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How to Become a Deckhand on a Superyacht: A Step-by-Step Guide

Home Blog How to Become a Deckhand on a Superyacht: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to work as a deckhand on a yacht

Embarking on a career as a deckhand on a superyacht offers an unparalleled blend of adventure, luxury, and the opportunity to travel the world. Whether you’re drawn to the pristine beauty of the open sea or the meticulous care of magnificent vessels, becoming a deckhand could be your gateway to an extraordinary lifestyle. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of how to start your journey, covering everything from necessary qualifications to finding work.

What Is a Deckhand?

A deckhand is an essential crew member on Superyachts, responsible for maintaining the vessel’s exterior, assisting with docking, and ensuring safety equipment is up to par. Beyond upkeep, deckhands play a significant role in guest experiences, facilitating water sports activities and managing tender operations to transport guests. With a focus on detail, physical stamina, and a commitment to service, deckhands are key to both the operational efficiency and the luxury experience on board. This position offers a unique blend of adventure and professional growth for those passionate about the industry.There is a clear pathway leading deckhands from their starting point as a junior deckhand to becoming a captain which we will cover later on.

how to work as a deckhand on a yacht

What Does a Typical Day Usually Look Like For a Deckhand?

A typical day for a deckhand varies from boat to boat and depends if there are guests on or off.With guests on , the deck crew usually start early in the morning going around the yacht to make sure all the furniture is uncovered, decks are clean , paint is shiny and everything is looking presentable for when the guests come out.The deck crew will set up the watersports equipment and launch tenders into the water to have them ready on standby for guest operations. Throughout the day the deck crew will be on standby waiting for guest requests taking them in tenders ashore ,exploring or to carry out watersport activities which could include jetskis, sea bobs, kayaks, surfing , wakeboarding, flight boards , snorkelling, diving and much much more.

What Qualifications Do I Need To Become a Deckhand On a Superyacht?

  • STCW Basic Safety Training : The cornerstone certification for maritime professionals, covering safety protocols, firefighting, and sea survival techniques.( Mandatory )
  • ENG1 Medical Certificate : A health certification confirming you’re fit for sea duty.( Mandatory )
  • Powerboat Level 2 / IYT Small Powerboat & RIB Master : Often required for handling the yacht’s tenders and smaller boats. ( Some yachts mave have this as a mandatory requirement )
  • Superyacht Deckhand Training : ( Not mandatory but highly recommended )
  • LROCP (Long Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency) VHF/HF Marine Radio Operator’s Certificate Course  ( not mandatory but recommended )

Where Can I Complete The Qualifications?

STCW 95  –  https://www.superyacht-crew-academy.com/

ENG1 Medical Certificate: –  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mca-approved-doctors-overseas/mca-approved-doctors-overseas

Powerboat Level 2 / IYT Small Powerboat & RIB Master: https://www.superyacht-crew-academy.com/courses/tender-driving-iyt-rib/

Superyacht Deckhand Training: https://www.superyacht-crew-academy.com/courses/superyacht-deckhand-course/

For AMSA Medical:   https://www.sonichealthplus.com.au/services/legislative-medicals/maritime

LROCP (Long Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency) VHF/HF Marine Radio Operator’s Certificate Course : https://www.superyacht-crew-academy.com/courses/vhf-marine-radio-operators-certificate/

What Transferable Land Skills Are Good To Have For a Superyacht Deckhand?

Carpentry:  Carpentry skills are indispensable for maintenance and custom fittings, ensuring the yacht’s aesthetic and structural integrity. Your ability to craft and repair woodwork is crucial for preserving the luxury and bespoke nature of superyachts.

Videography & Photography:  In an era where digital presence is key, your videography and photography skills can be used to document voyages and market the yacht’s charter services, enhancing its appeal to potential clients.

Diving:  Diving skills open up underwater maintenance and exploration services, adding an exclusive experience for guests and ensuring the safety and cleanliness of the yacht’s hull.

Fishing:  Knowledge of fishing can enhance the guest experience, offering personalised excursions and the thrill of catching fresh seafood for onboard meals.

Swimming & Surf Instructing:  Proficiency in swimming and the ability to instruct guests in water sports like surfing enrich the array of activities offered, ensuring guests have a memorable and active stay.

Fitness Instructor:  As a fitness instructor, you can lead personalised workout sessions, helping guests maintain their fitness routines while enjoying the luxury of the yacht.

Driving Boats:  Skill in driving tenders and other small boats is essential for transporting guests, leading excursions, and ensuring the smooth operation of all water-based activities.

Painting/Varnishing:  Expertise in painting and varnishing is crucial for the upkeep of the yacht’s appearance, protecting it from the elements and maintaining its value.

Watersports Instructor

Watersports instruction encompasses teaching and guiding guests in activities such as jet skiing, wakeboarding, kiteboarding and paddleboarding. For superyacht crew, being skilled in watersports instruction not only enhances the guest experience by offering fun and engaging activities but also ensures safety and confidence in the water

deckhands

Can Deckhands Have Tattoos?

The yachting industry values professionalism and a certain standard of appearance. While visible tattoos may not be a deal-breaker on all yachts, they can limit your job prospects. It’s advisable to be upfront about any visible tattoos when applying for positions.

Each yacht has its own unique culture and policies, particularly when it comes to tattoos. While some yachts are more lenient, embracing both small and large visible tattoos, others may enforce strict policies against them. It’s important to be transparent about any visible tattoos you have. However, there’s no need to disclose tattoos that are not visible.

Is It Hard Being a Deckhand?

It’s not all watersports and driving multimillion-dollar tenders , there are long days of work , loads of physically demanding work and a lot of job/yacht-specific skills to learn which only comes with experience working on Superyachts.There will be a lot of working outdoors in hot weather, a lot of yacht maintenance & cleaning.There will be a lot of hard work however there are so many rewarding experiences and memories that outway by far all the hard work.Make sure you have a can-do, positive attitude and don’t be afraid to help other departments on the yacht if you have spare time , it goes a long way.

How Much Do Junior Deckhands Earn?

Salaries for deckhands can vary widely based on the yacht’s size, the vessel’s itinerary, and the deckhand’s experience.

Junior Deckhands : Starting Salary: Junior deckhands, who are just beginning their careers in the yachting industry, can expect to earn between $2,500 and $3,500 USD per month. These entry-level positions provide the foundational experience necessary for a successful career at sea.

Experienced Deckhands : Salary Range: As deckhands gain experience and demonstrate their skills, their earning potential increases. Experienced deckhands can expect to earn between $3,000 and $4,500 USD per month, depending on the yacht’s size, the complexity of the itinerary, and the specific duties they are tasked with.

Lead Deckhands : Salary Insights: Lead deckhands, who have additional responsibilities and may oversee junior deckhands, can see their salaries increase to between $3,500 and $5,000 USD per month. Their role is more demanding, requiring not only a thorough understanding of deck operations but also leadership skills.

Bosuns: Earning Potential: Bosuns, who are responsible for supervising the deck crew and maintaining the exterior of the yacht, can earn between $4,000 and $6,000 USD per month. Their salary reflects their critical role in ensuring the vessel is in pristine condition and their ability to manage the deck team effectively.

Officers: Salary Range: Officers on yachts have significant responsibilities, including navigation and safety management. Their salaries can range from $5,000 to over $8,000 USD per month, depending on their rank, the size of the yacht, and their specific duties. Chief officers, who are second-in-command, can expect salaries at the higher end of this range.

Captains: Top Earnings: Captains, who have the ultimate responsibility for the yacht, its crew, and its passengers, can earn from $7,000 USD to well over $20,000 USD per month. The captain’s salary is influenced by the size of the yacht, the complexity of the voyages undertaken, and their level of experience.

Factors Influencing Salaries

 Yacht Size: Larger yachts typically offer higher salaries due to the increased workload and expertise required. Experience and Qualifications: Crew members with more experience and specialized qualifications can command higher salaries. Charter vs. Private: Crew on charter yachts might earn more due to tips from guests, whereas private yacht crew salaries are often more stable but without the added bonus of tips.

What Does The Career Progression Look Like To Go From Deckhand To An Officer ( MCA Route ) ?

how to work as a deckhand on a yacht

How Do I Find Superyacht Job Position Listings?

The best place to look is on crew agency websites or job search platforms like  Yotspot  which has a large number of job listings you can look through,  create a profile and update your account with your CV and all your certificates then you will be able to apply for jobs.

Below is a list of almost all the crew agencies from around the world that you can sign up with to increase your chances of landing a job. It is a lot of work creating profiles and uploading documents, however, it could increase your chances of being connected with the right job at the right time.

