How do you get a job as deckhand on a yacht?

What’s a deckhand?

Deckhand is your typical entry-level job for almost any professional crew position on a superyacht.

Responsible for conducting a whole range of duties, the deckhand is mainly in charge of maintaining the yacht’s exterior, keeping the surfaces shining, the teak immaculate and everything looking pristine at all times.

When you go for a deckhand interview, find out how big the yacht is and how many other deckhands on board?  Depending on the size, you could either be the only one or part of a team.


What does a deckhand do?

So, you’ll have a whole list of duties to perform each day, some requiring more experience and skill than others – but each one gives you a great opportunity to learn all about the general operations of a superyacht – the perfect grounding from which to work your way up through the superyacht ranks.

Your day will probably start really early and could end late, but typical tasks include:

  • Maintain exterior of the deck to a pristine standard
  • Could be working single handed or as part of a team
  • Cleaning & maintenance of vessel exterior
  • Tender driving, looking after water sports equipment
  • Taking guests out water skiing, wake boarding, using jet skis
  • Line handling and basic maintenance; painting, sanding and varnishing.
  • Diving (if qualified)
  • Helping interior staff serve and clean up after meals
  • Help interior staff clean cabins


What does a deckhand earn? 

The salary range is between €2000 and €3000 per month.

What experience do you need to be a deckhand?

You don’t have to have boating qualifications to be a deckhand, but it helps. Certainly having general seafaring skills will put you ahead of other applicants, as is navigation, boat handling, engine and radio equipment knowledge.

Deckhands come from a wide variety of backgrounds, so don’t lose heart if you don’t have direct yachting experience.  Transferable skills are really valuable too.  If you’ve worked in hospitality, hotels, spas, floristry etc you’ll have great experience to offer and likewise engineers, divers, yoga instructors and mechanics all have great skills invaluable to an employer too.

It’s just as important though to be willing to learn quickly, work hard and become a valued team player.

What qualifications do you need to become a deckhand?

Experience is key but qualifications wise you’ll need:

  • Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (A-VI/6-2) Essential
  • ENG 1 (Medical – NO limitation/Restrictions) Essential
  • STCW 95 (STCW 2010) Essential
  • MCA STCW Basic Safety Qualification (required for higher positions if you want to progress)

Further down the line it can be beneficial to get your RYA qualifications:

  • Day Skipper
  • Power Boat Level 2
  • VHF/SRC Radio Operators Certificate
  • IYT Tender Driving Licence

How to get a job as a Deckhand?

Simply set up a profile on Yotspot and search for the right position for you. It’s easy.  Set the filters for either contract, permanent, seasonal or delivery, vessel size, start date and salary and search the positions for you. Could be an expedition vessel or superyacht.

What’s Yotspot?

Where over 72,000 yachting professionals come to either post or search for the latest yachting positions, both on and offshore.  With over 860 jobs to choose from, save time and effort by looking through hundreds of jobs with yachts, agencies and management companies.

Search maritime courses and training providers to start your career in yachting and progress down the path you choose, whether it’s the engine room, galley or in the salon.