Becoming a small vessel engineer provides an immense opportunity to change your career paths. A transition from working in a conventional setting to experiencing an adventurous life on a yacht while you continue to do what you love… well, does not that sound swell? Of course, while that is not a calling for everyone, perhaps it could be for you. In this article, we will understand how one can become a Small Vessel (SV) Second Engineer on yachts of 3000 GT, with 9000 kW propulsion power or less in South Africa.

How do I become a Small Vessel Second Engineer in South Africa?

Small Vessel Engineers – The Revised System

Before the Small Vessel Engineer system, the yacht engineers were required to obtain the ‘Y-ticket’ qualifications. Since the introduction of the Small Vessel Engineer system or the ‘SV Engineer’ system, all Y ticket holders are required to convert their Y-ticket to the appropriate SV Engineer qualification. For example, A Y1 CoC holder would be eligible to obtain the SV Chief Engineer for vessels of 3000 GT with 9000 kW propulsion or less.

However, even the conversions have certain requirements. The Y1 CoC holder will have to have the applicable ancillary and safety course certificates as per section 6 of MSN 1904. And of course, the candidate has to have a valid ENG1 medical fitness certificate as well. You may find all the conversions in the latest Marine Information Notice (MIN) 642. We highly recommend giving it a read.

Back to our prime question. If you are already a Y-ticket holder, you can refer to the marine notice above. It has all the answers you need. Instead, Our SV Engineer article series will focus on becoming a Small Vessel Engineer in Africa from scratch. In this article, specifically, we are seeing how to become a Second Engineer SV in South Africa.

There are three different routes to becoming a Small Vessel Engineer in South Africa.

  • Standard Route
  • Experienced Seafarer Route
  • Alternate Route

Obtaining the Small Vessel (SV) Second Engineer CoC in South Africa

a. Choosing your Route

Your first goal would be to obtain the Second Engineer SV qualification for vessels of 3000 GT or less, and having a propulsion power of 9000 kW or less. There are three ways to go at it, as mentioned above.

The Standard Route requires you to complete AEC 1 and 2 if you have not completed any seagoing service as a Trainee Engineer. Afterwards, you must complete 12 months of seagoing service & workshop training combined. This service must be completed on a vessel of 350 kW or less in power. 6 months of Seagoing Service must be spent on watchkeeping or UMS duties. 

If you are going for the Experienced Seafarer Route, you must complete AEC 1 and 2 certifications. After that, you have to complete 36 months of seagoing service and workshop training, in which 6 months will spent on watchkeeping/UMS duties. In this case, 24 months of seagoing service is prior to the course enrollment and must be completed on shops of 200 kW power or less. After the enrolment, you must complete the remaining 12 months on a ship of 350 kW power or less.

The Alternative Route is the College Action plan route. You complete the marine engineer-related modules in your course. You may have to complete AEC 1 and 2 unless stated otherwise. Or, you will have to complete Seagoing Service as an Assistant Engineer. The Seagoing Service and Workshop Training will be specified as per your college action plan.

b. The Common Requirements across all three Routes

Once you are through the above requirements, you will have to complete the following requirements.

  • Complete the training record book during sea service after your enrolment on the course.
  • You must hold a valid ENG1 medical fitness certificate.
  • All routes will ask you to complete the applicable Ancillary Safety and Technical Training. This includes the HELM Operational training.
  • Only applicable to the Standard Seafarer Route, you are exclusively required to complete the Maritime Security Awareness qualifications in the STCW modules. There’s a good chance you already have this if you have completed your basic STCW training.
  • You will have to complete Workshop Skills training.
  • Once you have met all the prerequisites, you must take the MCA written examination in Marine Diesel Engine, Auxiliary Equipment Part 1, and Operational Procedures and Basic Hotel Services and Ship Constructions.
  • Upon passing your written exam, you will be eligible for the MCA oral examination.

Successful completion of these modules and the examinations will award you with the Second Engineer SV <3000 GT and <9000 kW CoC qualification.

Author’s Thoughts

Welcome to the ‘SV Engineer in South Africa’ article series. We hope you find the information presented in this article useful. As a Small Vessel Second Engineer in South Africa, you open doors to a whole new world of opportunities, promotions, and a great pay grade. It is possible to become a Small Vessel Second Engineer from within South Africa, thanks to the flexibility of the MCA programs.

For more information, we highly recommend taking your time to read the MIN 642, MIN 524, and MSN 1904 documents. Please note that the information presented in this article comes directly from these notices in an attempt to simplify it; so that our readers may find it easy to process the information. We will be talking about further phases of SV Engineer qualifications in the upcoming articles, so stay tuned!

Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us. We will do our best to help you out!

Becoming a Small Vessel (SV) Second Engineer in South Africa

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