Could we see Captain Malia White on Below Deck? The chances are improving!

Is Below Deck's Malia White a captain?

Could Bravo fans see former bosun Malia White return to Below Deck as a captain? The 32-year-old certainly seems on track for a captain’s chair as she continues to move her way up in the yachting industry!

Malia shared her latest career accomplishment on Instagram earlier today. “It’s official: your latest Officer of the Watch!” Malia captioned a photo of herself. In one hand, Malia is holding a certificate with “PASS” written on it, and in her other hand is a rather large glass of Guinness beer.

“Thank you to all those who’ve supported me and helped get me here today,” Malia continued. “A HUGE shoutout to Brayton @thebridgedeck for helping me prepare. It’s been a stressful studying period but it paid off today!”

Malia congratulated by Below Deck co-stars

The comments section of Malia’s post is a veritable Below Deck Who’s Who as numerous cast members offered up their congratulations. Even the official US Instagram account for Guinness chimed in with some positivity!

Captain Sandy: Congratulations!!


Zee Demper: Yewwwwwwwwwwww, congrats Malia!⚡️⚡️👏🏽

Chef Dave White: Congratulations @maliakpwhite should [be] so proud of your self 🙌

Natasha Webb: Congrats Malia!! Fab news 👩‍✈️💖 xx

Storm Smith: Congrats ⚡️⚡️

Elena Dubaich: Aaahhhh congratulations!! 🔥🔥 you studied so hard for this and you should be so proud of yourself! Super inspiring ❤️

[Executive Producer] Courtland Cox: Congratulations Malia!! OOW LFG!

Eddie Lucas: Congratulations!

Guinness US: Congratulations, Malia! Sláinte 🍻

What is Officer of the Watch?

The term Officer of the Watch is not one familiar to a lot of Below Deck viewers. (It actually sounded more like a Game of Thrones term to me!)

The Crew Network does a great job of explaining the position, revealing that it is also referred to 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,” the site explains.

Given my very limited knowledge of yachting (based completely on watching multiple seasons of multiple Below Deck shows), I believe this mens Malia is just two steps away from being Captain? It appears that she will need to be certified as a First Officer and then Captain?

More on the Officer of the Watch from The Crew Network:

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.

How do you become Officer of the Watch?

If you’re looking to follow in Malia’s footsteps and become an Officer of the Watch, be forewarned that it is A LOT of work and studying! Here’s the scoop on the process from Professional Yachtmaster Training, which is the program that Malia went through:

Officer of the Watch Certificate (OOW) consists of seven different modules, these are required to be completed for the MCA Officer of the Watch (Yachts Less Than 3000 GT) Certificate of Competency and are preparation for the MCA oral exam.

Officer of the Watch (OOW) Class Modules Include

  • General Ship Knowledge (GSK)
  • Navigation and Radar including ARPA (OOW)
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats (aka Advanced Sea Survival)
  • Human Elements of Leadership and Management (HELM) Operational
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
  • Efficient Deckhand (EDH)
  • Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS)
  • MCA OOW Deck Oral Prep Course

Officer of the Watch Qualifying Experience

  1. Must be 19 years old or over
  2. An IYT Master of Yachts Limited Certificate
  3. Have (since the age of 16) a minimum of 36 months Onboard Yacht Service, in vessels of any size, including not less than 365 days Sea Service in vessels of 15 meters or more in loadline length, where the Sea Service is:

a. A minimum of 250 days Actual Sea Service, and

b. The balance of 115 days any combination of the following:

  • Actual Sea Service
  • Stand-by Service to a maximum of 14 consecutive days in one period regardless of any further time spent standing-by. Further periods may be counted only when the vessel returns after proceeding to sea on passage
  • Yard Service to a maximum of 90 days continuously or in separate periods

4.  Have completed the MCA approved Training Record Book

Please Note:

  • A completed Training Record book is not required if the candidate can provide evidence of 36 months
  • Sea Service in vessels of at least 24 meters in load line length.
  • Pass the Master (Yachts less than 3 000gt) oral examination.
  • For the latest requirements for MCA Officer of the Watch, refer to M-Notice MSN 1858

Asa Hawks is a writer and editor for Starcasm. You can contact Asa via Twitter, Facebook, or email at starcasmtips(at)

web analytics