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  • Writer's pictureYPI CREW

Becoming a bosun on board a yacht is a rewarding way to progress your career whilst traveling to some of the world’s most luxurious places. But what is the definition of a Bosun? Here at YPI CREW, we’ve got the answers and have compiled this quick guide to tell you everything you need to know about being a bosun on a luxury yacht.

What is a bosun?

In short, bosuns are responsible for leading a team of deckhands on board a yacht to ensure the guests are safe and happy at all times. They will be in charge of planning the daily deck duties and assigning them to the Deckhand team, as well as overseeing and assisting guests with water sports.

A great bosun bridges the gap between an officer and a deckhand and is an expert in yacht maintenance as well as guiding the deckhands to make sure everything runs smoothly on board.

They know everything there is to know about keeping the vessel looking spotless and in immaculate condition, including which products to use in every situation.

What is their day-to-day job?

Day to day, a bosun’s job is expansive — but definitely rewarding. Responsible for exterior maintenance, they’ll oversee a team of deckhands, planning duties and assigning them to the crew on board. Their roles each day can include:

  • Maintenance of the yacht exterior. This includes making sure the right supplies are on board to be used to clean or maintain the exterior and deckhands are allocated jobs to ensure it is complete

  • Overseeing the mooring operations, anchoring or the vessel: They’ll make sure all of this is carried out efficiently

  • Tender driving: Tendering guests to and from the yacht using a smaller boat.

  • Bridge watches: Ensuring safe and smooth navigation

  • Water sports: They’ll keep the guests smiling by planning and assisting guests in water sports, from launching of all toys and tenders.

A yacht is a busy workplace, so bosuns may also take on extra responsibilities in the crew such as security patrol.

What skills do they need?

Bosuns will usually have two to three years of experience on board a yacht, making it a great progression route for deckhands. They are experts in exterior maintenance — their knowledge of the products needed and repair remedies will be second to none. Along with a positive, friendly attitude and the drive to make everything perfect for their guests, they’ll also be committed to motivating and growing the skills of their team of deckhands.

Skills that make a great bosun include:

  • Expert in all things yacht maintenance, including cleaning, varnishing and carpentry.

  • Drive to lead, motivate and upskill their team of deckhands

  • Experience in managing a team to complete tasks

  • Skilled in guest tender driving

  • Knowledge of water sports activities

  • Ability to stay calm under pressure.

Like all crew members, they will also need their valid STCW Basic Safety training certificate along with a Seafarers’ medical certificate. You can find out more about any mandatory certifications you might need as a bosun here.

Looking to start your career as a bosun?

Ready to find out what life is like on a yacht? YPI CREW is here to make finding your dream role as easy and stress-free as possible. Become a member of YPI CREW and our expert team of superyacht recruiters will be able to guide you during your career journey and tell you more about the bosun jobs available.

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