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First Mate – The Excelsior Trust

  • First Mate – ExcelsiorCloses November 2023

Job Description:

The Excelsior Trust is seeking a skilled and experienced First Mate to join their dedicated crew on board their historic vessel, a 1921 fishing smack.

As the First Mate, you will play a vital role in ensuring the smooth operation and maintenance of the vessel, as well as assisting the Skipper in navigating and managing the crew.

Excelsior’s programme will include the East Coast of Scotland, Orkney, Faroes, Shetland and the Baltic for the Tall Ship Races 2024.

Excelsior are looking for a candidate with the energy and commitment to take on such a programme, with ambitions to develop their career in sail training and traditional boats.

Contract to begin in March/April 2024, with interviews November/December 2023.

Excelsior’s season offers a mixture of sail training voyages with young people aged between 14 and 25, and charters open to all. There will also be a number of day sails planned from either Lowestoft or Ipswich. You will be answerable to the Skipper and responsible for running Excelsior’s rig, with the aid of the Boatswain and two volunteer deckhands.

Key parts of the job are teaching and working with young people, as well as managing the domestic life aboard the ship while at sea.


 Salary: Depending on Experience


Essential Qualifications:

  • Yacht Master Offshore commercially endorsed
  • Full STCW
  • ENG1

Desired Qualifications:

  • Powerboat Level 2
  • MCA Approved Engine Course
  • GMDSS Long Range
  • Proficiency for Persons in Charge of Medical Care on Board Ship


Experience: Minimum of 5 years of sailing experience, including at least 2 years in a leadership role as a Mate or similar position on a sailing vessel.


Sail handling: Applicants should be interested in handling a commercial sailing rig and be prepared to learn and pass on traditional techniques.


Maintenance and Repairs: As with any other commercial vessel, maintenance work continues whether Excelsior is at sea or not.

The Mate is expected to oversee tasks to ensure the vessel is in optimal condition at all times.


Navigation and Seamanship: Lead a 4-hour watch unsupervised, maintaining a vigilant presence on deck to monitor the vessel’s progress and address any issues that arise. Assist the Skipper in navigating the vessel, and ensuring the safe and efficient operation of the ship.


Crew Management: Supervise and lead the deckhands and other crew members, ensuring proper teamwork, discipline, and adherence to safety protocols.


Leadership Abilities: Strong leadership skills with the ability to manage and motivate a diverse crew, fostering a positive and productive work environment.


Safety and Emergency Preparedness: Maintain a high level of safety awareness, conduct regular safety drills, and be prepared to handle emergencies effectively. Ability to respond calmly and effectively in high-pressure situations.


Guest Interaction: Interact with guests on board, providing assistance, information, and ensuring their safety and comfort during their time on the vessel.


Youth Work: Experience and understanding of working with young people from diverse backgrounds, taking responsibility for safeguarding and creating a welcoming learning environment.


To apply: 

Please submit your resume, cover letter, and references using the form in the link on Excelsior’s Job Posting page here: JOBS_OPPORTUNITIES (

If you have any queries or question please contact Excelsior directly on 07821 281950 or email [email protected]

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