DOWNLOAD THE CREW AGENCY LIST

yotspot photo

Are There Facebook Groups That Post Job Listings?

Yes, there are multiple facebook groups that post job listings all the time , it’s great to sign up with as many as you can to increase your chances of finding a job. Please note: make sure to clean up your Facebook profile before signing up to the groups as future employers may see your profile and you want to make a good first impression.

Some groups include:

Antibes Yacht crew 

Palma Yacht

Australian Pacific Yacht crew 

how to work as a deckhand on a yacht

How To Become a Deckhand In Australia?

The process involves specific training and certifications, especially due to the requirements set by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate your way into this career:

1. Understand the Training Requirements

The foundational step to becoming a deckhand in Australia is to complete the necessary safety training. While the training is broadly similar across different countries, there are specific requirements for those intending to work on commercial vessels within Australia:

  • STCW Basic Safety Training: This is a mandatory course for anyone working at sea, covering essential safety procedures, firefighting, first aid, and personal survival techniques. In Australia, the AMSA requires crew members working on commercial vessels to have an AMSA-compliant Certificate of Safety Training (COST).
  • General Purpose Hand: The Australian General Purpose Hand Near Coastal Certificate I in Marine Operations qualification will enable you to work as a deckhand on Australian Registered commercial or private vessels
  • AMSA Medical: If you wish to work on commercial vessels in Australia you will need an AMSA medical to ensure you are fit to work at sea you can find centres to complete the medical here – https://www.sonichealthplus.com.au/services/legislative-medicals/maritime

2. Choose the Right Certification for Your Career Path

Depending on where you intend to work, you’ll need to choose the appropriate certification:

  • For Private and Foreign-Flagged Vessels in Australia: If your goal is to work on private or foreign-flagged vessels within Australia, you can use an MCA-approved STCW 95 certificate issued by the Marshall Islands, which SCA (Superyacht Crew Academy) offers. This certification allows you to work on private and foreign-flagged vessels in Australia, providing a pathway to gain experience before potentially heading overseas.
  • For Commercial Vessels in Australia: If you aim to work exclusively on commercial vessels in Australia, such as charter boats or tour boats, you should obtain an AMSA Certificate of Safety Training (COST). This certification is specifically designed to meet the requirements for crew members on commercial vessels operating within Australian waters.

3. Gain Experience

  • Start Locally: Gaining experience in Australia before heading overseas is highly recommended. Working locally allows you to understand the industry better, build your resume, and develop the necessary skills in a familiar environment.
  • Consider Temp Work: Temporary positions can provide valuable experience and insight into the life of a deckhand. These roles can also offer networking opportunities, which are crucial in the yachting industry.

4. Plan Your Career Path

  • Decide on Your Long-Term Goals: Whether you wish to explore international waters or prefer to stay within Australia, your career goals will influence the type of experience and certifications you should pursue.
  • Continuous Learning: The yachting industry is constantly evolving, so staying updated with the latest safety protocols, regulations, and skills is essential for your career development.

Once you have completed your training sign up to as many Australian agencies as possible to increase your chances of landing a job , you can find a list of the Australian agencies below.

MARINE JOBS AYC MYS SUPERYACHT CREW CHAPMAN YACHTING SUPERYACHT CREW INTERNATIONAL CREW PACIFIC CHAMPION CREWING

What Are The Next Steps To Becoming a Deckhand?

Now you are ready to travel and become a deckhand on superyachts it is time to get certified, get all your qualifications mentioned earlier below:

  • LROCP (Long Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency) VHF/HF Marine Radio Operator’s Certificate Course

Figure out where you want to look for work and head there to be based in the yacht hub to be around for interviews and networking.

Create your CV/resume and sign up to crew agencies online , creating your profiles and applying for jobs.

Attend job interviews and hopefully land your first deckhand role ( make sure to practice interview questions beforehand )

We interviewed a Superyacht captain with some really helpful advice on what to do and what not to do in interviews you can check it out below

EXPERT JOB INTERVIEW ADVICE FROM A SUPERYACHT CAPTAIN

Becoming a deckhand on a superyacht is an exciting path that offers more than just a job – it’s a lifestyle. With the right qualifications, a proactive approach to job hunting, and a commitment to continuous learning and improvement, you can embark on a rewarding Superyacht career. The world of superyachting awaits those with the courage to pursue their dreams of traveling , making good memories and friends.

Ready to Travel The World As a Superyacht Deckhand?

We have the necessary courses you need to start as an entry-level deckhand, head over to the link below for some more course information.

STCW 95+10 – https://www.superyacht-crew-academy.com/courses/stcw-95-10/

Superyacht Deckhand Course – https://www.superyacht-crew-academy.com/courses/superyacht-deckhand-course/

Superyacht Deckhand Package – https://www.superyacht-crew-academy.com/courses/superyacht-deckhand-package/

GPH ( General Purpose Hand ) – https://www.sydneymaritimeinstitute.com/deckhand-gphcourse

Best of luck with your career as a Superyacht Deckhand!

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Superyacht Crew Academy Provides training and certification for people who wish to work on Superyachts anywhere in the world and within the Australian Maritime Industry. Legal Name: Club Sail Pty. Ltd. Trading as: Superyacht Crew Academy Registered Training Organisation no. 91462

Unit 25a/5 Ponderosa Parade, Warriewood, NSW 2102, Australia.

+61 2 9979 9669

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How to Get a Job as a Deckhand

a deckhand on the bow of a superyacht launching a jet ski

Kate got her start in the yachting industry working as crew. She spent five years cruising the Bahamas, Caribbean, New England, and Central America, then segued that experience into a career in marine journalism, including stints as editor of  Dockwalk  and  ShowBoats International .

A junior deckhand position is the first step in building a career that can lead to superyacht captain if you’re so inclined. Here is everything you need to know to get a foot on deck...

When you’re looking to break into the tight-knit superyacht industry with a job on deck, come prepared to work hard, take direction, and have a positive outlook.

The best candidates are keen and eager, says Marcy Laturno, executive crew placement director at Luxury Yacht Group in Fort Lauderdale. “All too often now we find entry-level crew come with their own list of demands: where the boat is going, how much time off they will get, what they expect to be paid as a minimum...”

Instead, approach your first superyacht deckhand position willing to learn and grow, and concentrate on completing a season or two on a yacht regardless of its program — private or charter, globe-trotting or more sedentary — and you’ll be on your way to your pick of positions.

What is a Deckhand?

A deckhand is responsible for cleaning and maintaining the exterior of the vessel. Led by the bosun, the deck team also assists in docking operations, launches and stows the tenders and toys , drives the tender, supervises guests’ watersports activities, and pitches in to help the interior crew after their duties are finished for the night.

Will Hollingshead, a first officer who has been hiring deckhands since his days as bosun and lead deckhand, says it’s important to have the ability to keep yourself motivated and working hard. “If I walk on deck and catch a dayworker or deckhand sneaking their phone back into their pocket or leaning back then I’ll let it slide, but if it’s multiple times a day then I’ll lose trust in that person.”

What Does a Deckhand do?

“Be prepared to clean, polish, clean, and polish some more,” says Erica Lay, director of placement agency El Crew Co in Palma de Mallorca.

How close it is to the start of a season will determine the type of work that needs to be done, says Hollingshead. “Mid winter in the Med, then you’re looking at opening up bigger projects; closer to the start of the summer it will be more teak scrubbing, stainless polishing and beautifying the yacht.”

When guests are not on board, “you will be doing the dirty work, especially if you’re junior,” says Madison Bailes, who has worked on deck of yachts spanning 116 to 350 feet. “You’re going to be cleaning the things that can’t be cleaned when the boss is on board: soaking/scrubbing cushion covers, ‘Flitz’-ing stainless, maybe detailing the engine room, paintwork, or if you’re really lucky, hanging out in a bilge,” she says with a smile. She describes this time as “chill” though — a regular eight-hour workday with a lunch break and maybe even a dock beer at the end of the day.

  • Top 10 Deck Hacks for Crew

When the owner or charter guests are on board, it is a much longer and higher-pressure day. “The usual is a 13-hour workday, a three-hour break at one point and a longer eight-hour break for your main rest, though this differs from yacht to yacht,” Hollingshead says.

There is no such thing as a typical day with the boss on, Bailes says. “You could literally be in the water all day launching Jet Skis, tenders, paddleboards, doing fly-boarding and snorkeling, or you could be stood at the top of a gangway for hours watching the boss’s McLarens. I’ve done both and it all differs depending on your boat and your program.”

