Deckhand Employment - Pick Your Spot on the Boat
By Dan Sevets
When people ask me to give them some insider deckhand employment tips for working on a luxury yacht, I tell them that first and foremost they should decide what position they think they would truly enjoy. Once they know that, they can work on getting the experience as well as the professional certification they will need for that particular job.
A huge super yacht might employ a crew of 30 or more. Everyone aboard is expected to perform at least one job very, very well; most, though, will actually be jacks (or jills) of all trades. On a vessel at sea, whether it's a magnificent yacht or a humble fishing trawler, every crew member must have a wide range of skills.
Here are the most typical deckhand employment possibilities:
Deckhand: This is the most generalized of crew positions and is the place that most people start in a career aboard a boat. Your duties could range from maintenance to deck cleaning to driving a tender to ferry VIP guests to and from the yacht. No two days are ever alike for a deckhand!
Steward (or Stewardess): This is a form of deckhand employment that typically involves waiting on the yacht owner and his guests. This could mean serving drinks, leading recreational activities, helping keep interior spaces nice and shiny, or any of a myriad other tasks centered on making sure a boat's passengers stay happy the entire trip.
Chef: A yacht's chef prepares meals, obviously, and also may be solely responsible for keeping the galley clean and well-arranged. A chef will also be in charge of the very important task of purchasing and stocking provisions in enough quantity and variety to last for a long trip, if necessary.
Boat Engineer: A boat engineer is a deckhand with specialized expertise for working on a yacht's engines. The engineer sees to, through ongoing maintenance as well as repair when needed, that the vessel will never be dead in the water. As you can imagine, this is a highly important job.
Captain: Everyone knows that a captain not only drives the boat, he's the boss of the rest of the crew. To be a captain of a super yacht requires lots of training and years of experience, but keep in mind that many of the best and most respected yacht captains started out as a regular deckhand. The path to a super yacht captaincy is within anyone's reach who keeps his sights set firmly on it!
First Mate: Most big luxury yachts have a first mate as well as a captain. A first mate is the captain's right-hand man (or woman), and is the one who daily supervises and directs the crew. First mates must be able to do pretty much everything that a captain does and have an intimate knowledge of every other crewmate's job, too.
You can begin your path to deckhand employment through the ages-old practice of "dockwalking" -- talking to all of the yacht crew that you are able to meet. You can also visit a hiring agency, found in most ports of call, that specializes in hiring for mega- and super yachts.
Yacht jobs are open to everyone who loves the ocean -- and they will pay you to see the world. Deckhands, stewards, chefs and other super yacht crew members truly are living a dream. This dream is open to you regardless of your background, age, or experience. Deckhand Employment Tips is a page of free information on the requirements of different crew member jobs as well as on how to get hired aboard a luxury vessel.
With a super yacht crew job, you will rub shoulders with multimillionaires and celebrities. You will visit exotic ports of call from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean to beyond. You will have free food and lodging while afloat and earn a great salary to boot. (You can even find romance -- it happens all the time!)
Sure, there's competition for these dream jobs. But there are ways to ensure that a boat's captain or the yacht crew hiring agency chooses you, even if you have less experience than the next person. A book that blows the lid off the insider methods for gaining a plum position as a super yacht crew member is The Dynamic Deckhand [http://www.deckhands.info].
Dan Sevets has seen the world aboard boats of all kinds. He invites you to join him in the best job of all.