Chief Mate


The Chief Mate supervises, trains and coordinates activities of the deck force (4 deckhands, 1 boatswain), and is responsible for assisting with the vessel’s piloting, navigation, safety, security, first aid, cleanliness, and small boat operations.


- Assumes command of the ship in the event the Captain becomes incapacitated.

- Acts as vessel’s Security Officer, First Aid Officer, and Safety Officer.

- Inspects the vessel for overall cleanliness, including engine room, deck areas, crew quarters, windows and exterior hull.

- Prepares vessel for and attends all U.S. Coast Guard annual dry docks and inspections. Assists with annual USCG COI inspections.

- Assists with onboard USCG drug and alcohol testing.

- Works in conjunction with other departments regarding projects aboard the vessel.

- Maintains professional demeanor with guests, crew, staff, agents, officials and the public.

- Participates in guest activities and public relations such as recaps, dining with guests, etc. as directed by the Captain.

- Maintains deck supply inventories and requisitions.

- Exhibits an aptitude and enthusiasm for training and managing inexperienced crewmembers.

- Trains deck force in skills needed to perform docking, anchoring, watch duties, safety and routine ship maintenance.

- Directs the deck force and handles communications between bridge, crew and dock personnel during docking procedures.

- Supervises crew engaged in cleaning and maintaining deck, superstructure, and bridge of ship.

- Reviews and updates watch and duty work lists.

- Evaluates and documents the performance of the deck force as directed in performance appraisal guidelines.

Watch Duty:

- Assumes responsibility for bridge navigation and deck watch during specified periods. Determines geographical position of the ship, using all available means such as GPS, radar ranges, visual observations, depth sounders, etc.

- Makes necessary entries in navigation and radio logs.

- Handles the vessel (as directed by the Captain) in docking, anchoring, piloting, en route, in close quarters and open sea conditions.

Navigates vessel to ensure avoidance of marine hazards such as reefs, outlying shoals, shallow waters, etc. using aids to navigation such as lights, lighthouses, and buoys.

Small Boat Operations:

- Operates crane for lowering inflatable boats, kayaks, gangways and other expedition gear.

- Drives inflatable boats as needed.

- Assists with loading guests, staff, and crew in and out of inflatable boats.

Safety and Security:

- Follows company safety and pollution prevention policies and procedures and requests supervisory assistance/guidance when necessary.

- Directs crew in emergency drills. Plans and conducts onboard safety training and drills as directed by the Captain, including fire, abandon ship, man overboard, flooding and medical emergencies.

- Performs gangway watch as directed by the duty schedule.

- Maintains and administers vessel preventive maintenance plan and safety training program.

- Ensures crew are trained in the use of personal protective equipment.

- Participates in shore side training as required by the company.

- Maintains familiarity with the ISM Code and requirements.

- Ensures compliance with the company Safety Management System including Emergency Response activities.

- Ensures compliance with all Vessel General Permit regulations.

- Completes all necessary Bridge log entries and maintains Company’s electronic preventative maintenance program records. Completes Investigation and Non-Comformity Reports as necessary.

- Responsible for the Vessel Security Plan and participating in regular security audits.


- Acts as First Aid Officer for all guests, crew and staff medical needs. Liaison with ship’s doctor on International voyages. Liaison with Seattle Office for crew medical issues. Facilitates emergency medevacs.

- Maintains first aid kits and medical supplies on board.

- Maintains the ship’s medical and G.I. logs.

- Completes all guest, crew and staff injury/illness reports. Assists Captain with ensuring injured/ill guests and crew medical treatment. Follows all regulations pertaining to GI outbreaks onboard.

- Ensures proper handling and disposal of biohazards.


- Supervises Deckhands in daily vessel operations including vessel maintenance, boat operations, docking, undocking and anchoring.

- Supervises Boatswain in maintenance and operations of vessel’s rescue and inflatable boats.

- Trains employees, assigns and directs work, monitors performance, rewards and disciplines employees, addresses complaints and resolves problems.



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Desired Qualifications:

- Experience operating port-to-port in Southeast Alaska, the Snake and Columbia Rivers, in the Gulf of California, Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama (including the Panama Canal).

- Mate experience on passenger-carrying vessels, including supervisory responsibility and social interaction with guests.

- Excellent crisis management skills; ability to act quickly with confidence while exercising sound judgement.

- Strong time management skills; able to handle multiple tasks, set priorities, and meet deadlines.

- Good customer service skills: professional demeanor, ability to use necessary levels of tact and courtesy.

- Personal computer experience: MS Windows applications, and Excel spreadsheet experience.

Communication Skills:

- Communicates effectively in both one-on-one and small group situations to customers, clients, and other employees.

- Excellent written English language skills, with the ability to prepare documents and reports in a timely manner.

Mathematical Skills:

- Ability to perform voyage planning and navigational calculations.

Reasoning Ability:

- Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram or schedule form.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:

- Minimum 100 Ton Near Coastal U.S. Coast Guard Masters License required.

- Current First Aid/CPR certification required.

- Valid TWIC card required.

- Valid US Passport required.

- STCW Basic Safety Training required.

- STCW Security Officer Certificate required.

- STCW First Aid Provider preferred.

STCW Crowd Management preferred.

- Radar Observer endorsement preferred.

- GMDSS Restricted Operators License required

- Advanced Fire Fighting Certification preferred.


The physical demands are described in the Chief Mate Job Analysis sheet and are available to all applicants.


The Chief Mate works a rotational schedule: approximately 6 weeks on, 6 weeks off. Daily 12-hour shifts are comprised of approximately two 4-hour watches, plus 4 hours of administrative and supervisory activities and small boat operations.