There will be a wider range of duties on smaller boats with fewer deckhands. On the largest superyachts, those in the junior positions may find themselves discreetly cleaning all day, while staying out of the guests’ way.

Who Does a Deckhand Report to?

On smaller yachts, a deckhand would report to the mate or directly to the captain. On larger vessels the bosun or lead deckhand is in charge of the deck team.

“The best people to work for are the ones who have the time and inclination to reach and train their junior deck crew, helping them learn how to paint, varnish, repair the yacht, etc.,” says Hollingshead.

What Qualifications do I Need to Become a Deckhand?

The prerequisites for any crew position are STCW Basic Safety Training and an ENG1 medical certificate. In addition, there are several qualifications that entry-level deckhand candidates can consider.

First of all, an RYA Powerboat Level 2 (PBL2) is what Lay calls “imperative” for working in the Med as it allows a crewmember to drive a tender in countries that require a certificate to operate small craft under 10 meters — which is most of Europe. International Yacht Training also has a course that satisfies this requirement called IYT Small Powerboat and RIB Master, which is MCA recognized.

Large motor yachts may require an MCA STCW95 certificate in Proficiency in Designated Security Duties, or PDSD for short. The one-day course is necessary for anyone with security duties on ISPS-compliant yachts, which are greater than 500 gross tons (roughly 55 meters and up).

  • Everything You Need to Know About STCW Training

“Those (qualifications) are for starting out. Once a deckhand has a season or two or more under their belt and knows this is a career for them, I’d recommend they do Yachtmaster Offshore and consider looking into their EDH (MCA Efficient Deckhand), which must be held 18 months before going for OOW (Officer of the Watch),” says Lay.

In addition, Hollingshead adds, “Having a PWC license or even a PWC Instructor license is always a good short course to set yourself apart from the rest.” The RYA PWC license is a one-day course. It’s a prerequisite for the Instructor course, as is two years’ experience riding personal watercraft, which allows the crewmember to run the “RYA Introduction to PW Safety course” for guests on superyachts.

What Experience do I Need?

“Most jobs for junior crew I receive usually start with ‘must have at least a season’s experience,’ which is frustrating for the new crew to hear but sometimes we can get around that by demonstrating how transferrable their skills are from other industries or recreational activities,” Lay says.

Laturno also uses the term “transferrable” and gives some examples: “recreational boating backgrounds, skilled labor backgrounds, watersports experience, tender driving skills, to name a few.”

One way to break into crew work is by getting real-world experience in the maritime world, adds Hollingshead. “Go and get a job in a marina, work for a boat-building company, learn about teak, painting, epoxy, etc.

  • 10 Tips for Newbie Deckhands

“There are two main work/life experiences that I value in a candidate,” he continues. “The first is any construction or building site experience. I grew up working on building sites with my dad and it teaches you about hard work, fixing things with the tools you have on hand, and also that most problems are solvable with a bit of forethought and working as a team. The second is anyone who has worked as a watersports instructor. I spent seven years as a windsurf/sailing instructor in Greece and Turkey before getting a job as a deckhand. When you’re hiring someone with that experience, you know they can drive a tender and that they’re comfortable on and in the water with your guests and their children.”

Bailes, who started her maritime career as a dive instructor, adds that any trade where you have acquired people skills correlates well in yachting, as does work involving cleaning, mechanics, and outdoor activities.

  • How Dayworking Can Help Yacht Crew Break Into the Industry

How Much Does a Deckhand Earn?

“Starting pay for a junior deckhand in the Med is €2,500 (per month), with possibly more for skilled newbies, i.e. watersports instructors, so €3,000,” says Lay. Laturno at Luxury Yacht Group sees monthly salaries averaging $2,750 to $3,000 with the same amounts in euros.

For the ultimate answer, we turn to the Dockwalk Salary Guide , for which a dozen crew agencies around the world shared the salaries of the deckhands they placed. The numbers increase as the boat size does, and the range given for each size vessel spans various experience levels, so those just entering the industry should pay attention to the lower number. These start at $2,500 per month for boats under 80 feet, go up to $4,500 for yachts under 200 feet, and finally, $4,500 for yachts 200 feet and up.

While this may not sound like big bucks, keep in mind that a crewmember’s living expenses are close to zero so nearly all of your salary can be saved. In addition, charter yachts can offer some pretty lucrative tips on top of salaries.

P.S. A Side Note for Women

Yacht deckhand jobs have historically been dominated by men, but today more women than ever are starting their yachting careers on deck rather than inside, and gender should never be an obstacle.

Bailes, who joined the industry with a Yachtmaster license from her days on dive boats, still encountered yachts that wanted to make her a stewardess. “They see long hair and a pretty face and, boom, they want you in a skort cleaning cabins.

“While being a stew is an excellent career, if you want to be on deck, stand your ground and turn the job down if you have to,” she advises. “Do your Powerboat Level 2, not silver service, go for as many courses as you can and daywork as much as possible to gain experience. I know for a fact that I beat most guys to a job because my resume is stacked!”

More Career Guides:

  • How to Get a Job as a Superyacht Captain
  • Everything You Need to Become a Yacht Stewardess
  • How to Land a Job as a Yacht Chef
  • The Dos (and Don’ts) of Your First Crew Interview

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How To Get a Job as a Deckhand | Superyacht Crew

So what is being a deckhand all about.

We have broken down the steps to help you find your first deck job in the super yacht industry.

Being comfortable on the water will definitely be an advantage, but it is not a prerequisite. Experience driving tenders or small watercrafts would be a transferable skill that will definitely stand you in good stead and should be listed clearly on your yachting CV.

It would be advisable to look for a junior deckhand position as your first yacht job. Form there you can process to Lead Deckhand or Bosun and eventually onto Mate or Chief Officer.

Check out our list of skills that will help you stand out when applying for your first job as a deckhand

Experience driving tenders or small water crafts

Some common rope knots

Able to swim

Water sports experience like kiteboarding, wake boarding, jets- it’s a bonus if you are an instructor

Scuba diving – a rescue diver or dive master is a huge bonus

Basic hospitality- being comfortable engaging with guests and crew onboard

Additional skills include: any trade like plumbing, carpentry, electrician, woodwork, IT etc. Living on the water means there is always maintenance to be done

Creating a Deckhand Yacht CV

It is important in the yachting industry that you tailor your CV for the specific position you are looking for. Be sure to include any additional water sports or trade skills as this will help you star out from the crowd. Any relevant yachting experience should be included in a section clearly defined, and separate from any land based experience.

Visit our Agency detailed explanation on how to prepare your cv. You can also check out our FREE CV template.

Finding Daywork as a Deckhand

What is daywork you ask? Think of it as one-day yachting internships to gain real world experience on yachts while getting paid a great day rate.

Be open to any kind of yacht daywork, as long as it gets your foot in the door with what you want to do. Learn how to do basic deck chores like exterior detailing, stainless polishing, bilge painting, and teak maintenance like a pro.

If you want to take a look at our Deckhand courses , that page should tell you all you need to know.

If you have more questions or comments be sure to get in touch .

We look forward to getting you onboard.

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1. what are the basic requirements you need to be eligible to work in the yachting industry, 2. what is the stcw and why do i need it, 3. what is the eng1 medical certificate, 4. what land based experience will help me find a super yacht job, 5. what are the different departments onboard, 6. what crew training is required for me to work as a junior deckhand.

  • Yachtmaster/Coastal Skipper Theory
  • Yachtmaster/Coastal Practical
  • Specialist Super Yacht Training Course (Deck Hand Training Course)
  • RYA Power Boat Level II
  • RYA Personal Watercraft Course
  • RYA Competent Crew Certificate
  • RYA Day Skipper Theory and Practical Certificates
  • VHF Radio Operator’s License

7. What crew training is required for me to work as a junior stewardess?

  • Stewardess Course
  • Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)
  • MCA Food Safety Level 2
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2

8. How do I book my training courses?

9. how do i get my first job on a yacht, 10. are these courses worth it, or am i just wasting my money, 11. will i get hired for my first job from south africa, 12. what is daywork, 13. what are the best locations to get a yacht job, 14. how much can a motor yacht stewardess or deckhand earn, 15. what are the negatives of working on a yacht, 16. what are the positives of working on a yacht, 17. is working on a super yacht for everyone, 18. what is the minimum age to work on a yacht, 19. is accommodation provided when i am completing my yacht training in cape town.

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  • Deck Department

About the Deck Department

deck article 01

The deck department on board a superyacht is a dynamic, multifunctional department that involves duties ranging from skippering an Atlantic crossing to taking guests on jet-ski tours of some of the most beautiful hidden bays in the world. The work is extremely varied and an assortment of skills are necessary to be successful.

