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Deckhands are an integral part of the yacht crew in the day-to-day running of the yacht. They are responsible for the daily maintenance of the yacht, involving hands-on tasks to ensure it remains in immaculate condition for all guests at all levels of the yacht. 


Depending on the size of the yacht, there may either be only one Deckhand onboard or a team of Deckhands, all working to clean and polish the exterior to maintain the highest of standards. 


Deckhands are generally supervised by either a Lead Deckhand, Bosun, or a Chief Officer, depending on the size and structure of the yacht.



What does a Deckhand do? | Deckhand Job Description


A Deckhand’s main responsibility is to execute any task their senior gives them, in a timely and precise manner. These tasks predominantly comprise of maintaining the exterior of the yacht. 


Daily tasks vary and can include wash-downs, polishing, varnishing, teak cleaning, sanding, painting, and general maintenance. They may also be asked to drive or assist with the yacht’s tenders.


The responsibilities of a Deckhand include:


  • Regular wash-downs of the yacht

  • Deck scrubbing

  • Stainless polishing

  • Cleaning of deck lockers and bilges

  • Performing general maintenance duties such as sanding, painting, varnishing, etc.

  • Assisting with docking operations and anchoring

  • Assisting guests as required during water sports

  • Driving state-of-the-art yacht tenders



Soft and hard skills required to be a  Deckhand


As an entry-level position, a yacht Deckhand job does not necessarily require any previous yachting experience, but it does require patience and a positive mental attitude. 


The competition for Deckhand positions is often very fierce so having any extra skills can really make a difference. Tender driving skills, carpentry, water sports, videography and mechanical knowledge can all help one get ahead of the competition so it's strongly advised to point them out on the CV.


On a personal level, a yacht Deckhand should be sociable and show a fondness for working as part of a team. They are often sporty, athletic people who enjoy being outdoors and are ready for new challenges and adventures.


The skills of a successful yacht Deckhand include:


  • Ability to take direction

  • Good work ethic

  • Physical fitness and strength

  • Positive attitude

  • Ability to learn on the job

  • Good eye for detail

  • Varnishing skills

  • Painting skills

  • Tender driving skills

  • Knowledge of water sports



Mandatory certificates needed to work on board a yacht 


All crew members regardless of their position and seniority need to have a valid STCW Basic Safety Training certificate, along with a recognised Seafarer's medical certificate, the most popular being the ENG1 which is issued by an MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) professional medic. 


Without these two certificates, it is not possible for the crew to work on board a yacht and a Recruiter will not be able to assist you in finding work onboard a yacht. 


For more information about mandatory certificates please visit our Mandatory Certificates Guide.




Are you ready to land a Deckhand position onboard a yacht?


Become a member of YPI CREW through free registration and let us guide you through your job search.


Each of our recruiters is specialised in crew placement for a particular department and they will do their best to get you an interview onboard a yacht. They will also advise you on how to best present your experience and skills and prepare for a yacht job interview.

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Yacht Deckhand jobs

A Yacht Deckhand is an entry-level position for those looking to work as a part of the Deck crew team onboard a yacht.

Deckhand Yacht Jobs, Superyacht Deckhand Jobs

Fiona Murray, Head of Bosun and Deckhand Department, YPI CREW Yacht Crew Agency

Fiona Murray

Head of Bosun and Deckhand Department

Alexandra O’Connell, Bosun and Deckhand Recruitment Specialist, YPI CREW Yacht Crew Agency

Alexandra O’Connell

Bosun and Deckhand Recruitment Specialist