The role and responsibilities of a yacht deckhand can differ considerably based on the size of the vessel and its operational style. While each yacht presents its unique set of tasks, certain core duties are intrinsic to the deckhand's profession across the board. This article sheds light on these general responsibilities, offering insight into the behind-the-scenes efforts that ensure a seamless yachting experience for guests.
1. Keeping the Yacht Spotless
It's the job of a Deckhand to ensure that the yacht is always in impeccable condition. The sea air and water mean that yachts actually get dirty quite quickly. That's why cleaning becomes an essential part of a deckhand's day-to-day activities.
2. Tender Operations
When guests want to head ashore, the yacht needs to pick up certain provisions or the garbage need to be taken out, it's the deckhands that operate the tenders to do this. Launching, storing and operating tenders are all in a day's work for the deckhand. They zoom around making sure that everyone on board the yacht has what they need and the guests get to where they need to be.
3. Overseeing Water Sports Activities
One of the highlights for many yacht guests is indulging in water sports. Deckhands play an instrumental role in this aspect as well. From setting up jet skis, paddleboards, or inflatables to ensuring safety protocols are strictly adhered to, deckhands oversee and assist guests with all water-based activities. Their expertise ensures not only that equipment is in optimal condition, but also that guests can enjoy these activities safely and efficiently.
4. Anchor Operations
Anchoring is not just a matter of dropping anchor whenever the yacht needs to stay in one place. There's a process involved, ensuring the safety and stability of the yacht. The anchor itself is a heavy machinery and requires proper training. Packing everything away, picking up the anchor and later reversing the process is all part of the deck team's responsibilities.
5. Always on the Clock
With most yachts operating 24 hours a day, the work doesn't stop when the sun goes down. The deck team works in shifts to ensure there's always someone on duty, whether it's for navigating, guest requirements, deck maintenance or safety functions. The number of crew members required to be on duty, especially during the night, varies based on the yacht's size and its operational specifics.
6. Maintenance and Detailing
Quiet times on a yacht are rare, but when there's a lull in guest activities, it's the perfect opportunity for some much-needed maintenance. From greasing the winches, polishing surfaces, cleaning the waterline to ensuring the water toys are fueled up and charged – it's the deckhands task to make sure this is done.
The Balance of Work and Rest
As intense as their job sounds, it's essential for deckhands to have their downtime. While there's always something to be done, it's very important that all crew get sufficient rest time. Off-time is strictly regulated in the yachting industry and each crew member needs to have a certain number of hours to rest between work.
With most yachts being a 24h program, crew also need to rotate their breaks. This ensures there's always enough hands-on deck for any job, while others get their much-needed rest.