This department is responsible for the following aspects of the yacht operation:

  • owner communication
  • financial administration
  • bridge operations
  • exterior repair and maintenance
  • tender and water sports operations
  • safety procedures

The development path for an individual wishing to pursue a career on deck is very specific and requires achieving certain milestones. As an entry-level deckhand, focus should be on learning as much as possible from senior deck crew. Daily duties will include cleaning, polishing and exterior maintenance. As ordinary as these jobs may seem some days, the importance of learning good techniques and basic skills is crucial to continued progression in the superyacht industry. At the beginning of your career it is important to document all the skills you learn as well as your sea time.

As you graduate from rookie status after one year onboard yachts, the next step will be to develop boat handling skills and pursue your first deck license which might be a 100T USCG or MCA Y200. You will also continue to learn more advanced maintenance and repair techniques. This is the stage in most deck careers where the decision is made to pursue yachting as a long-term profession, investing the time and money necessary to progress.

Continuing to build your career as a seafarer with three or more years of experience will likely involve obtaining more advanced licenses. The educational requirements are demanding and expensive – they are an investment in your future. However, it is important to balance time at school with continued experience on board yachts, refining your skills and building sea time. During this stage of your career, you will become more involved in bridge operations and navigation.

The role of a captain aboard a luxury yacht is one of the most fulfilling jobs in the world, and with this opportunity comes great responsibility. The captain is ultimately responsible for the safety, well-being and experience of every crew and guest on board. In addition to managing the deck team, they also possess primary responsibility for financial administration and owner communication. Captains are professional seaman, expert problem solvers and are able to manage every situation with poise and exemplary leadership.

Career Path

Senior master, junior captain, first officer / chief mate, officer of the watch, junior deckhand.

How to Become a Superyacht Deckhand

So you want to be a superyacht deckhand.

A deckhand is the entry level for almost all professional crew jobs on superyachts. The superyacht industry relies heavily on skilled deckhands to keep the world’s most luxurious yachts looking stunning.

A superyacht deck crew officer washing the boat

Job role of a Superyacht Deckhand

The deckhand position will encompass many responsibilities, but most importantly, he/she will maintain the exterior of the yacht and keep it in pristine condition at all times.

Covering everything from the windows to sporting equipment, from changing sun lounger covers to varnishing the guard rails. You will also help with mooring and tender handling.

You could be the only deckhand on board, but on larger superyachts there may be as many as five or more deckhands working.

The deckhand’s role is incredibly varied, tasks include;

  • Fibreglass restoration
  • Line handling
  • General exterior maintenance
  • Driving tenders

Personality traits

Working onboard a superyacht means you’ll have to demonstrate a professional, hardworking attitude at all times. You will need to be motivated to complete all tasks to the high standard expected. Typically your working day will start early, and finish late, so you’ll need to be energetic, enthusiastic and physically fit.

Skills required to become a superyacht deckhand

Deckhands do not have to have boating qualifications but having them is an asset. General seafaring skills are expected. Deckhands should ideally have some knowledge and experience of navigation, boat handling, engines and radio equipment. Any skills or experience in any of the above mentioned tasks would be a distinct advantage.

But if you’ve never worked on a yacht before, it doesn’t mean that you are unsuitable for consideration. Captains hire crew with a variety of backgrounds, such as, hospitality and hotels, tour leaders, cruise lines, graduates, engineers, mechanics, divers and anyone who can prove they have a good work ethic and a willingness to learn. If you’re interested in gaining a deckhand qualification, check our our superyacht deckhand course .

Superyacht deckhand salary

What are the benefits of working as a deckhand.

For this entry-level role, you will earn a great wage of on average  €2,000-€2,500 per month (tax-free), often with generous tips on top! With clear career progression along a structured route to become a Superyacht Captain, there’s plenty of opportunity to make this a rewarding, lifelong career.

Superyacht job salary ranges

So just how much can you earn while working on a superyacht? The following table shows salary ranges, tax free and not including tips.

* These salary guidelines are based on the current yachting market as of January 2018. Actual salaries will always vary depending on a candidate’s specific experience, training, certification, and additional skills – as well as a particular yacht’s needs. Data provided by  Camper & Nicolson International

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  • How to become a Yachtie

So you’re thinking about becoming a Yachtie?

You may have a friend or relative who already works in the industry, or you have watched TV programmes like Below Deck , you know working on a yacht is the right for you, but where do you start? 

With the potential to earn great money, travel, and work with loads of like-minded people, it’s not surprising this job ticks a lot of boxes for many people. 

Becoming a Yachtie and getting paid to work on luxury yachts may seem like a job and industry that only the elite can have access to, or it just seems too confusing to start. 

However, with an understanding of the requirements, certification, and having some expectations of what job role you should be looking for, starting work as a Yachtie will not seem so daunting.

What is a Yachtie?

Before we go any further, let’s make sure we are all singing off the same hymn sheet. 

A Yachtie is a broad term used to describe anyone who works on a yacht. More specifically, it has become the term for people working as yacht crew on superyachts. 

A superyacht is a very large boat that is extremely luxurious and often owned by multi millionaires and billionaires.

These Yachties who work on superyachts hold a number of different positions. Most Yachties will start their superyacht career working as a Deckhand or Stewardess. With more experience and responsibilities, your role will change as you progress up the career ladder. 

It’s worth noting there are other types of yachting and Yachties. The other kind of ‘Yachtie’ could describe those who hold their Yachtmaster qualification and have jobs like skipper charter boats. 

Job roles for new Yachties

Yachties new to the industry (also known as ‘Green’ Yachties) will traditionally apply for entry levels roles, which are Yacht Deckhands or Yacht Stewardesses. 

These are both very different jobs, so you need to be sure which one you want to do and start training for that career path.

Yacht Stewardess (Stew)

A Stewardess, or Steward , looks after the interior of the yacht. This means anything that happens inside the boat, you will be responsible for it. 

Think of any job in the hospitality industry and then combine it into one role on a yacht, that is what you will be doing.

From making beds, doing the laundry, cleaning, serving food, and hosting dinner, you will do it all to a 5-star standard. Anything less than perfect, and your guests won’t be satisfied.

It’s the small things that make the difference between high standards and exceptional standards. You must have a great eye for detail and be able to make sure no stone is left unturned. Everything on board the ship must be 100% perfect at all times.

You will be reporting to Chief Stew, who will be your manager and give you your task list. After a good few seasons as a green Stewardess, you will have enough experience and confidence to apply for Chief Stewardess roles.

Yacht Deckhand

In contrast to the Stewardess role, Deckhands look after the exterior of the boat. 

Predominantly a male role, Deckhands will do everything from general maintenance to cleaning the teak deck, looking after the toys (Jet Skis, etc.), and even driving the tenders.

Deckhands should know how a yacht operates, the basic terminology used onboard, how to tie knots, and loads and loads of enthusiasm. 

Deckhands may also dip in and out of helping the Stewardesses, and it isn’t uncommon for Deckhands to give a hand during busy evening meal preparation and service.

5 steps to Becoming a Yachtie

With an understanding of the job roles available, you can now decide which one best suits you. With the right attitude, qualifications, and knowing where to look for work, becoming a Yachtie is achievable for anyone who wants it. 

  • Have the right attitude
  • Pass an ENG1 medical
  • Complete STCW Basic Safety Training
  • Gain experience
  • Go to a superyacht marina

1. Have the right attitude

Along with gaining the correct qualifications to prove your competence, to become a Yachtie, you must have certain characteristics to thrive in this industry.

Yachties have to be well presented, articulate, know how to take orders, and be able to work hard, all with a smile and enthusiasm. You have to be able to work incredibly long hours, sometimes under stressful conditions, without losing your patience.

Having a job on a superyacht may sound glamorous, but if it’s your 10th day working in a row and you’ve got your head stuck down a toilet trying to clean it, you may want to think again. To become a Yachtie, you have to be happy with spending a lot of time away from home without seeing your friends and family. This may all seem obvious, but this situation does not suit everyone, and without careful consideration of the negatives, you will leave this industry quicker than when you arrived.

2. Pass ENG1 Medical

The first actionable step you need to take to become a Yachtie is gaining an ENG1 medical certificate. The ENG1 medical is an examination by an approved MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) Doctor to make sure you are fit and able to work at sea.

Every single person working at sea must have an ENG1 medical certificate , without this, you are not able to start working on superyachts. The examination will take around 45 minutes, during which the doctor will go through a checklist to make sure you have no underlying health conditions that may impact the safety of you or anyone else on board the ship.

