all other stuffs that they need in their work, and has charge of the boatswain
Boatswain
A boatswain , bo's'n, bos'n, or bosun is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The boatswain supervises the other unlicensed members of the ship's deck department, and typically is not a watchstander, except on vessels with small crews...

's locker, which includes serving-boards, marline-spikes, etc. He is expected by the captain to maintain his dignity and to enforce obedience, and still is kept at a great distance from the mate
Chief Mate
A Chief Mate or Chief Officer, usually also synonymous with the First Mate or First Officer , is a licensed member and head of the deck department of a merchant ship...

, and obliged to work with the crew. He is one to whom little is given and of whom much is required. His wages are usually double those of a common sailor, and he eats and sleeps in the cabin; but he is obliged to be on deck nearly all the time, and eats at the second table, that is, makes a meal out of what the captain and chief mate leave.

On a larger ship, the role would quite possibly have been rather different.

See also

  • Seafarer's professions and ranks
    Seafarer's professions and ranks
    Seafarers hold a variety of professions and ranks, and each of these roles carries unique responsibilities which are integral to the successful operation of a seafaring vessel...

  • Navigation
    Navigation
    Navigation is the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks...

  • Officer of the Deck
    Officer of the Deck
    Officer of the deck is a position in the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard that confers certain authority and responsibility. The officer of the deck on a ship is the direct representative of the captain, having responsibility for the ship.-Overview:In port, the OOD is stationed on...

  • Merchant Navy
  • Ship transport
    Ship transport
    Ship transport is watercraft carrying people or goods . Sea transport has been the largest carrier of freight throughout recorded history. Although the importance of sea travel for passengers has decreased due to aviation, it is effective for short trips and pleasure cruises...

  • Nautical chart
    Nautical chart
    A nautical chart is a graphic representation of a maritime area and adjacent coastal regions. Depending on the scale of the chart, it may show depths of water and heights of land , natural features of the seabed, details of the coastline, navigational hazards, locations of natural and man-made aids...

  • Nautical publications
    Nautical publications
    Nautical publications is a technical term used in maritime circles describing a set of publications, generally published by national governments, for use in safe navigation of ships, boats, and similar vessels....

  • Passage planning
    Passage planning
    Passage planning or voyage planning is a procedure to develop a complete description of a vessel's voyage from start to finish. The plan includes leaving the dock and harbor area, the en-route portion of a voyage, approaching the destination, and mooring, the industry term for this is 'berth to...

  • United States Merchant Marine
    United States Merchant Marine
    The United States Merchant Marine refers to the fleet of U.S. civilian-owned merchant vessels, operated by either the government or the private sector, that engage in commerce or transportation of goods and services in and out of the navigable waters of the United States. The Merchant Marine is...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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