The most common reason new yachties fail the ENG1 is colour blindness. Surprisingly many people can go through their whole life without knowing they are colour blind. However, on board a ship, this can have huge implications. If you cannot identify signals and lights correctly, it will be impossible for you to help navigate the ship in an emergency. Unfortunately, this means you cannot start work as a Yachtie.

3. Complete STCW Basic Safety Training

Another requirement for working at sea is completing STCW Basic Safety Training . Similar to the ENG1 you can only get a job on a yacht if you have the STCW certificate. 

STCW stands for ‘Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping’. It is to make sure that all Seafarers have an understanding of what to do in an emergency and are aware of the procedures required. 

STCW Courses are action-packed and quite a bit of fun. From fire fighting to sea survival, you will get stuck in learning, and learn loads of new skills.

4. Gain experience 

If you are lucky enough to have a job offer on a superyacht, then having your ENG1 and STCW certificates will be enough.

Don’t worry if you haven’t already got a job offer, it’s quite normal to go through all these steps and not have a job lined up yet. If this is the case, gaining more experience and qualifications is a good idea to give you a competitive advantage over anyone else applying for the same job role. 

This is achieved through signing up to a Deckhand or Stewardess Course. On these courses, you will get your standard STCW certificate and a list of extra qualifications demonstrating your competence, ability, and commitment to the industry. 

Deckhands will learn how to drive a small yacht, engine maintenance, general yacht repair, and how to clean teak properly. Stewardesses will understand wine and how to serve it, the art of flower arranging, and how to drive a powerboat. 

5. Go to a superyacht marina

After you have completed your superyacht training, now is the time to head out to France and look for work. Along with signing up to yacht crew recruitment agencies, going to one of the main superyacht marinas and handing out your CV to Captains is a great way to find work. This is known as dockwalking.

If you complete your Superyacht Course with us, you will have the option of signing up to our recruitment day in Antibes, France. We head out to France as a group, talk you through the process and offer you our industry contacts.

This is a great way to start your journey, and all our students find work in no time.

How much do Yachties make?

So you’ve heard you can make a good amount of money working on superyachts? Along with the travel, the great salary is why many people decide to become a Yachtie.

Like a job within any industry, salary varies. A Superyacht will agree on a crew salary budget with the owner of the yacht.

If you are just starting out, you can expect a salary of around €2,200 – €3,200 per month. However, the industry standard is €2,500 per month. Once you gain more experience and qualifications, your salary will increase. 

When you look at the salary at face value, it looks great but not incredible, however when you are at sea, you have zero outgoings. Working on a yacht means you don’t have to pay rent, bills, or buy food which will save you heaps of money compared with working at home.

If you want to see the salaries of all yacht crew, check out our Salary Guide.

Do Yachties pay taxes?

Another reason why the salary is so appealing is that in most cases Yachties don’t have to pay tax. 

This is a government scheme called the Seafarers Earning Deduction , and providing you are eligible, Yachties can keep 100% of their earnings.

To be able to apply for Seafarers Earning Deduction, you must be working on a ship outside of UK waters for a period of 365 days. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a whole year at once away from home, rather you can only apply once all the days you work on a yacht adds up to 365.

Being able to understand this tax scheme will be hugely beneficial before you start working on a Superyacht. 

Download our free Guide

Want to know more about working on a Superyacht, please download our free guide .

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Superyacht UK

Superyacht Deckhand job description

Superyacht deckhand

A deckhand is the entry level for almost all professional crew jobs on superyachts. The deckhand position will encompass many responsibilities, but most importantly, he/she will maintain the exterior of the yacht and keep it in pristine condition at all times. You could be the only deckhand on board, but on larger superyachts there may be as many as five or more deckhands working.

Your day will typically start very early and end very late. You will be involved in a number of tasks, including:

  • Fibreglass restoration
  • Line handling
  • General exterior maintenance
  • Driving tenders and/or toys
  • Escorting guests when they use the toys
  • Diving (if qualified)
  • Helping interior staff serve meals or clean cabins
  • Occasional assistance with the Chef in the galley

The deckhand is also normally responsible for the general day to day operation and maintenance of jet-skis and other toys and tenders.

The deckhand’s role is incredibly varied and gives an excellent opportunity to learn about the general operations on board a superyacht.

Required Skills and Experience

Deckhands do not have to have boating qualifications but having them is an asset. General seafaring skills are expected. Deckhands should ideally have some knowledge and experience of navigation, boat handling, engines and radio equipment.

Any skills or experience in any of the above mentioned tasks would be a distinct advantage over other candidates.

If you’ve never worked on a yacht before, it doesn’t mean that you are unsuitable for consideration.  Captains have, in the past, hired crew with a variety of backgrounds such as hospitality and hotels, cruise lines, recent graduates, mechanics, engineers, tour leaders, divers and anyone who can prove they have the willingness to learn and the right work ethic.

Required Certification

Qualifications and certification are not normally needed to become a deckhand – experience is generally more important, but RYA qualifications such as Day Skipper, Power Boat Level 2 and VHF/SRC Radio Operators Certificate or IYT Tender Driving Licence may be beneficial. As an alternative the MCA approved Yacht Rating Course is acceptable. As you progress you will be expected to achieve the MCA Yacht Rating Certificate.

You may be required to hold the MCA STCW Basic Safety certification, and if you wish to progress from the deckhand role this certification is likely to be required for higher positions.

Salary Range

At entry-level a deckhand could expect to earn between £1,250 and £1,750 per month. An experienced deckhand could expect up to around £1,750 or £2,000 per month.

Career Progression

Superyacht Crew A Deckhand is an excellent place to start your career on board a superyacht as it gives you a good grounding in day-to-day operations.

A Deckhand may choose to continue working in a deck role, and progress to the position of Bosun. Alternatively he/she may prefer to move into the Engineering department as an Engineer, or get into the Service department as a Steward/ess.

Marine Industry Experience as a Deckhand on board a superyacht would be valuable in a whole host of other crew positions. For example in the Leisure sector holiday companies employ both engineering and stewarding crew for their flotillas.

Yacht Crew Job Board

With Bluewater's expertise in crew training and yacht crew recruitment, finding your ideal yacht crew vacancy is simple. We offer yacht management services to a variety of exclusive superyachts. Our team excels in sourcing top-notch yacht crew positions, spanning from 25-meter private yachts in the Bahamas to 50-metre charter yachts in the Mediterranean to luxurious 100+ metre superyachts navigating the globe extensively.

103 yacht crew jobs available now.

Yacht Crew Training

Alongside sourcing the latest yacht crew jobs worldwide, Bluewater offers a range of specialised yacht crew training courses. Whether you're new to the superyacht industry seeking entry-level qualifications, an experienced deckhand or engineer aiming to advance your career, or a dedicated crew member looking to enhance your resume with certifications like HELM (Human Element Leadership and Management), Yachtmaster, or OOW (Officer of the Watch), explore our comprehensive yacht crew training options.

Working on a Luxury Yacht

Working as a crew member on a superyacht is undeniably one of the most rewarding yet demanding professions, calling for hard work, dedication, and professional training. The opportunities within the yachting industry are vast, and at Bluewater, we are committed to helping every crew member discover their ideal yacht crew position. Our recruitment division focuses on finding the perfect yacht for crew members and provides unparalleled professional support. Our recruitment experts guide crew members through every step of their yachting career journey, ensuring they receive the best possible assistance.

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‘Below Deck Sailing Yacht' Season 1 Almost Sank the Series

The first season of 'BDSY' traveled some rough seas.

The Big Picture

  • Below Deck Sailing Yacht had casting issues and crew dynamics that led to a messy first season.
  • The show learned from its mistakes and retooled for Season 2, introducing a new cast that brought magic to the series.
  • Captain Glenn and his new trio have become the longest-running and best group within the Below Deck franchise.

Below Deck Sailing Yacht was the second spin-off of the flagship program that was launched on Bravo. The first season introduced viewers to the crew of Parsifall III, a motoryacht with a twist: a big, ol' sail! Led by Captain Glenn Shephard , the first season was filled with the typical yachties that have made fans love the Below Deck programs. They even welcomed a familiar face in Chef Adam Glick to the yacht. With two seasons of Below Deck Mediterranean under his belt, he was meant to help steer the ship to success. But something didn't work. Was it the awkward boatmance between Chef Adam and Chief Stew Jenna MacGillivray ? Was it the real-life couple working on deck, Padget Berry and Ciara Duggan ? Whatever it was, after Season 1, Below Deck Sailing Yacht essentially emptied the bunks of Parsifall III and Captain Glenn returned with an entirely new crew — and the rest is history. Season 1 had growing pains and needed to be retooled in order for Below Deck Sailing Yacht to truly sail off into glory.

Below Deck has been one of Bravo's biggest assets since its 2013 debut. Following the work lives of a crew on a superyacht, Below Deck showcases the highs and lows of one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. Sure, it looks all luxurious and incredible, but the drama is real. Like many Bravo hits, to capitalize on its success, Bravo green lit Below Deck spin-offs. Following Below Deck Mediterranean , Below Deck Sailing Yacht followed the same formula, but it had growing pains that almost kept it docked forever .

Below Deck Sailing Yacht

In a reality TV series, a crew aboard a luxury sailing yacht navigates the challenges of providing five-star service to affluent guests while managing personal dynamics and the unpredictable nature of the sea. Each episode reveals a blend of high-seas adventure and behind-the-scenes drama among the crew members.

'Below Deck Sailing Yacht' Botched Its Casting

Below Deck Sailing Yacht set sail in 2020 in the stunning locale of Greece. With the job tougher than ever and the stakes higher than before, the success of Parsifall III truly depended on the wind in their sails. Beause it came with a new type of vessel for viewers to see, the 180-foot luxury sailing yacht was billed as an even grander once-in-a-lifetime experience. Unlike the flagship franchise's Captain Lee Rosbach and the first spin-off's Captain Sandy Yawn , Below Deck Sailing Yacht relied on an old faithful captain who spent many years aboard the ship. While the others have gone from vessel to vessel, Captain Glenn Shephard's vast knowledge of Parsifall III allowed him to welcome the viewers into his home away from home. Captain Glenn wasn't there to be a reality star ; he was there to do his job, the job he loved to do. To supplement the reality show tropes that make these programs watchable, Below Deck Sailing Yacht had to ensure the rest of the cast was filled with personalities that would be enticing to watch.

Since Parsifall III already had members of the crew on board, the show decided to keep two members of the sailing yacht's crew, casting them as the power couple that they thought fans would fall in love with. Prior to the start of the season, Paget Berry was the yacht's First Officer, the closest position to a Bosun, while Ciara Duggan was a stewardess, working in the interior. But for some bizarre reason, likely for added drama, Captain Glenn pushed Ciara to the exterior to act as a deckhand, which meant she would be working under her boyfriend.

Fans also learned that this would mark the first time the pair ever worked directly with one another in this capacity. Has this ever worked to solidify a healthy relationship? Very rarely. With two familiar faces on Captain Glenn's staff, Below Deck Sailing Yacht brought on a Below Deck alum to help integrate the show into the Below Deck Cinematic Universe. Chef Adam Glick had a whiplash of a journey during his time on Below Deck Med . Often found bickering with Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier , undermining her authority, and going rogue with his meals like putting onions in dishes when the primary specifically put on his preference sheet that he did not want them, Chef Adam was an interesting option to be the familiar face for the franchise to start with. But hey, an angry, temperamental chef is a stereotype for Below Deck so it seemed fitting .

The Interior Team Was a Nightmare on Season 1 of 'Below Deck Sailing Yacht'

Knowing Chef Adam had a rocky relationship with the head of the interior, it was expected that whoever was in charge on Parsifal III would suffer the same fate as their counterpart in the Med. But it couldn't be further from the truth. Jenna MacGillivray was brought on as Chief Stew. She was not the warm and cuddly personality, but had a similar demeanor to the original Below Deck Chief Stew Adrienne Gang . Both women's mission was to assert their authority and had run-ins with many of their colleagues. For Jenna, there was one exception: A second romance bloomed on Parsifall III between Chef Adam and Chief Stew Jenna.

On paper, watching love blossom should warm the hearts, but this duo was toxic, and Jenna left a lot to be desired, as she rarely ever took accountability for focusing on her school-girl romance with Chef Adam over her duties as Chief Stew. The interior team is central to the story, as they spend the most time with the guests on camera. Jenna became unbearable when she fell in love , and things got messy. Her obsession with her relationship over her job almost sank the ship.

With so many questionable choices in the cast, there had to be someone on the crew that could breathe sanity into the Below Deck spin-off. Turning to the interior, Jenna's two stewardesses were Madison Stalker and Georgia Grobler . Madison very quickly became the audience's voice of reason as she saw the chaos on board. She dealt with the brunt of Jenna's frustrations and lack of interest in establishing a working relationship with her. Madison was great at her job, she just never got the praise she deserved. She became the season's punching bag; hence, the majority of her story was filled with Jenna trying to tear her down, and Chef Adam following suit because he had to side with his girl.

When it came to Georgia, the 3rd Stew was clearly unaware of relationship boundaries. It's one thing to have a crush, but when you're living and working with your crush, whose girlfriend is also sleeping feet away from you, perhaps it's best to turn things down a few notches. Georgia's crush on Paget was simply uncomfortable to watch. Her entire journey on Below Deck Sailing Yacht comprised of trying to serenade Paget with the only original song Georgia had in her songbook. What was worse? Paget fed into it — with his girlfriend present! Her flirtation was cringe, and yet it wasn't even as hard as Jenna went for Chef Adam.

'Below Deck Down Under' Is Bravo's Best Kept Secret

'below deck sailing yacht's season 2 cast turned the seri.

On deck, joining Ciara and Paget for half the season, was Parker McCown . He resigned from his position due to his well-being, as his back and forth with Paget was wearing him down. Parker was replaced by Christopher Miller , who was almost a non-existent personality for the remainder of the charter season. He was kind, he worked well, but suffered a back injury that nearly derailed his entire career. Unlike any other Below Deck series, Below Deck Sailing Yacht featured the Chief Engineer as an on-screen character. Byron Hissey was much older than the majority of the crew, so his presence wasn't as drama-filled comparatively. As a character, he was a swell guy, but he just didn't have the aspirations to make good reality television.

Every season of Below Deck features some sort of mess. Maybe it's caused by the elite vacationers or the drama within the bowels of the ship, but the mess of Below Deck Sailing Yacht 's first season was the mess of its cast. Casting is hard; these nine individuals lacked chemistry and didn't gel. There's no predicting how individuals will react — it's the core of the experiment of reality television. The stories that this cast created were ripe for drama, they just didn't play out well.

Thankfully, the show learned from its mistake and retooled the entire second season. The only returning cast member was Captain Glenn. Fans were then introduced to Chief Engineer Colin MacRae , Chief Stew Daisy Kelliher , and First Officer Gary King, and magic was instantly made! Captain Glenn and his new trio have remained with the program since Season 2, are the longest running tenured group within the Below Deck franchise, and make it one of the best in the franchise. The moral of this story is perfection takes time. You won't always catch lightning on the first try. Below Deck Sailing Yacht is proof. They ditched the navy blue polos and opted for those infamous orange ones ; that's how badly they needed to distance themselves from that first season.

Below Deck Sailing Yacht is available to stream on Peacock in the U.S.

Watch on Peacock

My Crew Kit

Deckhand Training Courses

Entry-level deckhand courses and qualifications to help land your first job on a superyacht.

Essential Deckhand Training:

Entry-level deckhand courses and qualifications are essential to your success in the superyacht industry. Obtaining your first job as a deckhand is difficult as it is a fiercely competitive position. With a great deal of training available, it may be difficult to understand which deckhand courses are right for you and your budget. Before deciding on which courses to enrol in, we encourage you to understand the role of these courses and certifications so that you are able to make informed decisions.

Below is a list of essential courses you should take as an aspiring deckhand with little or no experience :

  • STCW Basic Training
  • RYA Power Boat Level 2 or IYT Rib Master
  • Proficiency in Security Awareness PSA or Designated Security Duties (PDSD)

You are able to connect with our global network of deckhand training providers for each course, either by selecting a specific course, or by selecting a region in the deckhand course finder section, found below the course content.

Detail of beautiful Superyacht, deckhand lifting the huge fender of the starboard side of the megayacht, spotless grey and white superstructure

STCW Basic Safety Training

In order for you to legally obtain a job on a commercial superyacht (over 24m) you have to be certified with all four basic safety training modules, which are as follows:

  • Personal Survival Techniques | PST (A-VI/1-1)
  • Fire Fighting Fire Prevention | FFP (A-VI/1-2)
  • Elementary First Aid | EFA (A-VI/1-3)
  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities | PSSR (A-VI/1-4)

STCW Basic Training courses can be booked on an individual bases or booked in combination with other essential deckhand courses. You can find out more about STCW Basic Training , connect with an STCW Basic Training Centre near you , or continue to other deckhand safety training courses below.

*Although this is a commercial requirement, it is generally seen as a requirement for employment onboard private vessels by yacht owners, captains, management companies or flag states. Failure to obtain STCW Basic training severely limits employment opportunities.

Powerboat / Rib Training:

As an aspiring deckhand, this course is a necessity, providing you with an essential license to drive superyacht tenders around the world. Unless you have a role that excludes you from such deckhand activities, this is a crucial course that forms the basis upon which you can develop your vessel handling skills. These skills are not only required to drive guests, but also to pass practical examinations required for licenses required to drive larger vessels.

The two most popular courses that do not require any prior experience, are the RYA Powerboat Level 2 course or the IYT Small Powerboat & Rib Master . Although the majority of deckhand job posts request a Powerboat Level II, an IYT Small Powerboat & Rib Master is seen as an equivalent and serves the same purpose. Both are recognised by the MCA.

Savvy Maritime Tender For Training

Proficiency in Security Certificate

(STCW A-VI/6-1) & (STCW A-VI/6-1)

In order to work on an ISPS-compliant vessel, an STCW proficiency in security certificate is required. Proficiency in Designated Security Awareness (PSA)  is the minimum requirement, whereas  Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)  is required for crew who are designated security duties on such vessels.

Both courses can be done in class or online. *ISPS complaint yachts are commercial yachts larger than 500GT (Usually commercial yachts +50m in length)*

Find out more about the PSA & PDSD Certification and connect with a training provider, or continue reading about further deckhand training below.

Beneficial Deckhand Courses:

Courses to broaden your deckhand skill set and capabilities for common superyacht duties

  • Entry Level Superyacht Deckhand Course
  • VHF SRC (Short Range) Radio Certificate
  • Personal Watercraft Operator / Certificate

Deckhand Tender

Superyacht Deckhand Course:

Most "Superyacht Deckhand Courses" are non-accredited and do not form part of a requirement for legal employment but are generally sold in conjunction with essential courses (some of which may be mandatory or deemed as appropriate by the training provider in question) and advertised as a "superyacht deckhand course" package or similar.

The purpose of a superyacht deckhand course to introduce candidates to the duties and skills associated with the role of a deckhand. This course is tailored towards candidates with little to no exposure to the superyacht industry.

Course content is dependant on the training provider but generally includes industry information, general deck procedures, wash-downs, maintenance, cleaning procedures, line handling, knots and bends, as well other topics to help familiarize you with the deck department career path the lies ahead.

Superyacht deckhand courses give potential employers an indication that yous have a basic skill set and understanding of the deckhand duties that lie ahead.  This forms a foundation upon which to build skills and knowledge through onboard training and experience. Depending on the location and school in question, a small amount of onboard training/experience on a yacht nearby may be included.

VHF Short Range Certificate (SRC):

As a deckhand seeking your first job in the yachting industry, it is advisable to obtain a VHF Short Range Certificate, preferably one recognised by the MCA. VHF is a common form of communication not only from the bridge of the superyacht but also from tenders to the main vessel (or other vessels) when out of UHF Radio range (your personal hand held for internal crew communication), or to land based authorities.

This 1-day course is an essential qualification required for further deck qualifications (Such as a Yachtmaster/ Master of Yachts), and is also required for commercial endorsement of a small powerboat license. The sooner you as a deckhand becomes familiar with this equipment the better. It is, therefore, a recommended course for green deckhands to complete.

Male superyacht Deckhand with a handheld radio getting ready to drop anchor, with a blue sky in the background

Personal Watercraft (PWC) License

PWC's often referred to as Jet Ski's or Wave Runners, are common watercraft found on board superyachts. Operation of PWC's is a common duty of a deckhands during guest trips. Certain countries require PWC operators to hold a license, most commonly countries in Europe/ The Mediterranean, making it mandatory for crew to hold a license should they wish to operate one.

This one-day theory and practical course will teach you how to operate and navigate a personal watercraft in a safe manner. No previous experience or qualifications are required. A certificate is provided upon successful completion of the course (to the required standard). The IYT PWC and RYA PWC are recommended, accredited versions of this course.

In areas where jet ski licenses are not required, it is a commonly requested by captains, management companies and owners for insurance purposes. It is very beneficial to hold such a license.

Complementary Deckhand Training

Additional courses to give you an edge (that do not require previous deckhand experience)

  • RYA Personal Watercraft (PWC) Instructor
  • SCUBA Diving Qualifications

Jet ski instructor riding a personal water craft

RYA Personal Watercraft (Jet Ski) Instructor Course

Due to the fact that charter guests and yacht crew require a PWC license in order to operate a Jet Ski in the Med, the demand for crew with the PWC instructor certification is high. Crew with the instructor license (working on a correctly registered vessel) are able to certify guests with an RYA Introduction to PWC Safety Course, allowing them to use the watercraft during their time on board.

Scuba Diving:

Scuba diving experience and qualifications are beneficial in helping land a job as a deckhand. While Dive Instructor and Dive Master courses considerably improve the chances of getting a job on vessels that support guest diving experiences, basic Open Water and Advanced diving qualifications are also beneficial and will improve your CV.

Whether it is accompanying guests on a dive in the Bahamas or inspecting something under the hull of the yacht, scuba diving experience can be a great addition to your skill set as a deckhand.

Yacht Crew Scuba Diving Course

Deckhand Training & Certificates For Deckhands With Sea Time & Experience

Courses & certification for deckhands that have evidence of sea service and real tender handling experience after 1 to a few busy seasons of employment 

  • MCA Yacht Rating Certificate 
  • Yacht-Master / Master of Yachts
  • Advanced Powerboat
  • MCA Efficient Deckhand (EDH)

MCA Yacht Rating Certificate

Certain commercial superyachts require a number of crew to hold a Yacht Rating certificate as per the safe manning procedures of the vessel in question. An individual can apply for an MCA Yacht Rating certificate once the required sea time is acquired and by completing specific tasks in the Training Record Book (TRB), signed off by a qualified officer or captain.

For Crew without experience, the yacht service requirement can be reduced if aYacht Rating Course Completion Certificate  or - IYT Superyacht Deck Crew Course is attained but the MCA Yacht Rating Certificate can only be applied for once 2 months of sea service is acquired.

Therefore, although a "Yacht Rating Course" covers some important aspects, usually taught onboard, completion of this course does not qualify a candidate to apply for a job that requires an MCA Yacht Rating Certificate , unless the applicant has sufficient sea service and meets the medical and STCW requirement.

RYA Advanced Powerboat

If you are required to be licensed to drive larger powerboats (10m - 24m) during the day and night and have insufficient sea time and experience for your Master of Yachts 200, then the Advanced Power boat course is an option to consider. With an RYA/MCA Advanced Powerboat Commercial Endorsement, license holders are able to drive an MCA coded boat up to 24m in length or 80 gross tons up to 20 miles away from the shore or safe haven. The responsibility of large tender handling is usually only given to crew have built up significant time behind the helm of tenders, under supervision of more experienced crew. If you are new to the industry (unless you have real large power boating experience) you are likely to be accompanied and supervised by a more experienced, licensed crew member during large tender handling duties. It should therefore not be assumed that this course will allow you to take on such duties without time, experience  and training with a more experienced crew member present.

Deckhand Next to Yacht Tender

Yachtmaster / Master of Yachts 200:

Gaining a Master of Yachts Certification is an important step for those who would like to progress their career as a deckhand and start taking on additional responsibilities. A Commercially Endorsed Master of Yachts 200GT opens up more employment opportunities (fulfils certain manning requirements for commercial vessels), allows candidates to work as an Officer on yachts <500GT and allows candidates to begin training modules that form part of the requirement for an MCA Officer of The Watch (OOW) 3000  and is a common requirement for the primary drivers of guests in large superyacht tenders. Find out more about the RYA and IYT Yachtmaster / Master of Yachts.

Efficient Deckhand (EDH) Course

Once you have your Yachtmaster / Master of Yachts under your belt and you are ready to start chipping away at your OOW (MCA Officer of the Watch 3000 Limited), it is advised to begin with the Efficient Deckhand Course. An EDH will ensure that you operate in a safe and professional manner when moving to a more senior role where leadership and instruction is required. The framework for further training can be found on our Deckhand to OOW course page .

Find Deckhand Training Courses Near Me

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Deckhand Training Course Centres in South Africa:

View Featured Training Providers below or select Durban , Cape Town , Langebaan or South Africa (All) to view training recommended training providers:

Trilogy Luxury Training

Deckhand training course centres in the united states of america:.

Book deckhand training at the best training centres in Fort Lauderdale , Florida (All) or other area in the United States (All) . Find featured courses and training providers in the area below:

Featured Training Courses

Seven seas preparatory academy, savvy maritime academy.

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Savvy Deckhand Academy

(Fort Lauderdale) a Comprehensive 5-Week Deckhand Training Program with hands on practical skills emphsis

Deckhand Training Course Centres in The United Kingdom & Ireland

Book deckhand training at the best training centres in England & Ireland.

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Deckhand Training Course Centres in Europe:

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Deckhand Training Yacht in Sydney Harbour

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IMAGES

  1. How To Work on a Yacht as a Deckhand

    how to work as a deckhand on a yacht

  2. How to Become a Superyacht Deckhand

    how to work as a deckhand on a yacht

  3. How to Become a Superyacht Deckhand

    how to work as a deckhand on a yacht

  4. Top Six Skills Needed to Work on a Superyacht in 2020

    how to work as a deckhand on a yacht

  5. How to Get a Job as a Deckhand

    how to work as a deckhand on a yacht

  6. Deck Jobs on Yachts

    how to work as a deckhand on a yacht

COMMENTS

  1. How to Become a Deckhand on a Superyacht: A Step-by-Step Guide

    1. Understand the Training Requirements. The foundational step to becoming a deckhand in Australia is to complete the necessary safety training. While the training is broadly similar across different countries, there are specific requirements for those intending to work on commercial vessels within Australia:

  2. Yacht Deckhand Crew Position

    About the Deckhand A deckhand is a position aboard with primary duties including cleaning and maintenance of the exterior of the vessel. Vessels will usually consider a successful candidate that already has experience in the superyacht industry and is keen to learn and work hard.

  3. How to Get a Job as a Deckhand

    One way to break into crew work is by getting real-world experience in the maritime world, adds Hollingshead. "Go and get a job in a marina, work for a boat-building company, learn about teak, painting, epoxy, etc. 10 Tips for Newbie Deckhands. "There are two main work/life experiences that I value in a candidate," he continues.

  4. What Is a Yacht Deckhand: Roles and Responsibilities at Sea

    Typically, a deckhand's responsibilities include exterior maintenance such as painting, varnishing, and cleaning, as well as helping with the yacht's operations, like mooring, anchoring, and tender driving. One of the unique aspects of this role is the combination of manual labor, skilled work, and hospitality service required.

  5. Become a Superyacht Deckhand

    Become a Superyacht Deckhand. If you want to travel the world on a Superyacht, earn an enviable salary and make some incredible friends for life, becoming a Deckhand is the way to go! The course is suitable for complete beginners or those with experience who are looking to work as a Deckhand on a commercial yacht. Based on over 250 Google reviews.

  6. How To Get a Job as a Deckhand

    Check out our list of skills that will help you stand out when applying for your first job as a deckhand. Experience driving tenders or small water crafts. Some common rope knots. Able to swim. First aid. Water sports experience like kiteboarding, wake boarding, jets- it's a bonus if you are an instructor. Scuba diving - a rescue diver or ...

  7. Guide To Becoming Certified Deckhand

    Step 2: Gain Experience. To become a certified deckhand, you must have experience working on yachts. One way to gain experience is to work as a day worker or a casual crew member. Day workers are typically hired daily to assist with various tasks on the yacht. Casual crew members are hired for short-term contracts and can gain valuable ...

  8. How to Become a Superyacht Deckhand

    Learn about deckhand duties. Before looking for a job as a superyacht deckhand, it is important to have a good understanding of the duties associated with the role. It is a physically demanding position that requires determination and hard work. Working in a team while learning from experienced crew members is the key to becoming a successful ...

  9. Setting Sail To Success: A Guide To Becoming A Successful Deckhand And

    hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn are key factors in achieving success in the maritime industry. 6. Staying Safe and Adapting to Life at Sea as a Deckhand. Adapting to life at sea as a deckhand requires a strong focus on safety and the ability to quickly acclimate to the unique challenges of working on a vessel.

  10. How to become a yacht deckhand?

    We often get asked the question, what do I need to become a deckhand on a yacht. With no experience there are courses that you must take to ensure you are qualified to become a Superyacht deckhand. The certificates will also show the yacht agencies that you are a serious deckhand candidate looking for a job.

  11. How to Become a Deckhand

    A deckhand is a junior crew member on a boat or large ship. Being aware of your surroundings is crucial, as you work with lines and other equipment, being a part of the team that brings the ship alongside dock, or that maintains sea safety and lifesaving equipment. An essential Deckhand requirement is understanding the structure and hierarchy.

  12. 10 Essential Skills for any Deckhand whilst Working on a Superyacht

    A deckhand is an essential part of any Yacht crew team. Their primary goal is to make sure a yacht runs smoothly. Being a deckhand requires more than just being able to tie knots and look good in shorts. As a deckhand, you'll have the opportunity to work on some of the most glamorous yachts in the world while

  13. Yacht Deck Department

    The work is extremely varied and an assortment of skills are necessary to be successful. This department is responsible for the following aspects of the yacht operation: The development path for an individual wishing to pursue a career on deck is very specific and requires achieving certain milestones. As an entry-level deckhand, focus should ...

  14. How To Become a Successful Deckhand

    The key to becoming a successful deckhand is learning from experienced crew members as you work aboard an inland or large ship. Duties of a deckhand change depending on the schedule and function of a vessel. Deckhands are responsible for general maintenance, lookout duties, tender driving, and cleaning a ship. 4.

  15. How to Become a Superyacht Deckhand

    Job role of a Superyacht Deckhand. The deckhand position will encompass many responsibilities, but most importantly, he/she will maintain the exterior of the yacht and keep it in pristine condition at all times. Covering everything from the windows to sporting equipment, from changing sun lounger covers to varnishing the guard rails.

  16. Superyacht Deckhand Duties

    Superyachts operate on a hierarchical system and the deck department is no different. Depending on the size of the yacht, the deck team can be made up of a captain, officers, a bosun, senior/lead deckhands, standard deckhands as well as junior deckhands. This page focuses on the role of a superyacht deckhand and/or junior deckhand.

  17. How to become a Yachtie (Stewardess Or Deckhand)

    Go to a superyacht marina. 1. Have the right attitude. Along with gaining the correct qualifications to prove your competence, to become a Yachtie, you must have certain characteristics to thrive in this industry. Yachties have to be well presented, articulate, know how to take orders, and be able to work hard, all with a smile and enthusiasm.

  18. How To Work on a Yacht as a Deckhand

    In this video, we're going to learn how to get a job on a yacht as a deckhand, which is one of the 4 entry level yacht jobs that are options for new yacht cr...

  19. Careers

    A Deckhand is an excellent place to start your career on board a superyacht as it gives you a good grounding in day-to-day operations. A Deckhand may choose to continue working in a deck role, and progress to the position of Bosun. Alternatively he/she may prefer to move into the Engineering department as an Engineer, or get into the Service ...

  20. MORNING ROUTINE FOR A DECKHAND ON A LUXURY SUPER YACHT ...

    Want to work on a SUPERYACHT but don't know how?Then click the link and sign up to Crew Library for FREE for guidance on how to get into the industry and wha...

  21. Deckhand Jobs

    Deck/Dive 70m+ Private/Charter Motor Yacht. Updated On : Tuesday, May 14, 2024. We are looking for a Deckhand/Divemaster or Instructor for a 65m+ Private/Charter M/Y. Rotation: 5/1. Salary: 3200 plus a share in tips. Male only due to cabin arrangements. Looking for candidates with a season or more experience, large tender driving experience is ...

  22. The Best Yacht Crew Job Vacancies Available Today

    Manage Your Yacht Career. Whether you're seeking a yacht crew position as a deckhand, engineer, onboard masseuse, stewardess, chef, chief stewardess, purser, first officer, or captain, take control of your yacht career. Create a profile and join one of the world's largest yachting communities for free. CREATE A PROFILE

  23. Yacht Jobs

    We are looking for a Seasonal Deckhand to join a: 35m Private/Charter MY. France based. 3300 euro pm, 3.5 days leave. YM ticket. AEC1 ticket. Start date ASAP. The ideal candidate will have similar sized vessel with charter exp. The captain is looking for someone to join the boat ASAP and get the boat ready for up and coming charter, this vessel ...

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  25. Deckhand Training Courses

    The two most popular courses that do not require any prior experience, are the RYA Powerboat Level 2 course or the IYT Small Powerboat & Rib Master. Although the majority of deckhand job posts request a Powerboat Level II, an IYT Small Powerboat & Rib Master is seen as an equivalent and serves the same purpose. Both are recognised by the MCA.

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